Franchising is uniquely situated to address the problem of poverty in America and affect serious change by encouraging employment for those who need it most, according to Azim Saju, Vice President and General Counsel for HDG Hotels. Saju submitted a statement for the record today on behalf of the International Franchise Association to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, which held the first in a series of hearings to address a problem plaguing our nation: poverty.
“The economic numbers for franchising are impressive, but even statistics cannot capture the true story of franchising: the ability for any individual to use a successful formula to own their own small business,” Saju stated in his testimony. “Franchising is not merely a business model, but rather a way of living that achieves a dream for millions of Americans.”
Saju moved from East Africa to the U.S. with his family in 1972 and his parents began franchising shortly after reading an article on owning your own business while relying on a proven brand. In 2003, Saju and his brother founded HDG hotels and today employ nearly 400 people, own and operate 12 hotels across Florida, as a franchisee of Choice Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton and Wyndham Hotels.
Saju cited that both employers and the government alike have a role in reducing poverty, but these efforts should not run counter to one another. As employers generate opportunity, assistance programs must be constructed to encourage advancement rather than reward complacency.
According to IHS Economics’ Franchise Business Outlook: 2016, the average job growth in franchising during the past five years was 2.6 percent, nearly 20 percent higher than all businesses economy-wide. In 2016 alone, the franchise industry is expected to add 278,000 direct jobs to the economy, while growing the number of establishments by 13,359.
“My family’s success was made possible by the franchise model and its empowerment of franchisees and employees alike,” explained Saju. “But I take the most pride in creating the same opportunity for our employees.
To view his full statement, click here.