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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: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 07:10:18 -0500

Copyright: ©2017 Chicago Tribune

On Illinois farms, where labor is tight, foreign workers are welcomed

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Wayne Sirles parks his dusty pickup amid rows of peach trees, where Mexican pickers pluck fruit that a few years ago dropped to the ground to rot for lack of hands to harvest it.

Not this year. Sirles, whose great-great-grandfather founded Rendleman Orchards in the tiny town of Alto Pass in southern...


Ex-Corinthian students in Illinois could be eligible for part of $11.6M settlement

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:18:07 PDT

Illinois residents who once attended Corinthian Colleges could be eligible for a portion of $11.6 million in relief for student debts accrued during an alleged scheme that reached across the country.

The scheme allegedly involved Oregon-based hedge fund Aequitas and now-defunct Corinthian, which...


As open enrollment approaches, here's how to pick the right health-savings account

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:26:00 PDT

Morningstar has an important message for employees who will soon start signing up for next year's health benefits: Take a close look at any health savings accounts you are considering enrolling in.

Morningstar analyst Leo Acheson, in a new report, examines 10 major HSAs that are popular in the...


For Chicago-area small businesses, growing economy means it's a good time to sell

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:31:00 PDT

Being a local small-business owner is one of the tougher ways to scratch out a living. Lately, however, that task is getting a little easier.

A growing economy, which saw gross domestic product increase in the second quarter by 2.6 percent, is helping area entrepreneurs increase sales and reap...


Wisconsin Assembly passes $3 billion for Foxconn

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:17:00 PDT

The Wisconsin Assembly approved a $3 billion tax break Thursday with bipartisan support for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to build a massive display panel factory in the state, a project President Donald Trump touted as a transformational win for the U.S. economy.

Foxconn announced three...


Are drug firms paying your doctor? Illinois doctors accepted $74.1M in industry payments last year

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:58:00 PDT

Lorenza Villegas doesn't think her doctors should accept free lunches or other types of payments from drug companies.

But like most consumers, she hasn't looked up whether her physicians are among the many who receive money.

"I've got other things on my mind," said the East Garfield Park woman,...


Cook County: Soda tax no longer runs afoul of food stamp rules

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:47:00 PDT

Cook County officials say they've solved a problem with the new sweetened beverage tax that put roughly $87 million in funding used to run the federal food stamp program in Illinois at risk of being withheld.

Purchases made with federal food stamp benefits are exempt from the penny-per-ounce tax...


Former President Obama to speak at Economic Club of Chicago in December

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:22:00 PDT

Former President Barack Obama will speak to the Economic Club of Chicago in December, the venerable members-only business institution announced Thursday.

Obama is booked as guest speaker for the club's Dec. 5 dinner meeting, with limited guest reservations available.

It is a return engagement of...


CEOs faced tough choice in whether to leave Trump's manufacturing council

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:56:19 PDT

When Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier became the first member of President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council to resign in the wake of the president's equivocal response to the weekend's violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., he stood alone among his fellow titans of industry.


Starbucks chairman questions country's 'moral fiber'

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:23:00 PDT

Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz says the events surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend have put the "moral fiber" of the country in question.

Schultz said at an employee forum in Seattle on Tuesday that he has "profound concern about the lack of character,...


Business execs shunned Trump panels before he disbanded them

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:36:00 PDT

President Donald Trump had pushed many of America's top corporate leaders to the breaking point with his inability to decisively condemn white supremacists — so they huddled on an 11:30 a.m. conference call Wednesday.

The frustrated members of the White House policy forum — which included executives...


Defensive Trump's desperate divorce of nation's CEOs was bound to happen

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:15:00 PDT

President Donald Trump and the CEOs of the country's largest companies, who enjoyed a brief and intense honeymoon earlier this year, are breaking up.

You knew this day was coming.

It's always been an uneasy marriage of convenience despite assurances and outward appearances that ex-real estate mogul...


Chicago's Holland Capital Management to close

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:58:00 PDT

Holland Capital Management, a prominent Chicago money management firm that is both African-American- and female-owned, will close after 26 years in the investment business.

The firm, named for one of its founders, Lou Holland, has notified clients that it is winding down the investment business,...


