Dems Get No Love From Small Business

Kent Bernhard, Jr. at Portfolio.com reports that grumpy is the word that sums up the mood of small-business owners going into the midterm elections. And that’s not a good sign for the ruling Democrats. A survey released this morning, and one released yesterday, show a sour mood abroad about the economy and the government’s efforts to improve it.

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Michelle Obama urges industry to step up efforts in obesity fight

Paul Frumkin writes in Nation’s Restaurant News that First lady Michelle Obama called on restaurateurs to help put an end to childhood obesity in an address made Monday to the National Restaurant Association’s board of directors at their fall meeting in Washington, D.C.

Thanking those in the foodservice industry who already have made an effort to address the problem, Obama urged restaurateurs to go even further.

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Exclusive R&I Research: What Diners Want at Breakfast

Allison Perlik reports at Restaurants & Institutions that the New American Diner Study offers operators a peek into what consumers look for at their morning meals. Breakfast sales at restaurants declined 3.4% from 2007 to 2009, reports Chicago-based market-research company Mintel, but the daypart still is expected to post 13% growth from 2009 to 2014. As competition heats up for diners’ morning-meal dollars, data from R&I’s 2010 New American Diner Study offers valuable insights into customers’ habits and what they want from restaurants at breakfast.

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A Look at Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales

Mike Dempsey reports at Nation’s Restaurant News that nearly all public restaurant companies reported fourth-quarter same-store sales results this month, and winter storms and lingering economic pressures pushed most into negative territory. Some, mainly because of value messaging, moved in a positive direction.

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Top 10 States for Foreclosures

There’s no humor in this top 10 list: The states hardest hit by foreclosure. Bankrate.com reports that it’s especially unfunny for homeowners and agents in Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona, who’ve languished in the top four for most of the real estate recession. “Those states had similar scenarios,” says Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, a California-based firm that tracks U.S. foreclosures. “They all had unsustainably high home prices and had many buyers who really couldn’t afford them — most with toxic mortgages — followed by (downturn-related) unemployment.”

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Increased Sugar Prices May Soon Leave Bad Taste in Consumers Mouths

Misty Harris in Canwest News Service writes that Canadians with a sweet tooth may soon find cavities in their wallets as sugar prices soar to their highest level in three decades. Production shortages have seen the cost of sugar nearly triple in the last year, flirting with 30 cents U.S. per pound in comparison to the 11 cents at which it formerly hovered. Analysts predict things will get worse before they get better, with potential price implications for everything from cupcakes to double-doubles.

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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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