Saturday, January 31, 2004

Ohio business loans available

Tristate summary

Staff/wire reports

Ohio companies with leading-edge products now can apply for low-interest loans for research, plant and equipment. The loans are available from the $100 million Innovation Ohio Loan Fund, created last year as part of the state's Third Frontier program. The Ohio Department of Development will approve about $15 million in loans this year.

Loan amounts can be $250,000 to $5 million, at interest rates of 6 percent to 8 percent, for four to seven years.The deadline for applications is March 1. Information: or (800) 848-1300, ext. 65420.

Tips on avoiding predatory lending

The Ohio Department of Commerce's Office of Consumer Affairs today will host a seminar offering tips on how consumers can avoid predatory lending. The meeting will be 9-10 a.m. at Cincinnati State's conference center, 3520 Central Parkway. The Consumer Affairs office will offer information on its "borrow smart" campaign that warns Ohio residents of abusive lending tactics. Jayme Brown, education and outreach coordinator, will speak at the seminar.

Wendy's reports 28% increase

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's International Inc. Friday reported that fourth-quarter earnings increased 28 percent, helped by new menu items, strong sales and a favorable Canadian exchange rate for its Tim Hortons chain.

The third-largest hamburger chain reported a profit of $64.7 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with $50.7 million, or 44 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales at stores open at least a year - considered the best indicator of a retailer's strength - were up 8.6 percent at Wendy's company-owned stores and 7.6 percent at franchises.

For all of 2003, Wendy's said it earned almost $236 million, or $2.05 a share, on sales of $3.1 billion. The company's shares closed up 3 cents to $39.73.

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