Economy

Business news

A photo of Walborn Reservoir
GOOGLE EARTH

Stark Parks is seeking a property tax increase to expand trails and facilities. The park district’s current levy of 1-mill expires at the end of next year and they’re looking to generate more funding.

The director of Stark County Park District, Bob Fonte, said they conducted a survey along with updating the five-year plan for the parks. He said the increase would help fund the things park goers have asked for.

a photo of housing development in Akron
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

A state labor market study finds unemployment increasing in northeast Ohio, but in Akron there’s one bright spot in the data. The value of new home construction has risen nearly 47 percent in the last year.

The report from Ohio Bureau of Labor Market Information looked at eight metropolitan areas. It found unemployment claims in Akron rose 3.3 percent, and in Cleveland nearly six percent. Both cities also saw a decline in manufacturing hours worked, down nearly five percent in Cleveland.

A photo of a flooded farm field
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state is giving farmers another opportunity to apply for loans as they deal with severe weather and flooding that has kept many farmers from planting their crops.

The Ohio Treasurer’s Office is reopening its Ag-LINK program which can grant farmers up to $150,000 in loans.

The program usually operates between January and March, but Treasurer Robert Sprague said this can help those struggling with flooding.

East Liberty's Transportation Research Center celebrated the opening of a new $45 million SMARTCenter to test automated cars in real-world environments.

Akron's Main Street
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

New options for downtown living will soon be available in Akron.

New Jersey developer Tom Rybak plans to begin transformation of the historic Law Building on Main Street into a multi-use complex.

The Law Building faces the Bowery Project, a multi-use development now under construction and planned to open this November.

photo of Indians fans at Progressive Field
AMANDA RABINOWITZ / WKSU

Officials with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission estimate the financial impact of Tuesday's All-Star Game will be about $65 million -- and that’s before factoring-in ticket sales.

Photo of a boat on Lake Erie
BRIAN BULL / WCPN

Jobs related to waterways are booming in the Great Lakes Region according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Local organizations and government officials met on the banks of Lake Erie to discuss what impact the domestic maritime industry has on Ohio and the Great Lakes region.

Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone says between 2011 and 2016 the maritime industry has added more than 25,000 jobs across the Great Lakes, but the economic impact doesn’t stop there.

Armed with new funders, Cleveland entrepreneur Bernie Moreno says Bedrock Detroit LLC, the real estate firm owned by Dan Gilbert, is now fully onboard with turning The Avenue Shops at Tower City into a hub for tech businesses and blockchain, an easily shared digital ledger system.

A bunch of Twins
TWINS DAYS FESTIVAL COMMITTEE

Twinsburg’s annual Twins Days festival is more than just an opportunity to celebrate twins from all over the world, it’s also a big driver for the city’s economy.

An economic impact survey done by Kent State’s College of Business Administration found that last year’s festival brought in nearly $5.5 million dollars. Associate economics professor Shawn Rohlin  conducted the study.

Cuyahoga County will consider an increase to a local tax, but don’t worry, it’s not for locals.

A one percent hotel bed tax increase is on the county council agenda for Tuesday. County officials estimate it will generate an additional $4.6 million per year, which will go to operations and maintenance of the Huntington Convention Center. If the proposal passes, the bed tax increase would go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Updated at 11:04 a.m. ET

For Douglas Clark, the darkest part of working for Nike in the 1980s was watching American shoe manufacturing "evaporate" in the Northeast in a mass exodus to Asia in pursuit of cheaper labor.

"As a true Yankee — and my father was a Colonial historian — you know, it was heartbreaking," he said.

photo of bus
PERRY QUAN / FLICKR

A coalition of groups that advocate for low-income Ohioans says they’re seeing a slight decrease in the poverty level and unemployment remains low. However, they’re concerned about pay disparity and the resources available for people who don’t make a living wage. 

The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies says even if a person earns the median wage from six of the most common jobs in Ohio, they would still qualify for food assistance if they’re a family of three.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center is playing a key role in the mission to take astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars, Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a visit to Cleveland Monday.

