business

Ranjit Singh Boparan buys Gourmet Burger Kitchen in rescue deal | Business

Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been bought out of administration by the food industry tycoon Ranjit Singh Boparan in a deal that will save more than 660 jobs.

Boparan, who bought Carluccio’s in May, has bought 35 of the burger restaurant’s sites. However, under the pre-pack administration deal, 26 other sites will close, with the loss of 362 jobs.

The burger chain, which was owned by the South African company Famous Brands, which also owns Wimpy in the UK, was put on the market as it struggled amid the pandemic and high street lockdown.

But Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been in difficulties since a restructuring deal with landlords in 2018 under which it agreed to close up to 17 sites after the casual dining market became oversaturated.

Gavin Maher, a partner at Deloitte who was appointed joint administrator on Wednesday, said: “The broader challenges facing ‘bricks and mortar’ operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.

“We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution, and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce. However, it’s clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today’s redundancies.”

Labelled the “chicken king” as he is the co-owner and founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, which supplies about a third of the chicken on UK supermarket shelves, Boparan’s business interests includes turkey producer Bernard Matthews, the upmarket London restaurant The Cinnamon Club restaurant, as well as the Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains.

Satnam Leihal, the managing director of Boparan Restaurant Group, said: “This latest acquisition is in line

White House urges small business rescue plan

The White House on Sunday changed tactics yet again on boosting the pandemic-hit US economy, this time urging lawmakers to back a plan to help small businesses weeks ahead of the presidential election.

The change comes after President Donald Trump’s Republican Party and Democrats both rejected, for different reasons, a beefed-up $1.8 trillion economic rescue plan proposed Friday.

In a letter Sunday to Congress, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged backing for a bill allowing some $130 billion in unused funds from a previous support plan to be redirected.

The money would be earmarked for businesses, particularly small and medium-sized companies, that are facing declining revenues while negotiations for more support drag on.

“Now is the time for us to come together and immediately vote on a bill to allow us to spend the unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while we continue to work toward a comprehensive package,” the letter said.

– Not enough –

It is unlikely that Democrats will accept the request with about three weeks left until the November 3 election and as Trump trails challenger Joe Biden badly in opinion polls. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is negotiating with the administration, has already rejected any idea of targeted measures, saying she wants broad economic support that she believes will boost activity.

The White House’s new strategy comes after a week in which Trump and his team had already switched tactics, jumping between cutting off talks, returning to the negotiating table and targeted measures — but without much success.

Markets tanked on Tuesday following Trump’s abrupt move to end stimulus talks, but he made an about-face in subsequent days that saw him calling for a deal.

The White House on Friday beefed up its offer, proposing a $1.8 trillion package

NWI Business Ins and Outs: Sophia’s House of Pancakes, Joe’s Downtown Tacos, If Walls Could Talk Home Decor, and BYOB Fitness opening | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines

• BYOB Fitness, whose slogans have included “Build Your Own Body” and “Helping You Build the Best Version of Yourself,” opened in a former video store at 8231 Hohman Avenue in Munster.

The gym offers personal training, group classes, nutritional counseling, boot camps, and pop-up shops. It helps clients who want to build muscle, lose weight, change eating habits or just get coached by a trainer to reach their fitness goals.

Catering to both men and women, it offers certified instructors, full-body workouts, and live classes for all fitness levels. The fitness center offers private training and group classes such as yoga, core and cardio.

A retail section at the fitness center also sells items like tank tops, crew necks, face masks, water bottles and gym bags.

For more information, visit www.buildyourownbodybygina.com.

• Supermercado Durango just opened in Griffith.

The locally owned independent Mexican grocery store is now doing business at 507 E. Glen Park Ave. in a strip mall off 45th Street in Griffith, near the border of Gary’s Black Oak neighborhood. The new store sells fresh groceries and authentic Mexican food. It also runs a taqueria that offers tacos, tortas, sopas, gorditas, burritos and fajitas that are cooked to order.

It took over the space previously owned by Griffith Meats & Catering, a longtime institution that closed for good in 2018.

Supermercado Durango is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 219-513-9531, email [email protected] or find the business on Facebook.

• Mariner Finance, a personal loan lender, opened in the former Subway restaurant at 9515 Indianapolis Blvd. Suite 1 in the Sir James Court strip mall in Highland.

The financial services company has 450 branches in 24 states. It offers auto loans,

White House calls for Congress to release unused small business loans

Oct. 11 (UPI) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday sent a letter to Congress calling for the release of unused Paycheck Protection Program funds amid ongoing talks on an additional round of COVID-19 stimulus.

Mnuchin and Meadows urged lawmakers to release the $134 billion in loans provided to small businesses to maintain operations and retain employees included in the $2 trillion CARES Act passed in March, while also criticizing Congress — particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — for their “all-or-nothing” approach to negotiating additional stimulus.

“The House has passed two separate partisan bills instead of compromising with us on bipartisan legislation like we have done in the past,” they wrote. “We will continue to try to work with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer. It is not just about the top-line number but also about legislation that can be passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Trump to help the American people.”

The letter comes after Mnuchin introduced a $1.8 trillion proposal on Friday, raising the White House’s previous offer of $1.6 trillion and inching closer to the $2.2 trillion package passed by the Democratic-led House earlier this month.

Mnuchin’s proposal was met with criticism from Democrats who believed it was not enough and some Republicans who believe the funding is too high.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said that he believes Senate Republicans can come to an agreement in support of a newly proposed $1.8 trillion package despite host Jake Tapper noting that 20 GOP members of the chamber criticized the latest proposal from the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as a “death knell” for the measure.

“I don’t think it’s

How Two Music Industry Professionals Launched A New Business During A Pandemic

When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, married couple “Zito” and Christin Zito were trying to figure out next steps. Zito, who spent the past 20 years on the road most recently serving as production manager for Steve Aoki, and Christin, a celebrity hair and makeup stylist, weren’t sure what to do.

On Easter Sunday the couple was planning a cheat meal for their diet and Zito had a sourdough starter already made. While brainstorming what to make with it, they settled on sourdough cinnamon rolls. Having previously baked sourdough bread during Covid-19, the Zitos immediately knew there was something special about the sourdough cinnamon rolls. When Christin posted a photo on Instagram of their cheat meal, the outpouring of comments from people wanting a roll for themselves got them thinking. Soon, the couple began selling cinnamon rolls in their subdivision in Tennessee and the first weekend they sold 63 rolls, the following weekend 83 and by the third weekend they baked and sold over 120 sourdough cinnamon rolls.

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“By the fourth week we had over 200 orders,” Zito tells me. “[I thought] ‘OK, I think we’re onto something here.’ So how can we scale it? How can we grow it? And how can we move it towards a business that can sustain us during this time?”

Logistically minded, his day job as a production manager for the past 21 years had Zito responsible for all aspects of a touring show including hiring the lighting and sound team, video crew and