Economy

Business news

photo of Lordstown GM assembly line
YOUR VOICE OHIO

Senator Sherrod Brown is pleased that General Motors is investing $700 million in three Ohio plants, Parma, Toledo, and Moraine. But he said the company needs to provide more information about what’s next for the Lordstown facility.

Between February 2017 and this March, GM cut nearly 4,500 workers at the Lordstown plant. Some of them have taken jobs at GM plants elsewhere. But others are still figuring out what’s next. News that the Lordstown plant will be sold to electric vehicle maker Workhorse offers some hope, but Brown said workers need to know more.

a photo of Mike DeWine and Jon Husted
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Plans are in the works to sell the former GM plant in Lordstown to a company that would build electric trucks there. GM CEO Mary Barra talked to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine about the sale of the plant that halted production earlier this year. 

Gov. Mike DeWine said he spoke with GM’s Mary Barra who confirmed the plant will be sold to Workhorse, a Cincinnati company. She said the sale will pave the way for hundreds of jobs. DeWine said the auto workers’ union will have to approve the deal.

GM Lordstown plant
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

News about a possible buyer for the GM plant in Lordstown is generating a lot of interest in the Cincinnati company being mentioned as the purchaser. A Cincinnati business reporter tells us more about Workhorse

The Workhorse Group Incorporated grew out of electric vehicle maker AMP, which was founded in 2007. 

Tim Ryan, U.S. Congressman from Ohio
WOSU

Congressman Tim Ryan said the pending sale of the Lordstown General Motors plant is bittersweet.

Ryan said bringing jobs to the plant is good news in the long-term, but not necessarily beneficial for the GM workers who lost their jobs when the plant ceased production.

General Motors plans to sell its shuttered factory in Lordstown, Ohio, to a Cincinnati company that builds electric trucks. It offers some good news for a community that lost more than 1,700 jobs when the plant closed earlier this year.

photo of Ohio Chamber of Commerce
GOOGLE EARTH

Business groups are blasting the House version of the budget for a change it makes to a controversial tax deduction – the one that allows many small businesses to take the first quarter million dollars of their income tax free. The change would drop that income threshold to $100,000.

Tony Long at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said the deduction was meant to equalize tax payments by different kinds of small businesses, but he thinks it’s also created jobs.

guitar effects pedal
EarthQuaker Devices

An Akron-based small business received an award from the Small Business Administration Monday.

Pedal devices can help bands like Akron-based Relaxer create guitar effects. Relaxer band member Jamie Stillman started making pedal devices in his Akron basement 15 years ago.

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The House version of the two-year state budget eliminates a tax break that has been both praised by fans and panned by critics – a $40 million tax credit for the movie industry.

Both researchers from the left and right say it doesn’t pay off.

Wendy Patton with the progressive Policy Matters Ohio says a study from Cleveland State found most of the jobs created by the state’s motion picture tax credit were temporary, and that film tax credits haven’t worked well for other states either.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants drivers to know that a stretch of Interstate 490, between East 55th Street and I-77, will be closed later this month. The shutdown will alow for construction on the third and final phase of the $306 million Cleveland Opportunity Corridor project.

Julie Meyer, ODOT's project manager for the Opportunity Corridor, said that she knows the closure will be challenging for drivers at first, but the agency has worked with the City of Cleveland to identify detour routes. 

photo of national guardsman at computer
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Cleveland City Council has approved spending $750,000 to hire two technology firms to fix computer problems at Hopkins Airport.

The city says malicious software infected the airport’s computer network, disrupting flight and baggage claim display terminals as well as the email system.

This week a Brunswick church also fell victim to hackers. St. Ambrose was tricked into putting nearly $2 million into a phony bank account. 

With a new state-of-the-art detect and avoid system, the Federal Aviation Administration has given the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) permission to fly its unmanned aerial systems (UAS) beyond visual line of sight at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport. This permission is called a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). Ohio hopes to get its own permission but until then may partner with AFRL.

