Business news

photo of Matt Peterson and Tim Ryan

A new lab at an energy incubator in downtown Warren is hoping to bring in startups and entrepreneurs from around the country.  The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (TBEIC) unveiled its new battery testing lab Thursday, which can simulate blackouts or test life expectancy of power sources.

Rick Stockburger, vice president of TBEIC, says they’ll be mentoring energy companies that deal with everything from the power grid to energy storage.

Ray Leach
Jeff St. Clair / WKSU

Since 2003, JumpStart has been working to grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio. Its mission is to promote economic transformation by unlocking entrepreneurs' full potential.

Jeff St. Clair sits down with Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart, to discuss entrepreneurism in Northeast Ohio.

Jeff St. Clair: What does Jumpstart do?

Photo of the Well in Akron, Ohio

Two non-profits are getting a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to complete Akron’s first shared kitchen and food incubator.

The Well Community Development Corporation and Asian Services in Action (ASIA) received $250,000.

It will provide a full kitchen for local small businesses, food trucks and caterers.

Michael Byun is the CEO for ASIA.

Your Voice Ohio

The collapse of traditional manufacturing has hit Trumbull County as hard as any place in Ohio. Drastic cuts at the GM plant in Lordstown have many trying to figure out if the economic pummeling will continue -- and if there are alternatives.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Help America's Economy Grow

Oct 15, 2018
Radhika Reddy

Immigrants make up about four percent of Ohio’s population, but contribute more than five percent of the state’s taxes and start businesses more than twice as frequently as native citizens. This motivation comes from the need many immigrants feel to not only survive, but to thrive. 

Radhika Reddy always wanted more. The Cleveland businesswoman was never really satisfied with the life India had to offer.

photo of financial stress map

The state auditor finds signs of fiscal stress continue for several cities his office first warned in December. The analysis indicates some of those cities, including Akron and Canton, could now be on the verge of a fiscal emergency.

Seven cities are under fiscal stress in Auditor Dave Yost’s financial health indicator report. They include Akron, Canton and one of the wealthiest communities in the state, Powell in Delaware County. Nine other cities are very close to being put in that category.

New Trade Deal Leaves Ohio Dairy Industry Hopeful

Oct 2, 2018

The new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada offered some rare good news for struggling domestic dairy farmers.

The deal would give U.S. farmers more access to the protected Canadian dairy market. The change is similar to a provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade pact canceled by the Trump administration, according to Ohio State University professor Ian Sheldon.

Bounce Innovation Hub Partners With MAGNET In Akron

Oct 1, 2018
Home of Akron Bounce

A new resource is starting in Akron to help entrepreneurs who are working to manufacture products.

Bounce Innovation Hub is partnering with the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, known as MAGNET, to start the Iterator.

It will coordinate Bounce’s innovation hub services with MAGNET’s product development skills.

MAGNET’s Brandon Cornuke says he’s confident this partnership will help Akron thrive with new jobs and new ideas.

photo of empty wallet

Ohio receives more than $727 million from the federal government each year that the state’s poorest families can use for things they need. But a new report shows a lot of that cash assistance isn’t making it to those families.

Senate hearing room
U.S. Senate website

Tight banking regulations that were imposed when the economy collapsed ten years ago are being relaxed.  The Senate Banking Committee has a hearing Tuesday to see how implementation is going for the latest rollback, in a bill passed last spring. 

President Donald Trump signed the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, & Consumer Protection Act” in May. It eases qualifications for loans and cuts paperwork.

Diebold Nixdorf's New CEO Looks to the Future

Sep 26, 2018
Headquarters building, Diebold Nixdorf

Northeast Ohio-based banking technology company Diebold Nixdorf will be cutting some jobs across its worldwide work force.  But its new CEO says that may not mean an overall reduction in the company’s employee headcount. 

Gerrard Schmid took over at financially ailing Diebold Nixdorf in February. He says a key factor in getting back on track is maximizing efficiency in serving customers.  

Atelier du Chanvre / Creative Commons

A hemp manufacturing facility is hiring for its opening in January in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland.

North Coast Natural Solutions will bring 650 jobs to the area. The company plans to manufacture hemp products, such as hempcrete, a lightweight and biodegradable version of concrete.