Amid wave of defections, Trump's business, jobs councils disband

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:24:00 PDT

Two of the White House's top corporate advisory groups disbanded Wednesday in a direct affront to President Donald Trump, as the fallout from his controversial statements about who was to blame for violent protests involving white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, cascaded beyond Washington.


DuPage Medical Group eyes expansion with $1.45 billion investment

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 04:00:00 PDT

DuPage Medical Group's management company just snagged its largest investment yet — $1.45 billion from private equity firm Ares Management.

The investment, which closed Tuesday, will allow the medical practice to continue expanding with additional services, sites and doctors. The Downers Grove-based...


Edward-Elmhurst hospital system plans $50 million in cuts, including layoffs

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:59:00 PDT

West suburban hospital system Edward-Elmhurst Health plans to slash $50 million in costs, including through layoffs, in response to many of the same financial pressures afflicting hospitals across Illinois and the country.

Edward-Elmhurst CEO Mary Lou Mastro said during a call with reporters Tuesday...


City Hall doesn't approve of surge ride share pricing after 'L' delays

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 04:00:00 PDT

A man died, three train lines were shut down during the morning commute and displaced travelers who looked to ride-sharing companies to get to work were slapped with surge pricing.

Red, Brown and Purple line trains were stopped at the Fullerton station for three hours during the morning rush Tuesday...


Two AFL-CIO leaders quit Trump's manufacturing council, say he 'tolerates bigotry'

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:55:00 PDT

President Trump on Tuesday ripped three top corporate chief executives who resigned from his manufacturing council in protest of his handling of the Charlottesville, Va., violence, calling them "grandstanders” and saying they were embarrassed because they made their products abroad.

Trump's criticism...


Rauner expected to approve Illinois' revived corporate tax incentives

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:05:00 PDT

A bill heading for Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk would reinstate Illinois' premier corporate tax incentive program and, some argue, could help the state edge out other Midwestern contenders for projects heavy on job creation.

Rauner plans to sign the bill, spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said.

Illinois has...


U.S. senator questions whether Wisconsin should bear full Foxconn cost

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:28:00 PDT

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is questioning whether Wisconsin should bear the full $3 billion in financial incentives being considered to lure electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group to the state.

Johnson raised the question since Illinois workers would also benefit from the plant, which is...


Lawsuit against McDonald's over Cook County soda tax dismissed

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:33:00 PDT

A lawsuit alleging that McDonald's bungled the rollout of Cook County's new penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax has been dismissed.

The lawsuit, which sought class-action status, was filed last week by a Chicago man and accused the fast-food chain of essentially taxing the tax by adding it to...


Chicago footwear brand Bucketfeet trying on made-to-order shoes

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 04:00:00 PDT

You're used to having dinner made to order. How about a new pair of sneakers?

Chicago-based footwear brand Bucketfeet says it can now produce its shoes on demand, waiting until a customer has placed an order and then manufacturing the pair and delivering it within 10 days.

The company sells sneakers...


If Illinois wants 4,000 new auto jobs, Rauner needs to approve tax credit plan

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:00:00 PDT

The possibility of 4,000 well-paying jobs coming to Illinois should have the Rauner administration bursting with excitement, but instead the development is being greeted with a discouraging shrug.

Last week, the Tribune asked about Illinois' chances of winning a new U.S. factory being built by...


Three CEOs quit Trump advisory panel over Charlottesville response

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:21:00 PDT

Three executives who sat on President Donald Trump's manufacturing council have quit following the events in Charlottesville, Va., and the president's slow crawl to explicitly condemn white supremacists.

The chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. publicly resigned from the White House...


Vista Tower moving ahead despite Chinese crackdown on investor

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:10:00 PDT

A Chicago developer said construction of the 98-story Vista Tower, which will be the third-tallest building in the city once completed, is unaffected despite major changes to the Chinese company that is backing the condominium and hotel project.

Magellan Development Group's $1 billion East Wacker...


Chicago Tribune parent nears deal to move from Tribune Tower to south of river

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:05:00 PDT

After almost a century in its namesake tower on North Michigan Avenue, the Chicago Tribune is close to a deal to move a few blocks south.

The newspaper's parent company, Tronc, is in advanced negotiations to lease space in Prudential Plaza, a two-tower office complex that overlooks Millennium Park,...


