Bancorp Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bancorp, has entered into a strategic alliance with Franchise America Finance to create and implement a national SBA guaranteed lending program for start-up and expanding franchise businesses.

Bancorp will make funding available to new and existing franchisees who meet predetermined standards set by Bancorp. The program will be limited to approximately 30 franchise systems with measured performance and experience within their operations. Bancorp expects to create a significant SBA lending program through this strategic alliance.

Recently, Diane Gallion, senior vice president of The Bancorp Bank, joined the Bancorp to establish its government guaranteed lending program.

Ms Diane brings more than 30 years of SBA and banking expertise to Bancorp and actively participates in The National Association for Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) as a national instructor.

Ms Gallion said: “The Bancorp Bank is very excited to enter the national franchise lending arena. We are focused on lending to only the best of the best in franchising, while helping the economy by stimulating job creation through a proven business model.”

Ronald Feldman, CEO of Franchise America Finance, said: “This program is the first of its kind, providing a collaborative effort between lender and franchisor to set up a predictable model for franchise financing. Franchise America Finance has been designed with the best practices in franchise development, SBA lending, and franchisee selection.”

Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), said: “It is lending programs like this that can help move the country towards economic recovery. The IFA study on capital access shows that for every $1m of lending into the franchise business model, 34 sustainable jobs are created. Innovative ventures such as Franchise America Finance will help franchise businesses grow and create millions of jobs and greatly contribute to the country’s economic health.”