UPS Store launches military veteran's initiative
The UPS Store franchise network announced financial incentives - valued at approximately $300,000 - to help up to 10 qualified U.S. military veterans open their own locations as part of a national initiative unveiled by the White House.
The pledge by The UPS Store franchise network is part of “Operation Enduring Opportunity,” an initiative launched by the White House, the International Franchise Association (IFA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and franchisors including Mail Boxes Etc, franchisor of The UPS Store network. The goal is to recruit and/or hire as many as 75,000 military veterans and their family members by the end of 2014.
The initiative was announced earlier today at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event attended by dozens of business executives and First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the Obama Administration's Joining Forces Initiative.
Stuart Mathis, president of MBE and a member of the IFA Board of Directors, took part in Thursday's Washington, D.C. event while Tim Davis, vice president of operations for The UPS Store franchise network and a former U.S. Marine, announced the company's initiative at a local news conference at The UPS Store University at its corporate headquarters in San Diego.
Similar events were held by other franchisors in Atlanta, Houston, Jacksonville, Nashville, Tampa, Baltimore, Colorado Springs, Fort Lauderdale and other cities.
In outlining details of The UPS Store network's commitment, Davis said the franchise fee of $29,950 will be waived for up to 10 qualified veterans who are first-time franchisees wishing to open a new location. This increased financial incentive is valid for prospective franchisees who sign a letter of intent between Jan. 1, and June 30, 2012. After that time, qualified veterans who join The UPS Store will continue to receive the franchised network's standard VetFran incentive.
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Earlier this year, The UPS Store franchise network announced a collaboration with a franchisee lending program created by Franchise America Finance (FAF) and The Bancorp Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bancorp, Inc. which included $15 million in available funding for the development of new locations. As part of “Operation Enduring Opportunity,” FAF will waive the packaging fee and The Bancorp Bank will credit the SBA guarantee fee for any of these 10 veterans who meet the necessary qualifications to gain access to this pool of money. This could provide approximately $3,500 in additional savings.
“We are extremely proud of our franchisees, especially those who are military veterans,” Davis said. “Veteran unemployment rates of 11.7 percent - 22 percent for veterans under 25 years-old - are undeserved among the men and women who have honorably served to help keep our nation free.
“Operation Enduring Opportunity will help as many as 75,000 veterans and their family members find new career paths in franchising, provide them with great jobs and help boost our nation's economy,” he added. “We're proud to play a role in this effort.”
The franchise industry includes more than 825,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 18 million jobs. Veterans have a proven track record of success in franchising. According to a recent study based on U.S. Census data, there are more than 66,000 veteran-owned franchise establishments in the U.S., providing jobs for 815,000 Americans.
More than 2,100 veterans have become franchise business owners through the IFA's VetFran program, originally established in 1991.
“As tens of thousands of service men and women return from deployment in Iraq, Afghanistan and Southwest Asia, expanded opportunities are needed to ensure veterans and their families are able to transition into the civilian economy. Not only is this critical for the economic and social stability of veterans and their families, but it is an important component of the U.S. economic recovery,” said IFA president and CEO Steve Caldeira. “With its rapid training opportunities, defined structure and systems, and need for operational excellence, franchising provides an ideal structure to enable returning veterans to become leaders of and productive participants in the U.S. economy.”
Edited by Kevin Scarpati
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany