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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, 27 Mar 2017 07:43:34 -0500

Copyright: ©2017 Chicago Tribune

Skilled immigrants often struggle to put degrees, credentials to use in U.S.

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:35:00 PDT

The first time he applied for a medical residency in the U.S., Rafel AlHiali felt buoyant.

With nine years of experience as a physician, the Iraq native and recent immigrant to Chicago felt confident he'd be treating patients again soon.

He sent off the applications and waited. And waited. "First...


Illinois health care advocates cheer GOP bill's demise, worry about future

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:38:00 PDT

Many health care leaders in Illinois cheered the demise of House Republicans' Obamacare replacement bill Friday — but it didn't take long for reality to quiet the celebration.

Despite the bill's downfall, challenges remain in Illinois and across the U.S. when it comes to health insurance, they...


Want to work for the Cubs? Meet the woman who can make it happen

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:58:00 PDT

The Chicago Cubs have added an HR specialist to bolster their championship lineup — not on the field, but in the front office.

As the team's new vice president of human resources, Ann Weiser is in charge of hiring and developing prospects to join the Cubs' business roster, where jobs ranging from...


The Easter Bunny will see you now: Malls hope holiday hop draws crowds to shop

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:14:00 PDT

Easter spending is expected to top $17 billion this year, higher than it's been in more than a decade, and malls want their cash registers ringing up some of those sales. So they're calling in the bunny.

Santa draws a bigger crowd during the year's fourth quarter, but malls are amping up their...


From warehouse to penthouse: Finkl site, industrial corridor ready for makeover

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:46:00 PDT

A construction boom of apartment towers, office buildings, retail spaces, roads, bridges, parks and trails is envisioned for a 3.7-mile stretch along the Chicago River that once was dominated by manufacturers.

A recently released proposal, backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, aims to address a long-brewing...


Dry cleaners, seeking new ways to survive, take inspiration from restaurants and retail

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:59:00 PDT

Rafiq Karimi Jr. isn't about to let anything or anyone get in the way of cleaning clothes.

Not consumers wearing lower-maintenance casual clothes to work. Not retailers selling inexpensive "disposable" fashions. Not telecommuters staying in their jammies. Not smoking bans lessening the need for...


Will you have enough? Only 18% very confident about their retirement savings

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:57:00 PDT

Meet the worriers — the people who are afraid they won't ever be able to retire or that they will run out of money too early in retirement.

Three out of 10 say they are so stressed out they even think about it at work, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a research organization...


Sears once boasted on having everything you need. Those days are long gone.

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:19:00 PDT

Sears Holdings' chance of survival is being called into question by none other than the company itself, which now concedes it has "substantial doubt" about sticking around.

That recent revelation, made in its annual report, is not unexpected. Sears is a longtime corporate life-support case. But...


Ivanka Trump's 'seat at the table' not inspiring many women in the workplace

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Ivanka Trump now has an office in the West Wing of the White House, a space coveted by anyone who has worked in politics in Washington, D.C.

She has security clearance that will make her privy to some of the nation's most secret intelligence information and, of course, she has the ear of President...


Caterpillar officials discuss federal probe, but with little detail

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:44:21 PDT

In public appearances and talks, Caterpillar officials continue to mention the federal raid that took place at the company's headquarters this month, but they decline to discuss details.

The raid, Caterpillar has stated, involved its use of a parts subsidiary based in Switzerland, among other things....


Illinois poised to grow — if it supports youth, immigrants, report says

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:19:00 PDT

Despite recent Census figures that showed Chicago lost more residents last year than any other metro area in the nation, a new report from the Urban Institute projects better news for its future.

After lagging far behind its Great Lakes neighbors in population growth since 2000 – an anemic 3.4...


Rick Bayless' Frontera frozen meals to hit stores this summer

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:29:00 PDT

Coming this summer to a grocery store frozen aisle near you — an assortment of Frontera-branded bowls and skillet meals emblazoned with Chef Rick Bayless' seal of approval.

Consider it part of Conagra Brands' ongoing attempt to cater to today's consumers who are willing to pay more for higher quality...


