Small-business job creation nearly doubled over the past six months to 82,000 jobs at companies with fewer than 50 employees, payroll processor ADP reported, and this year's sales of business franchises are up by 4.3%, according to the IFA. "There is still a healthy enough middle class to support growth," said Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs, which has plans for 140 new, mostly franchised units in the works this year.

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