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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: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 03:10:21 -0500

Copyright: ©2017 Chicago Tribune
 



A year in, Whole Foods' Englewood project still a work in progress

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:55:00 PDT

Almost one year ago, the doors of Englewood’s Whole Foods Market swung open, the culmination of a bold plan to open an upscale grocery store in one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods.

No “mission accomplished” banner has yet been hoisted at 63rd and Halsted.

Whole Foods — anchor of the city-subsidized...

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How big a deal? Amazon's massive HQ2 in Chicago scale

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 03:57:00 PDT

Chicago leaders can be excused for dreams of landing Amazon's second headquarters, even as many residents struggle to comprehend its enormous scope. As the city readies its bid, here are some numbers to bring HQ2's potentially enormous impact into perspective.(image)



Rauner vetoes geolocation privacy bill aimed at protecting smartphone users

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:45:00 PDT

Groundbreaking Illinois legislation meant to protect mobile phone users from having their location information trafficked by companies without their permission is going nowhere, at least for now.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the proposed Geolocation Privacy Protection Act on Friday, leaving it to the...

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Caterpillar CEO's plan is starting to pay off, but big changes keep coming

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 04:00:00 PDT

As Caterpillar completes its headquarters move to the Chicago area from Peoria, the heavy equipment manufacturer also is set to pounce on some new business opportunities.

Many of those possibilities are expected to come courtesy of the Asia-Pacific region and especially China, which is in the throes...

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Make way for maple, the new taste of fall

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:05:00 PDT

Pumpkin spice has held a special place in consumers’ hearts and Instagram feeds for years, but trends indicate the flavor’s glory days could be fading.

Maple, on the other hand, is rising.

Dunkin’ Donuts already offers a maple pecan latte, and Starbucks plans to introduce one Friday. And maple-infused...

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Goose Island landlords worry 'railroad trolls' will derail North Side development

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:15:00 PDT

Major zoning changes expected to spark a wave of residential, office and retail development near the Chicago River have bumped into an unexpected obstacle from the area’s gritty past: rail cars.

Property owners in the North Side Industrial Corridor are unhappy about the arrival of rows of train...

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Mars Food moves North American HQ to Goose Island

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:40:00 PDT

Mars Food is opening a new North American headquarters in Chicago’s Goose Island neighborhood, according to the company.

Mars Food, a business unit of Mars Inc., previously based its North American business in Los Angeles. The new 20,000-square-foot office, located on West Blackhawk Street, will...

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Shutterfly lawsuit tags Illinois as battleground in facial recognition fight

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 03:22:00 PDT

Just as Apple is pushing iPhone users to become more comfortable with facial recognition software, a lawsuit highlighting privacy concerns surrounding the burgeoning technology is moving forward in federal court in Chicago.

The lawsuit against photo-sharing site Shutterfly, which seeks class-action...

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Illinois submits big Obamacare rate increases to the feds

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:45:00 PDT

Hundreds of thousands of Illinois consumers who buy health insurance on the state's Obamacare exchange will likely see average rates increase by 16 to 37 percent next year for the lowest-priced plans, according to a new analysis.

The Illinois Department of Insurance submitted rates to the federal...

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SEC reveals 2016 hack of filing system that may have led to illegal trading

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:37:00 PDT

The federal agency responsible for ensuring that markets function as they should and for protecting investors was hacked last year and the intruders may have used the nonpublic information they obtained to profit illegally.

The disclosure arrived two months after a government watchdog said deficiencies...

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Oak Brook to bid for Amazon headquarters at McDonald's site

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:38:00 PDT

Oak Brook officials are hopeful that the 2018 move of McDonald's corporate offices to Chicago provides the perfect fit for e-commerce giant Amazon's search for a 50,000-job second headquarters.

Oak Brook is throwing its hat in the ring to be part of an official bid to Amazon officials looking to...

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How to build a rich life, even if you aren't a financial genius

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:00:00 PDT

You don’t have to be a genius, a math brain or know anything about the stock market to invest your money well and retire comfortably.

Most people don’t think of themselves as investors. But just about anyone with a fourth-grade education can get key money decisions right — like feeding a 401(k)...

