After his days as a professional football player came to an end, David Garrard was ready to enter the business world. Garrard is opening his first Retro Fitness gym franchise next month, and his contract calls for additional locations within the next two years.
Sean McGarry, CEO of Franchise Direct, offers some tips for anyone looking to import a foreign franchise into the U.S. Among them: Make sure the concept would fit the domestic market, seek out expert advice from an experienced franchisee and do your research before starting the process. Resources such as the International Franchise Association can also provide information about the intricacies of operating a foreign franchise, notes Ron Madera, president of The Grounds Guys, U.S.
The House has approved a $30 billion government fund available to community banks to increase lending to small businesses -- a move expected to help create jobs and spark economic growth. While House Democrats project that banks would use the fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans, Republicans criticized the bill as another bailout for banks that would do little for small businesses. The measure, which would also combine jobless aid for the long-term unemployed and renew dozens of popular tax breaks for businesses and individuals, now goes to the Senate.
President Barack Obama met with small-business owners including Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees Bobby Pancake and Steve Wheat on June 11. The business partners were invited to Washington after receiving the National Entrepreneurial Success Award from the Small Business Administration. Pancake raised the topic of the challenges of accessing more bank loans with the president.
Hotel executives are starting to plan for a more positive future amid signs the industry is rebounding from a couple of tough years. But the strategies differ depending on the type of hotels. Marriott, Starwood and other major hotel chains are looking at international expansion plans and some are experimenting with partnerships with independent hoteliers.