IFA Wins ″Distinguished Service″ Honor from Small Business Lenders

October 31, 2011 // Franchising.com // Huntington Beach, Calif. - The National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) has honored the International Franchise Association (IFA) with its Distinguished Service Award, the first time NAGGL has given the award to an organization outside the lending community. The award was presented Oct. 27 at the association's annual conference in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions to NAGGL and Small Business Administration lending. The IFA was noted for its leadership in expanding credit access to franchised small businesses through its Small Business Lending Campaign launched in April with a Small Business Lending Summit, of which NAGGL, led by President & CEO Tony Wilkinson and Chairman Greg Clarkson of BBVA Compass Bank, was an anchor partner and sponsor.

"This is the highest honor that we make each year. The IFA has offered exemplary leadership in small business lending advocacy and through its strategic initiatives on behalf of our nation's veterans," said Deryl Schuster, NAGGL's Chairman Emeritus.

As tens of thousands of service men and women return from deployment in Afghanistan and Southwest Asia in need of employment and opportunity in the civilian economy, the IFA, in partnership with NAGGL, will next week announce an unprecedented effort to offer employment and franchise business ownership opportunities to returning veterans, their families, and Wounded Warriors.

"We are deeply grateful and humbled by this honor," said Steve Caldeira, IFA President & CEO. "Working in partnership with NAGGL and its strong membership of small business lenders, the franchise industry can create the jobs America so urgently needs, and help our returning veterans who have served so bravely become leaders in the civilian economy, an opportunity they have earned and deeply deserve."

NAGGL serves the needs and represent the interests of the small business lending community that utilizes SBA and other government guaranteed loan programs.

About the International Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the franchise industry, which supports nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.

Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000
Matthew Haller, 202-662-0770



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