Business news

The New Hilton Will Open in Downtown Cleveland Wednesday

May 30, 2016
Picture of the Hilton Cleveland Downtown

The new Hilton Cleveland Downtown is scheduled to open Wednesday.  The 32-story, county-owned hotel is next to the convention center and was planned as an important part of the city’s growing tourist and convention business.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Village Hotel Concept
Professional Football Hall of Fame

Work on another part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton is about to get underway.  The design of the four-star hotel and conference center was made public today, along with the announcement that construction will start in September. 

Closed Area Cleveland Hopikins
Kevin Niedermier / WKSU

Flying in America changed after airline deregulation in 1978.  It evolved toward dominance by big carriers along a path of consolidation and centralization of services.  Now, there are handful of national ‘hub’ airports through which most passengers are routed for cost efficiency.  And none of the major airports in our region is among them.

Part 4 of our series "Grounded," looks at where we go from here with air travel in and out of northeast Ohio.

Our big airports have been de-hubbed.

The FirstMerit building in Akron

Huntington Bank will pump more than $16 billion into communities impacted by its purchase of FirstMerit. The merger will result in the closing of more than 100 branches, mostly in Ohio and Michigan. Nearly half of the closings will be in the Cleveland, Akron and Canton areas.WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier has more on the bank’s community investment plan.


Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said Brown estimated the value of the changes at $12 million. It should have read $12 billion.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Columbus Wednesday to make an official announcement about new labor rules that are surprising the country. 

The downtown Columbus headquarters for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was packed as Vice President Joe Biden announced new rules that extend the eligibility for workers to get paid overtime.

photo of Dr. Sara Laskey

Cleveland's MetroHealth hospital system has been chosen to test new, easier-to-read medical bills.

The Department of Health and Human Services contest is called "A Bill You Can Understand," and it aims to give patients medical invoices with fewer codes and confusing jargon. Anyone can submit a design until Aug. 10, and then MetroHealth and five other hospital systems around the country will test the winning entries this fall.

Policy Matters Ohio logo

State lawmakers are looking over a bill that would more than triple the tax credits offered to movie makers who film in Ohio. But critics on the left and the right are saying the program should be cut.

photo of CAK gates

Akron-Canton Airport has seen increasing air traffic since the mid-1990s.  But in the past two years, it’s faced new challenges with one airline cutting service, and others shifting some flights to Cleveland Hopkins Airport to fill the void left when United Airlines closed its hub.  In the third part in our series, Grounded, WKSU's Kabir Bhatia takes a look at how Akron-Canton actually has plans to expand and thrive over the next 20 years.

Downtown Cleveland's Recession Recovery Is Spotty

May 13, 2016
Picture of downtown Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland is rebounding from the recession, but there is still much work to do according to a new study. The report by Cleveland State University shows more people are living downtown, but there are fewer jobs in the central city than there were before the recession.

photo of blocked off entrance to concourse D

Concourse “D” at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has sat empty since May of 2014 when United Airlines shut-down its hub. Since then, predictions that the de-hubbing would deal a devastating blow to the region have not come true. In part two of our series, Grounded, WKSU's Kevin Niedermier takes a look at the positive and negative changes that have materialized. 

Nighttime photo of the Nautica Entertainment Complex

Jacobs Investment Inc. has announced plans to invest $405 million into the Nautica Entertainment Complex in the Flats.

The announcement includes plans for a mixed-use development that features living, working and entertainment options. The redeveloped space will be known as the Nautica Waterfront District.

Northeast Ohioan's Attitudes on Cleveland's RNC Changing

May 6, 2016
Cleveland RNC logo

More Northeast Ohioans believe this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland will have a long-term positive impact on the city. But at the same time fewer of them are excited about the event.  Those are the findings of a second Baldwin Wallace University survey on the RNC.

The 90-year-old Goodyear Theater has reopened as a new concert venue
Amanda Rabinowitz / WKSU

The mostly-abandoned site of the former Goodyear Tire & Rubber headquarters on Akron’s east side is starting to come back to life.

Last weekend, a new concert venue opened in the 90-year-old Goodyear Theater with two sold-out concerts featuring rock acts The Smashing Pumpkins and Gavin DeGraw. Developer Stu Lichter says it’s just the beginning. His California company, Industrial Realty Group, is behind that and about a half dozen other major revitalization projects at old factories in Northeast Ohio.

