Today, BizEngine is hitting you with a piping-hot plate of news from around the world of franchise. Get your forks and knives ready.
You may recall that the International Franchise Association held a Small Business Lending Summit last week, one that was targeted at generating debate and beginning to solve the credit crunch hitting so many small businesses.
There was a lot of healthy debate at the session, with banks and lenders acknowledging more capital needs to be opened up and small businesses learning more about how they can improve their chances of getting that access. The best recap I’ve seen thus far, which comes to us courtesy of SmartBlogs, offers up that and more.
The most positive news to come out of this? Lenders are recognizing the value of franchises:
Mark Edwards, a senior loan administrator for BB&T, said the industry recognizes franchise operators are unique. “We feel that this is a job-creating sector and there’s a lot of growth opportunity here.” To seize some of that opportunity, Mary Navarro, the chair of the CBA and Director of Retail and Business Banking for Huntington National Bank, said her bank has actually loosened credit for small businesses. She also explained that Huntington no longer demands a full year’s worth of information from borrowers, but rather looks for just a couple of quarters of solid growth and projections.
Promising. If the lending environment loosens a bit more, franchises will certainly benefit.
Franchising With A Latin Flavor
While franchise expansions into places like China get a lot of press, news outlets are just starting to notice how big an impact such growth is having in Latin America.
According to Latin Trade, countries like Colombia are proving to be fertile ground for franchises looking to expand beyond U.S. borders. With consumers prizing fashion and luxury in that country and others in Latin America, clothing stores, boutiques and hotels are finding ample space to land and are taking advantage of it.
Brazil and Peru are also huge growth sectors at the moment. Something to mull if you’re looking to take your franchise to warmer climes.
High Fuel Prices: Not A Gas
Nobody’s particularly amused by the rising prices at the pump, which reached a national average above $3.70 this week. Many are choosing to cut back on their vehicle use, but for those still braving gas stations, it’s become increasingly easy to drift to the discount.
According to the Wall Street Journal, consumers are turning to the CostCos, BJ’s and other discount fuel providers of the world to try to save money. It’s certainly not a bad idea, but it does hurt your franchise gas stations if people are fleeing from them in droves because of prices that are largely out of their control. There’s got to be a lot of people hoping feverishly that gasoline falls fast.
Got franchise news tips? Let us know!