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Small Businesses Create Jobs, Mayors Told

By Tom McClimon
January 30, 2012

"825,000 franchises in the United States have created over 18 million jobs" was one of the messages mayors heard during the Small Business and Franchising Task Force meeting. Chaired by Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Conference of Mayors Past President Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz, the mayors heard from representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the International Franchise Association.

Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration, reviewed with the mayors some of SBA's new and innovative programs including ones targeted at young entrepreneurs and the faith based community. "We recognize the challenges small businesses have in gaining access to capital and we are diligently working to address that problem, stated Deputy Administrator Johns. She encouraged the mayors to participate in Small Business Saturday, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and encourages shoppers to buy at small business retail establishments. The Deputy Administrator welcomed ideas from mayors such as possibly stationing SBA personnel in city halls on certain days and hours to assist in helping local small businesses.

Jack Earle, the current Chairman of the International Franchise Association (IFA), and Kenneth Walker, the Past Chairman, addressed the mayors on ways the franchise world can help mayors to create jobs. For example, in Charlotte, franchise businesses have created over 150,000 jobs and helped to generate over $4 billion in economic activity. It was announced that the IFA has committed to work with its members to hire 75,000 veterans by 2014. The IFA will also be holding a national meeting on the challenges of accessing capital on April 17, which the task force will be invited to participate.