South Florida Business Journal:

Recently retired from the Merchant Marines, Robert McKay started looking for something to occupy his time.

That’s when he saw a franchise opportunity in a magazine and decided “this is something I would like to do with my two boys,” he said.

At a time when credit markets are locked up and beginning a small business is a dream for many, Mc-Kay is looking to buck the trend with his shrink-wrap business. With a $34,000 investment – $22,500 of which was the franchise fee – McKay recently became the first Fast Wrap franchisee in Florida.

Franchising is expected to see a decline in the number of businesses, jobs and economic output, according to a report released earlier this year by the International Franchise Association in Washington, D.C.

“Banks just aren’t lending, and that is slowing down the significant growth we have seen in the past,” said Alisa Harrison, the IFA’s VP of communications and marketing.

Carry on reading.