Kraft Heinz to cut about 200 jobs, including some in Chicago

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:07:00 PDT

Kraft Heinz confirmed Thursday that it's cutting about 200 salaried jobs in the U.S. and Canada, including some in Chicago.

Spokesman Michael Mullen said in an email that all affected employees were notified Thursday and that most would be gone from the company next week. He wouldn't say exactly...


Illinois Supreme Court delivers partial win for hospitals on property taxes

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:07:24 PDT

Illinois' not-for-profit hospitals can continue to skip paying property taxes, for now, after an Illinois Supreme Court decision Thursday that follows years of battles between hospitals and municipalities over those dollars.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday vacated the ruling of a lower court,...


Chicago area leads U.S. in population loss, sees drop for 2nd year in a row

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:25:00 PDT

Patrice Bedford had never questioned raising her baby in Chicago.

But on a springtime stroll during the first trimester of her pregnancy last year, a heightened sense of smell — piqued by pungent neighborhood odors — made her view the city differently.

The city's expensive, she said. Public schools...


New Chicago Community Trust CEO will face shifting philanthropic environment

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:00:00 PDT

For the first time in 13 years the venerable Chicago Community Trust will start looking for a new leader. Longtime CEO Terry Mazany recently announced plans to step down.

Mazany leaves the nonprofit in strong financial shape and with an impressive record of local philanthropic fundraising and giving,...


The Senate just voted to undo landmark rules covering your Internet privacy

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:52:00 PDT

Senate lawmakers voted Thursday to repeal a historic set of rules aimed at protecting consumers' online data from their own Internet providers.

The rules, which prohibit providers from abusing the data they gather on their customers as they browse the Web on cellphones and computers, were approved...


Illinois lawmakers propose legalizing recreational marijuana

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:15:00 PDT

Lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois but say the legislation probably won't come up for a vote until next year.

Sponsors on Wednesday introduced bills that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and buy limited amounts of marijuana.

The state...


Want to see Willis Tower's Skydeck from the outside?

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:00:00 PDT

Willis Tower is getting a face-lift that might allow thrill-seeking visitors to unleash their inner Spider-Man.

The 110-story landmark skyscraper's owner, Blackstone Group, plans a $20 million upgrade to its Skydeck, expanding it to two floors, adding an open-air ledge walk and letting visitors...


Sears, once a stalwart, has 'substantial doubt' about future

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 05:16:00 PDT

Sears, a back-to-school shopping destination for generations of kids, has said that after years of losing money that there is "substantial doubt" it will be able to keep its doors open. But it also insisted that its actions to turn around its business should help reduce that risk.

It was still...


Starbucks will launch its new U.S. lunch menu in Chicago

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:57:00 PDT

Starbucks on Wednesday unveiled a new lunch menu featuring healthier sandwiches and salads that it plans to debut in Chicago on April 11.

The menu, called "Mercato," initially will launch in about 100 stores in the city, but Starbucks said it expects to expand to other U.S. markets in the future.


Chicago home sales slowed in February as prices climbed

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:20:00 PDT

After a powerful surge in home and condo prices in Chicago during January, growth settled down in February and is expected to keep a moderate pace through the spring selling season.

Single-family home prices in Chicago rose just 3.4 percent over the previous year in February to a median $185,000,...


New Whole Foods Lakeview opens with poutine bar, mochi ice cream, free Ms. Pac Man

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 07:20:00 PDT

The new Whole Foods Market in Lakeview opens 9 a.m. Wednesday after a “bread breaking ceremony,” a company tradition, said store spokesperson Allison Phelps, during my preview tour Tuesday. Instead of cutting ribbon with giant scissors, store team members will hand-tear a nearly 5-foot-long golden,...


Baby born with four legs undergoes life-changing surgery at Advocate Children's Hospital

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:41:00 PDT

Advocate Children's Hospital surgeons have successfully operated on a baby from Africa born with two spines and an extra set of legs protruding from her neck.

The Park Ridge hospital announced Tuesday that 10-month-old Dominique from Ivory Coast, or Cote d'Ivoire, in West Africa, is recovering...


