NABE: Worst of Recession is Over

South Florida Business Journal reports, according to the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) that “The great recession is over.” The proclamation is based on a survey of professional forecasters, who also caution that the recovery will take place slowly as large increases in federal debt and unemployment rates are expected to remain very high through next year.

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Starbucks’ Via Instant Coffee Goes National

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Starbucks Corp. said its Via instant coffee product will be available nationally on Wednesday. And to overcome the negative image of instant coffee, the Seattle coffee giant said it will stage taste competitions between Via and its fresh-brewed coffee next week.

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Appreciating Coffee Across the Region

Leslie Gaydos reports at NECN that Tuesday September 29th, was National Coffee Appreciation Day, a holiday sure to give some a jolt. The big players were aware of the date, as McDonald’s brought in Nell Newman, Paul’s daughter, the president and co-founder of Newman’s Own Organics. They had lunch at the Ronald McDonald House in Providence.

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Tunica has first Dunkin’ Donuts for gamers

Dunkin’ Donuts has opened a store at the south end of Harrah’s Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, MS, marking its entry into the state’s gaming market. The 24-hour, seven-day-a-week store will be the sixth Dunkin’ Donuts in the state. Frank Leflore will own this franchise.

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Dunkin’ Donuts expands into Guangdong, South China

QSRWeb.com reports that as part of its greater China expansion strategy, Dunkin’ Donuts recently opened its first two shops in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The first shop is located on the first floor of the Gold World Business Center in the Luohu District. The second shop is located in the Liming Building, She Kou, Nanshan District. Additionally, a third shop is expected to open in mid-October, in the Jinzhonghuan Business Compound, Futian Central District.

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Dunkin’ Chief Legal Counsel Steve Horn Is Out

Janet Sparks reports at BlueMauMau that following much turmoil and bad press over its legal team’s aggressive tactics against franchisees, Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis has just announced the latest in his reorganization of corporate executives, stating that the company’s controversial chief legal counsel Stephen Horn is leaving to pursue new opportunities.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Could be Open In Marion, MA by Thanksgiving

Ricky Pursle reports at Wicked Local Rochester reports that Marion Planning Board brought the nine-year-old Dunkin’ Donuts saga to a conclusion on Oct. 5 by amending both the special permit and site plan review approval that the board had issued earlier this year to change the permitted time for delivery of baked goods from 5 a.m. to as early as 4 a.m. The action is expected to bring an end to the case before the board.

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Attorneys Criticize Dunkin’ Donuts’ Litigious Behavior

Following Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners’ (DDIFO) twentieth annual meeting in September, president Jim Coen issued a letter to members stating that the association favors a more collaborative approach to reconciling the problems that Dunkin’ Brands sees the need to litigate against. He declared, “Dunkin’ Brands continues to pursue litigation against franchisees and shows no signs of changing their seemingly harsh and predatory practices.”

According to Coen, DDIFO is willing and able to take this discussion with Dunkin’ behind closed doors, but the franchisor has not shown as of yet, its willingness to do so. He explains, “Keep in mind that there are hundreds of Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners who are today, fighting for their livelihood, trying to protect and defend their sweat equity built over many years, against a seemingly arrogant and intractable Dunkin’ Brands Loss Prevention with very deep pockets. I think that is unacceptable.”

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Calorie Postings Don’t Change Habits, Study Finds

Anemona Hartocollis reports in The New York Times that a study of New York City’s pioneering law on posting calories in restaurant chains suggests that when it comes to deciding what to order, people’s stomachs are more powerful than their brains.

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Eastern is the Top SBA Lender

Jon Chesto reports at the Patriot Ledger that Eastern Bank has edged out perennial leader Citizens Bank as the state’s top Small Business Administration lender based on loan volume. Boston-based Eastern, the state’s fifth largest retail bank, originated 156 SBA-backed loans in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, totaling $7.3 million, including 28 loans totaling $1.6 million on the South Shore. Eastern easily topped Providence-based Citizens’ 130 SBA-backed loans, although Citizens loaned nearly $7.9 million.

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