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Need a Job, Veterans? Own a Franchise!

1. Blimpie
Sandwich shop franchise Blimpie launched an initiative this year in honor of its 47th anniversary. Under its Blueprint 47, the sub shop's franchise fee for veterans and existing franchisees dropped to just $47 (from $18,000) to encourage store expansion.

Jillian Henry, director of franchise development at the sub shop's parent company, Kahala (owner of 14 brands including Cold Stone Creamery and the Ranch1 chicken chain), says while the deal will expire at year-end, the company is continuing with a 50% discount on the franchise fee to military vets in 2012.

"Obviously with what's going on around the world and what the U.S. military is involved in, we really wanted just show our appreciation for what the vets do for us," Henry says. "What makes a veteran perfect is that they are disciplined, hard-working, they can follow directions and they're good leaders. As a franchising company those are the exact characteristics we are looking for in franchise owners. We provide all the tools and we want someone to ... follow those tools."

Besides being able to follow instructions, military veterans also ask a lot of questions, Henry acknowledges.

"A lot of times they want to know specifically what we're going to do to support them," she says. "The questions they have are unique in a positive way compared to other candidates because they are thinking long term about their business and how to make it successful."

Henry expects to see further strong candidates as troops continue to come home.

"We're actually really gearing up for that," she says, by working with companies to secure financing and tapping into federal programs available to vets to start their own business.

2. BrightStar Care
BrightStar Care provides what it calls a "full continuum of home care" that includes adult and elder care services, child care and medical staffing services for individuals, families and health care facilities. The home care franchise offers two incentives to veterans, including a 47% discount on the company's $47,500 franchise fee. (Start-up costs are roughly $100,000, according to VetFran.) They can also get a $2,500 credit toward technology and national advertising fund fees.

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