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NEWS IN BRIEF

March 25, 2021 at 1:54 a.m.

Eatery sale includes dozens in Arkansas

Flynn Restaurant Group LP of San Francisco, which describes itself as the largest franchise operator in the United States, announced Wednesday that it has acquired 937 Pizza Hut and 194 Wendy’s stores from NPC International of Kansas City.

The deal includes almost 50 Pizza Huts in 29 of Arkansas’ 75 counties, eight of them in Pulaski County, according the Flynn website. No Wendy’s stores in the state were part of the deal.

A price wasn’t disclosed in a news release announcing the transaction, which was supported by Main Post Partners and and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

The deal nearly doubles Flynn’s restaurant count. It now owns 2,355 quick-service, fast-casual and casual dining restaurants that generate $3.5 billion in sales annually and employ 73,000 people in 44 states.

Other brands in Flynn’s franchise portfolio include Applebee’s, Panera Bread and Taco Bell restaurants.

— Noel Oman

Nonprofit to offer accelerator program

Entrepreneurship for All, a nonprofit organization, is beginning a free, yearlong business accelerator program in Northwest Arkansas, backed by the Walton Family Foundation.

Entrepreneurship for All’s business accelerator programs and its community pitch contest will begin in the summer and will be offered in both English and Spanish.

“EforAll’s bilingual business accelerator programs will offer Latinx entrepreneurs in the region the confidence, support and networks they need to start their businesses,” Jeannette Balleza Collins, entrepreneurial development director, Northwest Arkansas Council, said in a statement.

The nonprofit’s accelerator program offers business training, mentoring and contact with an extended professional network, according to its website.

In 2019, businesses started through Entrepreneurship for All brought in more than $25 million in revenue and created 720 jobs. It has helped to start more than 500 businesses, with 74% owned by women; 46% owned by immigrants and 39% owned by members of minority groups, according to the organization.

— John Magsam

State index closes down 6.28 points

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Wednesday at 572.27, down 6.28.

“Equities rallied early in the session but subsequently dropped in afternoon trading to close lower on the day,” said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. “Rising Treasury yields continue to dampen investors’ appetite for growth stocks while energy stocks outperformed on a surge in crude oil prices following the blockage of the Suez Canal by a ship run aground.” The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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