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Business - Chicago Tribune

Business news from the Chicago Tribune. Get money tips, stock market updates and the latest Chicago business news.

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 19:50:04 -0600

Copyright: ©2018 Chicago Tribune

Amazon wristbands could track workers' hand movements: 'Employers are increasingly treating their employees like robots'

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

As Amazon continues its quest to shrink delivery times and add warehouses in Illinois, the e-commerce behemoth is eyeing technology that could track the movements of its workers’ hands as they fulfill orders.

The company recently won patents for wristbands that could be used as part of an inventory...


Jewel-Osco owner Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid — but Chicago shoppers won't see much impact

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:40:00 PST

Albertsons, parent company of Jewel-Osco, announced plans Tuesday to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid in a deal that could help the combined company survive competitive pressure from giants like Walmart and Amazon amid the rise of online shopping.

Locally, the immediate impact for consumers appears...


Fabian Elliott, CEO of Black Tech Mecca, is on a mission to increase diversity

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

Fabian Elliott, the CEO and co-founder of Black Tech Mecca, discusses using data to get more black people involved in the tech community, his inspiration and his first job.


Media Files:,standalone.html

State wraps up case for stripping Lincoln Towing's license, citing 'pattern and practice of unauthorized towing'

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:15:00 PST

Lincoln Towing Service has prowled Chicago’s parking lots for nearly 60 years, finding itself at the center of lawsuits, consumer horror stories and political pressure throughout its history.

After decades of controversy, the North Side firm — the largest relocation towing service in Illinois —...


Google plans to expand in Chicago

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:00:00 PST

Google will expand its workforce in Chicago, as part of the company’s plan to add thousands of U.S. employees this year, CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post Friday.

But it’s unclear exactly how many of those new jobs will be in Chicago. Pichai’s post, which followed a groundbreaking for a Google...


Chicago Stock Exchange sale could move forward without Chinese investors, CEO says

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:55:00 PST

The decision by federal regulators to reject a bid by a Chinese-led investor group to buy the Chicago Stock Exchange is a major blow to its international aspirations, but it may not derail the sale entirely, the exchange’s chief executive said Friday.

John Kerin, CEO and president of the Chicago...


CME Group legend Leo Melamed, who modernized Chicago trading, is retiring: 'Risk was really a part of my being'

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 05:45:00 PST

Leo Melamed likes a good drag race.

As a young man, Melamed would put pedal to the metal to his new Corvette and fly along a stretch of open road in Indiana, just over the Illinois border.

“It was a great car,” the 85-year-old says wistfully.

Melamed, who will soon retire from the board of trading...


Your paycheck will probably get bigger this month because of the new tax law

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 12:15:00 PST

Most Americans are starting to see one of the early benefits of the new tax law: a bump in take-home pay.

Paychecks are increasing for about 90 percent of Americans due to the tax overhaul, according to the U.S. Treasury, a result of changes in withholding tables set by the IRS. The deadline for...


From warehouses to skyscrapers: Fulton Market is an office building hotspot

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:50:00 PST

The latest wave of office construction transforming Chicago’s once-gritty Fulton Market district is likely to move closer to reality Thursday as proposals for four big office buildings are considered for zoning approval.

Developer Sterling Bay wants to construct office buildings of 19, 20 and 21...


A healthy Happy Meal? McDonald's cuts cheeseburgers, chocolate milk from kids' meal menu

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 12:07:00 PST

McDonald's is taking cheeseburgers and chocolate milk off its Happy Meal menu in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants.

Diners can still ask specifically for cheeseburgers or chocolate milk with the kid's meal, but the fast-food...


Check out how Skittles are made at a candy factory in Yorkville

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

Production of Skittles, the colorful fruit-flavored treat, expanded to a Yorkville plant operated by Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. in 2016. Skittles, which were previously made solely in Waco, Texas, are now produced in a Yorkville plant along with brands like Life Savers, Doublemint and Juicy...


Trump's 'harvest box' plan panned: 'If the goal is to increase hunger in the United States, this is a good proposal'

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 15:30:00 PST

Anti-hunger groups and retailers are lining up to blast President Donald Trump’s proposed overhaul of the federal food stamp program, which would convert electronic food benefits for millions into boxes of packaged food.