AT&T wants out of Illinois-wide mandate to run landline phones

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 03:30:00 PDT

A longstanding rule requiring AT&T to provide landline service to many Illinois residents could be going away, but watchdogs say the proposal needs more safeguards to protect rural and low-income customers.

An Illinois Senate committee gave an early OK last Thursday to a bill that would free AT&T...


Sports museum in Chicago is proposed by ex-Adler, Shedd executives

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:23:00 PDT

Two former museum executives are pitching an idea for a sports museum in Chicago that would use sports to teach visitors about everything from physics to statistics to race relations.

But whether the museum could be a grand slam or even get to first base depends on funding and support.

Other museums...


'Amazing' Illinois tourism ads aimed at adventurous millennials, Gen Xers

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:34:00 PDT

When it came to advertising the charms of our state, Cory Jobe, the director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, had two challenges.

Appeal to a new audience. And find a new message.

The result was "Up for Amazing," a campaign launched last spring with only modest resources behind it. After deciding...


French brasserie to open in financial district as part of plaza redesign

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 04:00:00 PDT

A sister of French restaurant Cochon Volant is planned in a plaza alongside an office tower in the city's financial district, part of the landlord's efforts to attract office tenants.

The restaurant at 401 S. Financial Place, to be called Taureaux Tavern, Bar and Brasserie, is expected to open...


Business pitches to Emanuel raise prospect of potential lobbying violations

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 03:00:00 PDT

Found within the thousands of emails Mayor Rahm Emanuel released from his personal accounts are plenty of pitches from people looking to do business with City Hall.

If the Chicago Board of Ethics were to conclude that type of contact is lobbying and those individuals did not register with the city,...


Upset alert: It's time to dump March Madness office pools

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:19:00 PDT

Workplace betting pools, which flourish during college basketball's March Madness competition and are perceived as a harmless way of boosting employee morale, should be dumped on the ash heap of business history.

While we're at it, let's get rid of other collective on-the-job gambling campaigns,...


Chicago PR tech firm Cision to go public in $2.4 billion merger

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:40:00 PDT

Cision, a Chicago-based public relations technology firm, is going public in a merger with a "blank check" acquisition firm that values the combined company at $2.4 billion.

The deal, announced Monday, will combine Cision with Capitol Acquisition Corp. III, a Washington, D.C., public investment...


Ken Griffin ranked richest among Illinois' 16 billionaires. Again.

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:54:00 PDT

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the richest of them all? In Illinois, it's still Citadel's Ken Griffin, according to Forbes 31st annual World's Billionaires List.

The hedge fund founder leads a pack of 16 Illinois billionaires who made this year's list. Also making the Illinois list are five...


Office rents in Chicago rose 20% in 2016 — 2nd-highest increase in the world

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 04:30:00 PDT

The bill for high-end office space in Chicago rose almost 20 percent in 2016, the biggest increase in the U.S. and second-highest in the world.

Chicago's one-year jump is especially striking considering the city is typically known for less dramatic fluctuations in property values and rents than...


Amazon Books starts new chapter with Chicago store opening in Lakeview

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:49:00 PDT

Amazon launched its online bookstore nearly 22 years ago. On Tuesday, it will open the doors of a brick-and-mortar store in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, giving customers a chance to test the e-commerce giant's take on offline shopping.

It's just one 6,000-square-foot neighborhood bookstore....


Chicago-area circus gyms train performers for a changing big top

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:31:00 PDT

Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi didn't have to run away to join the circus. She was born into it.

Her parents, themselves circus performers, reared their troupe of children under big tops. Hernandez-DiStasi began performing when she was 7, and when she flew through the air with the greatest of ease, it...


As aging anchors retire, Chicago stations hope viewers stay for familiar faces

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:34:32 PDT

The hair may still be perfect, but Chicago television news anchors have been growing older, however imperceptibly, before our eyes.

A spate of prominent retirements and medical leaves in the last year has changed the face of local TV news, and an aging talent pool presages more to come.

Chicago TV...


Chicago med students celebrate Match Day, though travel ban uncertainty remains

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 18:27:00 PDT

Anisha Malhotra opened her envelope amid screams of joy from her classmates.

