NWI Business Ins and Outs: Sophia’s House of Pancakes, Joe’s Downtown Tacos, If Walls Could Talk Home Decor, and BYOB Fitness opening | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines

• BYOB Fitness, whose slogans have included “Build Your Own Body” and “Helping You Build the Best Version of Yourself,” opened in a former video store at 8231 Hohman Avenue in Munster.

The gym offers personal training, group classes, nutritional counseling, boot camps, and pop-up shops. It helps clients who want to build muscle, lose weight, change eating habits or just get coached by a trainer to reach their fitness goals.

Catering to both men and women, it offers certified instructors, full-body workouts, and live classes for all fitness levels. The fitness center offers private training and group classes such as yoga, core and cardio.

A retail section at the fitness center also sells items like tank tops, crew necks, face masks, water bottles and gym bags.

For more information, visit www.buildyourownbodybygina.com.

• Supermercado Durango just opened in Griffith.

The locally owned independent Mexican grocery store is now doing business at 507 E. Glen Park Ave. in a strip mall off 45th Street in Griffith, near the border of Gary’s Black Oak neighborhood. The new store sells fresh groceries and authentic Mexican food. It also runs a taqueria that offers tacos, tortas, sopas, gorditas, burritos and fajitas that are cooked to order.

It took over the space previously owned by Griffith Meats & Catering, a longtime institution that closed for good in 2018.

Supermercado Durango is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 219-513-9531, email [email protected] or find the business on Facebook.

• Mariner Finance, a personal loan lender, opened in the former Subway restaurant at 9515 Indianapolis Blvd. Suite 1 in the Sir James Court strip mall in Highland.

The financial services company has 450 branches in 24 states. It offers auto loans, personal loans, debt consolidation loans, home loans and other financial services products. The long-time submarine sandwich shop that previously occupied the space shuttered there last year along with Subways in Valparaiso, Michigan City, Hobart and many other Region locations.

• The Alley, the iconic rock, underground and counterculture store that’s a major regional draw from across greater Chicagoland, has closed at the Clark and Belmont intersection in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood for the second time in the last few years.

The shop with the landmark skull-and-crossbones logo that sells T-shirts, shoes and leather jackets, has relocated to 2620 W. Fletcher St. in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood.

A destination for many Region residents over the years, The Alley sells a number of punk, rock, metal, goth, and other youth fashions, including Chicago T-shirts, chain wallets, buttons and more. It’s been a Chicago institution for more than 40 years but has lately transitioned to a more online model of doing business.

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House Democrats will introduce bill creating commission to rule on president’s fitness for office

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin will introduce a bill on Friday to form a commission that would rule on the president’s fitness for office in order to “enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership” in the presidency.

This panel, called the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, would be “the body and process called for in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Pelosi and Raskin’s offices said in a statement on Thursday. They will formally announce the bill at a press conference on Friday morning.

The 25th Amendment provides the procedure for the vice president to take over the duties of president in case of his death, resignation or inability to perform his duties. The amendment says that when the vice president and a majority either of Cabinet officials “or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” determine that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” then the vice president shall take over the duties of president.

Pelosi and Raskin’s introduction of the bill comes after President Trump was hospitalized over the weekend after testing positive for COVID-19, raising concerns about presidential succession. The White House said that Mr. Trump remained on the job even while he was at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and that there were no plans for Vice President Mike Pence to assume presidential authority. Mr. Trump returned to the White House on Monday, and returned to work at the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Raskin previously introduced a similar bill in 2017 to impanel a group of physicians and retired public officials to determine whether the president was mentally and physically fit for office.

“The 25th Amendment was adopted 50 years ago, but Congress has never set up the body it calls for to determine presidential fitness in the event of physical or psychological incapacity. Now is the time to do it,” Raskin said in a statement introducing the initial bill in May 2017.

Mr. Trump retweeted several posts on Thursday evening criticizing Pelosi for appearing to consider implementation of the 25th Amendment.

