NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- A lack of capital and uncertain economy is deterring franchisees from opening locations and wreaking havoc on parent companies' growth plans. If the banks aren't doling out money, how will they ever expand and hire?
One way is for a company to take financing in-house -- whether by partnering with banks, creating financing arms to help franchisees through the lending process or securing private equity financing on more acceptable terms.
Not everyone's in love with the idea.
"It's okay for a franchisor to finance a small portion of the total investment, like the franchise fee, but I don't feel that franchisors should become the actual lenders," says Joel Libava, a franchise-acquisition consultant and author of Become a Franchise Owner!. "Great franchisors focus on franchisee profitability; that helps to grow a system."Instead, companies should be managing the process to make sure loans get approved and that "no stone is left unturned to make sure that franchisees can actually get funded," Libava says. But whatever form the help takes, it's timely. According to the State of Small Business report by Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management, 35% of respondents who tried to raise capital in the past 12 months applied for bank loan -- and only half succeeded in getting bank financing. The report, released Monday, surveyed 10,637 privately held businesses. Here are five franchises that offer help to new and existing franchisees.