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Businessmen Can Tap Gov’t Funds For Franchise Capital

The government, through the Small Business Corp. (SBCorp.), is making available funds to assist entrepreneurs who want to venture into franchising.

According to Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary for SME (small and medium enterprises) Development and SBCorp. chairperson Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SBCorp. has crafted a lending program in 2002 to meet the special needs of the business franchising sector.

The lending program, dubbed SME Financing for Organizationally Competent and Excellent Franchise Businesses (Force), was the initiative of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA)

Program

“The program is designed for franchisees of franchise-firms that are members of industry associations like the PFA,” Alonzo said during the Franchising Conference at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino last Thursday.

Under the SME-Force program, SBCorp. provides credit access to franchisees that are not eligible to secure new or additional financing from banking institutions due to insufficient collateral or other considerations.

“Along with other components of the SME agenda, this is our way of encouraging more aspiring entrepreneurs to go into franchising,” Alonzo said.

Loans

She said SBCorp. lent out last year a total of P4.37 million under SME-Force. As of May this year, some P4.375 million have already been lent out to franchising firms.

“For those who have not yet availed themselves of these various forms of assistance that DTI offers, now is the best time to take advantage of these support mechanisms to help you start your business, or grow your business further,” Alonzo told conference participants.

PFA was organized in 1995 with the main objective of growing the franchise industry.

Hub

It aims to become the voice of the Philippine franchising industry and to make the Philippines the “franchising hub of Asia.” It seeks to promote franchising as a tool for national development, assist SMEs, and identify and develop SMEs with potential to franchise.

PFA has recently established a chapter in Cebu headed by Islands Souvenirs president Jay Aldeguer.

Aldeguer said PFA-Cebu is now inviting entrepreneurs in the province to become members of the organization.

Sunstar Cebu – June 26, 2006