Caldeira said that tighter lending standards by banks and increased scrutiny by regulators because of Dodd-Frank rules have slowed lending to small business owners, franchisees among them. While he projects 2.1 percent growth in franchise jobs in 2012, research done for the IFA shows that a shortfall in lending to franchisees will result in 94,000 jobs that will not be created.
It’s not that banks don’t want to lend that money, said Luppi. “We, as bankers, need to make loans. Margin on deposits is low, and we need to push forward to make money,” he said.
Research done for both the CBA and the IFA shows that demand for loans is down, as business owners pulled back on investments in an uncertain economic climate, and worked to rein in debt. The CBA determined that bankers could work to develop demand.
“What bankers learned about franchises is that, rather than being riskier than traditional businesses, these businesses have a structure of support around them, a marketing team, and people to step in if a business is in trouble,” said Luppi.
Part of the information-gathering process are “discovery days,” where bankers visit the franchise, to walk through the operation, learn about the organization, and how new franchisees are set up. All of this — the discovery day, the written information — creates a shorthand history, and a place for lenders and borrowers to connect.
Jon Luther, non-executive chairman for Dunkin' Brands and Arby's, said franchisees will benefit from this stronger connection between banks and franchise owners.
"Banks during the recession were holding back on lending and the small business community got hurt the most," he told “Squawk Box” during an appearance on Monday. "There is a lot of demand for franchising because the formula for franchising is … very workable, it’s been proven, it’s been tested. We have a very high success rate."
Luther said that banks are now beginning to understand the "formula entrepreneurism" that makes franchise owners a good risk. "The education is working," he said.
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