A new Columbus developer will step in to complete a "cargominium" housing project, considered the first of its kind. 

a rendering of the reception area in the Generator at Bounce
HAZEL TREE DESIGN STUDIO

A major foundation that supports entrepreneurs in northeast Ohio is putting its focus on Akron. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is based in Hudson. It’s spent the past 18 months reviewing its strategy. Foundation president and CEO Deb Hoover said they’ve long supported entrepreneurs of all ages across Northeast Ohio. But now they see an opportunity to focus on adults starting businesses in Akron.

Honda is slowing down production of the Accord and Civic cars at its factory in Marysville as car buyers eye trucks and SUVs.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gave Cleveland City Council an initial look Wednesday at the museum’s $35 million plans to build an expansion along the North Coast Harbor, connecting the building with the Great Lakes Science Center.

The 50,000-square-foot expansion would sweep between the Rock Hall and science center in a low arc, offering new spaces for exhibits, classrooms and performances.

First, it was Gund Arena. Then, in 2005, it became Quicken Loans Arena. Now, the home of the Cavaliers, formerly known as “The Q,” has been renamed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, and Clevelanders have some opinions about that. 

“It needs to be abbreviated, it's a little bit too long,” said Tiara Grayson, a longtime Cavs fan who was walking in downtown Cleveland a few blocks from the venue. 

a photo of the former Sycamore Valley Golf Course
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Cuyahoga Falls City Council has approved a zoning change that will enable residential redevelopment at the former Sycamore Valley Golf Course.

Council’s approval changes the property’s zoning from E-1 to R-3, clearing the way for developer Danny Karam and Ryan Homes proposed construction of 146 townhomes.

a photo of computer on a table
BART EVERSON / FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

State lawmakers have said they want an income tax cut in the upcoming budget, but Gov. Mike DeWine wants them to invest big money in children’s initiatives and the opioid crisis. That has some looking in and out of state for money so they can do both. 

JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Akron City Council will consider a deal Monday that enables the city to give the Bounce Innovation Hub the building it occupies. 

Bounce is housed in the old B.F. Goodrich building. It helps entrepreneurs and startups turn ideas into end-products through mentorship, collaboration and investment.

GOOGLE MAPS

The mayor of a Stark County village says he’s ‘ecstatic’ that a Chicago-based company will expand its local operation in his community. Hendrickson makes suspension systems for semi-trucks and plans to build a manufacturing facility in Navarre.

Early in Bob Benson’s 24-year tenure as Navarre mayor, he worked with Perry Township to create a Joint Economic Development District and build a bridge to farmland northeast of the village. It’s where Hendrickson chose to locate its new plant.

President Trump is threatening to close the U.S.-Mexico border in response to a recent surge of people crossing illegally. In speaking to reporters about the proposal this past weekend, he said a shutdown could include “all trade.” 

Such a move would have a significant impact on Ohio, which has Mexico as its second-largest trading partner after Canada. 

SUMMIT4SUCCESS.COM

Summit County’s effort to attract businesses is taking on a digital look.

The county’s executive Ilene Shapiro announced this week a new website featuring information about the county and what it offers for businesses.  

Assistant Chief of Staff Greta Johnson said the website increases accessibility.

“In today’s day and age, we know that everyone communicates electronically and we want to be able to serve our businesses when they need served. Sometimes that’s at 10 o’clock at night.”

photo of Duriya Dhinojwala, Michael Steel
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Housing issues dominated a legal clinic over the weekend in Akron’s Middlebury neighborhood, with people seeking free help on how to handle everything from foreclosures to evictions.

The clinic was organized by Community Legal Aid and included more than a dozen attorneys who volunteered their time to work with close to 70 people, mostly from Summit County.

Workers who were recently laid off from General Motors’ Lordstown plant likely will not be among those to benefit from the production of a new electric vehicle (at least not this year), according to GM spokeswoman Cheryl McCarron.

photo of Google sign
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Akron's small businesses, nonprofits and job seekers spent the day with Google sharpening their digital skills.

It was standing room only at the opening workshop of a day-long training initiative tech giant Google brought to Akron.

Grow with Google,” held at the main branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, was designed to help job seekers, small businesses and nonprofits succeed in an increasingly digital world.

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