Icahn offers CIT Group $6 billion loan

Stephen Bernard reports at Kansas City.com that activist investor Carl Icahn is offering struggling lender CIT Group a $6 billion lifeline. In a letter Monday to CIT’s board of directors, Icahn said he would give the company the loan to replace a debt restructuring plan CIT has asked bondholders to approve.

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Credit Tightens for Small Businesses

Peter Goodman reports at The New York Times that many small and midsize American businesses are still struggling to secure bank loans, impeding their expansion plans and constraining overall economic growth, even as the country tentatively rises from its recessionary depths. Most banks expect their lending standards to remain tighter than the levels of the last decade until at least the middle of 2010, according to a survey of senior loan officers conducted by the Federal Reserve Board.

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Small Business Owners Take On Tax Man

Business Owners Seek to Cut Costs by Appealing Property Assessments. Raymund Flandez of the Wall Street Journal reports that the bad economy and the deteriorating commercial real-estate market have motivated some small-business owners to fight their tax assessments.

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Squirrel Hill Dunkin’ Donuts is Kosher

Jason Cato writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that chocolate-frosted doughnuts and pumpkin muffins have joined bagels and lox as kosher breakfast fare in Squirrel Hill. A Dunkin’ Donuts opened at Forbes and Shady avenues in Squirrel Hill two weeks ago and altered its menu to adhere to Jewish dietary laws. It’s the first national chain to go kosher in Pittsburgh and could set the stage for others in the neighborhood, said Rabbi Daniel Wasserman of Shaare Torah Congregation.

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Franchise Industry Lobbies to Extend Small Business Tax Benefits

It may take months or even years before markets return to normal, yet a number of key tax measures that have helped small firms survive the downturn are set to expire, touching off a scramble on Capitol Hill to get them extended. The franchise industry, one of the biggest beneficiaries, has taken the lead in the lobbying effort as the clock winds down on several key tax incentives.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Good for the Neighborhood

Lila Shaker writes at Danbury News Times that we all should admit that the Dunkin’ Donuts on the corner of Springside Avenue and Osborne Street has greatly improved the area. There was much doubt in many people about the noise and safety if Dunkin’ Donuts was allowed to build.

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CIT Group Amends Debt Restructuring Offer

The Associated Press reports that CIT Group Inc., a major lender to small and midsize businesses that struggled under mounting losses and tight credit availability, amended its debt restructuring offer to enlist more bondholder support for the plan. The troubled New York-based lender had launched the debt restructuring effort Oct. 1 with the hope that it will trim at least $5.7 billion from its near-term debt. It is also asking bondholders to approve a prepackaged reorganization plan in case it is forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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Weighing in on Press Coverage

Op-Ed by Matt Ellis, DDIFO’s Communication Director. Response to the Boston Globe’s recent article “Franchisees say Dunkin’s brewing trouble” illustrates the differing opinions franchise owners have about seeing their issues discussed in the press. Some lauded Jenn Abelson’s article as an important discussion of an issue of interest to the entire Dunkin’ Donuts franchise community; others saw it as an improper public airing of dirty laundry. In either case, any news related to Dunkin’ Donuts strikes a chord because of the popularity and positive perception people have for Dunkin’ Donuts and its products.

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Chairman Purvin to Step Down from AAFD

Don Sniegowski reports at Blue MauMau that Robert Purvin, chairman and CEO of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD), has announced while with lawyers attending the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising event in Toronto, Ontario that he will be stepping down within the next six months.

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Trial Date Set in Federal Court for Dunkin’ Donuts Suit

Paul Grimaldi reports in the Providence Journal that a Vermont businessman hopes to ring up perhaps the most important sale of his career in late 2009 when he tries to get a jury to side with him in a prolonged dispute with Dunkin’ Donuts. Irwin Barkan, of Waitsfield, Vt., will return here Dec. 2 as the dispute goes to trial in federal court –– four years after the coffee shop chain and its former franchisee became embroiled in the legal battle.

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