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FCB Chicago ad agency CEO says big ideas still work on little screens

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:10:00 PDT

In a world where TV viewing is shifting to small mobile screens and online ads are targeted to an audience of one, Michael Fassnacht, CEO and president of FCB Chicago, is still thinking big.

Fassnacht, 50, helms one of the oldest and largest ad agencies in Chicago and sees the fragmenting media...

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Before the breach, Equifax sought to limit exposure to lawsuits

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:05:00 PDT

Before Equifax discovered a massive computer breach that exposed sensitive information about millions of Americans, the company lobbied Congress on legislation to limit how much it could be forced to pay if sued by consumers, and it pressed lawmakers to roll back the powers of its regulators.

Since...

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Centegra Health to eliminate, outsource hundreds of jobs

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:30:00 PDT

Financially troubled Centegra Health System plans to eliminate 131 jobs and outsource another 230 positions, the northwest suburban hospital system announced Tuesday.

The layoffs and outsourcing come amid a time of financial stress for many hospitals nationwide and follow a year of steep losses...

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Airlines cap fares ahead of Hurricane Maria

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:05:00 PDT

Three airlines are capping airfares on flights departing from cities likely to be affected by Hurricane Maria, after allegations that the industry jacked up prices as consumers tried to flee Hurricane Irma earlier this month.

Hurricane Maria, the third hurricane to hit the region in recent weeks...

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Walgreens to grow by 1,932 stores with Rite Aid deal

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:50:00 PDT

After years of trying, Walgreens Boots Alliance has received clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to expand its business through the purchase of 1,932 Rite Aid stores for $4.38 billion.

The FTC had long resisted a deal between Deerfield-based Walgreens and competitor Rite Aid, forcing the...

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Toys R Us: The birth — and bust — of a retail empire

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:58:00 PDT

In the early 1980s, a week before Christmas, a woman walked into a supermarket-size store in Tysons Corner, Va., and became so dumbfounded that she started talking to herself.

"Where's the robot?" she said. "And the hairy monster?"

A Washington Post story that recounted her muttering did not say...

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Bad behavior cost an airline passenger almost $100,000. It's about time.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:00:00 PDT

A federal court recently ordered an unruly airline passenger to pay a fine of nearly $100,000 for disrupting a flight from Hawaii to New York City.

My reaction: Hurrah! It’s about time.

Instances of boisterous and uncontrollable passenger behavior on commercial flights are occurring with disturbing...

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Rauner boosting Amazon bids of both Chicago and St. Louis

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:04:06 PDT

Even as city and state officials head to Seattle for a Tuesday tour in a bid to land Amazon's second headquarters for Chicago, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday acknowledged his administration also will work with neighboring St. Louis on its bid to woo the internet giant.

The decision by a re-election-seeking...

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Wisconsin governor signs $3 billion Foxconn bill into law

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:57:00 PDT

Gov. Scott Walker signed a $3 billion incentive package Monday for Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin, a deal he says will provide thousands of jobs for generations.

The governor signed the bill during a packed ceremony at Gateway Technical College in...

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For Chicago warehouse owners, Amazon effect is already big

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:37:00 PDT

It could be several months before Chicago finds out if it lands Amazon's 50,000-job second headquarters, but the e-commerce company is already making a big impact on the area's economy.

Led by Amazon leases, there's been more warehouse space gobbled up in the Chicago area over the past year than...

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Ingredion CEO is latest Chicago-area female CEO to leave post

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:44:00 PDT

Ingredion CEO Ilene Gordon will retire from the company next year, further thinning the ranks of top female executives of large corporations in the Chicago area.

Gordon will conclude an eight-plus-year run in which she realigned the Westchester-based global ingredients company with changing consumer...

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Smashing stereotypes shaped Mellody Hobson's quest for diversity

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 06:47:00 PDT

Mellody Hobson, in her mid-20s and a newcomer to the world of investment, walked into a vast office in Texas with two senior male colleagues for a meeting. At one end of the room was their host's desk, with two extra chairs. At the other, fully 30 feet away, was a separate area with a sofa.

"Fellas,...

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Toys R Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:20:00 PDT

Toys R Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.

The company said the proceedings are a way for Toys R...

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Chicago-area mechanics are back to work after new contract ends almost 7-week strike

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:15:00 PDT

Mechanics at Chicago-area auto dealerships were back at work Monday after approving a four-year contract Sunday and ending a strike that was about to begin its eighth week.

