Andrae Marrocco

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Franchisors globally have passed a turning point and are now capitalizing on shifting business conditions as they attempt to come to terms with the new normal. No one knows precisely what the business world will look like. Those with a glass half-empty outlook tend to use adjectives such as “volatile,” “uncertain,” “complex” and “ambiguous” in their discussions. Pundits of positivity see the pandemic bridging into a new season for many jurisdictions and believe that it could create unprecedented opportunity.

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While the world has been exploring and experimenting with various phases of reopening over the past few months, several jurisdictions have had a case of “one step forward and two steps backward.” Uncertainty is a strong theme through this period, together with the ongoing push to innovate within international franchising.

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Since mid-March, when most countries decided to close shop, to varying degrees, for the unforeseeable future, the world has grappled with balancing public health restrictions with the corresponding economic impact as they addressed the COVID-19 pandemic. There now appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel as economies have commenced and progressed through various reopening phases.

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At the time of writing, we were about a month and half deep into COVID-19 protocols, which created unprecedented business disruption for many franchises across the globe. As the famous quote from Plato suggests, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and many franchise systems have taken brave steps to enhance, innovate and pivot so that their businesses could survive the tumultuous pandemic conditions.

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Global health crises of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic have far-reaching implications for international economics and commerce, and franchise systems must navigate the resulting storm. There have been catastrophes and casualties. That said, franchises have demonstrated a remarkable resilience and resourcefulness in weathering the conditions—providing valuable lessons and insights for the franchise community going forward.

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