Franchises are making gains on independents, especially restaurants. “Franchises have been far from insulated from the recession, but overall they have performed better,” says Jonathan Maze, an editor at Franchise Times, a trade publication.

On the whole, franchises will outgrow their nonfranchise rivals this year. They’re typically better positioned than mom-and-pop shops to survive downturns, benefiting from a strong brand presence, corporatewide marketing campaigns and access to advice and mentoring from the franchisor. Plus they can often offer customers — and get from suppliers — steeper price discounts.

Networked businesses tend to recover at a faster pace than other businesses and tend to sustain businesses more effectively than nonfranchised businesses,” says John Reynolds, president of the IFA’s Educational Foundation. “Franchises have support systems — ways of doing business more efficiently in a way that independents do not have.”

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