Strike continues as Chicago-area mechanics vote down latest offer from dealers

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:50:00 PDT

The union representing almost 2,000 mechanics striking throughout the Chicago area voted over the weekend to continue the two-week walkout.

Members of the Automobile Mechanics' Local 701 voted Saturday and "overwhelmingly rejected" the latest offer from a negotiating group representing area auto...


From Tiki torches to hockey, Charlottesville compels companies to denounce white supremacist patrons

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:01:00 PDT

Last weekend in Charlottesville, hundreds of people espousing white nationalist, neo-Nazi and Klux Klux Klan ideology marched in the dark through the University of Virginia campus spewing racist taunts while illuminating the night with Tiki-type torches in hand.

Until then, the wick-tipped poles...


Illinois names 6 insurers to take part in overhauled Medicaid managed care

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:56:00 PDT

More than half a million Illinois residents on Medicaid are about to see major changes in their coverage as the state slashes in half the number of insurers in its Medicaid managed care program.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services announced Friday that it has selected six...


Chicago's grocery list gets shorter: Fewer stores in area

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 09:31:00 PDT

Grocers aren't stocking up on new stores in Chicago, leaving many shoppers with fewer places to fill their cart.

There are 262 grocery stores in Chicago and close-in suburbs, the lowest number since 2009, according to an urban grocery report by retail brokerage Mid-America Real Estate Group. Grocers...


Squeezed out by Silicon Valley, the far-right is creating its own corporate world

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:27:00 PDT

Over and over again, America’s far-right has learned that the 1st Amendment doesn’t protect them from Silicon Valley tech companies.

For weeks, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and other far-right figures have been organizing for a “Unite the Right” demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday,...


Wisconsin GOP revises Foxconn incentives to encourage hiring state residents

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:24:00 PDT

Wisconsin Republicans announced revisions Friday to a state incentives package for Foxconn, including provisions that would tie tax credits to the number of living-wage jobs created and encourage the company to hire Wisconsin residents.

The Taiwanese electronics giant plans to build a 20 million-square-foot...


Why a four-year college degree isn't the only path to a secure lifestyle

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:41:00 PDT

If you aren't sure college is for you, consider this: You don't have to get a four-year degree to make a good living.

Contrary to the common belief that everyone must go to college, a new study from Georgetown University comes up with a surprising finding: There are still 30 million good jobs that...


Philadelphia's soda tax offers lessons for Cook County

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:12:00 PDT

Klein's Supermarket, a family-owned grocery store near the iconic Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, doesn't sell as many sweet fizzy drinks as it once did.

Since the City of Brotherly Love's so-called soda tax went into effect Jan. 1, sales of affected beverages are down about 60 percent...


Auto mechanics set to vote on offer that could end nearly 2-week strike

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:39:00 PDT

Hundreds of Chicago-area auto mechanics are set to vote Saturday on an offer from a group of unionized new-car dealerships that could end a nearly two-week strike, but a union representative said it is unlikely members will approve the contract.

Nearly 2,000 mechanics went on strike Aug. 1 after...


Months late, city to start issuing long-awaited Airbnb host registrations

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 07:38:00 PDT

After months of silence, the city is ready to start enforcing some of its new short-term rental rules.

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection plans to roll out long-awaited registration numbers to Airbnb hosts Friday, said Rosa Escareno, the department's commissioner. Chicago's...


President Bezos? President Zuckerberg? 2020 could feature Trump vs. CEO

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:00:00 PDT

As talk of the 2020 presidential election ratchets up, you wonder how many well-known CEOs are toying with the idea of running for the White House.

Their rationale: If businessman Donald Trump did it and won, why not me?

Already this year, a couple of CEOs have embarked on tours, through the Chicago...


Under Sinclair, WGN could be 'Chicago's very own' no more

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:54:00 PDT

For nearly a century, stations bearing the call letters WGN have been the broadcast reflection of a city, chronicling, shaping and beaming its culture through the airwaves as Chicago's very own.

Chicagoans may be in for a culture shock if politically conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group completes...


Feds say Cook County soda tax collection violates food stamp rules

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 04:10:00 PDT

Cook County's sweetened beverage tax has landed the state in hot water with the feds, potentially causing roughly $87 million in federal food stamp money to be withheld, Illinois officials said Thursday.

The problem: Purchases made with federal food stamp benefits are exempt from the soda tax under...


