Economy

Business news

photo of Global Cleveland working with immigrant entrepreneuers
COURTNEY OTTRIX / GLOBAL CLEVELAND

Two Cleveland groups are creating a program to encourage immigrants to launch startup businesses in Northeast Ohio.

The partnership between Flashstarts and Global Cleveland is planning to work with local universities to obtain visas for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Ohio AFL-CIO members protests Secretary of Labor nominee
Karen Kasler / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A group representing 650,000 union members in Ohio opposed the nomination of Cleveland-native Andrew Pudzer as President Trump’s secretary of labor. Puzder withdrew his name from consideration this afternoon, but a progressive think tank says whoever heads that agency is critical to working Ohioans.

What happens at the U.S. Labor Department is very important when it comes to Ohio," says Hannah Halbert with the liberal leaning Policy Matters Ohio.

Eric Salard / Flickr

Starting this week, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport will be the nation’s only mid-sized airport with the three biggest ultra-low cost carriers. Allegiant Air begins service Wednesday joining Spirit and Frontier.

Magnet

A survey of more than 300 small- and medium-sized Northeast Ohio manufacturers shows a mix of optimism and concern about the regional economy.

The business-climate poll was conducted by the manufacturing advocate organization Magnet. CEO Ethan Karp says nearly 60 percent of the respondents reported optimism and expect to expand. He believes a lot of that confidence stems from the election of President Trump and business owners’ perception of what his proposed polices will mean for them.

Passengers boarding a SARTA bus in Canton
SARTA

The head of Stark County’s transit system is predicting major cuts to public transportation under Gov. John Kasich’s proposed state budget.

SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad says a sales tax levied on some health care services in 2010 has helped the agency partially recover from the recession. But the tax could be repealed this summer unless Gov. Kasich expands it to all managed-care organizations in Ohio.

Judge Michael Russo
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

Update:The state is planning to appeal the ruling striking down H.B. 180.

City leaders in Cleveland and Akron are praising a judge’s permanent injunction against the state law banning local hiring standards for publicly financed projects.

GREATER CLEVELAND REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY

A new study finds the jobs along Cleveland’s HealthLine corridor have nearly doubled since the state-of-the-art transit route was completed in 2008.   

photo of Thomas Malone
SUMMA HEALTH

Summa Health CEO Thomas Malone resigned today after a turbulent two years leading Summit County's largest employer.

S Max 3D printer
The ExOne Company

Additive manufacturing — commonly called 3D printing — is a fast-growing technology in northeast Ohio.  And Tuesday it got bigger, literally. 

“Sixteen tons and what you get?”  A 22-foot long high-tech machine that creates sophisticated sand-casting molds for complex metal parts.   

KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Northeast Ohio is experiencing a big jump in demand for industrial warehouse and distribution space. And the election of President Donald Trump could have something to do with that.        

Terry Coyne of commercial real estate brokerage firm, Newmark  Grubb Knight Frank, says last year developers built hundreds of thousands of square feet of manufacturing space, mostly without committed tenants.  He says clients usually request space nine to 12 months in advance. But that changed after the election.

Former General Motors Lordstown plant
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

GM's announcement this week that it's investing a billion dollars in its U.S. operations will have no direct effect on 1,200 people in Lordstown. They're the third shift at the GM plant and this week, they lose their jobs. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on the layoffs and what’s next for Lordstown.

GM Lordstown plant
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Editor's note: We'll have more coming on the Lordstown layoffs Thursday morning on WKSU.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The day of Donald Trump's inauguration is also the last day for the midnight shift at the General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. About 1,200 people will lose their jobs. Trump blames GM production in Mexico. As M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU reports, the reality and reaction in Lordstown is more complicated.

Picture of a dredging operation in Cleveland's shipping channel
PORT OF CLEVELAND

The Port of Cleveland is looking toward continued growth in 2017, after seeing a slight dip in cargo last year.

The Port says last year’s numbers are on-par with growth over the past several years, but showed a 1 percent drop due to a spike in tonnage in 2015. With the strong dollar cooling demand for goods from the U.S., shipments were down throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Evaluation of Cracker Project Nears an End

Jan 16, 2017
Ohio RIver near plant site
CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50015749 / Wikipedia

The decision on whether to build a multi-billion-dollar cracker plant in eastern Ohio is expected by the end of March and key environmental permits may already be in place.