Tears streamed down the medical student's face when she saw the letter inside, saying she'd been matched to a residency program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center — her top choice.

"I'm excited I get...


Cubs mean big business, and big debt, for spring training home Mesa

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 04:30:00 PDT

When the Chicago Cubs opened spring training play last month in Mesa,  nearly 15,000 far-flung fans packed the city's 3-year-old stadium, celebrating the defending world champions after more than a century of shared futility.

For Mesa, a city of 475,000 which bankrolled the $100 million ballpark...


Proposed law tells airlines: We need our seat space

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 07:43:00 PDT

Every time I have to squeeze into a super-tight airline seat or twist and turn my way down a jam-packed passenger row, I think: There ought to be a law against cramming us together like peas in a flying pod.

Obviously, I am not alone in my frustration. But now there's a possibility — albeit a remote...


Despite political 'noise' about borders, Corona parent stays the course

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:49:00 PDT

The hottest large beer company in the U.S. has faced an odd dilemma since Donald Trump was elected president.

Beer sales for Constellation Brands — best known for Mexican imports like Corona and Modelo — continue to soar, but the company's stock has suffered from Wall Street anxiety over border...


Whole Foods Lakeview store takes aim at core customers with prepared food

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:34:00 PDT

Whole Foods Market's new Lakeview neighborhood store will simultaneously deliver a defiant message to competitors and a love letter to its loyal customers when it opens next week.

In today's grocery world, you can buy organic and natural food just about anywhere. But can you also take respite in...


Fed's rate hike likely won't end the bull market for stocks

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 12:02:39 PDT

When interest rates are rising, people with money in stocks sometimes worry.

After all, there is an old Wall Street adage: "Three steps and a stumble." It means watch out after the Federal Reserve raises interest rates three times, because stocks are likely to become losers.

The adage comes from...


Caterpillar brings in ex-U.S. attorney general to help it face federal probe

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:16:00 PDT

Caterpillar is bringing in a former U.S. attorney general to help it sort out matters that sparked a federal raid on its Peoria headquarters earlier this month.

William P. Barr will serve as outside counsel to the large equipment manufacturer, according to a news release. He'll help Caterpillar...


McDonald's got Twitter bump after hacked account insulted Trump, expert says

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 06:36:00 PDT

McDonald's said its main Twitter account was hacked Thursday morning, resulting in an insulting tweet directed at President Donald Trump.

A tweet posted after 8 a.m. Central Time Thursday on McDonald's main account, @McDonaldsCorp, called out the president, calling him a "disgusting excuse of a...


Wacker Drive tower with riverwalk clears Plan Commission

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:28:59 PDT

Plans for a 51-story office tower along the Chicago River cleared a key political hurdle Thursday, winning approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, but a major financial hurdle remains — securing a lead tenant for the 1.35 million-square-foot office building.

The commission unanimously approved...


Marathon sheds $89,000 muscular dystrophy drug after pricing uproar

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 14:57:00 PDT

Marathon Pharmaceuticals is ready for its turn as the poster child for high drug prices to be over.

Following weeks of anger from patient advocates and members of Congress, the Northbrook-based company announced Thursday morning that it plans to sell its $89,000-a-year Duchenne muscular dystrophy...


Northwestern could cash in on first NCAA Tournament bid, 'reawaken' alumni

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 16:04:00 PDT

The first appearance by Northwestern University's men's basketball team in the NCAA Tournament could mean a boost for everything from enrollment applications to sponsorships, sports industry experts say.

All teams — but particularly a new team or a team that has sat out the tournament for a while...


First step to new CTA rail cars: Build the factory in Chicago

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 04:45:00 PDT

Construction is expected to begin in Chicago this week on a Chinese state-owned rail company's assembly plant that will produce up to 846 new rail cars for the Chicago Transit Authority.

The project will return CTA rail car manufacturing to Chicago after a 50-year absence, according to the city....


Seaway banking on new credit union owner

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 04:21:00 PDT

Known for a storied community history and a recently troubled financial past, Seaway Bank on Chicago's South Side is poised to enjoy better days.