The walkout, which started Aug. 1, involved nearly 2,000 mechanics at almost 140 new-car dealerships throughout the Chicago...

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McDonald's to switch out Happy Meal apple juice

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 06:33:00 PDT

The Happy Meal is getting a new apple juice.

McDonald's says it will swap out Minute Maid juice cartons for an organic one by Honest Kids. Both brands are made by the Coca-Cola Co., but the Honest Kids juice has half the calories and less sugar.

The move is the latest by the fast-food company to...

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Wisconsin Gov. Walker to sign $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 11:06:00 PDT

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign into law a $3 billion incentive package for electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group.

Walker announced Sunday that he will sign the bill on Monday at Gateway Technical College near Racine. That southeast part of Wisconsin is where the Taiwan-based company...

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The Equifax breach left many of us vulnerable. Here's how to protect yourself.

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:40:00 PDT

When your Social Security number has been exposed, you're vulnerable.

When the bad guys know your address, driver's license number and age along with your Social Security number, the risk is even worse.

Now that a massive data breach at Equifax has compromised that data for nearly half of Americans...

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No reservations: Why Chicago's Restaurant City of the Year win could have a big impact on business

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Chicagoans already know their city has a vibrant, diverse and rapidly growing restaurant scene. But what will it mean now that the rest of the country knows it too?

If the reaction to Chicago last month being designated Bon Appetit’s Restaurant City of the Year — a recognition that goes to the...

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More than 100 cities start courting Amazon for its HQ2

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 06:22:00 PDT

The Amazon gold rush is on.

At least 101 cities, states, provinces and counties in the U.S. and Canada have indicated they are interested in the Seattle company’s second headquarters in the week since Amazon announced it was seeking bidders for the megaproject.

They range from obvious big-city...

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Chase's $40M neighborhood revival plan will shake up local business giving

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 05:08:00 PDT

JP Morgan Chase’s new $40 million community investment program isn’t going to wipe out poverty on the city’s South and West sides. But it’s going to provide those neighborhoods with more options and opportunities, especially as other private investors follow the banking giant’s lead.

A successful...

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Morton Salt's Bahamas facility damaged by Hurricane Irma

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 09:28:00 PDT

Morton Salt's salt production facility on Great Inagua, the southernmost island of the Bahamas, sustained significant damage from Hurricane Irma last weekend, the company confirmed Thursday.

The Chicago-based company employs 145 people at the island site, from which it harvests a massive amount...

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Poverty fell, income rose last year in Illinois, Chicago

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 14:05:00 PDT

Poverty fell and median income rose substantially last year in Chicago and Illinois, mirroring national trends that suggest Americans were reclaiming financial strength after a long recovery from the Great Recession.

The Chicago metro area saw its poverty rate drop to 12.4 percent in 2016 from...

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NorthShore hospital system CEO Neaman to step aside

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 04:53:00 PDT

Mark Neaman will leave his role as president and CEO of NorthShore University HealthSystem in November after 26 years of leading the hospital system.

Neaman, 66, who was at the helm of the health system during its recent, failed 2 1/2-year bid to merge with Advocate Health Care, will become executive...

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Emanuel says bid for Amazon HQ2 will be 'all hands on deck'

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 19:30:00 PDT

Mayor Rahm Emanuel laid out an ambitious full-court press on Thursday to woo Amazon to build its second headquarters in Chicago, saying the city is perfectly positioned to give the massive company everything it's seeking.

In his first public comments since Amazon invited cities to vie to be its...

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Insurers cutting back on drug coupons amid concerns over consumer costs

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 05:50:00 PDT

With many drug prices rising, consumers often pull out coupons or discount cards from drugmakers to save money when they buy medications at pharmacies.

But some insurers, including in Illinois, are limiting how those discounts may be applied amid concerns they’re driving up health care costs for...

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JPMorgan Chase to invest $40 million in Chicago's South and West sides

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:01:00 PDT

JPMorgan Chase plans to invest $40 million in Chicago's historically underserved South and West sides in an effort to tackle the city's poverty and violence through economic growth.

The three-year initiative by the nation's largest bank is its second-biggest commitment to a single city, following...