The so-called America’s Harvest Box program — part of the $4.4 trillion budget...


Online dating scammers have bilked lonely hearts out of $1 billion, BBB says

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:45:00 PST

Looking for love online can leave you with a depleted bank account as well as a broken heart .

An estimated 82,000 U.S. consumers who’ve used dating sites in the past three years have been scammed by individuals who shower them with compliments, romantic text messages and promised dates, only to...


Illinois man, unhappy that L.L. Bean ended lifetime return policy, sues

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:55:00 PST

It’s been less than a week since L.L. Bean changed its famously generous return policy, and the outdoor specialty retailer is already facing a lawsuit from an unhappy Illinois shopper.

The customer filed a lawsuit Monday against the Freeport, Maine-based retailer, alleging the company’s new one-year...


#MeToo revelations have made workplace romances complicated for employers

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

These days, office romances are full of paperwork.

Dating colleagues has always been laced with the forbidden, be it by company policy or social taboo. But as more women come forward with stories of sexual harassment in the workplace, often at the hands of men at higher pay grades, the conversation...


Is inflation rising as investors fear? 5 ways to keep track

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 19:54:00 PST

After nearly a decade of being all but invisible, inflation — or the fear of it — is back.

Tentative signs have emerged that prices could accelerate in coming months. Pay raises may be picking up a bit. Commodities such as oil and aluminum have grown more expensive. Cellphone plans are likely to...


John Hancock Center skyscraper losing its iconic name

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 04:50:00 PST

The John Hancock Center is getting a name change, nearly a decade after another of Chicago’s most beloved skyscrapers — the Sears Tower — switched identities and caused a civic uproar.

Owners of the 100-story John Hancock Center said the building’s namesake, the insurance company that built the...


Illinois needs $40 billion in infrastructure improvements. Can Trump help?

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 14:45:00 PST

Deferred maintenance.

Those are probably the dirtiest words associated with any discussion about rebuilding and modernizing our aged roads, bridges, transit systems and tunnels.

It’s code for putting off a big project or ignoring a problem.

Such procrastination is especially true in Illinois, where...


Younger users flee their parents' favorite social network, Facebook, at surprising pace

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:40:00 PST

As older people continue to inch Facebook’s user count upward, teenagers are increasingly leaving the social media powerhouse in favor of a platform they feel they have greater control over: Snapchat.

If you have teens in your house or a grandma on Facebook, this may come as no surprise. Younger...


'How does one airline run out of de-icer?': Some gripes at Midway after Southwest's cancellations

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 04:45:00 PST

Midway Airport was abuzz Monday with harried Southwest Airlines passengers trying to get their destinations a day after hundreds were stranded when the Dallas-based airline canceled all flights due to trouble de-icing planes.

Seats were still hard to come by as passengers scrambled to rebook flights.


Slice is back: once-popular soft drink will be rebooted as low-calorie drink sweetened with fruit juice

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

Slice, a once-popular soft drink from the 1990s, faded into obscurity for years before being relegated to the trademark trash heap — discontinued and, for all practical purposes, dead.

And that’s exactly where Mark Thomann, a Chicago entrepreneur with a knack for reclaiming old brands, hunts for...


United's O'Hare maestro Mike Hanna: 'We want to give customers more and more choice'

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 07:18:00 PST

United Airlines has plans for big growth at hubs between the coasts, including Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Mike Hanna, senior vice president of the airline's O'Hare operations, is responsible for making it happen in Chicago.


Media Files:,standalone.html

Lawsuit alleges Ulta resold used cosmetics as new

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 13:30:00 PST

A California woman is suing Ulta Beauty, the suburban Chicago-based cosmetics retailer, for allegedly reselling used makeup as new to unsuspecting consumers.

The lawsuit, filed last month in a federal court in Chicago, seeks class-action status for what it claims is Ulta’s “widespread and surreptitious...


Emotional support animals — from dogs to peacocks, real or fake — present challenges for businesses

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 11:50:00 PST

The peacock was just the tip of the iceberg.

An emotional support peacock named Dexter kicked off a controversy last month when United Airlines refused to allow the bird to board a flight leaving Newark, N.J. In an instant, the peacock became a symbol of the growing number of emotional support...


