Forecast for ‘10: Partly sunny with certainty of more challenges

Jim Verdonik in the Triangle Business Journal writes that “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”, by Bob Dylan. What’s your weather information source? Do you trust weathermen? Or do you look out the window to check? If your weatherman had been struck by lightning a dozen times, would you get a new weatherman? I ask, because it’s 2010 economic forecast season. Even if they’ve been wrong the past 10 years, “experts” can’t resist the temptation to try again.

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Cold Stone Talks Dual-branding, New products

The more than 1,450-unit Cold Stone ice cream franchise chain has a slew of new products planned for 2010, including ice cream cookie sandwiches to be sold in four packs. It also plans to continue growing combined units with both candy maker Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Canada-based, fast-casual chain Tim Hortons.

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Burger King Franchisees Keeping Rebate: Ad Budget May Be Hit

Burger King franchisees will get to hold onto their entire soda rebate funds for now, potentially crimping the burger chain’s plan to kick off 2010 with a beefier national ad presence. Franchisees in the coming weeks will receive the full rebate, earned from buying soda syrup, from Coca-Cola Co. (KO) and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. ( DPS) as Burger King has deferred diverting up to 20% of those funds to its national advertising pool due to pending litigation, a Burger King spokeswoman said late Thursday. The February payment is one of two franchisees receive annually from the soda companies.

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Roswell Park and Dunkin’ Donuts bring ‘Mug of Hope’

This “bottomless” travel mug entitles the owner to unlimited free refills of coffee or tea at Western New York Dunkin’ Donuts locations through Dec. 31. Plus, the mug features original artworks created by pediatric cancer patients, and all proceeds will benefit cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park.

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