CNA building gets new tenant — and maybe a new name — as Northern Trust signs deal

Wed, 9 Aug 2017 16:10:00 PDT

CNA Financial's brightly colored Loop office tower, also known as "Big Red," is getting a new namesake tenant as the insurer prepares to move its headquarters next year to a tower under construction.

Northern Trust Corp. has leased 462,000 square feet in the 45-story building at 333 S. Wabash Ave.,...


It's been 9 days. It's time to repeal Cook County's soda pop tax

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 03:00:00 PDT

It's been just over a week but Cook County's new tax on sweetened beverages is on the fast track toward becoming one of the more vilified public policies in recent memory.

Such widespread unhappiness should prompt County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and commissioners to rethink and repeal their...


DeKalb, Rochelle are possible sites as Illinois pursues 4,000-job Toyota-Mazda plant

Wed, 9 Aug 2017 15:32:00 PDT

Illinois is among states in the running for a manufacturing plant that Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda want to build in the U.S., with plans to hire as many as 4,000 workers.

The state has provided information to the car companies about potential locations, according to sources. Northern Illinois...


McDonald's, Walgreens, 7-Eleven hit with lawsuits over Cook County soda pop tax

Wed, 9 Aug 2017 13:04:00 PDT

Three major purveyors of soda pop and other beverages have been sued in the week since Cook County's new penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks went into effect, with 7-Eleven and Walgreens accused of applying the charge to unsweetened beverages and McDonald's accused of essentially taxing the...


Walgreens Balance Reward points to expire after 1 year instead of 3

Wed, 9 Aug 2017 09:19:00 PDT

If any Walgreens customers are hoarding points in the store's loyalty program, it might be time to cash in.

The Deerfield-based drugstore chain is changing the expiration policy on its Balance Rewards points. Starting Aug. 25, points will expire one year after the date they were earned. Previously...


Longtime Skokie business may relocate following minimum wage vote

Wed, 9 Aug 2017 09:55:00 PDT

Some small business owners say the Skokie Village Board's vote last month to have the village go along with Cook County's minimum wage hike and sick leave ordinances cripple them because of an unequal playing field.

Randy Miles, owner of the Village Inn restaurant in downtown Skokie, said he doesn't...


Delivery is the hot dining trend, but it's not for every restaurant. Here's why.

Tue, 8 Aug 2017 13:52:00 PDT

Delivery, it seems, is a must for restaurants these days.

It allows restaurants to reach customers who don't want to eat out, but also don't want to cook. And it bolsters restaurants' revenue by getting their food to a customer's door — with the help of a third-party delivery service — without...


Wisconsin wouldn't break even on Foxconn incentives for 25 years, analysis shows

Tue, 8 Aug 2017 17:53:00 PDT

It would take at least 25 years for Wisconsin taxpayers to break even on Gov. Scott Walker's incentives to lure Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to the state, according to a fiscal analysis released Tuesday.Walker's bill would exempt construction materials from the state and local sales tax...


Airbus A380, world's largest passenger jet, making 1st regular O'Hare flights next year

Tue, 8 Aug 2017 10:32:09 PDT

The world's largest passenger airplane will begin making regular stops at O'Hare International Airport next year.

British Airways will begin using the double-decker Airbus A380 on one of two daily flights between Chicago and London starting May 8, the airline said Tuesday in a news release.



The saga of a very long American flight between Chicago and New York

Mon, 7 Aug 2017 14:01:00 PDT

It was a Chicago-to-New York flight that should have taken around two hours but turned into an eight-hour-plus odyssey.

The result was a trip that serves as a window into the travails of modern-day air travel. It also shows how a gap in airline customer service compels paying passengers to fend...


Paper or plastic? Chicago bag tax is encouraging shoppers to say 'neither'

Mon, 7 Aug 2017 15:26:45 PDT

Chicago's ban on disposable plastic bags wound up on the trash heap. But the bag tax that replaced it is nudging Chicagoans to kick, or at least curtail, their use of the plastic sacks.

Retailers began ringing up the 7-cent tax, designed to curb the use of store-supplied bags that often wind up...


Walgreens sued over allegedly collecting soda tax on unsweetened drinks

Tue, 8 Aug 2017 05:01:00 PDT

A Schaumburg man is suing Walgreens for allegedly wrongly charging Cook County's new sweetened beverage tax on unsweetened sparkling water.

