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September 24, 2017

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Details of franchisee subsidies finalized

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will subsidize the establishment of 500 new franchised stores with a budget of NT$25 million in the first stage, with each store to enjoy a subsidy of NT$50,000, according to a subsidy package announced yesterday.

Under the package, those who plan to set up a franchised store can apply for the NT$50,000 by April 8, but the applications should be channeled through the franchise headquarters they will join. In principle, each franchise headquarters will face a ceiling limit of 10 applicants and enjoy a maximum subsidy of NT$500,000.

Any franchise headquarters is required to work out innovation plans for their applicants to meet any of the requirements for new brands, new service products, new marketing modes, new operating modes, and new commercial application technology, and their applicants are required to complete "company registration" first.

If approved to set up a new franchised store, the applicant will be allowed to deduct the subsidy of NT$50,000 from the franchise fee payable to the franchise headquarters they will join, according to Chang Po-po, director general of the Department of Commerce.

Chang said that applicants will be forced to turn to another franchise brand if the 10-applicant quota allowed for the brand they want to join is used up.

He continued that the MOEA will also come up with a new subsidy program in April to grant financial support to those who are interested in setting up their own stores instead of joining any franchise brand.

In response to the subsidy program for new franchised stores, Chairman Fu Hsin-chin of the Easy Way Group, a franchise system for QK Coffee, Easy Way stations, and Fresh Taro & Beverage Stores, said although the subsidy of NT$50,000 is not a big amount, "it will be of a little help."

Fu said to those who have planned to join the franchise systems, the subsidy is virtually a godsent gift, and for those new franchised stores with a capitalization of just tens of thousands of New Taiwan dollars, the subsidy is itself a great incentive for attracting the jobless people to join franchise systems.

Just one day earlier, Lee Pei-fen, secretary-general of the Taiwan Service Industry Development Association, said there are now more than 1,600 franchise headquarters in Taiwan with as many as 2,300 franchise brands, which vary greatly in operating quality.

Lee suggested the MOEA grant the subsidy to those who join franchises that pass assessment criteria set by the Department of Commerce under the ministry, so as to help reduce their operating risks.

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