Why the upbeat prognosis?

Mainly, it's because Seaway will no longer be run as a traditional for-profit bank. Instead, it will soon become an integral...


What the Fed's interest rate increase means for you: 6 things to know

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 14:40:00 PDT

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter-point Wednesday in a widely expected move.

Although there have been two other quarter-point interest rate increases since the Great Recession, the rate tinkering has been so limited that people likely haven't noticed. Now, however, the Federal...


After years of discord, McDonald's franchisees want seat on board

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 09:26:00 PDT

McDonald's franchisees, which have had a strained relationship with the fast-food giant's management in recent years, are looking for a seat at the table.

Segal Marco Advisors, a financial and investment consulting firm, is recommending that franchisees get a new kind of preferred stock that lets...


$550M AbilityLab, rebranded Rehab Institute, will pair research, patient care

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:15:00 PDT

A lone medical researcher hunches over her work in a quiet lab.

Meanwhile, down the street, doctors bounce from patient to patient in a hospital filled with noise and activity.

A new $550 million Chicago hospital facility will merge both of those scenes in hopes of bringing discoveries to patients...


Walgreens said ready to sell more assets to win Rite Aid nod

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 05:26:00 PDT

Walgreens is trying to sweeten its proposal to win U.S. antitrust approval to buy rival pharmacy chain Rite Aid, according to people familiar with the talks.

Walgreens is nearing an agreement to sell more assets to Tennessee-based discount chain Fred's — boosting the number of stores and adding...


Across from a Disney store, a guns website flies under the radar

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:09:00 PDT

Daniel Terrill, managing editor of, arrives at work early. The other day he arrived between 5 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. He can't remember exactly when — he was tired, it was dark out. The first time he looked at a clock it read 5:44 a.m. His wife, a middle school teacher, had left home early...


Chicago set to roll out Airbnb rules after months of delay

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:55:00 PDT

After three months of delays, Chicago's ordinance imposing stricter regulations on Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms could soon go into full effect.

Implementation of some rules within the ordinance, approved last summer, has been held up in federal court since December. On Tuesday, a judge...


Near North Side residents air opposition to proposed 60-story tower

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:04:15 PDT

A group of developers is proposing a 60-story hotel, luxury condo and retail tower at Superior Street and Wabash Avenue amid objections from nearby residents on the Near North Side.

The joint project by New York developer Symmetry Property Development along with Golub & Co. and Fordham Real Estate...


In credit-strapped medical pot world, Illinois firms may tap real estate for cash

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:21:00 PDT

Medical cannabis company PharmaCann cashed in recently on one of its cultivation facilities, and in the capital-strapped world of medical marijuana, it likely won't be the last to turn to its real estate for funds.

The Illinois-based company sold its cultivation facility in Hamptonburgh, N.Y.,...


Chicago law firm focuses on legal aspects of ride-sharing

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 04:00:00 PDT

The ride-sharing industry is picking up a new local passenger.

It's LegalRideshare, a small locally based law firm that only handles cases linked to the burgeoning ride-sharing business dominated by powerhouses Uber Technologies and Lyft. The two-person firm deals primarily with personal injury...


Initiative pledges to get 10,000 Chicago youths back to work or school in 3 years

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 03:00:00 PDT

A new citywide initiative to slash the stubbornly high number of youths who are neither working nor in school will start by connecting the dozens of organizations that already serve them.

Thrive Chicago, a nonprofit founded two years ago to align the efforts of youth service providers, on Tuesday...


Falling beef prices could make for prime grilling season

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 20:05:00 PDT

Brush the snow off that grill, Chicagoans, and get ready for a grilling season that could be prime for butchers and beef eaters alike.

Retail beef prices on average have been slowly but steadily declining from historic highs two years ago that were largely the result of a yearslong drought in cattle...


New Illinois $15 minimum wage bill reopens wage fight

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 14:21:00 PDT

A new bill to raise the Illinois minimum wage to $15 an hour is expected to be introduced in the state House this week as Democratic representatives revive a push they had largely abandoned over the past several years.