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Lots of outrage, but little else will come out of Equifax security breach

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:57:00 PDT

Indignation over Equifax's massive customer data breach is sparking calls for a crackdown on that company and the credit reporting industry. Unfortunately, the odds of that happening are between slim and none.

Yes, some influential lawmakers are livid and demanding action. They're using the Equifax...

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Illinois companies must make sites accessible for blind, visually impaired, lawsuits say

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 14:40:00 PDT

Three Illinois companies are accused of maintaining websites visually impaired consumers allegedly can't use in an age when online shopping is as important as walking into a store.

A California woman has filed lawsuits against Kmart, Empire Today and Ace Hardware, alleging that running websites...

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Equifax concerns taxing customer service at Chicago-based TransUnion

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 11:45:00 PDT

TransUnion continued to have problems with its website Wednesday, a day after the Chicago-based credit reporting bureau acknowledged that service had been subpar for worried consumers seeking help in the wake of the Equifax data breach.

TransUnion Chief Financial Officer Todd Cello told analysts...

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Ad giant to anchor big new Fulton Market office building

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 14:14:02 PDT

Advertising giant WPP Group plans to move its Chicago offices to a proposed building in the Fulton Market district in a major deal that further cements the former meatpacking hub as an office market.

WPP has leased 253,000 square feet from developer Sterling Bay, which plans to put an office building...

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Chicago developer aims at Amazon with $10B vision for former steel plant site

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 07:56:00 PDT

Sterling Bay's massive development planned for the former A. Finkl & Sons steel plant site has a name, a high-powered planning team and one big target: Amazon's second headquarters.

About two years after it struck a deal to buy the North Side parcel along the Chicago River, the Chicago developer...

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Illinois uninsured rate falls again — but for how long?

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:09:00 PDT

The number of people in Illinois without health insurance has dropped again — though some worry that trend is about to reverse amid uncertainty over the future of Obamacare.

About 6.5 percent of Illinois residents — or about 817,000 people — were uninsured in 2016, according to the U.S. Census...

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University of Illinois Hospital nurse strike averted

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:25:00 PDT

The University of Illinois Hospital and about 1,200 of its nurses reached a new contract agreement early Wednesday, averting a planned strike.

The nurses had planned to picket in front of the hospital Wednesday, but the hospital and nurses, represented by the Illinois Nurses Association, reached...

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Wisconsin Senate approves $3 billion for Foxconn plant

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 03:45:00 PDT

The Wisconsin Senate approved nearly $3 billion in cash payments for Foxconn Technology Group on Tuesday.

Foxconn plans to invest as much as $10 billion to build a flat-screen production factory in Wisconsin that initially would have a workforce of 3,000 but the company said that could grow to...

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Apple's new Michigan Avenue flagship opening next month

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 03:45:00 PDT

Apple will open its new Michigan Avenue flagship store Oct. 20, the tech giant announced Tuesday during a press event that also featured the launch of the latest versions of the iPhone.

The $27 million, 20,000-square-foot store, along the north bank of the Chicago River, will replace Apple's current...

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American household income reaches all-time high

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:47:00 PDT

The median U.S. household's income finally topped pre-recession levels in 2016 after two strong years of increases.

Incomes for a typical U.S. household, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to $59,039, the Census Bureau said. The median is the point at which half the households...

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Chicago CEOs should help bring Amazon's HQ to the city. Even if it's not in their best interest.

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 03:00:00 PDT

Chicago is in the running for Amazon's second corporate headquarters and local CEOs could be asking themselves "Why should I help a fierce competitor?"

It's a tough question, one that pits a CEO's corporate interests against broader community concerns of winning a powerful and growing employer...

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Mechanics union rejects latest offer, auto dealership strike will continue

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 04:30:00 PDT

Members of the striking mechanics union rejected the latest contract offer from the auto dealerships' bargaining group Monday, assuring the strike will enter its seventh week.

Automobile Mechanics' Local 701, the union representing the mechanics, announced the rejection on its website.

Nearly 2,000...

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Major League Baseball dashes sports-agent dreams of Chicago businessman charged with fraud

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:13:00 PDT

When Chicago entrepreneur Brian Brundage was indicted on federal fraud charges in December for allegedly operating a multimillion-dollar electronics recycling scheme, he turned his attention to salvaging his side gig: professional sports agent.

