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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

b>Finding an Alternative to the Franchise Solution: Towards Truly Local Economic Development

In an effort to evaluate the use of franchising as an economic development strategy in poor communities, this report explores the impact franchise businesses have on a local economy and compares it to the impact of independent businesses. The findings in the report are illustrated with a case study of two businesses, one a franchise and the other an independent. The relationship a franchise business must maintain with a parent corporation equips it with a set of constraints which diminish its positive impact on a local economy. The report finds that franchises reduce the economic multiplier of a local economy and, therefore, thwart economic development efforts. Independent businesses, on the other hand, contribute to a larger local economic multiplier. In an increasingly corporate and global economy, understanding the relationship between different forms of business and local economies is important for anyone interested in community development.

--Author's foreword.