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, who plans to be the lead sponsor of the...


Maker of app-linked personal massage device settles privacy lawsuit for $3.75 million

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 14:00:00 PDT

The maker of an app-controlled personal massager agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the device collected "highly intimate and sensitive data" on customers' usage without their consent.

Two plaintiffs, including an Illinois woman identified as N.P., filed the proposed class-action...


Holy Cross Hospital agrees to settle in pension case

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 06:58:16 PDT

Chicago's Holy Cross Hospital has agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit over whether it should have had to follow a federal law designed to protect employee pensions despite its religious affiliation.

Holy Cross has agreed to pay $4 million as part of the settlement. It also will...


Lawsuit: Mug shot website posts incomplete records so sister site can solicit ‘takedown’ fees

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 06:28:00 PDT

Peter Gabiola thought he was on the right track in 2013. He was out of prison and had been off parole for retail theft for more than a year when he started a new job with a Buffalo Grove sales and marketing firm.

But about an hour after he started, someone at the business Googled his name and saw...


VA lending turns in a record year

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:29:00 PST

If James Pickett had to come up with thousands of dollars for a down payment to buy a house, he'd still be renting.

But at age 50, Pickett was able to purchase his first home in December without any down payment. His family is now enjoying four bedrooms and a nice yard for the same monthly payment...


RadioShack planning to close 187 stores, nine in Illinois

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:42:00 PST

Nine Illinois RadioShack stores could close as soon as next week.

The electronics retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in just over two years Wednesday and is seeking court approval to close anywhere from roughly a third to "substantially all" of its stores, according...


Ricketts played the long game, and Cubs fans have won

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:36:00 PST

Chicago Cubs Chairman and co-owner Tom Ricketts may be the most cheerful business executive in town these days.

The man definitely has reasons to smile and we all know what they are. The long-suffering Chicago Cubs are 2016 World Series champs and appear ready to make another run for that post-season...


White Sox, Modelo partner on multiyear sponsorship deal

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:16:41 PST

The White Sox are rebuilding this season, but cervezas won't be in short supply.

Beginning this season, Modelo Especial will be the first official import beer of the Chicago White Sox under a three-year, seven-figure corporate sponsorship deal announced Friday. It appears to be a new era for the...


Aldermen want to 'put a brake' on gentrification along The 606

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:40:00 PST

Tearing down older homes or turning two-flats into single-family homes could get more expensive in neighborhoods along the western part of The 606 trail.

Aldermen Proco "Joe" Moreno, 1st, and Roberto Maldonado, 26th, are drafting an ordinance that would increase the demolition fee for residential...


In wake of fed raids, Caterpillar denies skirting tax laws

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 11:47:00 PST

Caterpillar, a week after its headquarters and other facilities were raided by a number of federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, denied that it had broken any federal tax laws.

"The IRS has challenged Caterpillar's taxes for years 2007 - 2012," the company said Friday. "We disagree...


State: Did we say 16,700 jobs lost? We meant 2,000 gained

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 04:15:00 PST

What state officials described as a "troubling" loss of 16,700 jobs in December turns out not to have been so bad after all.

In fact, Illinois gained 2,000 jobs in December, according to revised figures released Thursday with the state's January unemployment report. The state added another 1,700...


After a 30-year courtship, Rush Medical Center, Aurora's Rush-Copley tie the knot

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 04:00:00 PST

Call it a long courtship.

After 30 years of affiliation, Rush University Medical Center and Aurora's Rush-Copley Medical Center have officially become part of the same health care system. The move will help expand high-caliber medical care in the western suburbs, according to Rush executives.



Linda Johnson Rice returns as Ebony CEO

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 14:16:00 PST

Linda Johnson Rice is returning as CEO of Ebony Media, the Chicago-based magazine empire once owned by her family.

Johnson Rice, who has served as chairman emeritus of Ebony Media since its sale last year to an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm, will retake the reins of the iconic African-American...


Hotel industry group says Airbnb hosts running 'illegal hotels'

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 12:07:00 PST

Airbnb hosts in Chicago and around the country are bulking up on rental properties, according to a hotel industry-backed study released Thursday, creating what critics call "illegal hotels."