Greg Courtney
Tim Rudell / WKSU

A fledging eco-tech company in eastern Stark County may be getting some big national business. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on the unlikely emergence of Alliance-based Wind Turbines of Ohio.

“Green Lab,” is a technology for integrating control of the utilities of institutional buildings, including incorporating renewable energy from on-site wind and solar generators

Cockpit of jet airliner during servicing
Tim Rudell / WKSU

In 2014 United Airlines said it was shutting down its hub at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.  This came after the U.S. Airways hub closing in Pittsburgh and Delta drastically scaling back operations at its Cincinnati hub. In the first part of our series "Grounded," WKSU’s Tim Rudell looks at what dehubbing is and what the downgrade means to northeast Ohio.

Dehubbing is the back-side of hub-and-spoke, a business model widely adopted by major air carriers following federal deregulation of the airline industry in 1978.

USW logo

After nearly a year of negotiations, the United Steelworkers have a tentative agreement on a new contract with Arcelor-Mittal. The steel-maker has 15 plants across the U.S including facilities in Cleveland and Warren.

photo of CVNP area

A new study shows that the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is pumping about $200 million into Northeast Ohio's economy.

The National Park Service report says close to 2.3 million visitors spent money in the communities near the park, which span about 33,000 acres in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties.

photo of Chevy Cruze

The recent earthquake in Japan is having an effect on auto production worldwide, including GM’s plant in Lordstown.

The Lordstown plant just received a $50 million makeover to start production of the third-generation Chevy Cruze. Now, GM is suspending production for at least two weeks due to a disruption in the parts supply chain.

Spokesman Tom Mock says the company is eager to get the plant moving again.

About 300 representatives of businesses owned by minorities, women and the disabled, as well as those located in economically depressed areas will be in Columbus today to try to connect with state officials. Those officials represent agencies that are required to set aside 15% of their budgets to work with businesses in those categories.

photo of Rubber Bowl

City leaders in Akron say the Rubber Bowl, unused since 2008, should be razed. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on why the 76-year-old arena may soon meet the wrecking ball.

The Rubber Bowl was home to the University of Akron Zips from 1940 until they moved to InfoCision Stadium in 2008. City Councilman Bob Hoch, whose district includes the Rubber Bowl, says the city should have bought the facility then for a dollar. Instead, Canton-based Team 1 Marketing eventually bought the Rubber Bowl, and now owes $84,000 in back taxes.

Ohio's Senators Want More Action on Steel Trade

Apr 12, 2016
Picture of Sen. Sherrod Brown
U.S. Senate

Ohio’s U.S. sSenators testified in Washington today on the need for stricter enforcement of trade rules to protect America’s steel industry. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown spoke at a U.S. International Trade Commission hearing on the global steel industry. 

Cleveland International Film Festival logo

Next year’s Cleveland International Film Festival will again be held at downtown’s Tower City Cinemas. There was some concern that the 2017 event would have to be moved elsewhere because the building the theaters are located in has a new owner. Cleveland Casino owner Dan Gilbert’s company recently bought the building, but it’s announced the festival will stay. Joe Marinucci is president of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

photo of Microbusiness Center

Entrepreneurs in Akron now have a new space downtown from which to launch a new business.

The Akron-Summit County Public Library is now home to the Microbusiness Center, a shared work space that can be used for free and includes office equipment and Wi-Fi.

Funded by a $190,000 Knight Foundation grant, the center is in the first-floor space in the Main Library previously used by the Library Shop, which has moved to the second floor.

When a business is hit by disaster—whether natural, like a storm, or man-made, like a cyber-attack—its survival can depend on how well it retrieves lost financial data and restores vital communications. And, there is now a program in the Youngstown area to help plan for such recovery. 

The Better Business Bureau of Mahoning Valley,  and a Warren-based tech support company called Micro-Doctor are teaming up for a seminar on how to protect and restore vital business information.

Jason Stechshulte
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Even as the bang continues fading in the oil & gas drilling boom, one big energy player keeps investing in eastern Ohio.  

While low energy prices have stifled drilling, work is underway on transmission links between Ohio’s Utica shale wells and processing plants across the Midwest.  

Jason Stechshulte is a Senior Engineer for Findlay-based Marathon Petroleum. He says the company is pursuing a long-term strategy to take advantage of massive reserves in its own back yard.