Economy

Business news

photo of Cleveland Hopkins Airport
NICK CASTELE / WCPN

Renovations at Cleveland Hopkins airport continue with the closure of a security checkpoint. But a top city official says construction should wrap up by the end of May, more than a month before the Republican National Convention.

Next Tuesday, the airport will close screening checkpoint B. It’s currently slated for TSA pre-check passengers. They’ll now be re-routed to the other two screening areas.

photo of Macy's Chapel Hill
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Chapel Hill Mall in Akron continues to lose tenants, but one of its three anchors may not be empty for long.

Several stores – including Old Navy -- have left the mall since January. The FYE music and video store closes today, and Macy’s closed on Saturday.

Crystal Davis from Akron was at Macy’s on its final day, and sees parallels with the shuttered Rolling Acres Mall.

TourismOhio logo
TOURISMOHIO

 There’s a new multi-million dollar marketing campaign meant to increase tourism in the Buckeye State. 

“Find It Here."

That’s the new campaign slogan TourismOhio will be using to try to convince people to visit the state’s parks and lakes, historic monuments, landmarks and cities. Marie Cusick, chief of TourismOhio, says money from the state’s sales tax is being used to develop and market the state to Ohioans and to people in neighboring states.

St. Lawrence Seaway Opens for Shipping Early

Mar 21, 2016
Picture of the Port of Cleveland
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

The St. Lawrence Seaway opened today, kicking off its 58th season of shipping on the Great Lakes. Because of the lack of ice this past winter, the event is two weeks earlier than usual. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on the early opening’s impact on Cleveland’s shipping industry.

photo of record
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

Companies in Cuyahoga County have until Friday to apply for the chance to get some free help from NASA.

Midstream Investment Continues in the Utica

Mar 14, 2016
Typical pipeline construction
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Despite the stall in the Utica Shale boom, the nation’s biggest pipeline company is set to begin construction on a half-a-billion dollar transmission system across northern Ohio. 

Kinder Morgan’s ‘Utopia East’ pipeline would be for ethane, a secondary product of natural gas drilling vital to chemical plants. The 12- inch line is planned to run from Harrison County to a system near Toledo; that would send the ethane on to Canada.  

    

Picture of Parker Hannifin's exoskeleton
PARKER HANNIFIN

People in the United States with spinal cord injuries now have access to a device to help them stand and walk. The FDA has approved the sale and marketing of Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin’s robotic exoskeleton.

Photo of Huntington Bank logo
HUNTINGTON BANK

Huntington Bank announced today that it will close a combined 107 Huntington and FirstMerit locations. About 20 of those are in the greater Akron area.

The announcement comes as Huntington officially files its FirstMerit merger plans with the federal government.

Huntington spokesman Brent Wilder says customers can expect closures at the beginning of next year.

photo of Nick Christlieb
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

A Northeast Ohio manufacturer is being hailed as a model for industrial jobs in the region. Iron Horse Engineering hosted representatives from the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network – or MAGNET -- for a tour of its facility in Parkman. The company makes items such as plastic railroad ties and rubber rail boots to isolate vibration between trains and the surrounding concrete at railroad crossings.

Wedding Venue at Atwood Lake Resort
visitcarrollcounty.com

Clarification: The county has not plans to reopen the lodge but says it will look for a new operator and at other options.

March 19th is the last day for Atwood Lodge.  The company that has been running it since 2012 says the lodge and golf complex is losing too much money too quickly to keep it open. 

Atwood Lake Resort was struggling four years ago when Carroll County accepted it as a donation from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. 

Looking For Business In Post-Embargo Cuba

Mar 9, 2016

A delegation from northeast Ohio is back from a visit to Cuba.  And the members say it was a worthwhile trip. 

They didn’t bring back any deals, but the small group, which included business and government leaders from the Mahoning Valley and international business consultants from Columbus, believes it met the right people and got what it needed for the future. 

Hoover plant
M.L. Schultze / WKSU

A years-long court battle over health benefits for retirees of the former Hoover Co. of North Canton may be coming to an end.  

In 2011, five years after buyingt the remnants of the Hoover Co., Whirlpool Corp. halted full medical benefits for Hoover retirees. Suits were filed, and in 2014, U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson said Whirlpool couldn’t do that.

But, two questions remained: Even if it can’t eliminate the benefits, could Whirlpool modify them; and, if so, how much?

photo of Russo brothers
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Correction: A previous version of this story indicated that California's lottery system has driven film production to other states; however, the film tax credit lottery ended in 2015.  

An increasing number of films are being shot in Northeast Ohio, but local film industry advocates say the state needs to expand its tax credit program or risk losing future productions and the economic benefits that come with them.