Kraft Heinz CEO on the hunt for the company's next big acquisition

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 13:30:00 PST

Bernardo Hees played tennis before dawn, reported for duty at Kraft Heinz’s Chicago headquarters by 8 a.m. and later Wednesday evening, delivered a pep talk to 600 or so of his top employees at a charity event before packaging meals with them late into the night.

It’s all in a day’s work for Hees,...


AbbVie, facing thousands of lawsuits about its AndroGel testosterone supplement, notches a significant win

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 06:20:00 PST

AbbVie notched a win late last month in its ongoing battle against thousands of lawsuits that claim AndroGel, a once-blockbuster drug marketed to treat low testosterone in men, causes heart attacks, strokes and other injuries.

A jury decided the North Chicago-based drugmaker was not to blame for...


Who's really going to get your server's tips when they're pooled together? Proposed change would allow employers to pocket gratuities

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

Here’s a tip for those politicians and bureaucrats backing a federal government plan that could allow employers to pocket the hard-earned tips of hourly workers: Forget about it.

The U.S. Department of Labor is floating a proposed rule change to rescind portions of a 2011 Obama-era rule mandating...


Alexa, give me a diagnosis: New Illinois med school built for health-tech future

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 11:15:00 PST

Technology has revolutionized most corners of our lives, from how we shop to how we connect with friends.

Now a new medical school is poised to train the next generation of doctors to bring the revolution to health care.

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana-Champaign, which will welcome...


Asian shares fall after Wall Street plunge

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 02:30:04 PST

China's stock market benchmark plunged 5.5 percent on Friday and other Asian markets were off sharply after the Dow Jones industrials on Wall Street plummeted more than 1,000 points, deepening a week-long sell-off. Asian markets followed Wall Street down after the Dow entered "correction" territory...(image)

Sears, once an appliance powerhouse, sees sales shrink despite growing demand

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

After a quarter century with the same countertops and cabinets in their Glen Ellyn home, the Cook family decided it was time for a change.

Many changes, actually — among them a full lineup of new appliances.

“This is the first stop, but it won’t be the only one,” said Tracey Cook, 49, while her...


Why Illinois' richest person, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, sees some rough weather ahead

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

When the richest person in Illinois shares his opinions about the economy and stock market, it’s worth listening —especially when you consider what’s been going on this week.

Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of hedge fund Citadel, who has an estimated net worth of $8.5 billion, recently posted online...


Gotham Greens plans 2nd greenhouse in Pullman for expansion

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 11:45:00 PST

Gotham Greens, a New York-based hydroponic grower of leafy greens, is planning to open a second greenhouse in Pullman to grow its business in the Chicago market.

The new $12.5 million, 105,000-square-foot greenhouse will be on South Doty Avenue on the former Ryerson industrial site in Pullman,...


Tax cut, bonuses for workers? Many businesses not sure yet

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 11:53:00 PST

Small business owners may want to hand out bonuses and raises now that there's a new tax law, but many don't know if they'll have any wealth to share.

"We didn't base any raises or bonuses on the tax situation because, quite frankly, until it actually happens, no one's sure what's going to happen,"...


Tronc announces deal to sell LA Times to billionaire investor

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 10:00:00 PST

Tronc has agreed to sell the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and other California-based assets to Los Angeles biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million in cash.

Soon-Shiong, Tronc’s second-largest shareholder, will also assume $90 million of pension liabilities tied to...


Illinois attorney general: Workers would be hurt by 'outrageous' proposed rule change

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 06:25:00 PST

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 16 other state attorneys general have banded together in opposition to a proposed federal rule change that they say would allow employers to pocket the hard-earned tips of hourly workers.

The change, announced in early December by the U.S. Department of Labor,...


Toys R Us starting liquidation sales at 144 stores, including 6 in Chicago area

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 09:55:00 PST

Liquidation sales are starting today at Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores slated for closure, including six in the Chicago area, but the list includes fewer locations than the toy chain initially sought court approval to shutter.

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September and announced...


Experts advise nervous investors to chill out after Dow plunge

Tue, 6 Feb 2018 15:20:00 PST

After several days of wild mood swings, the stock market has finally chilled out. And so should investors, experts say.

The markets steadied Tuesday with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining more than 560 points, closing just shy of 25,000. The Nasdaq composite and Standard & Poor's 500 index...


Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns as CEO of Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct allegations

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 08:35:00 PST

Facing investigations by gambling regulators and allegations of sexual misconduct, billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn has stepped down as chairman and CEO of the resorts bearing his names.

The Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts in a statement said Wynn's resignation Tuesday was effective immediately....


Former Little Village coal plant to be demolished, replaced with distribution center

Tue, 6 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

A former coal-fired power plant in Little Village is set to be demolished and replaced with a 21st-century use: warehouses to speed orders for online customers in Chicago.

Northbrook-based Hilco Redevelopment Partners has bought the former Crawford Power Generating Station as part of a $100 million-plus...


Fed's Wells Fargo smackdown sends message to other bank giants' leaders: Shape up or else

Tue, 6 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

There’s no crying in banking.

So let’s not shed any tears for Wells Fargo Bank, which last week got justifiably slapped down by Janet Yellen in one of her last decisions as chair of the powerful Federal Reserve, the country’s premier banking regulator.

Yellen put the country on notice that Wells...


Why the stock market is selling off

Tue, 6 Feb 2018 06:27:00 PST

The stock market is having a panic attack. The Dow is down almost 1,800 points (7 percent) in two days. CNBC has already dubbed it "selling hell."

So what is going on? And how much should you worry? Let's unpack what you need to know if you are someone who invests in stocks and bonds for the long-term...


Trump, Republicans discover the perils of touting the stock market

Mon, 5 Feb 2018 19:16:00 PST

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have spent much of the past year trying to connect a giddy stock market rally with their economic agenda, but its precipitous plunge in the past five days has delivered a sobering reality: What goes up can come back down - quickly and with little...


Major Sears shareholder says retailer 'wrecked' funds' performance

Mon, 5 Feb 2018 09:35:00 PST

One of Sears Holdings Corp.’s largest investors said continued losses from the U.S. retailer and bankrupt Sears Canada “wrecked” his funds’ performance even as the stock market reached new heights in 2017.

Bruce Berkowitz, chief investment officer of Fairholme Capital Management, predicted Sears...


Phyter co-founder Gloria Athanis on the rise of plant-based bars

Mon, 5 Feb 2018 07:01:00 PST

David Choi Jr. and Gloria Athanis, co-owners of Phyter, explain the idea behind Phyter, a new plant-based bar available at Whole Foods Market.


Media Files:,standalone.html

2018 Super Bowl ads: 5 best and worst

Mon, 5 Feb 2018 09:56:00 PST

Dozens of ads aired during the 2018 Super Bowl, the great majority of them safe and competent rather than outstanding, risk-taking or appalling. There are the ten that really stood out, the best and the worst:



Big Detergent absolutely nails it in a spot that’s not only front-to-back...


Indiana is second state to win permission to adopt Medicaid work requirements

Fri, 2 Feb 2018 18:19:00 PST

Indiana has become the second state to win permission from the Trump administration to require certain low-income residents on Medicaid to work, study or perform public service to qualify for the health insurance.

Federal officials' approval Friday came almost exactly three years after the Obama...


Wendy's Super Bowl ad a sassy, disjointed and desperate attempt to take on McDonald's

Fri, 2 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

While watching Super Bowl LII on Sunday, keep an eye peeled for another type of high-stakes game: A multimillion-dollar advertising tussle between fast-food rivals Wendy’s and McDonald’s.

Wendy’s is spending an estimated $5 million to air a 30-second commercial during the first quarter that aggressively...


Old-school Chicago institution Miller's Pub temporarily closed for renovations

Fri, 2 Feb 2018 09:20:00 PST

Old-school Chicago bar and restaurant Miller’s Pub closed this week to undergo its first renovations since 1989.

The pub, an institution on Wabash Avenue, also is taking over a vacated flower shop next door. The 900-square-foot space will hold 60 to 70 extra seats, co-owner Andrew Gallios said....


From hand-cut fries to workplace romance, employees of 'McDonald's No. 1' have fond memories

Fri, 2 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

Some of Bob Skaleski’s fondest teenage memories are centered around a Des Plaines restaurant with gleaming arches that would later become one of the world’s most recognizable trademarks.

Skaleski, 75, was one of the earliest employees of McDonald’s No. 1, the first restaurant run by Ray Kroc, who...


