Economy

Business news

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

A Cleveland manufacturer says the tariffs imposed against imported steel are making it harder to do business in the U.S. It's hoping for a quick resolution of trade disputes with suppliers.

Dan Collins is VP of sales and marketing at Wire Products Company in Cleveland.

His two west-side plants convert coils of steel wire into latches, springs, hooks, and clips for everything from lawn mowers to jet airplanes.

Collins says, after years of steady pricing, the industry is in upheaval.

photo of Columbus
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Ohio business leaders met with Chinese officials Wednesday for a business and policy luncheon.

The Greater Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce and JobsOhio organized the luncheon to discuss the business relationship between the U.S. and China.

Acting Consul General in New York from China, Yumin Zhao, said they're focused on collaboration in light of the escalating trade war with the U.S.

Dan Konik / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A lawmaker wants to stop companies and organizations from using taxpayer money to fund non-disclosure agreements.

The issue came up recently with the now-closed online charter school, ECOT, which required severance packages to include these agreements. 

Records show that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow spent more than $500,000 on severance packages with non-disclosure agreements attached.

ECOT was accused of fabricating student attendance data in order to get millions of state dollars.

photo of help wanted sign
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s jobless rate was up a little bit last month. But there’s good news in the new report too.

Ohio’s unemployment rate in July inched up slightly from 4.5 percent in June to 4.6 percent in July. And that puts the state’s jobless rate at one-half a point higher than the national unemployment rate. 

But that being said, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said the state actually gained 7,600 jobs in July in manufacturing, construction, educational and health services, and in leisure and hospitality.  

Niraj Antani
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A Republican state lawmaker who backed a failed attempt to overturn a county tax levy wants to make it tougher for counties to raise taxes.

Opponents of a sales tax increase on Montgomery County tried and failed to take a repeal to the ballot. So Rep. Niraj Antani said he’s proposing a bill requiring county commissioners get voter approval to raise taxes in the first place.

He said he's against all tax increases, and the measure is about "empowering people" to exercise their will.

Timken Steel, Canton Ohio
M.L. Schultze / WKSU

Northeast Ohio is second among the nation’s largest metro areas in the percentage of its workforce employed in headquarters jobs. That’s according to an economic development organization focused on job creation in the region.

The Team NEO report shows 187,000 people in Northeast Ohio working at business headquarters or for related professional services. The number has increased by 25,000 people in the past decade and a half. 

photo of money
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

When state agencies collect fines and penalties, they often keep that money in their own coffers. A new bill at the Statehouse would change that.

The bill would require state agencies to deposit all fines, penalties and late fees into the state’s general operating fund instead of directing those dollars into their own coffers.

The sponsor of the bill said agencies that depend on those dollars for operation would have a method of being able to get them back, if the money is proven to be necessary. 

photo of Ohio Statehouse
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

County commissioners are firing back at a proposal coming next week from a Republican state lawmaker that would restrict their legal power to raise county sales taxes.

Republican Rep. Niraj Antani’s bill would require commissioners to put a county sales tax increase before voters, as schools and municipalities do, and only in a primary or general election of an even numbered year. 

photof of Incoming and outgoing CEOs Camacho and McQueen
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

This week Akron-Canton Airport’s long-time CEO introduced the person who will succeed him when he retires. Rick McQueen and Ren Camacho sat down together and talked about what northeast Ohio's second largest full-service airport has been, and what it can become.

Akron Canton Airport interior
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

This week the Akron-Canton Airport introduced a new CEO and announced the groundbreaking for a $32 million expansion. The construction for the project is to begin Aug. 28.  

Renato “Ren” Camacho will take over for retiring Akron-Canton CEO Richard McQueen in October.

He said the construction for the airport's expansion is a concourse upgrade and another step in an ongoing master plan to make the Akron-Canton Airport stronger in key operating areas. 

Akron Executive Airport
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The Ohio Aviation Association wants the state to help the economic future of Ohio’s airports. It is presenting government and business leaders with a five-point action plan. The organization’s executive director talked Tuesday about item No. 2 on the list.

Stacy Heaton said it is urgent that the state help bring aviation training schools together with airports. 

She said that can help stem a decades-long loss of interest in becoming a pilot or aviation mechanic that now has too few young people coming into the field.

Entrance lanes to Akron-Canton Airport
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Cleveland Hopkins, Akron-Canton and all of Ohio’s commercial airports are at a disadvantage in attracting new airline services. That’s according to the Ohio Aviation Association, which wants the state of Ohio to help change things. 

SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The state is off to a better than expected fiscal year with revenues coming in slightly higher than estimates. The new fiscal year is seeing the continuation of at least one downward trending revenue source.

