Abilene Reporter-News:

New business construction totaled about $30 million in Abilene last year. Of that total, $8.1 million in new planned construction could be traced to franchise operations.

Three hotels, three restaurants and a battery retail store made up the franchise total, based on the city’s valuation of construction work associated with “new construction” permits (with most of the millions related to the hotels).

Throughout the city, franchises dot the landscape, but Abilene is not alone in seeing the growth of these businesses.

“Franchising remains a very vital part of the economy, and it’s one that’s probably going to continue to grow in importance,” said Tom Dicke, a business historian and acting head of the history department at Missouri State University. More

Photo: Thomas Metthe.