For years, the Kiddie Academy Finance Department has been there to provide guidance to Franchisees who are seeking funding for their Academies. Even with the challenges presented by this year’s pandemic, the team has been hard at work helping Franchisees navigate the financing landscape.
Kevin Shaffer, our Vice President of Finance, reports that while credit markets have tightened in response to the pandemic, financing continues to be available to Kiddie Academy Franchisees interested in opening an Academy. He says Franchisee financing remains available through Small Business Administration (SBA) loans from national and regional lenders. Kevin notes that these lenders appreciate Kiddie Academy’s brand longevity, our Academy operating model stability and our history of strong systemwide Bank Credit Reports and Fund Reports.
Here’s a quick glimpse of how the Finance team helps. Franchisees prepare a lender financing package for each individual Academy. Based upon Franchisee borrowing preferences, the Finance team then provides introductions to a variety of interested lenders – including over a dozen preferred lenders. During 2020, Kiddie Academy Franchisees have received lender approval on 15 Academy loans and have funded nine Academy loans. The steady stream of new Academy financings has continued throughout the pandemic with 12 loan approvals received and six Academy loans funded since COVID-related restrictions were implemented in March.
The Finance Department is just one part of the corporate support network we offer Franchisees. In addition, we have real estate professionals who use sophisticated data analytics and site selection strategies, as well as in-market and on-the-ground site tours and inspections to help the Franchisee select the best site possible. Our corporate construction team also supports our Franchisee’s site development efforts. We assist with architectural plans, zoning, permits, construction specifications and child care licensing requirements. And our marketing team works with Franchisee’s to help build Academy enrollment.
We’ve had a lot of activity the past couple of months. Some of the highlights include:
The following new Academies opened for business:
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