Franchising and AMEX Small Business Saturday… Making Progress?

ShopSmall4Many people ask me why I am so passionate about franchising and it’s (minimized) participation in Small Business Saturday by American Express. Well, the reason is that there is still confusion as to what many perceive about franchising and that franchises are all big business.

McDonald’s comes to mind as the typical franchise with large marketing budgets, and even there, the perception, as related to me a couple of years ago by American Express executives was that the McDonald’s parent company pays for all marketing and that in and of itself creates a huge advantage for McDonald’s franchisees over local businesses. Obviously, this is totally off-course and couldn’t be further from the truth.

In any event, franchising has made some progress over the past few years as American Express is progressing in its efforts to allow franchises to participate in its Small Business Saturday program, but it still is not enough as franchise brands are limited to those with only 100 locations. To me, the number of locations is not relevant when determining whether or not a business is considered small business and a local business at that. It’s all about the individual location’s ownership. It’s about the investment made by the owner. it’s about the risk taken to pursue the American Dream of business ownership. What is still being missed is that there are thousands upon thousands of individuals that own franchises across our great Nation that are basically in the same position as any Mom & Pop operator up and down Main Street, USA. Yet, the majority are excluded from participating in Small Business Saturday events.

Please help make a difference and encourage everyone you know to shop at franchises AND independent businesses on Small Business Saturday and each time they make a purchase at a franchise to let American Express know by using hashtag #ShopSmall in their social media activities along with the hashtag #ShopFranchise. For instance: #ShopSmall #ShopFranchise. We must continue to let American Express know that franchises are small business, too.

Below please find links to various posts that reference this ongoing debate with most recent at the top.

11/30/13 Franchising Supports Small Business Saturday

11/24/12 Franchising Not [Completely] Respected by American Express!

11/29/11 AMEX Reassessing Policies for Small Business Saturday

11/26/11 Franchises Excluded from Small Business Saturday – AMEX Responds!

11/25/11 Was Franchising Slapped in the Face by American Express by Accident?

11/21/11 Franchising Excluded from AMEX Small Business Saturday Events!