Findings from the latest British Franchise Association (bfa) and NatWest survey have revealed that over the past year franchising has punched above its weight in areas such as growth, job creation and export.

The bfa NatWest 2012 survey found that while UK GDP grew by 0.7 per cent in 2011, the franchise industry increased economic contribution by 8 per cent as turnover rose to £13.4 billion. As well as this, nine out of 10 franchise businesses posted a profit over the year – reducing loss-makers to pre-recession levels.

Graeme Jones, Head of Franchising at NatWest and RBS, said: “The franchising model offers the benefit of appearing to be a larger business, standardised products and quality expectations – advantages all heightened in a downturn. Expectations for growth are high in the sector and we’ve invested in the largest specialist team of managers of any bank to ensure it happens.”

Brian Smart, Director General of the bfa, added: “The last few years have put crippling pressure on businesses, creating some of the toughest trading conditions that many have ever seen. However, yet again we see the franchise sector providing its value by generating new sustainable business start-ups, jobs and revenue for an economy that desperately needs them. For those who are considering franchising this is obviously an encouraging sign, but we also stress the importance of thorough research and consideration before making any commitments.”

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