New Legislation Would Allow Veterans to Use G.I. Bill Funds for Franchise Training Programs
November 18, 2011 // Franchising.com // WASHINGTON - The International Franchise Association today hailed Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) for introducing new federal legislation, the Franchise Education for Veterans Act (H.R. 3351), to allow veterans interested in purchasing a franchise business to use up to $15,000 in GI bill funds to pay for franchise education and training programs.
"With many service men and women returning to the U.S. interested in becoming franchise owners, expanded opportunities are needed to ensure their success given the continued challenging economic environment and difficulty accessing capital for franchise start-up costs and financing," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. "We applaud Rep. Griffin for his leadership and support of veterans and for his support of franchise businesses as the industry seeks to add to the growing ranks of veteran-owned franchises."
"Many veterans return from serving their country and use their GI Bill benefits to help pay for college. Others decide to start a franchise and become job creators," said Griffin. "My bill would help these veterans in that effort by giving them the freedom to use their hard earned GI Bill benefits for education and training for franchise ownership."
IFA supports additional efforts in Congress to boost small business ownership opportunities by veterans. S. 1540/H.R. 2888, the Help Veterans Own Franchises Act, introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) would provide a tax credit for honorably discharged veterans to become small business owners. The tax credits would offset start-up costs equal to 25% of franchise fees, up to $100,000. These provisions are also included in the AGREE Act, a broad jobs bill introduced Nov. 14 by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
IFA recently announced "Operation Enduring Opportunity," a campaign by the franchise industry to hire and recruit 75,000 veterans and their families and 5,000 Wounded Warriors as franchise team members and business owners by 2014. Over 20 IFA member companies have made the first commitments:
- Aaron's Rents
- COIT (Carpet Cleaning Experts)
- FASTSIGNS International
- Fitness Together and Elements Therapeutic Massage
- Foot Solutions
- Franchise America Finance™(FAF)
- Global Franchise Group
- Guidant Financial
- PostNet International
- ServiceMaster Clean
- Sport Clips Haircuts
- The Bancorp Bank
- The American Poolplayers Association
- The Dwyer Group
- TSS Photography
- The UPS Store
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. IFA's VetFran program, originally established in 1991, offers financial incentives to veterans seeking to own a franchise.
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