DURHAM – There are any number of measures of how well the economy is doing today and how it might fare in the future.

One method is to track franchise businesses, and one of the premiere trackers is the RIFC 50 Index out of the University of New Hampshire.

Franchises are those established businesses, such as Dunkin’, owned locally by what are called franchisees. They buy the right to the brand and run it as a business independent of the franchisor.

E. Hachemi Aliouche is director of the Rosenberg International Franchise Center (RIFC) at UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.

“Franchising is a huge, huge business model,” said E. Hachemi Aliouche, director of the Rosenberg International Franchise Center (RIFC) at UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.

“Franchises are very much part of the local economy,” he added. “They do the hiring, they do the advertising, they do all the local activities. A lot of local business franchisees are local people.”