(CARROLLTON, Texas): – With the unemployment rate still hovering over eight percent and the country experiencing the lowest rate of new business creation in over 3 decades, lack of access to credit has remained a barrier to creating new businesses and jobs. As part of FASTSIGNS International’s ongoing initiative to find solutions to our nation’s lack of credit access for viable business start-ups, the company will be co-sponsoring the April 17, 2012 Small Business Lending Summit in Washington D.C. The Small Business Lending Summit is co-hosted by the International Franchise Association, the Consumer Banking Association, the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, and The Financial Services Roundtable.
An August 2011 Business Outlook Survey among franchise executives found that 64 percent of those surveyed reported no improvement in credit access in recent months. This is compared to 61.9 percent of franchise executives reporting no improvement in credit access in March 2011.
“As a franchisor that speaks with franchise candidates on a daily basis, I recognize that access to adequate credit for viable business start-ups is an ongoing problem in our country,” Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS, said. “The Small Business Lending Summit provides leaders within the franchising industry, the banking and finance industry, as well as our nation’s policy leaders a chance to get together and discuss lending and job creation. A necessary component to sustaining long term growth in our economy is improved access to credit, allowing entrepreneurs the opportunity to start or expand their businesses.”
In addition to remaining proactive by working with Texas state legislators such as Congressman Sam Johnson and Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, FASTSIGNS has supported various initiatives to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of opening a business. FASTSIGNS also has been proactive in increasing access to funding for its own franchise owners. In the midst of the credit access crisis in 2010, FASTSIGNS was approved for a franchise lending program created by The Bancorp Bank and Franchise America Finance. Under the program, FASTSIGNS has a $6 million credit facility for start-up and expanding franchisees for new center development.
“The second Small Business Lending Summit will allow us to discuss progress made, challenges we have encountered in improving credit access, as well as necessary steps that need to be implemented moving forward,” Monson added. “As franchisors, lenders and policy makers, we all need to do our part to address this issue and remove barriers to opening or expanding a business in this country.”
With more than 530 FASTSIGNS sign and graphics centers around the world, FASTSIGNS provides marketing and visual communications solutions to businesses, organizations and events of all types and sizes. FASTSIGNS offers a variety of sign and graphics solutions – including banners, building signs, digital signage, yard signs, vehicle graphics, decals, trade show exhibits and displays, point-of-purchase signs, and posters – as well as mobile websites, promotional products, printing and other marketing services.
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the worldwide franchisor for the more than 600 FASTSIGNS® sign, graphic and visual communications centers in eight countries including the US (and Puerto Rico), Canada, England, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®). FASTSIGNS® provides comprehensive visual communications solutions to help customers of all sizes – across all industries – meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility through the use of signs, graphics, printing, promotional products and related marketing services. FASTSIGNS was ranked number one for the second year in a row in the sign and graphic category in the 2012 Entrepreneur Magazine annual Franchise 500®. For franchise information, contact Mark Jameson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-346-5679) or visit www.fastsigns.com.