School desks
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Farmers want the state to change the way their land is valued after their property taxes skyrocketed over the past few years. But that issue is pitting farmers against school districts.

The formula used to value farmland is raising property taxes by as much as 300 to 400%.

photo of Ohio corn field
DAN KONIK

Around the state of Ohio, farmers are seeing their property taxes soar because of the way their land value is calculated. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, the state’s two main farmer groups want lawmakers to change the formula.

The formula for determining property taxes on farmland is known as the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV). It’s been around for decades.

Pro Football Hall of Fame proposal / NFL Hall of Fame

The half-billion-dollar Pro Football Hall of Fame Village project in Canton is supposed to be done in 2019. WKSU’s Tim Rudell says that’s why Canton City Council wrapped up 2016 with tax legislation aimed at supporting the development.

photo of money
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

If you are thinking about joining a gym, returning an unwanted holiday gift or changing companies you do business with in this new year, Ohio’s Attorney General has some advice for you.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says if you join a gym, read the fine print. The contract generally shouldn’t last longer than three years and you’ll have three days to cancel if you want.

He says don’t wait to use gift cards. They can get lost, lose value and the business could close its doors before you use it.

photo of two $1 bills
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s minimum wage is set to increase on January 1st. 

A voter-approved constitutional amendment a few years ago means the required pay for most minimum wage workers will increase by five cents an hour - or about $2.00 for a 40-hour week. The increase is tied to inflation.

Ohio workers got a bigger increase in 2016 when the wage increased by 15 cents an hour.

photo of Monopoly house and coins
WKSU

A report from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows payday lenders in Ohio charge the highest interest rates in the U.S.

Interest rates for payday loans in Ohio are as high as 591 percent. That’s despite the 2008 Short-Term Lending Act, which limits interest rates to 28 percent.

Pew's Alex Horowitz is encouraging Ohio to follow other states that have taken action to curb predatory lending.

U.S. Census Figures Show a Wide Gap in Ohio Median Incomes

Dec 27, 2016
photo of money
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The latest Census figures show a wide gap in median family incomes in Ohio.

Overall, the numbers show median family incomes were highest in southern Ohio, in suburbs of Cincinnati and Columbus. New Albany made the top of the list, with a median family income of $221,148.

East Cleveland was at the bottom of the list, where the average family brought in $30,411. Even though Ohio’s median family income has risen 5 percent in the last three years, a third of Clevelanders still live in poverty.

The Economic Outlook for Northeast Ohio is Mostly Positive

Dec 27, 2016
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

Despite some potential soft spots, Northeast Ohio’s economy should see continued improvement in the new year.

Jacob Duritsky is vice president of strategy and research at Team NEO, the region’s economic development organization. He says in 2017, Northeast Ohio’s job growth should continue to follow the upward trend of the past three years. He says the health-care field will remain strong, but there is some concern about the important manufacturing sector.

photo of John Kasich and reporters
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s tax revenue has fallen short of official estimates. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, Gov. John Kasich is offering one possible solution.

Kasich says Ohio and about 20 other states are seeing a drop in spending, leading to less state revenue. And he says that means this budget will be tough. Kasich even hinted for the first time that the state might turn to its savings account.

Kent Scarrett
OHIO MUNICIPAL LEAGUE

A new report by the Ohio Municipal League calls for the state to restore local government funding,

The group wants the local funding to return to the rate it was at in 2007, when nearly 4 percent of general revenue was earmarked for local governments. This year, only 2 percent has been earmarked.

Kent Scarrett, who is the executive director of the league, says that the increased funding would help local governments with infrastructure issues.

photo of Ohio Statehouse
THE OHIO LEGISLATURE

Two think tanks that are normally on opposite sides are very pleased with a bill passed in the lame-duck legislature which would require a review of billions of dollars in tax breaks and loopholes. 

Greg Lawson with the conservative Buckeye Institute says he’s thrilled lawmakers passed the bill forcing them to study $8 billion in tax expenditures, credits and other breaks – though he says it’s not enough.

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