>CIT failure would chill US restaurant operators

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>A potential bankruptcy of CIT Group Inc would be another blow to restaurant operators and other franchisees by removing yet another funding source at a time when many large banks have frozen lending. But longer term, analysts say the long-suffering restaurant sector should be able to hunt down alternatives. “We think long term our people will find other places to go, short term there will be pain,” said Matthew Shay, chief executive of the International Franchise Association, which has lobbied the Obama administration to rescue CIT — one of the largest providers of loans to small businesses in the United States. “If CIT were to go away, it would take a financing option away from our franchisees who want to buy stores or expand their networks,” said Michelle King, spokeswoman for Dunkin’ Brands Inc,

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