In scene that could play out across the economy as small businesses are crushed by the Covid-19-induced lockdown, upmarket pizza chain Col’Cacchio is embroiled in a dispute with 18 franchisees over royalty fees.

The upscale restaurant group, which runs 29 restaurants across the country, is pushing back against the restaurant owners who are trying to back out of their contractual obligations because they can not generate revenue as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown...

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