TD Bank, a financial services company in Cherry Hill, N.J., has introduced a new loan program to help U.S. military veterans start franchise businesses.
Through the program, certain franchise companies will be able to offer prospective owners who are veterans a streamlined loan application process, packaging fee waiver and lower interest rates from TD Bank.
The program will be available through TD Bank's 1,300 locations in the eastern U.S. from Maine to Florida.
Participating franchises include Dunkin' Donuts, Domino's Pizza, Baskin-Robbins and Papa Murphy's. The pizza chain, to take one example, offers military veterans a royalty reduction and sold 12 franchises to veterans in 2012, according to the TD Bank statement.
Rich Bradshaw, head of Small Business Administration Lending at TD Bank, said that military experience gives veterans important skills that are seen in small-business owners and that veterans are strong candidates for franchising.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a federal government agency that provides small businesses with advocacy, education and access to financing and government procurement contracts. The SBA supported more than $30 billion in lending through private and nonprofit enterprises to more than 47,000 companies in 2012, according to a report on the agency's website.
TD Bank is one of the largest SBA lenders in the U.S.
The International Franchise Association, or IFA, which represents franchise companies and promotes franchising as a business model, is also involved in the new TD Bank program.
IFA CEO Steve Caldeira said that more than 1 million troops will return to the civilian workforce in the coming years and that the TD Bank program will help accelerate the number of veteran-owned franchise businesses along the Eastern Seaboard.
"Veterans have a proven track record in franchising," Caldeira said.
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