The study, paid for by the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation, comes as parts of a new city ordinance...


Illinois businesses prepare for possibility of dramatic immigration raids

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 08:12:00 PST

President Donald Trump's plans to aggressively enforce the nation's immigration laws haven't specified what that will look like inside the workplace, prompting some employee rights groups to dust off decade-old raid-training manuals.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of...


Companies courting lawsuits with worker Twitter crackdown?

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 05:11:00 PST

Ahhh, Twitter.

On the local scene lately, it seems one of the best ways to disrupt a career is to let your fingers do the talking and tweet remarks that get you in trouble with the boss.

Already this year, ABC-7 sportscaster Mark Giangreco was hit with a multiweek suspension without pay for chiding...


Meijer to launch grocery delivery this summer in Chicago-area stores

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 13:13:00 PST

Meijer will offer a new home delivery service for groceries at all its suburban Chicago stores by midsummer, Meijer CEO Rick Keyes said Thursday.

Consider it the latest salvo in what is sure to become an all-out war for your online grocery dollars. Throughout the country, retailers are scrambling...


Home Run Inn bakes plan for pizza delivery, restaurant expansion

Wed, 8 Mar 2017 05:42:00 PST

Dan Costello's great-grandparents first served pizza in the Home Run Inn tavern in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood in 1947 in hopes of enticing patrons to drink more beer.

Today, the fourth-generation family-owned business is a frozen pizza empire, distributing in 30 states and bringing in...


Why an investment firm put a statue of a defiant girl in front of Wall Street's Charging Bull

Wed, 8 Mar 2017 09:06:00 PST

Wall Street visitors and tourists will notice a new addition if they're walking down Broadway in New York this week. About 20 feet across from the famous Charging Bull statue — a symbol of Wall Street's strength and might that has loomed over the street since 1989 — a bronze statue of a girl stands...


Illinois layoffs: United sheds 300 managers; Sears, Recycled Paper Greetings also make big job cuts

Tue, 7 Mar 2017 14:32:00 PST

United Airlines is laying off about 300 management positions at its Willis Tower headquarters as part of a restructuring.

United CEO Oscar Munoz said in January that "a relatively small number" of jobs would be cut to reduce redundancy, but the number of layoffs wasn't clear until the state's monthly...


What the Obamacare replacement plan could mean in Illinois

Tue, 7 Mar 2017 20:17:00 PST

Illinois health care leaders spent weeks bracing themselves for the worst as they awaited a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

This week, that Obamacare replacement bill finally arrived — and it would mean significant changes for more than 356,000 Illinois residents who have coverage through...


NorthShore, Advocate drop merger plan after judge's ruling

Tue, 7 Mar 2017 14:54:27 PST

Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem are walking away from plans to merge after a federal judge's ruling Tuesday against the deal.

U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso on Tuesday granted the Federal Trade Commission and state of Illinois' request for a preliminary injunction...


Visa change could affect doctors planning to serve neediest areas of Illinois

Mon, 6 Mar 2017 15:20:00 PST

Just days before President Donald Trump signed a new travel ban Monday, his administration made a separate visa change that could frustrate many workers' and employers' plans, including those of foreign doctors hoping to serve Illinois' neediest areas.

On Friday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration...


For Caterpillar, charity begins at new home

Tue, 7 Mar 2017 04:00:00 PST

When Caterpillar opens its new Chicago-area corporate headquarters later this year, it will bring along millions of dollars dedicated to charitable contributions — a treasure trove many local nonprofits and community groups are eager to tap.

That's the expectation of experts and consultants, who...


Education, immigration complaints on the rise, attorney general says

Tue, 7 Mar 2017 04:30:00 PST

Consumer debt and identity theft once again topped the annual list of consumer fraud complaints in Illinois, but education-related complaints are gaining ground.

The Illinois attorney general's office received nearly 1,700 complaints last year about for-profit colleges and student loan debt, moving...


