Magazine article Black Enterprise

It's a `Go' in Detroit

Magazine article Black Enterprise

It's a `Go' in Detroit

Article excerpt

Blimpie's BUILD program targets urban areas

Detroit, Michigan's Empowerment Zone (www.detez.com) covers an 18.35-square-mile area and is home to nearly 100,000 Detroiters. It will also soon become the home of three additional Blimpie Subs and Salads franchises.

Empowerment Zones are neighborhoods in urban and rural areas throughout the United States designated by the federal government for revitalization. In 1997, the sandwich chain set aside $3.6 million to waive the $18,000 franchise fees on 200 Blimpie Subs and Salads shops located in targeted urban communities, offering discounted fees on additional franchises.

Under this new program, called Blimpie Urban Initiative for Leadership Development (BUILD) (www.blimpie.com, 800-447-6256 x104), the new franchises must be located in federally designated Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities. BUILD, which was conceptualized in Atlanta and is a first in franchising history, boasts that its objective is to provide opportunities to deserving entrepreneurs while creating jobs within communities. BUILD also provides Blimpie with access to new growth markets where the company currently does not have a presence.

"There are about 200, non-BUILD stores in Atlanta" says Lance Moore, group vice president of the Western division of Blimpie International. "Atlanta, because of its large minority population, was used as a model city to help us understand what those franchisees needed and what we could do realistically." With all potential problems identified and addressed, Blimpie targeted Detroit to recently launch the first four BUILD franchises. …

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