November 11, 2011 // Franchising.com // WASHINGTON - The International Franchise Association today applauded the Senate for taking steps to reduce the unemployment rate of our nation's veterans, which currently stands at 12.1 percent for post 9/11 veterans, by passing the Vow to Hire Heroes Act, which includes tax credits to incentivize employers to hire veterans and Wounded Warriors.
"These tax credits are an important step toward reducing the unemployment rate of our nation's service men and women," said Caldeira. "IFA believes these tax credits will further lend a hand to the franchise industry's commitment to hire and recruit veterans as employees and successful franchise small business owners."
The legislation combined provisions of Sen. Patty Murray's (D-Wash.) Hiring Heroes Act (S. 951) and Rep. Jeff Miller's (R-Fla.) Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (H.R. 2433; Report #112-242), with veterans' tax credits into a comprehensive package that will aggressively attack the unacceptably high rate of veteran's unemployment
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides employers tax credits for hiring veterans and disabled veterans who are out of work, including a credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, but less than 6 months. It also includes a credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.
"As tens of thousands of service men and women return from deployment in Iraq, Afghanistan and Southwest Asia, expanded opportunities are needed to ensure that veterans and their families are able to transition into the civilian economy, and these tax credits will help put veterans toward the front of the line for franchise businesses," said Caldeira.
IFA and the franchise industry, through a partnership with the White House Joining Forces Initiative, announced Nov. 10 it will seek to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans and their families as employees or franchise small business owners by 2014, including 5,000 Wounded Warriors. The announcement was made by First Lady Michelle Obama at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 4th annual Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event.
Veterans have a proven track record of success in franchising. According to a recent study based on U.S. Census data, there are more than 66,000 veteran-owned franchise establishments in the United States, providing jobs directly for 815,000 Americans. Over 2,100 veterans have become franchise business owners through the IFA's VetFran program, originally established in 1991, and subsequently re-vamped after 9/11. Responding now to veteran unemployment rates of 11.7 percent (22 percent for veterans under 24 years old), IFA is launching Operation Enduring Opportunity to offer returning veterans career paths in franchising including employment and ownership on a broader scale.
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.