Freeland, Mich.-based Checkers franchisee IB Corp. will soon open its 13th Michigan location, and owner Alan Balen is optimistic that the chain will continue growing as lower land and development costs and rebounding sales make the region more attractive. The company, which also operates three eateries in Florida, aims to grow to 20 to 25 units in the coming years. "Because of the woes of the economy, land and the cost-to-build have been fairly reasonable. And I think there's opportunity out there if you’re willing to take the risk," Balen said.

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