The lawsuit, filed Friday by Vincent De Leon, comes days after the county's penny-per-ounce tax took effect.

The tax went into effect Wednesday and applies...


Northwestern ranked Illinois' top hospital, according to U.S. News

Mon, 7 Aug 2017 21:00:00 PDT

Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital is on a winning streak, ranking No. 1 in the state for the sixth year in a row, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings released Tuesday, though it slipped a few spots nationally this year.

U.S. News again ranked Rush University Medical Center second...


Striking mechanics return to bargaining table with Chicago-area dealerships

Mon, 7 Aug 2017 13:04:17 PDT

After striking for nearly a week, a union representing almost 2,000 auto mechanics across the Chicago area has returned to the bargaining table.

The strike took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. A federal mediator directed the union and the Chicago New Car Dealer Committee, which bargains for the dealerships,...


Ford to repair Chicago-built police SUVs with carbon monoxide issues

Fri, 4 Aug 2017 19:26:00 PDT

Ford is offering to repair its Chicago-built Police Interceptor SUVs amid reports of elevated carbon monoxide levels and growing concern among officers.

Police departments from Austin, Texas, to Auburn, Mass., are reporting high levels of the poisonous gas detected in the cabins of the specially...


Why remote working succeeds at some companies and not others

Sun, 6 Aug 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Marilu Arce loves her job, but for a time she considered leaving.

The commute from her Mokena home to her downtown office, nearly two hours each way, meant her daughters couldn't enroll in after-school activities because she couldn't get home in time to take them.

Then her employer adopted a policy...


Don't watch 'Game of Thrones'? Mondays at the office can get pretty annoying

Sun, 6 Aug 2017 16:54:00 PDT

Caroline Malaby works in Reston, Virginia, for Carahsoft, an IT company, and most of her colleagues are men. Many of Malaby's co-workers are die-hard Washington Redskins fans and often talk about the team at the office. But that doesn't bother Malaby - she follows the Redskins religiously herself....


In an era of on-demand food delivery, hotel room service is forced to evolve

Thu, 3 Aug 2017 13:37:00 PDT

Hotel room service has always been a tough sell.

It's expensive both to order and to operate, looks extravagant on a business traveler's expense report, and for most people, goes against the very point of travel: to get out and explore new sights and cuisines. Room service revenue industrywide...


Why some employers are becoming more generous with retirement savings plans

Sat, 5 Aug 2017 10:00:00 PDT

In an effort to recruit employees in competitive fields and help motivate older workers to leave the workplace when they hit retirement age, companies are becoming more generous with their retirement savings plans.

After pulling back on the extras during the recession, companies are devoting more...


Chicago construction volume slows, but less so than most big markets

Thu, 3 Aug 2017 14:25:00 PDT

Less money was spent kicking off commercial real estate construction in the area during the first half of 2017, but Chicago showed more staying power than most major U.S. markets.

Commercial and multifamily construction starts in the Chicago area were valued at $3.8 billion, down 1 percent from...


Chicago ties with Orlando as top choice for convention planners

Thu, 3 Aug 2017 13:27:46 PDT

Move over Cubs, Chicago is also the champion when it comes to the choice locale for destination meetings, conferences and conventions, according to a new survey.

Sixty-seven percent of the meeting planners queried in the survey chose Chicago, which tied with Orlando, Fla., as the top conference...


University of Chicago Medicine severs ties with Medicaid insurer IlliniCare

Thu, 3 Aug 2017 11:30:00 PDT

Thousands of low-income patients may have to scramble to find new doctors this month after University of Chicago Medicine became the latest major health system to break up with IlliniCare Health, an insurer that administers benefits for the state's Medicaid program.

U. of C. Medicine follows Northwestern...


Midwest gas prices up as families take final summer road trips

Thu, 3 Aug 2017 12:04:00 PDT

Gas prices in the Midwest are up this month as families try to squeeze in one last road trip before the kids head back to school.

The average price for a gallon of gas in Illinois was $2.37 Thursday, up 8 cents from a month ago and 23 cents from a year ago, according to AAA numbers.

The month-over-month...