With a client roster that included Chicago Bears linebacker...

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5.4 million Illinois residents affected by massive Equifax data breach

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:00:00 PDT

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Monday that 5.4 million Illinois residents had personal financial information exposed in the massive Equifax data breach last week.

Madigan got the Illinois number from Equifax attorneys Monday.

Madigan said that in addition to the Social Security numbers,...

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Chicago can land Amazon's second HQ, but it won't be easy, experts say

Sat, 9 Sep 2017 17:52:00 PDT

North American mayors, governors and economic developers are sure to be working overtime in the coming months, following Amazon's announcement that it is seeking a second headquarters city where it can create 50,000 new jobs.

Chicago's Rahm Emanuel confirmed he's among those mayors already making...

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After the Equifax breach, here's how to freeze your credit to protect your identity

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 05:46:00 PDT

Consumers affected by the Equifax data breach are scrambling for ways to protect their financial lives. Some are considering Equifax's own credit monitoring service. Others suggest freezing your credit as a better option to such services. But what does freezing your credit entail, and how easy...

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Mechanics union accuses dealership group of labor law violation as strike continues

Fri, 8 Sep 2017 14:41:00 PDT

As a Chicago-area auto mechanics strike nears its seventh week, the union involved is accusing the bargaining group for new-car dealerships of violating federal labor law.

It's the second such accusation surrounding this strike in as many weeks, with the first charge filed by the dealerships against...

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The growth of Chicago's Super Loop: So much building, so little architecture

Sat, 9 Sep 2017 13:46:00 PDT

A flock of construction cranes fills the sky. Downtown's population is soaring. The skyline is changing and so is the texture of city life.

A generation ago, West Madison Street was Chicago's Skid Row home to winos and flophouses. It is now a chic strip of sushi joints, cycle studios, preschools...

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As the investigation into Equifax data breach grows, here's what you need to do

Sat, 9 Sep 2017 13:03:00 PDT

State attorneys general throughout the country are investigating one of the largest data breaches in the country, one that financial experts believe will leave millions of Americans at risk of identify theft for the rest of their lives.

Equifax, a credit monitoring company, said Thursday the breach...

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Rauner yanked the plug on student loan bill of rights. Lawmakers need to bring it back.

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 04:00:00 PDT

An effort to protect Illinois borrowers from abusive and predatory student loan practices is at death's door, and it needs to be jolted back to life.

However, resuscitation requires state lawmakers, when they reconvene this fall, to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent veto of legislation...

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These cities want Amazon's second headquarters

Fri, 8 Sep 2017 07:20:00 PDT

Amazon put North America’s major cities into competition for its second headquarters Thursday with the surprise announcement that the retail giant was taking offers for a second home.

Whichever city wins Amazon's "HQ2" will host up to 50,000 workers with salaries that could reach $100,000 annually.

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Say hello to your co-worker, HAL. Automation is hitting office jobs in Chicago

Fri, 8 Sep 2017 12:09:00 PDT

There's a new robot in town at West Monroe Partners' human resources department, and it's expected to shave off hours of work.

The bot, programed into an unassuming Lenovo Thinkpad, helps employees at the Chicago-based business and information technology consulting firm bring on new workers, entering...

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Consumers struggle to get answers from Equifax after massive hack

Fri, 8 Sep 2017 05:29:00 PDT

After announcing millions of people were impacted by an unprecedented hack on its systems, Equifax faced a customer service nightmare as panicked masses turned to a website and customer service line set up to answer whether their most sensitive information had leaked.

Equifax first learned of the...

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Fact checking President Trump's repeated claim of credit for Foxconn's deal in Wisconsin

Fri, 8 Sep 2017 09:43:00 PDT

"A lot of people are coming back in. We have Foxconn, they make the iPhones, as you know, for Apple, and so many companies are building now in our country, including the auto companies who are coming back."- President Trump, remarks at a rally in Phoenix, Aug. 22, 2017

"I believe that the fact...

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Equifax loses more than $2B in value after data hack

Fri, 8 Sep 2017 09:12:00 PDT

Investors were bailing out on Equifax a day after the credit monitoring company said a data breach exposed the Social Security numbers and other personal data of 143 million Americans.