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Health & Fitness, Home & Garden Showing Strongest Demand

TipRanks

Wells Fargo: 3 Stocks That Could Climb Over 50%

A speculative fever from the bulls pushed the market to historic heights, but have the bears now been vindicated? Following a record breaking five-month rally, stocks have dipped from their record highs. The recent decline had been preceded by warnings, which had been making the rounds for weeks, that a reality check was overdue. Weighing in for Wells Fargo, senior global equity strategist Scott Wren stated, “We have not had much give back in this gigantic run that we’ve had. So inevitably the stock market sell-off was bound to happen.” This, however, is not to say that exciting plays can’t be found in the current financial environment. “Certainly, pullbacks are opportunities in our minds,” the strategist explained.Taking Wren’s strategy to heart, the analysts at Wells Fargo are pounding the table on three stocks. According to these pros, each could gain over 50% in the year ahead. Running the tickers through TipRanks’ database, we wanted to find out what makes them such compelling opportunities.Houghton Mifflin (HMHC)As a leader in pre-K-12 educational content and services, Houghton Mifflin combines digital innovation and research to make learning more engaging and effective. Given the need for digital and remote schooling solutions, Wells Fargo sees big things in store for this name.Representing the firm, analyst William Warmington believes Q2 billings are not a cause for concern, with the result falling in-line with his expectations. The limited selling activity in April and May was to blame for the weak result. That being said, Warmington believes the figure will improve at a “greater-than-usual” pace given the return of normal seasonal demand levels in June and the delay of orders from Q2 to Q3.Warmington does mention that the acceleration to digital will play a key role in the company’s success. According to the analyst, at least half of school districts are going completely virtual or hybrid, which will drive increased demand for flexible and digital learning solutions. To this end, districts have bumped up their device-to-student ratios, enabling greater adoption of digital instructional materials, in Warmington’s opinion. He noted, “We view these hardware investments as a critical step in accelerating the adoption of HMHC’s digital products.”Expounding on this move to digital, Warmington stated, “We believe HMHC is well positioned to meet this need/demand primarily through HMH Anywhere, an online integrated learning platform that (1) enables instructional materials to be delivered digitally and (2) will primarily be sold on a subscription basis, reducing volatility and production/delivery cost.”The implication? Warmington argues the shift to digital has the potential to “improve HMHC’s revenue visibility and margins and ultimately drive a re-rating of the stock.”Adding to the good news, HMHC repaid $150 million of revolver borrowings with free cash flow generation, which reduced leverage and improved liquidity. Warmington also highlights that it is going through “another cost structure review with results expected by Q4 2020, potentially further lowering breakeven billing level (currently $1.23-1.28 billion) and positioning for margin improvement over the cycle.”Although falling

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Why Planet Fitness and Floor & Decor Holdings Jumped Double Digits in August, but Camping World Fell 20%

What happened

Shares of construction-oriented retailer Floor & Decor Holdings (NYSE: FND) rose 11% in August according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Gym company Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) had an even better showing, rising 16.5%. However, all retail names didn’t do nearly that well, with recreational vehicle and outdoor specialist Camping World Holdings (NYSE: CWH) off by roughly 20.5% in the month. 

August represents an interesting turn of events when you step back and look at the earnings of each of these three retail names. To help put that in perspective, however, it helps to examine the price performance of the stocks between January and August. Over that eight month span Camping World Holdings was up 97%, Floor & Decor was up 44%, and Planet Fitness was down nearly 19%. For reference, the S&P 500 index was up 8.5% over the same period. 

An arm pointing to graph on computer screen

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Planet Fitness is easily the biggest turnaround of the three when it comes to stock price. That makes complete sense given the impact of COVID-19 on its business. The company’s gyms were at the center of the pandemic storm, noting that the coronavirus is easily spread in group settings with a lot of heavy breathing going on. Not surprisingly, its gyms were shut down, cutting off revenue across its business. When it reported second-quarter earnings in early August the numbers were terrible, with revenue off by roughly 78% over the same quarter in 2019. Earnings fell to a loss of $0.36 per share compared to a profit of $0.41 per share in the previous year. Investors, however, had been expecting bad news. The focus, instead, was likely on the fact that the company had reopened 1,477 of its 2,059 gyms. Moreover, those numbers actually included 21 new gyms, as Planet Fitness is continuing to expand despite the current headwinds. Investors clearly think the future will be much brighter than the recent past, which is not at all an outlandish assumption given how bad things got during the shutdown.  

Floor & Decor reported earnings in late July and it, too, was hit by the impact of COVID-19. Sales were down by 11% in the quarter compared to 2019, with adjusted earnings off by nearly 62%. Like Planet Fitness, that bad news was largely expected. The news on the reopening front, meanwhile, was pretty good, as the company was able to reopen all of its locations in June. Furthermore, comparable-store sales growth was 7.7% in June, after a series of poor relative showings during the shutdown because shuttered stores don’t generate any sales. July’s strong number, however, showed that demand has picked up quickly as the retailer reopened its stores. Floor & Decor also announced it was increasing its new store opening plans for 2020 from 11 to 13 and reaffirmed its plans to expand its store base by roughly 20% in 2021. In other words, given the COVID-19 setback, Floor & Decor is still doing fairly well overall. One thing

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