Airbnb hosts still not registered 4 months after Chicago's new rules took effect

Wed, 2 Aug 2017 10:02:00 PDT

More than four months after Chicago's contentious short-term rental ordinance took full effect, the city is not enforcing some penalties outlined in the new rules.

Airbnb hosts, meanwhile, have not heard from the city about the registration numbers they're required to have under the law. Though...


Soda tax rollout leaves Chicago-area shoppers grumbling, confused

Thu, 3 Aug 2017 07:00:00 PDT

Cook County's long-delayed tax on sweetened beverages took effect Wednesday amid confusion, leaving retailers grumbling and shoppers plotting soda runs to neighboring counties.

The penny-per-ounce tax applies to both sugar- and artificially sweetened drinks. That goes beyond just pop — bottled...


Foxconn steers clear of Trump's $30 billion investment claim

Wed, 2 Aug 2017 14:39:00 PDT

Foxconn Technology Group is not saying whether it plans to invest $30 billion in the United States, as President Donald Trump claimed the company's leader told him "off the record."

Trump announced to a group of small business leaders at the White House on Tuesday that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou told...


Amazon recruiting event in Romeoville draws hundreds of job-seekers: 'I go where the money's at'

Wed, 2 Aug 2017 11:01:00 PDT

Alexa, what are your deals?

On Wednesday, at least, it was warehouse jobs — thousands of them, Amazon said. Seattle-based Amazon held its largest-ever hiring event Wednesday, inviting prospective employees to apply at 10 fulfillment centers nationwide, including sites in Romeoville and Kenosha,...


Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld to retire in November

Wed, 2 Aug 2017 13:44:31 PDT

Mondelez International CEO Irene Rosenfeld will retire in November, bringing an end to her time at the helm of the $26 billion global snack and candy company known for brands like Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, the company announced Wednesday.

She'll be replaced by Dirk Van de Put, who's currently...


Cook County soda pop tax goes into effect, despite retailers' appeal

Wed, 2 Aug 2017 05:33:00 PDT

A group of retailers is appealing a judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit that temporarily blocked Cook County's sweetened beverage tax.

The penny-per-ounce tax, originally slated to begin July 1 but delayed by the lawsuit, went into effect Wednesday.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association announced...


Cook County soda tax quiz: Is my drink taxed?

Wed, 2 Aug 2017 16:49:00 PDT

Cook County's so-called soda tax applies to much more than just pop: juices, coffees, teas and sports and energy drinks all can apply but it depends on a key factor: Is it sweetened? If the non-alcoholic beverage contains sugar or artificial sweetener it gets the penny-per-ounce tax. Take the quiz...(image)

Confused about what Cook County's soda tax covers? Here's what you need to know

Tue, 1 Aug 2017 05:42:00 PDT

Let's get this one out of the way: Your LaCroix sparkling water will not incur Cook County's penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax, set to go into effect Wednesday.

But the so-called soda tax applies to much more than just pop. Any nonalcoholic beverage that's either sugar- or artificially sweetened...


Obamacare rates in Illinois could climb next year

Tue, 1 Aug 2017 17:54:00 PDT

Health insurers want to raise premiums next year for Illinois consumers who buy coverage through the Obamacare exchange — in many cases citing uncertainty surrounding the health care law as a reason for the proposed jumps.

Average rate increases for individual plans in Illinois could range from...


Chicago-area mechanics on strike; major car repairs may stall at dealers

Tue, 1 Aug 2017 11:20:00 PDT

Mechanics at almost 140 new car dealerships across the Chicago area went on strike Tuesday, potentially throwing a hitch into some auto repairs.

The strike took effect at 12:01 a.m. and included almost 2,000 mechanics, according to the Automobile Mechanics' Union Local 701, which represents the...


City selling 18 acres along river to Sterling Bay for $105 million

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:12:00 PDT

Sterling Bay's already large swath of North Side land is about to get a whole lot bigger after the Chicago real estate developer struck a nearly $105 million deal to buy 18 acres near Goose Island from the city.

With a $104.7 million offer, the real estate developer has emerged as the winning bidder...


Cloud company iManage adds room for 100 more employees in Chicago headquarters

Tue, 1 Aug 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Chicago-based iManage stores information virtually in the cloud for big corporate clients, but the firm is adding old-fashioned space for its own growth.