Photo of Goodyear's IntelliGrip concept tire
GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY

Akron-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is looking to the future with the development of concept tires for self-driving cars.

The tire maker unveiled its new concepts Tuesday at the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland.

The tires feature connectivity, adjust to weather and adapt to changing road conditions.

Spokesman Keith Price says reduced driver interaction in the future will call for smarter tires that can react quickly.

Picture of Rick Calabrese at his West Side Market stand
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Cleveland’s West Side Market will now be open on Sundays for the first time in its more than 100 year history.  Starting in April the historic  city-owned market will be in business from noon to 6:00. City officials say the move will make it more competitive and allow it to reach a broader clientele. But some vendors have mixed feelings about the change.

photo of CAK
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The Akron-Canton Airport has unveiled a 20-year, $240 million master plan. Improvements will include an expanded ticketing area and parking, plus a redesign of the main driveway to better accommodate passenger and commercial traffic.

Airport CEO Richard McQueen says the most visible interior change will be five new gates, replacing ones that opened in 1962.

photo of Jack casinos
ROCK GAMING

The Horseshoe Casinos in Ohio and other former Caesar's Entertainment properties are getting new names.

After buying the venues, Rock Gaming now has changed its name, according to Matt Cullen.  He's the CEO of the new “Jack Entertainment.

“Obviously, the Jack is associated with a deck of cards, and it’s just sort of a fun and mischievous attitude that we think will add a little bit of approachability and fun to the gaming customer.”

photo of Youngstown
WKSU

Late last week, the City of Youngstown approved a study of blighted and abandoned properties. As WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, one neighborhood group is already compiling data on the city’s vacant homes.

By the end of this month, the Youngstown Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation should complete its count of abandoned properties in the city. Executive Director Ian Beniston says the goal is different from the city’s survey of blighted properties.

U.S. Tire Industry Growth is Good News for Akron

Feb 19, 2016
WKSU

For the first time in several years, U.S. tire industry output grew. A Rubber Manufacturers Association report says production in 2015 of passenger, light truck and medium truck and bus tires rose nearly 8 percent. Reasons for the growth include low fuel prices and rising auto and truck sales. Rick Rebadow of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce says the U.S. tire industry’s growth bodes well for the city.

photo of Tom Lekan
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Akron businesses are gearing up for an influx of visitors this summer as Cleveland hosts the Republican National Convention.

The RNC will be based at The Q, but Akron business leaders expect that convention-goers will want to see more than just downtown Cleveland.

Bars and restaurants in Summit County have until next month to apply for expanded liquor licenses during the RNC, which would allow alcohol to be served until 4 a.m. Security consultant Tom Lekan says mixing drinks and lots of people will create a lot of extra work.

Study Reveals Struggles and Hope for Akron

Feb 17, 2016
GREATER OHIO POLICY CENTER

    The City of Akron’s economic health is not the best, and it is declining.  So says a new report by the Greater Ohio Policy Center

The statewide non-partisan non-profit did a study comparing Akron and five similar-size cities.  And it found Akron is falling behind in categories like neighborhood poverty levels, educational attainment of residents and attracting new residents.

Tri-C hospitality
ZACHARY DUVALL / WKSU

  Cuyahoga Community College is interviewing people this Friday for a free five-week hospitality "boot-camp" ahead of this summer's Republican National Convention.

The courses start March 19 and are designed to train workers for restaurant and hotel jobs.

3-D printing equipment
By Bart Dring / Wikipedia

Northeast Ohio has been known for generations for its precision machinery and tool & die manufacturing.  Now, there is an effort underway to enhance that standing with 3-D printing technology. 

Youngstown’s Business Incubator, the 3-D printing booster-organization, America Makes, and Youngstown State University, are working together to provide education and implementation assistance for companies that want to get into additive manufacturing --as 3-D printing is commonly called. 

49-person jets
ADI

The specialty airline that wants to return regularly scheduled passenger service to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is shooting for a Spring start. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports. 

Aerodynamics Inc. wants to offer four round-trip flights daily from Youngstown to Chicago. 

There’s been no regular passenger service from the airport in Vienna Township since 2002.

Last month the U.S. Department of Transportation gave ADI a conditional “go-ahead.”  And airline Vice President Mickey Bowman says the conditions can be met in time for a May 1st service launch. 

Federal indictments were unsealed today against the former president of Jimmy Haslam’s trucking company and seven other former executives and managers of Pilot Flying J.

But no where does the indictment list the Browns owner himself -- not even in a section on unindicted coconspirators.

The indictments say ex-President Mark Hazelwood and the others OK’d an expanded program to defraud small trucking companies who had been promised rebates as part of their fuel contracts. It says the fraud continued for five years.

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