American Dream: Former Denny’s Waitress now owns 75 locations

dennys-dawn-lafreedaLike many young people, Dawn Lafreeda started her working life at age 16. Her first job was as a hostess at a local Denny’s restaurant.

But this determined woman’s life quickly took a turn that would be instrumental in defining her success: “During college, she took on a second job at a software company, where she learned about accounting and managing personnel.” At 23, she was able to leverage her skills and burning desire to succeed to acquire a Denny’s store in Globe, Arizona. (It’s 87 miles east of Phoenix, in case you’d like to look it up).

18 months later, she was offered 4 more stores in Texas. Now, “Lafreeda has increased her empire to 75 Denny’s locations in six states, becoming the largest single-owner franchisee in the system.”

Read more

jamalmashburn_D_20130911152954Here’s another great franchise-building story, about NBA star Jamal Mashburn.


~ This story is posted by Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS.


Lozano and Bitters presenting at NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit

Headshot_NLozano 2_BWNorris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, will be presenting “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” with Stephanie Bitters at the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), February 20.

In speaking to the 80+ C-level executives invited to the NAGGL summit, Lozano will reach into a deep well of experience in serving underserved communities with loans and resources. He has been responsible for leading teams in delivering key financing to projects with total costs of over $1 Billion in the last decade.

For more information on Norris Lozano, please visit this link.

For the text of the press release on the NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit, please click here

Stephanie Bitters presenting at NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit

Headshot_Stephanie Bitters_BWREMINDER: Stephanie Bitters is presenting at the the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), a national organization focused on loans guaranteed by government agencies. The presentation is titled “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities”.

Ms. Bitters, Managing Director of SBA Lending and Chief Credit Officer of BusinessUS, will be presenting with CEO Norris Lozano during the morning session, February 20th.

Read the whole release here

Stephanie Bitters speaking at Lending Leadership Summit, NAGGL, Atlanta

Headshot_Stephanie Bitters_BWStephanie Bitters, Managing Director of SBA Lending and Chief Credit Officer of BusinessUS, is speaking on “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” at the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders in Atlanta, February 19-20.

Bitters will be presenting “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” with Norris Lozano, who is CEO of BusinessUS. She has 27 years lending experience and is a longtime member of NAGGL.

Read the full press release here

Norris Lozano to speak at NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit, Atlanta

Headshot_NLozano 2_BWNorris Lozano (CEO of BusinessUS) is traveling to Atlanta February 19-20 to speak to the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders. NAGGL serves the needs and represents the interests of the small business lending community that utilizes SBA business loan programs.

Lozano will be presenting on “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” with Stephanie Bitters, Managing Director of SBA Lending & Chief Credit Officer of BusinessUS. Lozano brings over 15 years’ experience working directly with small businesses in underserved communities. He has led teams in financing projects in low-income community with a total cost of more than $1 Billion, including office, retail, manufacturing, schools, medical and arts facilities, creating thousands of FTE jobs, and generating millions in fiscal benefits to target areas.

See the full press release here

Franchises expected to add 200,000 jobs in 2014

LOGO_Altoona_MirrorFranchise watchers expect 2014 to be a good year for franchise starts and franchise jobs. “Franchises are expected to add nearly 200,000 new jobs in 2014 and the number of franchise businesses in 2014 is expected to rise by 12,915 in 2014, bringing total establishments to 770,368.”

Here’s the rest of the article.

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a small bank lender with a Focus on Franchises

Franchise job market posts strong gains

Tire_Business_dot_com_LogoAn article in Tire Business notes that “Throughout 2013, the franchise industry added 229,000 new jobs, which represents nearly 11 percent of all new jobs created in the U.S., based on our data. Year over year, the rate of employment growth among franchise businesses was 2.9 percent, outpacing the national average of 1.9 percent by a full percentage point.”

“We’re pleased to see continued growth in jobs and business opportunity in the franchise sector,” notes Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a national non-bank lender with a focus on franchise lending. “Supporting franchise growth will continue to be a focus of our work at BusinessUS.”

Small Business Lending: Top 10 Franchises of 2014 – Entrepreneur Mag

2014_Top_Franchises_Entrepreneur_Mag“As a non-bank lender competing in the small business lending world, we are constantly on the lookout for information about lending opportunities for small businesses with growth opportunities,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS.

“Many of these opportunities are franchises.”

Here’s a list from Entrepreneur Magazine – their 35th Annual Franchise 500 ranking which “reveals the impact of the newest trends and the industries poised for growth.”

Click on the link or the image to get to the list.

BusinessUS and Franchise Lending

bigstock-ATHENS-GEORGIA--APRIL---Ex-44947213If you want to open a franchise, chances are you are having trouble getting a loan. The International Franchise Association (IFA) estimates a more than $2 billion “franchise lending gap” that includes 1,000 franchises not funded, and 94,000 jobs not created.

“Small businesses generally, and franchises in particular, are terrific job creators. A typical franchise generates 21 direct and indirect jobs and over $1 million in economic impact in its community,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS. “We see franchises as a core vertical market to help us create American jobs and growth.”

Lack of capital availability affects franchisees who need to build or expand their businesses, as well as franchisors, whose growth is limited due to downstream constraints on lending capital.

Jamal Mashburn and Norris Lozano are leading BusinessUS outreach to leaders in the franchise industry, solving these challenges and providing new sources of capital with our specialized franchise programs.

Contact BusinessUS for further information.

Why Franchising is Good for America


A recent article in Small Business Today describes the value of franchises to the American economy.

“The franchising business model in the U.S., for many industries, provides independent owner support, group purchasing power, coop advertising, and entrepreneurship by focused, energetic new business owners. As small business leaders, they become sponsors of local youth and non-profit organizations, and an integral part of helping their communities.”

Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a non-bank lender to small businesses including franchises, adds “Franchising is a critical business segment where hard-working Americans – including US Military Veterans – can buy in to a successful concept and, through their own grit and persistence, can grab a piece of the American dream.”

Jamal Mashburn is a role model for athletes in business

jamalmashburn_D_20130911152954Former NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburnis featured in a new Bleacher Report article about athletes and franchising. And it’s no wonder: Mashburn is one of the most successful former pro-athlete / franchisees, with about 80 stores nationwide.

IN the BR piece, Mashburn is quoted extensively about his experiences in franchising. The 6’9″ former All-Star ” first got into franchising in 1997 when he met Chris Sullivan, one of the founders of Outback Steakhouse. Ever since Mashburn was a teenager, intrigued by people holding briefcases on their way to work, he was always thinking about a business career beyond basketball.”

Being recognized for his business expertise is highly rewarding. “I want to continue my legacy as a businessman. It gives people a chance to see me as more than just a former pro athlete.”