The technology firm moved Monday into a 48,000-square-foot headquarters in the 30-story office tower at 540 W. Madison St., nearly doubling its...


2,310-calorie pasta dish, 1,450-calorie omelet on group's unhealthy restaurant meal list

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:53:00 PDT

Watch out, diners: There are serious calories in some restaurant meals.

That was the message of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition advocacy group, as it released its annual "Xtreme Eating Award" winners — the most calorie-stuffed dishes and drinks from the country's chain...


Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett joins Lyft board

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 09:13:00 PDT

Valerie Jarrett is joining Lyft's board of directors, the company announced Monday, the latest of President Obama's former staffers to enter the world of ride-hailing.

Jarrett, the former senior adviser to the president, joins the panel as an independent director, expanding Lyft's board from eight...


Historically black beach enclaves are fighting to save their history and identity

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:11:00 PDT

Sag Harbor Hills and the neighboring districts of Ninevah Beach and Azurest are unique among beach communities in the Hamptons, the collection of affluent towns on the eastern end of New York's Long Island long known for attracting wealthy summer residents.

Founded in the village of Sag Harbor...


Wisconsin's aglow with Foxconn announcement, but can Illinois share the spotlight?

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Wisconsin, a Rust Belt state known for its beer, Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the Green Bay Packers, is having its moment in the 21st century's manufacturing spotlight.

With Wednesday's announcement that Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group will build its first U.S. plant in...


Treasury Department axes Obama-era myRA retirement savings program

Sun, 30 Jul 2017 04:00:00 PDT

The myRA savings account program, which started under President Barack Obama as a way to get low- and moderate-income people to save for retirement but was slow to catch on, is being shut down by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The accounts were begun in 2015 and were intended to give people without...


Illinois consumers to get peek at Obamacare rate changes, but uncertainty remains

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:46:00 PDT

Illinois consumers who buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchange will find out in a few days how much more that coverage might cost them next year — and if other states are any indication, it's not going to be pretty.

But the Illinois rate proposals, expected to be publicly released Tuesday,...


Cook County soda tax to start Wednesday after judge dismissed challenge

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:55:00 PDT

Cook County shoppers who buy sweetened beverages will be charged a penny-per-ounce tax beginning Wednesday, after a judge dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the county tax as unconstitutional.

In the immediate aftermath of Friday's ruling, retailers and beverage industry groups lamented the setback,...


Chicago could get new open-outcry trading floor, even as frenzied trading declines

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 07:27:00 PDT

Over the last decade, the frenzied screaming and hand-waving on exchange trading floors has started to go the way of the horse and buggy.

The so-called open-outcry trading floors that symbolized the nation's stock market and investment activity gradually have been displaced by computers and electronic...


Apartment construction, and beer, flows freely in Chicago

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 15:07:00 PDT

Chicago is the top place in the U.S. to build apartment towers or grab a beer, according to a study that gives new meaning to the term "frothy apartment market."

Research by CoStar Portfolio Strategy, a unit of CoStar Group, shows the Chicago area has the most breweries in the nation, with 202...


Wisconsin won Foxconn factory, but Illinois won't lose out

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

Here's some advice for those who see Foxconn's decision to open a plant in southeast Wisconsin as a devastating economic defeat for Illinois: Take a breath.

Business doesn't stop at Wisconsin's southern border.

Provided Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group delivers the goods — and opens a plant...


Rust Belt Wisconsin looks to fill high-skill jobs at Foxconn's first U.S. plant

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:39:00 PDT

A Rust Belt state that built a manufacturing legacy through assembly-line jobs will have to quickly transition to a more highly skilled workforce now that Foxconn has selected Wisconsin as the site of its coveted U.S. electronics plant.

"This will not be your grandfather's factory," said Tom Still,...


Ballast Point plans to open Fulton Market brewpub next year

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:11:00 PDT

Ballast Point, the San Diego-based brewery known for Sculpin IPA and Grapefruit Sculpin, plans to open a brewpub in Chicago's booming Fulton Market district early next year.

Ballast Point intends to open a 12,000-square-foot "research and development" brewery, restaurant and a rooftop bar on North...


What Trump's attacks on Sessions can teach employees dealing with aggressive bosses

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:32:00 PDT

If you're feeling beaten down by a boss who's demeaning you in front of others, it's all about picking your battles and knowing where your power lies.