United tightens rules for emotional support animals

Thu, 1 Feb 2018 12:15:00 PST

United Airlines announced Thursday that it is joining Delta Air Lines in tightening rules for flying with emotional support animals, requiring passengers to present proof of an animal’s health and promise it will behave.

Federal laws require airlines to permit passengers with disabilities to travel...


Two 50-story residential towers could weigh on Fulton Market infrastructure, residents worry

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:25:00 PST

In an area rich with meatpacking history that unfolded in squat brick buildings, Fulton Market district residents have apprehensions about two proposed residential towers that each could rise more than 50 stories.

It’s not the height that concerns neighborhood groups the most. It’s the new people...


Will driverless cars mean the end of the road for the Chicago Auto Show?

Thu, 1 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

When the 110th Chicago Auto Show opens Feb. 10, enthusiasts will flock to McCormick Place to kick the tires, drool over the latest models and picture themselves behind the wheel of a new car.

With the rise of driverless cars and ride-sharing threatening to turn everyone into a passenger, the traditional...


Sears lays off 220 employees, mostly at Hoffman Estates headquarters

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 13:05:00 PST

Sears Holdings Corp. has laid off about 220 corporate employees, effective immediately.

Most of those employees worked at the company’s Hoffman Estates headquarters, and the cuts affected various business units and roles across the organization, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs said Wednesday in an...


Trump's war on regulations has corporations jumping for joy. But what's the long-term impact?

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:00:00 PST

President Donald Trump loathes business regulations. Maybe more than some CEOs.

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the country’s chief executive took credit for terminating what he believes are too many burdensome rules on business while signaling that many proposed regulations are never...


John Marshall Law School will start accepting GRE as test alternative to LSAT

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 14:55:00 PST

John Marshall Law School plans to start accepting the GRE test for admissions this fall, joining a growing number of schools deviating from taking only LSAT scores from applicants.

The movement started in 2016, when the University of Arizona College of Law announced it would accept either the GRE...


Twinkie maker's response to the Trump Tax: bonus and free snacks

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:18:00 PST

Hostess Brands Inc., feeling flush after last month's tax overhaul, will offer bonuses to workers -- including free snacks.

The company, which makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, is providing its employees one-time payments of $1,250 -- with $750 in cash and $500 in the form of a 401(k) contribution....


United bars woman’s emotional support peacock from flight

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 06:34:00 PST

Dogs, cats and even pigs and miniature horses have made it into airline passenger cabins as emotional support animals in recent years.

But one airline has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to peacocks.

A woman who tried to board a United Airlines flight from Newark, N.J., recently was turned...


Boeing profit blows past estimates with help from U.S. tax cut

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 06:20:00 PST

Boeing Co. jumped the most in six months after the planemaker said record aircraft deliveries this year would bolster cash and reverse a two-year sales decline.

Jetliner shipments will rise to as many as 815 this year, up almost 7 percent from 2017, the manufacturer said Wednesday as it reported...


Apple to respond to US probes into slowdown of old iPhones

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:35:00 PST

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is cooperating with U.S. government inquiries into its secret slowdown of older iPhones, further complicating its efforts to move past an issue that irked customers whose devices bogged down.

The company acknowledged the probes late Tuesday after both The Wall Street Journal...


Former Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's gets new eco-friendly look from riverwalk architect

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 09:00:00 PST

The former Rock ’n’ Roll McDonald’s will reopen in late spring with more trees and a sleeker, more contemporary design, courtesy of Carol Ross Barney, the renowned architect who co-designed the Chicago Riverwalk.

A popular tourist attraction for decades, Chicago’s flagship McDonald’s is undergoing...


'Uphill battle' predicted for Outcome Health after settlement with investors

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 14:50:00 PST

Outcome Health has settled allegations of fraud leveled by its investors, but with some of the fallout from legal troubles unresolved, challenges remain for the Chicago company.

There is still an internal investigation facing the company, which places screens in doctor’s offices that run educational...


Proposed $107 billion bond isn't the cure for Illinois' public pension crisis

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

A big, bold plan to save the state’s debt-strapped public pension funds is being floated this week in Springfield. But don’t get your hopes up.

It’s not the cure to Illinois’ festering financial crisis.