“The moon is our proving ground for how do we live and work on another world, so that we can go to Mars,” Bridenstine said. “And the sooner we can prove that out on the moon, the sooner we can move on to Mars.”

RTA Considers A New Future For Its Bus System

Jun 10, 2019

Updated, 10:38 a.m., 6/10/19

The past few years have been tough for transit in Northeast Ohio. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has cut routes and raised fares, all while ridership continues to fall.

Transit advocates call it the “death spiral.” Jarrett Walker, the consultant hired to help RTA redesign bus routes, said the service is “stretched incredibly thin.”

“It isn’t really able to be very satisfactory to much of anyone,” Walker said, “because it is simply being asked to do too many things with too small a budget.”

CAROLYN WILLIAMS / FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

Ohio is outpacing the nation in creating jobs in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. A new report from Team NEO found the industry created 5,000 more jobs for Ohioans since the recession in 2007. Jacob Duritsky is vice president of research and strategy at Team NEO.

“So to have a sub-sector that is adding new jobs is very encouraging. In that growth of 5,000-plus new jobs was at around 28 percent. The U.S. over the same period of time grew about 12 percent,” Duritsky said.

assembly line workers at honda plant
STEVE BROWN / WOSU

Ohio’s auto industry could suffer major disruption if President Donald Trump’s tariffs against Mexico take effect.

That's according to Case Western Reserve University economist Susan Helper, who studies the U.S. auto industry.

Lordstown Awaits Answers On GM Plant Sale

May 30, 2019

The mayor of Lordstown says his village is still waiting to learn whether GM will sell its idle auto plant to electric truck maker Workhorse.

Mayor Arno Hill said he met with GM and Workhorse officials in Columbus earlier this month. But he still has questions, such as who would invest in the plant and whether the company would ask for incentives.

“Right now, we’re just in the wait-and-see mode,” Hill said. “Ideally we’d like to get another General Motors product, so people don’t have to move out of town. But if that doesn’t happen, get us some answers.”

photo of a private jet
MULTISHARE / SHUTTERSTOCK

The Ohio House’s two year state budget repeals tax breaks for personal aircraft or private planes. Now Senators are being urged to remove that provision by an official from one of Ohio’s two companies offering part ownership of private jets.

The Executive Vice President of fractional jet company Net Jets, Bradley Ferrell urged senators to think twice.

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can't be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

Akron Beacon Journal Among GateHouse Media Newspapers to See Staff Cuts

May 26, 2019
photo of Akron Beacon Journal
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Two managers were laid off at the Akron Beacon Journal Friday, bringing the total of newsroom cuts to nine over the past two days. It's the latest blow to a print industry battling digital competition.

The Beacon Journal is one of 156 daily newspapers and more than 300 weeklies owned by New York-based GateHouse Media.

Cleveland will host the 2021 NFL Draft, the annual selection of the top players in college football, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell annouced Wednesday.

Goodell also named Kansas City as the host for the 2023 draft. No announcement was made regarding 2022.

Cleveland's draft will follow Las Vegas, which will host the 2020 draft before the Raiders move from Oakland and begin playing in Nevada for the 2020 season.

A university in Ohio has ended its affiliation with the United Methodist Church over the denomination's renewed bans on LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage.

Steve Burns is a man of big ideas. In December 2017 he proudly showed off Workhorse's electric pick-up truck to WVXU, was perfecting drone delivery off the company's electric delivery trucks and touted his personal flying machine. Now he is planning to buy the GM Lordstown plant.

Cleveland Hopkins Airport is looking to the future, with officials about to ink the deal with a consulting company and begin work next month to plan a path for the airport 25 years into the future.

Director Robert Kennedy told Cleveland City Council this week that he had been asked five years ago, he would not have forecast today's growth in passengers at Hopkins.

Members of United Auto Workers Local 1112 are more skeptical than optimistic after the announcement Wednesday that General Motors is in talks to sell its Lordstown plant to Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group, an upstart maker of electric trucks.

Many are shocked the company would rather sell the plant than assign a new GM vehicle to be built in Lordstown.

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