The revenue from personal income tax came in about $5 million short, or 0.8 percent of estimates, according to a preliminary report from the Office of Budget and Management

Director Tim Keen said, especially given this is the first report of the new fiscal year, that dip doesn’t cause a lot of concern yet.

Fulton Airport building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan spoke at a news conference Friday about plans to transform the old Fulton Municipal Airport into an economic development driver.  

Horrigan wants the airport to be a location magnet for businesses that need frequent and flexible air travel. He said they will bring jobs, and word of their moving here will stimulate more development. 

Summit County Food Coalition / Facebook

The Summit Food Coalition released its new food guide to increase access to locally grown food.

The Local Food Advocacy Day on Tuesday highlighted local farms, farmers markets and other local food sources.

Beth Knorr, director of the Summit Food Coalition, said the guide makes it easier to support these businesses.

Interior of the type of distribution centr to be built
HomeGoods website

Lordstown residents hoping to block the TJX/HomeGoods distribution center project in their community have submitted enough signatures to force a vote on the issue in a special election. 

Over 1,100 signatures on seven petitions were turned in to the Trumbull County Board of Elections. Elections director Stephanie Penrose says 868 of those needed to be ruled valid to get the anti-TJX measure on the ballot. 

3-D to printer
America Makes website

To break the cycle of lagging behind the rest of the country in economic development, Ohio needs to do more with homegrown innovations. That’s the recommendation a major new study.  

The research, funded by the nonprofit Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation, says the state has as much innovation as other states.  But Foundation board member Elliot Reed said unlike most of them, Ohio hasn’t had a tradition of pushing out knowledge of the breakthroughs to different sectors of business.

photo of help wanted sign
SHUTTERSTOCK

Ohio’s unemployment rate was up last month. It was 4.5 percent in June, compared with 4.3 percent in May, which was at the lowest level since July 2001. But the number of employed Ohioans increased a bit, too.

An economist with the Buckeye Institute, Andrew Kidd, said the slightly higher number of unemployed Ohioans doesn’t tell the whole story.

Carvana building
Business Wire

A new car vending machine is opening in the Cleveland suburb of Warrensville Heights. The eight-story Carvana facility, which is the company's first in Ohio and 13th nationwide, automatically delivers a car to a buyer using a different technique than traditional car dealers. Spokeswoman Amy O’Hara said customers select a car online, pay for it, and then pick it up at the facility. 

Mike Karitakis
https://www.bouncehub.org/

Akron’s Bounce Innovation Hub is partnering with a medical entrepreneurship firm to advance business creation in the region.

Bounce is collaborating with BioEnterprise, of Cleveland, to help launch startups and promote biomedical innovation in Akron.

Mike Haritakis has been named the biomedical entrepreneur-in-residence for both companies. He said Bounce surveyed Akron and the surrounding area and found that healthcare is one of its major assets.

Distribution Center, Brownsburg, IN
HomeGoods / TJX website

With the promise of creating 1,000 jobs, the TJX Companies, the parent to retailers T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods, wants to put a distribution center in Lordstown.  But some residents near where the 1.5 million-square-foot facility would be built have been trying to block it. 

Hardin County Ohio farm
Ohio Farm Bureau website

The timing of Gov. John Kaisch’s executive order for more urgent protection of Lake Erie from agricultural runoff may be especially bad for Ohio farmers. 

Though there’s progress reported in reducing the flow of algae-feeding farm chemicals into Lake Erie, Gov. John Kasich decided it’s not enough and not fast enough.

photo of rainy day fund presentation
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state has deposited more than $650 million into the rainy day fund. Despite being a large pot of money, Gov. John Kasich is warning state leaders to leave it alone.

Focusing on adding money to the budget stabilization fund, also known as the rainy day fund, has been a priority for Kasich since taking office. Now the state has slightly less than $2.7 billion in its reserve.

Kasich urges that this money is only to help cushion the fall from an economic downturn.

photo of Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

On Friday, Ohio’s two U.S. senators will hear from workers, retirees and employers whose pension plans are facing a financial crisis.

A joint House and Senate committee is trying to figure out how to rescue plans that benefit Teamsters, miners, carpenters and other union workers. The pensions took financial hits during the recession and have big liabilities coming due as people retire.

Group photo
Jeff St. Clair / WKSU

For some business owners in Northeast Ohio, making a profit isn’t enough. They feel they need to give back to the community as well. That's the focus of this week's Exploradio.

Todd Goldstein was 25 when the Great Recession hit.

"Everyone remembers 2008, right? The lines of people getting laid off, these executives getting parachutes with lots of money," he says. "I think people really said, enough’s enough."

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