An influential state employee advocacy group, the State Universities Annuitants Association,...


Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire create new company to tackle health care costs

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 07:59:00 PST



Three of corporate America's heaviest hitters — Amazon, Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase — sent a shudder through the health industry Tuesday when they announced plans to jointly create a company to provide their employees with high-quality, affordable care.

The announcement was short on details...


401(k) boom brings urge to splurge

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 08:35:00 PST

Last week, financial adviser Joseph Kelly visited a client who had seen the value of his retirement savings soar, thanks to a surging stock market.

"He said his account was up 18 percent, and he asked me, 'What should I do with it?' " recalled Kelly, who works in Berkeley Heights, N.J. His client...


Jackpotting, the hacking scheme where hackers make ATMs spit out cash like slot machines, is here

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 07:05:00 PST

Hackers able to make ATMs spit cash like winning slot machines are now operating inside the United States, marking the arrival of "jackpotting" attacks after widespread heists in Europe and Asia, according to security news website Krebs on Security.

Thieves have used skimming devices on ATM machines...


Online eye exams? Steven Lee of Opternative makes them happen

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 06:47:00 PST

Optometrist Steven Lee, co-founder and chief science officer at Chicago-based Opternative, developed online vision tests to save people a trip to the eye doctor.


Media Files:,standalone.html

Why a new trucking regulation is driving up the cost of produce

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 13:30:00 PST

Shoppers could see grocery prices rise because of a new federal mandate requiring most long-distance truckers to use electronic logging devices to keep track of their time spent driving.

Some truckers are experiencing difficulties and delays as they switch from paper logbooks to the devices, which...


Outcome Health CEO Rishi Shah stepping down as part of settlement with investors

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 17:45:00 PST

Outcome Health struck a deal with its investors to settle allegations of fraud and end a monthslong and very public legal battle.

CEO Rishi Shah and President Shradha Agarwal have stepped down from day-to-day management of the company to become chairman and vice chair of the board of directors,...


Debt payments, Icelandic adventures, car repairs: How area workers are spending their tax cut bonuses

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 11:40:00 PST

Paola Hinton’s hands were shaking in December as she pulled out bundles of cash and gave each of her 20 employees a $500 bonus. No one in the crowded back room at Five Senses Spa, Salon and Barbershop in Peoria had ever seen $10,000 in cash, and Hinton had it all in a little briefcase.

The employees’...


When 'Obama: An Intimate Portrait' sold out on Amazon, Chicago-area bookstores cashed in

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 11:50:00 PST

For a brief period this winter, local bookstores gained a small piece of ground in their ongoing turf war with Amazon.

The online retailer, which has pulled customers away from bricks-and-mortar shops, sold out of “Obama: An Intimate Portrait,” a book of photos by former White House photographer...


Tax season confusion: What you need to know before you file this year

Sat, 27 Jan 2018 13:21:00 PST

Confused about how the new tax law will affect you? You’re not alone.

With the ink barely dry on a new tax law, uncertainty abounds on what moves to make or even what to ask a tax preparer. So what do you need to know before you collect that box of receipts and make the trip to see your accountant?


GOP silent over sex misconduct accusations against RNC finance chair, casino mogul Wynn

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 16:03:00 PST

Republican leaders remained silent Friday about allegations of sexual misconduct against casino mogul Steve Wynn, who serves as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and would not say whether he plans to relinquish his role.

The accusations leveled against the businessman, a rival-turned-confidant...


In unusual compromise, Wacker tower to incorporate building's stainless steel facade

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 14:20:00 PST

A 53-story office tower will replace Morton Salt’s former headquarters on Wacker Drive, but the squat structure’s stainless steel panels — a key feature of the five-story building’s midcentury modern architecture — will live on after demolition.

Preservation of the exterior steel panels is part...


Former exec lent Roseland hospital $100K to pay salaries. Now he wants his money back.

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 08:35:00 PST

Roseland Community Hospital’s former chief financial officer filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing the cash-strapped institution of failing to repay him $100,000 he lent it to cover operating expenses, allegations the hospital denies as “categorically false.”

Marlo Kemp, who left his position at the...


How Bank of America and Illinois are cashing in by squeezing the poor

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

If you’re poor and have to write or cash checks, life got tougher this week, thanks to Bank of America and the state of Illinois.

