Economy

Business news

Goodyear's iconic blimp
WKSU

Goodyear expects its income to continue to grow by 10 to 15 percent this year as it deconsolidates its subsidiary in economically-troubled Venezuela and consolidates its North and South American divisions.

During its annual earnings call with analysts, Goodyear was asked about the attempt by the United Steelworkers to try to raise tariffs on imports of heavy truck tires – similar to the ones it got on passenger tires imported from China last year.

Rolled steel
WKSU

  The Columbus and Cincinnati areas have already recovered the jobs lost during the recession, however Greater Cleveland still hasn’t bounced back. A recent U.S. Conference of Mayors’ report say the region’s heavier reliance on manufacturing is a big reason. But one economist says there is another factor. 

PNC Bank economist Mekael Teshome says Cleveland-area manufacturing jobs are slowly returning, but that recovery is on two tracks.

Alliance for Energy Choice
Alliance for Energy Choice

  Opponents of the so-called coal plant bailout proposed by two electric utilities are taking a big swing at the plan through a media blitz. 

“You want us to pay for what? This is crazy!”

So begins the ad by a  group of energy producers, known as the Alliance for Energy Choice, who are taking their fight against a price guarantee for AEP and FirstEnergy to the airwaves with radio and TV ads.

“They want a handout and they want you to hand it to them.”

Wooster is Optimistic About the Akron Brass Sale

Feb 6, 2016
Akron Brass nozzle
Akron Brass Company website

Another of those special companies in northeast Ohio that has long been a world leader in making an important precision product has been sold.  But WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports that may not be a bad thing.  

Akron Brass began in 1918 in Akron, later moving to Wooster. Its precision fittings for everything from fire hoses to marine equipment are considered top of the line. 

Since the 1990s it has been owned by a British company, though it remained in Wooster. 

Ohio is joining 47 other states in a nearly half-billion-dollar settlement with mortgage lender and servicer HSBC. 

The settlement will pay cash out to nearly 20,000 borrowers who the states say were victims of mortgage-servicing abuses and loan modifications by HSBC. Dan Tierney with the Ohio Attorney General’s office says a $59 million fund has been created with this settlement.

“There will be relief for these borrowers, about 1,574 in Ohio: refinancing, principal reductions, somebody’s lost their home to foreclosure, they will be eligible for cash payments.”

Port of Cleveland
BRIAN BULL / WCPN

Nearly two years after starting out as a pilot program, the Cleveland-Europe Express plans to add Asia to its route.

The two ships that travel between Cleveland and Antwerp, Belgium, will also stop in India. It’s not clear yet what Northeast Ohio goods will be traveling to Asia. Jade Davis with the Port of Cleveland says he’s received inquiries from regional companies but declined to name the businesses.

Richard Parsons
Richard Parsons / Linkedin

A national banking analyst with ties to Northeast Ohio, says the merger of regional powerhouses Huntington Bank and FirstMerit is catching industry-wide attention.  

Rick Parsons grew up in Avon Lake before 30-plus years in banking that took him to an executive vice 

Map
U.S. SENATE MAPS

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is trying to spread the word about tax credits for low-income Americans. 

IRS records show that 27 million people claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit last year. Close to one million of them were in Ohio, where households got an average of $2,400 each. The credit typically is available to taxpayers making less than about $53,000 a year. But Sen. Brown says one in five eligible taxpayers fails to claim the credit, and free help is available.

Ben Johnson
LinkedIn

  The state's unemployment rate ticked up slightly last month to 4.7 percent. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles has details.

Ben Johnson with the Department of Job and Family Services says the increase in the jobless rate is not because of massive job losses. He says 16,000 Ohioans started looking for work in December but only 2,000 of those found work.

“When the labor force is growing, the unemployment rate can temporarily increase and it’s actually good news, not bad news, because growth in the labor force is something we want to see.”

Snowstorm Impact on Northeast Ohio Air Travel

Jan 22, 2016
photo of Akron-Canton tower
KEN LUND / FLICKR

Thousands of flights are being cancelled nationwide due to the major snow storm hitting the east coast. Akron/Canton Airport CEO Rick McQueen says United Airlines flights to Newark are canceled, and all American Airlines flights to Charlotte, Washington D.C. and New York City are also halted.  He says over the last several years the airlines have been more proactive in cancelling flights in advance of big storms.

Hildebrandt building
VIVIAN GOODMAN / WKSU

A father-daughter team in Cleveland has launched a business to preserve good food that grows nearby. They say they make fermented food because it’s healthy for consumers and helps local farmers. But they also hope to spur the local economy. 

