One respected member of the business community has said she is extremely ‘disappointed’ that the UK Government is refusing to publically endorse the franchising industry, at a time when many companies across the country are experiencing tough trading conditions.
Over the past few years, businesses have suffered from the effects of various Covid lockdowns, the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as specific problems that the UK has faced following the Brexit referendum of 2016.
Sandra James, the managing director of The Cat Butler, even asked her local MP to write to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the hope of persuading the Government to recognise the benefits of the franchise model.
Data has shown that the failure rate among franchise businesses is much lower than independent start-up companies, and Sandra James believes this is a long-standing business reality which the UK Government should be highlighting and promoting.
Sandra contacted her local MP in St Albans, Daisy Cooper, to ask if the Liberal Party member would offer her support to the franchising industry. And Ms Cooper duly obliged, by tabling a question to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Dean Russell MP.
The question made reference to the British Franchise Association’s (BFA) report from 2018 – titled ‘Franchise Landscape’ – which illustrated that failure rates among franchises remain very low. Ms Cooper asked Mr Russell if he would “take steps to launch a public campaign in support of the franchise model.”
However, the MP for Watford replied in a brief statement, saying: “The Government has no current plans to launch any campaign on this issue.” Sandra James admitted: “This was a disappointing response and not what we had hoped to hear at all.” But she added that franchisors and franchisees should continue in their quest to seek Government recognition, and said that the BFA is leading the way on this issue.
Sandra explained: “Having spoken to Pip Wilkins, the chief executive of the British Franchise Association, she assures me that lobbying the Government is at the forefront of their plans for 2023. She told me that the BFA has been developing a lobbying agenda for some time, and that this will be rolled out early this year.
“So I would encourage all franchisors to lend Pip their support, if and when she requests it. We know that franchising is a great business model, and we need to pull together in order to get that message across to the UK Government and the general public.”
About: The Cat Butler is owned by Sandra James, with headquarters in Marconi Way, St Albans, Hertfordshire (Tel: 07896 233 754; www.thecatbutler.co.uk; https:/www.facebook.com/thecatbutler.co.uk; https:/twitter.com/TheCatButler1; https:/www.instagram.com/thecatbutler1/.