Business news

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.

photo of Cleveland Hopkins Airport

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

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

 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

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

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

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 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

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

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.