Franchise News And Notes For December 29

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Our weekly franchise news roundup. We hope you enjoy it!

Payroll Tax Cut Fight Lingers

If you’re a franchise, you are by definition a small business with some help from above. So the payroll tax fight that’s embroiling Congress and panicking small businesses everywhere affects you, as well.

Some quick background for those of you who generally avoid Washington, D.C. news like the plague. The payroll tax cut essentially halves the amount of tax on payroll qualifying small businesses pay, from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent. It’s already passed the Senate but is being held up in the House, where Republican leadership are making their case against it. If a new tax isn’t passed by the end of the year deadline, those rates jump back up.

If you’re not affected by this, you can safely continue to ignore it at the moment. But for those who are affected and those interested in the larger ripple effects of such tax cuts on the economy, this will be worth watching closely. My guess is that they will resolve the stalemate at the last possible moment, so let’s see what happens before Saturday.

Your thoughts?

Consumer Confidence Skyrockets

Now some good news. The economy has been in an increasingly obvious recovery for a while, and holiday sales have been cranking up alongside them. What makes me really and truly thrilled for 2012 is how far consumer confidence has risen over a year ago.

CNNMoney has the scoop.

The research firm’s overall confidence index, released Tuesday, jumped 9.3 points to 64.5. The increase follows a 14.3-point rise in November.

“After two months of considerable gains, the index is now back to levels seen last spring,” said Lynn Franco, director of the group’s research center. “Consumers are more optimistic that business conditions, employment prospects and their financial situations will continue to get better.”

How can this not be great news for franchises, a backbone of the American economy and the kind of place every red-blooded American man, woman and child goes to for food, cleaning, auto help, and a host of other services? It’s not possible.

Feel confident in grabbing lending (which is also trending up) and marketing in big and bold ways in 2012. There’s a lot of confident consumers looking to spend money on what you’re offering up.

What’s Your Resolution?

Miss BizEngine’s story last week about how KFC has become a fast food holiday sensation in Japan? You really don’t want to any longer.

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