Hemp is the fiber and seed part of the Cannabis plant, but it is legal and does not make a user high. CBD oil is made from it, and plans call for a 300-bed CBD wellness center on the development.

The Conflict Between Old Jobs and New Tech and What it Means to Ohio's Economy

Sep 22, 2018
photo of Downtown Akron

The college-educated, and the not-college-educated: Two life tracks on a collision course?


The state’s jobless rate last month was unchanged from July.  But that’s mixed news to some who watch the economy.

Akron is Becoming a Go-To Place for eBay

Sep 21, 2018
Paul Gazeley, Dan Horrigan, Chris Librie

eBay is back in Akron.  In January the international web marketplace chose the Rubber City to roll out its “Retail Revival” internet-storefront training program.  Thursday the company returned to introduce a new service called eBay@Home.

Steelworkers are in contract negotiations with two of the country’s largest steel producers, United States Steel and ArcelorMittal. The old contract expired at the start of September, and the workers have authorized a strike against both companies. Workers say they’re not benefiting from the industry’s rising prices and profits, which were brought on partly from the Trump administration’s 25 percent tariffs on steel imports.


American manufacturing is at a crossroads:

Not only in terms of changing technology and increased competition, but whether workers are ready for the next industrial revolution.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair looks at how one Cleveland community is adapting to Industry 4.0.

The Republican gubernatorial ticket wants to bring together business and technology entrepreneurs to advise the state on creating high-tech jobs and improving state services. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, right now that won’t help more than a million people who don’t have high speed internet in their homes. One in 11 Ohioans have no access to reliable, affordable broadband, including a third of the state’s rural residents, but also thousands of people in the state’s biggest cities.

Ohio Lags Nation in Income Growth

Sep 14, 2018
Your Voice Ohio logo

As the rest of the nation celebrated in recent days that middle class income finally had recovered from the Great Recession, there was no cause to cheer in Ohio.

Recession after recession for generations, Ohio rebounded from hard times, but not anymore. Not only has the state failed to rebound from the Great Recession, we have yet to recover from the 2001 recession.


Japan and the United States have a long history of not only economic competition, but also cultural exchange. In the U.S., for instance, sushi and anime are popular. And the Japanese long ago adopted baseball and jazz. If that’s old news to you, here’s one America-to-Japan export that might surprise you: U.S. convenience stores.

This story is about one of those stores: an iconic Ohio chain that went extinct here decades ago, only to become one of the most ubiquitous convenience store brands in Japan.


Cleveland has the highest concentration of small manufacturers in Ohio.

Many of these companies have been making things the same way for generations.

In the first of a two-part Exploradio, we look at the way things have been made, and what companies need to change in order to survive.

We may be on the cusp of another industrial revolution, engineers call it Industry 4.0.

Industry 1.0 was the steam engine.   

Wisr staff

A Cleveland-based tech startup wants to make it easier for students to find jobs after they graduate. Wisr is an online networking site that facilitates communication in academic and professional university communities. It helps students and alumni connect with career professionals. John Knific co-founded Wisr in 2016.

American Forum / American Forum

Ohio has been gaining jobs over the last few years, and its unemployment rate hit its lowest level in 17 years a few months ago. But there are other numbers in the state’s economic overview that raise concerns for a progressive group that reviews the economy each year on Labor Day.  

Amy Hanauer with Policy Matters Ohio said the State of Working Ohio report shows workers are more productive and educated, but there are still pay gaps between men and women and whites and African Americans and little wage growth. 

MAGNET Supports Akron Manufacturing With New Office

Aug 31, 2018
Darlyn McDermott
Jeff St. Clair / WKSU

Local manufacturers have easier access to a company that wants to help them grow.

Cleveland-based Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, known as MAGNET, has opened a storefront location in downtown Akron. It’s the company’s first satellite office.

MAGNET offers engineering and consulting to startups and established businesses in 18 Northeast Ohio counties.

Diebold Nixdorf HQ

Diebold, now Diebold Nixdorf, has been a major name in Northeast Ohio business for a century and a half.  But the company is reeling from recent financial problems and is trying to find a way to keep going. 

Diebold Nixdorf saw its stock fall 40 percent in two days this month after announcing a second straight quarter of big, unexpected losses. Business media speculated that the ATM and Software Company was looking for a buyer.