Wake Robin Fermented Foods operates in the centuries-old Hildebrandt Building not far from 

the  West Side Market.

It’s re-purposed factory space that’s become a hub for artists as well as food entrepreneurs like Pat Murray.

photo of a Pipeline link
FERC

A Massillon company is getting international attention for developing a new way to protect natural gas pipelines and offshore drilling rigs from corrosion -- at a molecular level.  

They’re using carbon nanotubes. 

Energy infrastructure tends to be continuously exposed to the elements, making corrosion a constant challenge along with the potential for leaks, spills and worse.

KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

 Ohio's U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says progress is being made on Lake Erie issues like algae blooms and Asian carp, but there’s still work to be done.  Portman spoke today at the annual meeting of the Lake Erie Marine Trade Association. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports.

Photo of a FirstEnergy coal power plant
FIRST ENERGY / WIKIPEDIA

Utilities FirstEnergy and AEP want state regulators to approve plans that allow them to hike their customers’ bills to ensure energy production and guarantee income for their struggling coal plants.

But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, a new energy player wants to crash the party.

 

slicing dried pulp
VIVIAN GOODMAN / WKSU

Evan Delahanty says making fruit leather with acai pulp from the Amazon combined with fruits grown in the Akron area is a relatively simple process.

“We just mix them together and then we pour it onto a tray and put it in the dehydrator. And then when you pull it out, it looks like this. I have had some people compare it to roof tar when they see it for the first time.” 

With what looks like a pizza slicer, the dried pulp is cut into strips for packaging.

Delahanty's father Michael, a retired Akron doctor, watches the process with a big smile on his face.

The Cleveland Browns Have Another New Head Coach

Jan 13, 2016
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Ten days after firing head coach Mike Pettine, the Cleveland Browns have hired his replacement. Yesterday the team announced Hue Jackson, who was with the Cincinnati Bengals this past season as offensive coordinator, will be the Brown’s eighth head coach since 1999.                                                                

As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, Jackson says Brown’s owner Jimmy Haslam made him feel comfortable, despite the team’s reputation for not keeping coaches for long.

Hopkins
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Airfares at Cleveland Hopkins airport dropped about 20 percent last spring compared to 2014, and that could stem from United’s closure of its Cleveland hub. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.

 

Macys
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Clearance sales at the Macy’s at Chapel Hill Mall in Akron begin Monday. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, the vacancy it will leave behind, along with other store closings, has some people concerned about the future.

Macy’s announced last week it is closing 36 stores nationwide. That’s about five percent of its stores, and the location at Chapel Hill is among the bottom five percent of Macy’s, sales-wise. The mall itself entered receivership in 2014.

Audio-Technica
Audio-Technica

  The Consumer Electronics Show is happening now in Las Vegas, and as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, one Northeast Ohio company is there promoting their vision of a wireless future.

Cleveland Browns' Losses Cut Into Hotel Stays

Jan 6, 2016

The Cleveland Browns failings on the field this season were felt by hotels in the city.  WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, fewer fans spent the night in town for home games than in previous years.

tax form
FLICKR

  The national Better Business Bureau released the top 10 reported scams of 2015, and tax-related fraud tops the list. Ohio Public Radio’s Andy Chow reports.

Nearly one-in-four scams reported to the Better Business Bureau were tax-related. The BBB says imposters would call people, pretend to be with the IRS, and tell the victims they would be thrown in jail if they didn’t pay them.

The Intersection of Healthcare and Innovation

Dec 29, 2015
CLEVELAND HEARTLAB

 During the last decade, Northeast Ohio’s stature as a bio-medical innovation and production hub has grown to rival Minneapolis, the historic Midwest frontrunner. As part of our series, “The Business of Health,” WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier looks at what’s fueling the rising economic role of the region’s bio-medical industry.

After searching the country for a place to start a business, in 2009  Jake Orville chose Northeast Ohio.

Northeast Ohio Home Sales are up in 2015

Dec 27, 2015
For sale sign
WKSU

Northeast Ohio home sales are up about 14 percent from the same time last year. That’s according to the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service, which lists properties for 18 counties. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports.

Carl DeMusz of the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service says in recent years the region has seen a slow but steady home-sales increase.  But in the last year he says the number of homes on the market has increased considerably.

FirstEnergy protest
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

About 20 protestors showed up at FirstEnergy headquarters in Akron today to send a holiday message to CEO Charles Jones. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.

FirstEnergy is asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for a new rate plan that would subsidize its Sammis coal plant near Steubenville and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant.

But the protestors gathered by the Ohio Organizing Collaborative say that’s a bad deal for consumers. They made the point by bringing FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones a stocking filled not with coal, but with LED bulbs.

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