Small Biz Wants Loan Breaks Reinstated

Small business groups and lenders urged Congress to reinstate the 90 percent government guarantee and fee reductions on SBA loans. The economic stimulus bill provided the SBA with $375 million to increase the loan guarantee on the agency’s flagship 7(a) business loans to 90 percent and reduce or eliminate fees on 7(a) loans and 504 loans, which primarily finance real estate. That money, however, has run out.

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Largest BK Franchisee Staying Loyal to the King

The Buffalo News Business Today reports that the Syracuse-based company that is the largest single owner of Burger King franchises is standing by the chain’s promotion of a cut-rate double cheeseburger, and is not participating in an uprising being mounted by many other franchisees. The National Franchisees Association, on behalf of 850 other Burger King operators around the country, has filed a lawsuit against the Miami-based Burger King Holdings Inc., protesting the corporation’s insistence that its franchisees offer double cheeseburgers for $1.

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Quiznos Settles 4 class-action Suits by Franchisees

The Denver Business Journal reports that four class-action lawsuits brought by Quiznos franchisees against the Denver-based sandwich-shop chain have been settled, the company and the plaintiffs’ law firms said Monday. Chicago-based U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer gave preliminary approval to a settlement agreement of the suits, which originally were brought in Colorado, Wisconsin and Illinois and which have been pending for up to three years.

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J.M. Smucker 2nd-quarter Profit Soars on Coffee

The Miami Herald reports that J.M. Smucker Co (SJM.N), best known for its peanut butter and jelly, posted higher-than-expected quarterly results, driven by strong margins at its Folgers coffee business, and raised its full-year profit view, sending its shares to a new 52-week high. Overall gross margin rise to 33.8 percent from 28.9 percent in the year-ago period. About 90 percent of the rise in gross profit was because of Folgers, the company said.

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Friendly’s Ice Cream with Your Bruegger’s Bagel?

The Boston Globe rerport that you shouldn’t be surprised to see a retail operation offering Friendly’s Ice Cream menu items along with Bruegger’s Bagels at the same airport location some day. Friendly’s, which is based in Wilbraham, and Brueggers, which is headquartered in Vermont, share a corporate parent in Sun Capital Partners Inc., a Florida private equity firm whose investment portfolio includes such other chains as Fazoli’s Restaurants, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, and Timothy’s Coffees of the World Inc.

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Dunkin’ trills about Fa-La-La-La Lattes

The staff at the Boston Globe reports that the Dunkin’ Donuts publicity department doesn’t believe much in down-time, where carpal tunnel syndrome is presumably rampant among the prolific flacks typing up all those press releases. In today’s news flash, the Canton-based coffee-and-baked-goods chain wants its caffeine-swilling public to know that its “Fa-La-La-La-Lattes” are part of its holiday promotions.

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Carlyle to Run Conn. Roadside Service Stops

Thomas Heath of The Washington Post writes that the Carlyle Group said Thursday that it has signed a deal with Connecticut to refurbish and run the state’s 23 highway service stops in return for a share of the revenue over the next 35 years. The District-based private-equity giant and its partners will invest $178 million in the state’s roadside service centers as part of the agreement, which will include putting Subway restaurants as well as Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the centers, according to a Carlyle spokesman. Dunkin’ Brands is owned by Carlyle.

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Beyond Economic Factors, Growth Depends on Leadership at the Restaurants

Chain Leader recently caught up with Applebee’s franchisee Zane Tankel, whose company, Apple-Metro, continues to open restaurants despite the downturn. And why not? His 32 Applebee’s are posting nearly twice the average volume ($2.4 million) of the rest of the casual-dining system. He plans to open five more next year. A Wharton School of Business graduate, he opened his first Applebee’s 16 years ago with partner Roy Raeburn. This year the company was named Franchisee of the Year by the franchisor.

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Coffee and Donuts Need Lobbyist Too!

Erika Lovley at Politico Click interviews Cicely Simpson, director of federal and state government affairs for Dunkin’ Brands, who has one of the most scrumptious lobbying jobs in town.

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Dunkin’ is named interactive marketer of the year

The Boston Globe reports that Dunkin’ Donuts was named the “interactive marketer of the year” at last night’s 14th annual awards competition sponsored by the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange, or MITX. A microsite created by Sapient to support Coca-Cola’s Happiness campaign was cited as best of show, and Mullen of Boston got the “people’s choice for interactive agency of the year,” MITX said.

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