The two entities are out to boost the fees many low-income people pay for using personal and government-backed drafts, including benefit checks.

Bank of America is ending...


Burger King ad uses Whopper to explain net neutrality

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 07:10:00 PST

Burger King is delivering its own hot take on a regulatory showdown that has enflamed the U.S., using a flame-grilled Whopper.

Burger King's new ad has become a sensation, with more than a million views on YouTube and it's lighting up Twitter .

In the ad customers, whom the restaurant says are...


Amazon dials up Chicago, other HQ2 contenders, to explain selection process

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

Amazon has begun briefing officials in Chicago and 19 other cities in the running for the company’s HQ2 second headquarters on the next phase of the process, after announcing the 20 contenders last week.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other local leaders earlier this week had a conference call...


New skyscraper rivaling Trump's in height could rise behind a redeveloped Tribune Tower

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

A skyscraper that would rival President Donald Trump’s Chicago high-rise as the city’s second-tallest would emerge behind the historic Tribune Tower, while the neo-Gothic office building would be turned into condominiums under still-evolving plans described by an alderman and two sources familiar...


7 Chicago-area Toys R Us stores to close after holiday 'missteps'

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 12:50:00 PST

Toys R Us, squeezed by and huge chains like Walmart, will close 20 percent of its U.S. stores, or 182 locations, within months.

Hobbled by $5 billion in debt, the company that once dominated toy sales in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy protection in September.

Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon...


United unveils expansion plan, and airline stocks sink

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:05:00 PST

Airline stocks went into a nosedive Wednesday on investor fears that a plan by United Airlines to grow rapidly will undercut prices and profits.

Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. plunged 11.4 percent to close at $69.05. American, Delta and Southwest also fell.

The largest six U.S. airlines...


With new tariffs, get ready to pay more for imported washing machines and solar panels

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 15:25:00 PST

At $1,899, one of the priciest washing machines for sale at Abt Electronics in Glenview is Samsung’s two-washers-in-one-machine Steel FlexWash. As a result of new tariffs approved by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, that price tag is about to get steeper.

Consumers considering solar panels are...


Lawsuit Rauner fought to keep sealed alleges $15 million return 'apparently is not enough'

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 05:40:00 PST

While Gov. Bruce Rauner says he has no day-to-day involvement in managing his investments, he allegedly took meetings in 2015 — one on the back porch of the governor’s mansion in Springfield — about an investment he made before becoming Illinois’ chief executive, according to a lawsuit unsealed...


Winnetka trader pleads guilty in commodities scheme that lost $13.8 million

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:00:00 PST

A Winnetka commodities trader pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Chicago to a scheme that saddled a trading firm with nearly $13.8 million in losses, leading to its collapse, according to federal prosecutors.

Thomas Lindstrom, 49, a longtime options trader at the Chicago Board of Trade,...


The 50 best jobs in America in 2018, according to Glassdoor

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 09:37:00 PST

America's corporations have been hiring armies of data scientists and data engineers as they collect exponentially larger amounts of data about their customers, their businesses and their markets.

Now, they also need more people to help them decide what to do once they have all that data, and what...


Starbucks expands its paid sick leave and parental leave after tax cuts — and employee requests

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 08:45:00 PST

The world's largest coffee chain is adding new perks for its employees in the wake of the U.S. tax cuts, announcing a wage increase and one-time bonus in the form of a stock grant, just as dozens of companies have done in recent weeks.

Yet it is also expanding paid sick leave and parental leave...


How do Amazon HQ2 contenders measure up? We checked the data

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 22:00:00 PST

The New York metro area has more than 20 million people, while Nashville, Tenn., has less than 2 million. In Los Angeles, 70 percent of the population is nonwhite, while in Boston that figure is 29 percent. Nearly a quarter of Toronto residents take public transportation, while only 1 percent of...(image)

Bank of America ends free checking option, causing customer uproar

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 10:45:00 PST

Bank of America has eliminated its only free checking account that doesn’t require a minimum balance, causing an uproar from customers on social media and spurring a petition to reverse the decision.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said it moved eBanking customers into accounts that require them...