It's a scenario the world has watched play out this week as President Donald Trump publicly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump has...


Stores try to make back-to-school shopping chaos easier on parents

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:02:00 PDT

Dread might be too strong a word. But Kate Hunt's feelings about back-to-school shopping aren't far from those of kids who soon will have to give up lazy afternoons at the pool for long hours in the classroom.

The supply lists her first- and third-grade sons' school sent home were simultaneously...


Rebranding of Public hotel brings back part of famed name: Ambassador

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 05:16:00 PDT

When Ian Schrager bought the landmark Ambassador East hotel in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood in 2010, the plan of the New York City nightclub owner turned hotelier and real estate developer was to restore the hotel to its original glamour with a modern touch.

The restoration and renaming to...


United, Frontier airlines feuding over Denver airport and flyers may win

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 05:20:00 PDT

All is not quiet on United Airlines' western front as the carrier gears up to protect its most profitable hub, Denver International Airport.

United will be pushing back on the encroaching Frontier Airlines, an ultralow-cost rival that's based at the Denver airport and has expansionary ambitions...


Glenview appliance giant Abt opens Dylan's Candy Bar

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:43:00 PDT

For more than 80 years, Abt has built its reputation by offering sweet deals on major appliances. Now the Glenview-based retailer is offering deals on sweets.

In an unusual partnership, Abt recently opened a licensed Dylan's Candy Bar boutique inside its 350,000-square-foot appliance store, selling...


iPhone-maker Foxconn to open Wisconsin plant expected to create as many as 13,000 jobs

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:30:00 PDT

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

The announcement comes at a critical juncture for a Trump administration...


United sued after giant rabbit died on London-to-Chicago flight

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:45:00 PDT

A group of Iowa businessmen filed a lawsuit Wednesday against United Airlines over the death of Simon, a giant rabbit whose lifeless body was discovered in a kennel after a flight from London to Chicago. The lawsuit comes as United struggles to repair its image after a string of events, including...


Friday flight could be the last stop in Chicago for United's 747 fleet

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:17:00 PDT

United Airlines is giving Chicagoans nostalgic for the heyday of the Boeing 747 another chance to take a flight on the aircraft before it makes its final United flight later this year.

Chicago-based United still has 14 747s in operation that typically only fly from San Francisco to a handful of...


Smart thermostats are tough sell, but ComEd hopes rebates boost interest

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:51:00 PDT

In the age-old battle over who controls the temperature setting, smart thermostats would seem an intelligent alternative: Let the internet-connected device make automatic adjustments and pocket some savings in the process.

But at $250 per unit for leading models, most consumers aren't buying it,...


Green screens, animation and voice-overs: Designing modern slot machines

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:59:00 PDT

Playing the slots while on the job is frowned upon in most professions, but at Everi, it's a requirement.

The Las Vegas-based slot machine-maker has a development center in an office in the West Loop Gate neighborhood.

About 50 employees keep their creative juices flowing with a game-filled lounge,...


Lincoln Park building loses Zuckerberg-backed AltSchool, adds Amazon

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:11:26 PDT

A private school backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has called off plans to open in Lincoln Park this fall, but the building's owner is adding another big technology name: Amazon.

AltSchool said it will not open its first elementary school in the Midwest in a two-story building at Clark...


Glitches in transfer of 529 college savings plans are resolved, state says

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:00:00 PDT

The Illinois treasurer's office now says that transferring the state's 529 Bright Start college savings plan to a new administrator resulted in technical problems that kept families from accessing their accounts.

But all glitches have been repaired, said Paris Ervin, spokesman for Treasurer Michael...


Time to OK Chinese investors' controversial Chicago Stock Exchange deal

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 05:50:00 PDT

The time has come for federal regulators to approve a small but highly controversial local business deal — the purchase of the Chicago Stock Exchange by Chinese-led investors.

By early August, the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to rule on the proposed transaction, valued by financial...


Employers praise extra H-2B visas; critics say foreign workers take American jobs

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:34:00 PDT

When Ruben Chavez's landscaping company needed extra manpower this summer to lay patio and driveway pavers, it applied to hire temporary foreign workers through the government's controversial H-2B visa program.

But the annual cap for such visas had been reached and the application was denied. Chavez...