Veteran Franchising Options
Merely three years ago, veterans were considered undesirable candidates when they filled out applications to have their own franchises. According to Businessweek.com, in 2010, it got to the point when Congress had to step in to ensure money to help vets was being wisely spent. Congress notified the Department of Veteran Affairs that it had to do a more rigorous job of screening companies applying for government contracts set aside for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
There were several issues limiting the effectiveness of the program, including the suspicion that veterans were being used as “straw men” to access loans for businesses that were actually being controlled by non-veterans. Another problem is that many of the veterans being granted loans were not in a position to pay them back. The Small Business Administration administered a federally backed and guaranteed program — the Patriot Express loan program. It started as a pilot in 2007 to get loans as high as $500,000 to businesses owned by veterans, reservists, and family members. However, the Government Accountability Office declared last year that the loans had cost taxpayers $31 million from 2007 to 2012, due to so many defaults.
But today, the situation has turned around. Military veterans are considered to be the ideal type of potential employees or owners for franchising opportunities. They have the organizational, leadership and modern technical skills needed to be successful. The International Franchise Association is looking to really step up the numbers of franchises owned by veterans by next year. In 2011, there were fewer than 3,000 veterans who became franchise owners. By this time next year, they’re hoping to bring in 80,000 veterans and spouses as either owners or franchise employees.
The IFA has compiled an extensive toolkit of free programs to assist veterans who want to own a franchise HERE.