Tom Spadea, Michael W. Banks, and Ryan N. Igbanol

On January 25th, Tom Spadea (above left), spoke at the African American Chamber of Commerce's Franchising Forum at the Community College of Philadelphia.

The forum centered around a 2016 study on franchising that found it to be a powerful piece of our economy. According to the study, franchising garners $670 billion in economic output, accounting for 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creating 7.6 million jobs. Franchising creates a system that allows franchise professionals to work on, rather than in, their business.

Tom was the featured speaker in a one-on-one Q&A session on the state of franchising moderated by Ryan N. Igbanol (above right), President of True North Franchise Consulting LLC. Tom explained to the audience the history of franchise regulations in the US and the process of turning an independent business into a franchise system.

The forum also featured a presentation by Michael W. Banks (above center), President and CEO of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE. A Q&A session followed the speakers' presentations.

Next, a pair of established franchise professionals presented their brands: Mark Mele, Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales at Lightbridge Academy, and Bruce Chamberlin, Vice President of Development at Family Financial Centers.

The forum wrapped up with a presentation from Benetrends Financial, a small business lending solutions company, and closing remarks from Michael and Ryan.

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