Equifax shares fell about 13 percent to $123.75 in heavy trading. The decline equates to about $2.28 billion in...

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This man created a mysterious office suspended underneath a bridge

Fri, 8 Sep 2017 09:15:00 PDT

In cities across the globe, housing prices are skyrocketing and space has become an increasingly unattainable luxury good. To cope, some have embraced the tiny house movement or even abandoned the stationary life entirely.

Fernando Abellanas - a plumber-turned-designer in Valencia, Spain, decided...

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Chicago will bid for Amazon's second headquarters - and its 50,000 jobs

Thu, 7 Sep 2017 20:31:00 PDT

Chicago is chasing one of the country's largest corporate headquarters deals in years, joining what is sure to be a fierce competition to land Amazon's second headquarters.

The city plans to respond to Amazon's request for proposals for the new 50,000-employee campus, said a spokesman for Mayor...

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Sally Blount, Northwestern business school dean, to step down

Thu, 7 Sep 2017 10:47:00 PDT

Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management is on the hunt for a new dean.

Sally Blount, who has held the post since 2010, plans to step down at the end of this school year, she announced Wednesday in a video uploaded to YouTube.

"We're at an exciting inflection point," Blount said in...

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Hurricane Harvey spikes U.S. jobless aid applications to 298K

Thu, 7 Sep 2017 11:58:00 PDT

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits soared last week by the most in nearly five years, driven by Hurricane Harvey's impact on Texas and Louisiana.

THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for jobless aid jumped 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, reaching the highest level in two...

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Massive development planned along Chicago River's North Branch

Thu, 7 Sep 2017 07:27:00 PDT

A 310-unit apartment tower and more than 1.2 million square feet of office space are part of a four-building redevelopment planned along the Chicago River near Chicago Avenue.

Broadcast company Tribune Media and its partner on the project, Riverside Investment & Development, on Wednesday unveiled...

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You can now rent Daley Plaza for weddings and other private events

Wed, 6 Sep 2017 14:14:00 PDT

Fifty years after Pablo Picasso's 50-foot-tall sculpture was unveiled there, the city's sprawling Daley Plaza is ushering in another big change: renting out the space for private events.

The city is taking applications for weddings, corporate outings, marketing promotions and other private events...

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Freelancers sue Ebony magazine, claiming $70,000 in unpaid work

Wed, 6 Sep 2017 14:25:00 PDT

A group of 38 Ebony freelancers filed a lawsuit against the magazine Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming they are collectively owed more than $70,000 for their work.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Ebony Media and its owner, Texas-based private equity firm CVG Group, include writers,...

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Avocado shortage, record prices hit Chicago businesses

Wed, 6 Sep 2017 14:31:00 PDT

Taqueria Los Comales, like many other Chicago restaurants and retailers, has an avocado problem.

Because of a supply shortage this summer, the family-owned restaurant chain has had to pay a premium for the popular menu item in recent weeks, shelling out close to $100 for 48-count cases of avocados...

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There's nothing pro-business in Trump's DACA-dumping ways

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 15:57:00 PDT

President Donald Trump promotes himself as pro-business, but his plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — is the most anti-business decision he's made.

Barring a quick congressional fix or an unforeseen turn in the president's moral compass, Trump's...

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'Desperation and anxiety': DACA repeal worries Illinois businesses, could cost state economy $2.3 billion

Wed, 6 Sep 2017 09:08:00 PDT

Miramar Group CEO Juan Ochoa knows what it is like to grow up living in the U.S. illegally. Brought from Mexico when he was 8 years old, he heard stories from his uncles about immigration raids, saw relatives get deported, and felt "a sense of desperation and anxiety" about his future.

Ochoa, now...

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United Airlines won't be fined for passenger-dragging incident, feds say

Wed, 6 Sep 2017 11:59:00 PDT

United Airlines won’t be punished by the federal government over the forced removal of a passenger from a flight in April that put a spotlight on the growing tensions between airlines and travelers on crowded flights.

The Department of Transportation has concluded its investigation into the dragging...

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Chicago condo development picks up, but with focus on high-end units

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 15:00:00 PDT

After almost coming to a halt after the housing crisis, new condo construction is picking up in downtown Chicago and is likely to continue, according to an Appraisal Research Counselors report.

