NWI Business Ins and Outs: Furniture store, Domino’s, wellness center, mortgage lender and opioid recover center opening; Taco John’s coming? | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines

Could Taco John’s double-decker tacos be coming to Northwest Indiana, or at least Southwest Michigan?

Meritage Hospitality Group, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based restaurant development chain that owns several Wendy’s in the Region, signed an area development agreement to build Taco John’s in the United States.

The company, which owns Wendy’s restaurants in Merrillville, Portage, Chesterton, Valparaiso and LaPorte, reached a deal to build 50 Taco John’s by 2026 with an option to develop 150 restaurants. Meritage Hospitality Group plans to invest at least $100 million in building Taco John’s now that it has exclusive development rights in several states.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Taco John’s and look forward to launching development in our home market of west Michigan with new store openings beginning in 2022. We were initially attracted to the brand by the made-to-order quality food, drive-thru service and significant new development opportunities, all of

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Nebraska will continue to recover from pandemic, forecast shows | Nebraska Today

During 2021 and early 2022, the Nebraska economy will continue to recoup the economic losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the new three-year forecast from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Bureau of Business Research and the Nebraska Business Forecast Council.

Employment levels will rise, ultimately returning to pre-pandemic levels by 2022, according to the forecast. Nebraska employment dropped by 3.7% in 2020 compared to 2019 and is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2021 and 1.5% in 2022. Employment growth should then “normalize” to a 0.9% rate in 2023, which is the average rate of job growth in the pre-pandemic period from 2010 to 2019.

Assuming that the spread of the novel coronavirus is brought under control, the forecast suggests that employment growth will be strongest where losses were greatest, in the leisure and hospitality industry and in state and local government. Some job losses will be permanent, however,

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