P&G CEO says company working to stop 'Tide pod challenge'

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 12:32:00 PST

Procter & Gamble says it's working to stop the "Tide Pod challenge," a social media-fueled trend in which teenagers eat single-load laundry detergent packets.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers warned last week that it had seen a spike in teenagers eating the detergent pods, which...


What worries economists? 'When people aren't worried.' Maybe it's time to worry a little.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

Most of us are focused on our own fortunes, not the state of the economy. Meanwhile, business leaders, along with policymakers, tend to let the good times roll until they come to screeching halt.

But what concerns a leading economist about the economy?

“When people aren’t worried,” said Randall...


Will millennials kill Costco and Sam's Club?

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 08:20:00 PST

There's a Costco to one side of Gwendolyn Hammer's house and a Sam's Club to the other. But when the 28-year-old needs 12-packs of paper towels, or 36 rolls of toilet paper, she heads online instead.

Once a month she uses her smartphone to place a bulk order on, a website founded five...


How a French breakfast biscuit laid siege upon U.S. cereal

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 12:30:00 PST

BelVita — a breakfast biscuit brand developed in France — has boarded the ship of Cap’n Crunch, rattled the cage of Tony the Tiger and proven in short order to be a breakfast powerhouse in the U.S. as cereal sales continue to decline.

Since launching in the U.S. in 2012, belVita has doubled its...


Credit card defaults on the rise, and Chicago is worst, as holiday bills come due

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 09:15:00 PST

Americans are defaulting on their credit cards at the highest rate in nearly a year, and Chicagoans are leading the pack.

Chicago residents are now more likely to miss a credit card payment than residents of any other major city, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas or Miami, according to the...


Canada Goose sues alleged Chinese web counterfeiters, warns knockoff coats might not keep you warm

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 08:15:00 PST

Canada Goose, the trendy luxury outerwear brand, is suing a network of unnamed Chinese businesses for allegedly selling knockoffs of its pricey apparel online at steep discounts.

The trademark infringement lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in Chicago, claims “an interrelated group of counterfeiters”...


Chicago hospitals worry about closures, layoffs as they brace for Medicaid funding changes

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 04:06:00 PST

It wasn’t long ago that Charles Holland was giving opening-day tours of the gleaming outpatient center at St. Bernard Hospital in the Englewood neighborhood, built to bring a bevy of health care services — and optimism — to a community in need of both.

A year and a half later, the carpets still...


Alicia Driskill of EvolveHer, a co-working space for women to come together

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 04:00:00 PST

EvolveHer, a new Near North Side co-working space for women, is designed to meet the needs of women balancing constant demands from work and family, while providing resources for members to reach goals through courses on everything from meditation to marketing.


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Amazon creates new playbook for headquarters searches

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:50:00 PST

Corporate relocation searches can be cloak-and-dagger affairs, complete with secretive office tours, project code names and hotel rooms booked under aliases.

Amazon, one of the world’s most powerful and recognizable companies, is turning that model upside down as it considers Chicago and 19 other...


'Pharmacy deserts' a growing health concern in Chicago, experts, residents say

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

Even if she wanted to, Chatham resident Emma Washington, 77, cannot skip going to the pharmacy — she relies on 12 medications to stay alive. Most are for the high blood pressure she’s had since she was 19, she said, others for her worsening kidney condition and diabetes. She typically visits the...


Chicago made Amazon’s short list. There’s still plenty of competition.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 18:30:00 PST

Amazon’s list of 20 potential sites for HQ2, its second headquarters, didn’t overlook any obvious contenders, including Chicago. A few dark horses made the cut too.

Who’s the real competition for Chicago?

Chicago is one of “the big boys,” along with Boston, New York City, Atlanta and Dallas, whose...


Zombie retailers close stores nationally, hoping for an online afterlife

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:08:00 PST

“Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact.

But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”

—“Atlantic City” by Bruce Springsteen

In retail, some brands that could no longer cut it with brick-and-mortar stores are getting a second wind in the digital world.

Take the apparel retailer the Limited,...


Waging a necessary but tough battle to restore internet's 'net neutrality' rule

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:35:00 PST

The internet, as we’ve come to know it, is not going down without a fight.


A dogged and determined effort is shaping up in Congress and the courts to roll back a recent Federal Communications Commission decision that essentially hands the web over to an oligopoly of mighty internet service...