During the second quarter of this year, there were 802 new units available for sale, the report said....

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Why a later start to the school day could pump $1 billion into Illinois' economy

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 04:00:00 PDT

If school districts throughout the state moved starting times to 8:30 a.m. so middle and high school students could sleep longer, Illinois' economy would gain $1 billion within five years, according to a study by the Rand Corp.

The state, along with others throughout the country, would benefit...

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Soda tax opposition spends $1.4 million on new TV ads

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 10:33:00 PDT

The beverage industry-funded opposition to Cook County's sweetened beverage tax will spend $1.4 million on television ads leading up to a possible repeal vote.

The Can the Tax Coalition's announcement Tuesday comes days after former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to spend another...

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Chicago set to raise airport workers' pay, clear path to a union

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 03:00:00 PDT

Edith Alvarenga has spent the past 12 years picking up trash, sweeping up crumbs and mopping up spills — and occasional bodily fluids — that passengers leave behind on airplanes. And she loves it.

She loves that nearly everyone at O'Hare Airport knows her. She loves helping passengers, especially...

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Planned warehouses could bring thousands of jobs to Pullman

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Months before a Whole Foods distribution center is set to open in Pullman, developers are planning more than a million square feet of distribution space next door.

The project could bring thousands of jobs to the South Side neighborhood.

Minneapolis-based developer Ryan Cos. and nonprofit community...

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Tronc acquires New York Daily News

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 12:09:59 PDT

In a stunning and bold bet on the future of newspapers, Tronc, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, has acquired the venerable New York Daily News.

This deal for the tabloid, which includes the Daily News' website and other assets, has been in the works for some months and was finalized Sunday....

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Trump preparing withdrawal from South Korea trade deal, a move opposed by top aides

Sat, 2 Sep 2017 21:29:00 PDT

President Donald Trump has instructed advisers to prepare to withdraw the United States from a free-trade agreement with South Korea, several people close to the process said, a move that would stoke economic tensions with the U.S. ally as both countries confront a crisis over North Korea's nuclear...

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Jane Addams: Champion of the poor. Affordable housing advocate. Glitzy hotel brand?

Fri, 1 Sep 2017 09:07:00 PDT

Fans of community activist and Nobel Prize winner Jane Addams admire her legacy of advocating for the underprivileged people in Chicago and beyond.

But what they've never done is associate Addams with endorsing or fronting a commercial enterprise.

That's about to change because St. Jane Chicago...

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5 lessons learned from Amazon's first week with Whole Foods

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:15:00 PDT

Alexa has suddenly developed a taste for organic quinoa.

On Monday, Amazon closed on its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market — much earlier than many expected — and immediately slashed prices on staple items in a savvy bit of marketing that had been announced a few days prior. Headlines...

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Why investors should be wary of bitcoin

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:52:00 PDT

You might be tantalized by the shocking rise in the value of bitcoin, but don't let it sweep you off your feet.

This week bitcoin, a relatively young synthetic currency that people use to buy items over the web, made headlines after it hit an amazing peak in price of $4,726. During this year alone,...

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With carryout and delivery on the rise, restaurants are getting redesigned

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:11:00 PDT

As restaurant delivery goes up, more drywall is coming down.

The rise in food delivery and digital ordering in recent years has meant restaurant owners have had to learn quickly about the latest technology. They've also had to learn how to wield a hammer.

From added food preparation lines to reconfigurations...

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In smaller towns, empty storefronts and economic challenges loom large

Sat, 2 Sep 2017 14:03:59 PDT

When J.C. Penney announced plans to close up to 140 then-unnamed stores earlier this year, officials in the central Illinois city of Canton dashed off a letter urging the company to spare the department store that sat just off the leafy park in the town square.

It wasn't just that the decades-old...

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Starburst lawsuit: Calorie counts are off by 10 per serving

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 10:28:00 PDT

Talk about counting calories.

An Illinois man is suing Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. over a $2.49 bag of Starburst candy, claiming buyer's remorse because the fruity chews allegedly were labeled on the splashy front of the package as having 130 calories per serving when, according to the nutritional information...

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Trump administration picks ex-DeVry University official to lead Education Dept. anti-fraud division

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 12:10:00 PDT

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it had picked a former official at for-profit DeVry University to head an Education Department unit that polices colleges for student aid fraud.

Last year, DeVry paid $100 million to settle federal claims it misled students.

Julian Schmoke Jr., who...

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Black lawyers must be 'conscience of the nation,' association president says

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Juan Thomas was a senior in college, a bit adrift and unsure where life might take him next, when he woke up to the news one morning that Carol Moseley Braun had beaten serious odds to win the 1992 primary for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat. The Aurora native decided then that he would return to his...

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Chicago hospitals gearing up to offer breakthrough treatment for pediatric cancer

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 18:08:00 PDT

University of Chicago Medical Center and Lurie Children's Hospital could be among the first hospitals in the country to offer a new, breakthrough pediatric cancer treatment approved Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The treatment, which uses a patient's own modified cells to battle...

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Amid Harvey's destruction, nation's flood insurance system is poised to expire

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 15:22:00 PDT

As Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters course through residential communities in parts of Texas and Louisiana, homeowners are bracing for another type of torrent: Expensive repair bills.

Exacerbating this already infuriating and escalating problem, however, is the fact that private insurance companies...

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United Airlines set to resume some Houston flights

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 14:52:00 PDT

United Airlines was preparing Wednesday to resume some passenger flights in and out of Houston, and the city expected to reopen its airports before Thursday.

The Houston Airport System said it planned to resume limited domestic airline passenger service at 4 p.m. Wednesday as the city continues...

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After $31M ruling in Tennessee, Illinois companies sue Navistar over engine

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 09:52:00 PDT

Illinois trucking companies with nationwide operations have been burdened with unexpected towing, lodging and rental car expenses for their drivers due to problem-plagued Navistar vehicles in their fleets, three lawsuits filed last week allege.

The legal filings from Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect...

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Dealership group accuses striking mechanics of labor law violation

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 12:41:00 PDT

The bargaining group of new-car dealerships involved in a monthlong mechanics walkout is accusing the union representing the striking technicians of violating federal labor law.

The charge, filed Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board, came after more than half a dozen dealerships broke...

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Comcast laying off 200 at Oak Brook sales center

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 14:52:00 PDT

Comcast is laying off 200 sales employees at its Oak Brook facility effective Oct. 30, moving the jobs out of state and closing its Chicago-area inbound sales operation.

"Those positions will be consolidated into other inbound sales units in locations throughout our central division," Comcast spokesman...

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Mechanics strike over at some Chicago-area car dealerships breaking from bargaining group

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 07:27:00 PDT

After enduring a nearly monthlong mechanics strike, some new-car dealerships in the Chicago area have broken ranks with their bargaining group and reached separate agreements with their unionized workers.

"The strike is not over; it's just over for us," said Bill Koller, service adviser at Sherman...

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Harvey is pushing gasoline prices higher, even as oil remains cheap

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 05:44:00 PDT

Gas prices could rise 25 cents a gallon or more for several weeks in some parts of the country as the energy industry climbs out of hurricane Harvey's epoch rainfall in southeastern Texas. The nation is heading into the busy Labor Day weekend, which marks the end of the summer driving season.

The...

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Real plastic surgeons not behind most Instagram posts offering nips, tucks and nose jobs: study

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 04:02:00 PDT

Consumers might want to look beneath the surface of Instagram posts about smaller noses, bigger breasts and flatter tummies, based on the results of a new study.

Most of those advertising plastic surgery services on the social media platform are not board-certified plastic surgeons, according to...

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Trump makes populist pitch for tax overhaul expected to heavily benefit corporate America

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 13:01:00 PDT

President Donald Trump launched his fall push to overhaul the nation's tax system by pledging Wednesday that the details-to-come plan would "bring back Main Street" by reducing the crushing tax burden on middle-class Americans, making a populist appeal for a proposal expected to heavily benefit...

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Lawsuits over wood pulp in Parmesan cheese tossed by Chicago judge

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 13:54:00 PDT

Remember all those lawsuits last year about the labeling of Parmesan cheese products containing filler material made from wood chips?

They were dealt a heavy blow late last week when a federal judge in Chicago granted a motion to dismiss a consolidated block of class-action lawsuits against Kraft...

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