TSA quietly launches new 'enhanced' pat-down procedure

Mon, 6 Mar 2017 14:46:00 PST

The Transportation Security Administration has quietly adopted new “enhanced” pat-down searches for screening passengers at U.S. airports, a response to weaknesses in airport security.

The TSA on Thursday began using a “universal pat-down” procedure that includes “enhanced security measures” to...


Stakes high in Illinois as Congress rethinks Medicaid

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 15:07:00 PST

Soccer coach Lesly Durand noticed last fall that he was running out of breath more easily on the field, and getting unusually tired carrying bags of equipment.

The 61-year-old Evanston man didn't know why, so he called his doctor. That call led to tests, which led to the discovery of five blocked...


McDonald's plan for mobile pay: Avoid Starbucks' mistakes

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 15:28:00 PST

As McDonald's prepares to roll out a mobile order and payment system, executives are whispering a warning to their team: Don't make Starbucks' mistakes.

The world's largest burger chain wants to avoid the long lines and wait times that plagued the world's largest coffee chain by using technology...


Despite raid by feds, Caterpillar reputation may emerge unscathed, experts say

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 16:22:00 PST

A day after federal authorities raided Caterpillar's headquarters, surprising executives, agents were concluding an on-site investigation Friday, and the heavy machine-maker's share price hadn't fully recovered.

Nevertheless, experts say the Caterpillar brand will likely emerge largely unscathed.


Feds put airfare, bag fee disclosure rules on hold

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 14:54:00 PST

The U.S. Department of Transportation has put on hold a proposal requiring airlines to do a more thorough job of disclosing the fees charged to passengers.

The rule, proposed Jan. 19, would require airlines and ticket agents to display checked and carry-on bag fees from the start of the booking...


Oreo cookies through the years

Mon, 6 Mar 2017 08:10:00 PST

From its early packaging to limited-edition flavors and promotions (Mega Stuf!), we take a look back at Oreo cookies since the brand's founding in 1912.


Price war among brokerages offers opportunity for investors

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 15:06:28 PST

Have I got a deal for you. It comes to you via a brutal battle that will help make you richer while brokers slug each other in a fight for your business.

This is a deal that could add thousands to your retirement savings over the years. And you don't have to look for a hot stock or even pay attention...


Fed Chair Janet Yellen signals interest rate hike during Chicago speech

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 14:16:32 PST

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled Friday that the Fed is likely to raise interest rates when it meets later this month.

In a speech before the Executives' Club of Chicago she said the economy has weathered "adverse shocks in recent years" and the Federal Open Market Committee is confident...


Complaining about higher auto insurance rates? Put down your cellphone

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 14:24:00 PST

The auto insurance industry has been raising customer premiums, citing the hikes as a necessary evil to help cover expensive claims on a growing number of car collisions involving "distracted drivers."

Smartphones, along with fancy new ways to connect with the outside world from a car, mean the...


Chicago man's tweet about widow of Navy SEAL killed in Yemen costs him job

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 04:50:00 PST

Another day, another tweet that cost someone their job.

Before President Donald Trump gave his speech to Congress Tuesday, Chicagoan Daniel Grilo had a job at a financial firm. The next day, he didn't.

During the speech, Grilo, at the time a principal at Liberty Advisor Group, tweeted, "Sorry Owens'...


Years of federal scrutiny lead to Caterpillar HQ raid

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 04:45:00 PST

Years of federal scrutiny over Caterpillar's overseas business practices and tax strategies came to a head Thursday with a raid on the heavy machine maker's Peoria headquarters.

Authorities from three agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, arrived before 11 a.m. at the headquarters and...


Layoffs in Philadelphia raise concern about impact of Cook County soda tax

Thu, 2 Mar 2017 13:57:00 PST

Recent layoffs in Philadelphia attributed to the city's fledgling soda tax have armed unions and beverage industry groups with new evidence of what they say will come to pass in Cook County this summer.

But county officials aren't buying it and say the comparison isn't apples-to-apples. Cook County's...


Wanda Vista developers see high-end demand; $8.6M penthouse under contract

Thu, 2 Mar 2017 15:51:25 PST

As the 94-story, ultra high-end Wanda Vista Tower hotel and condominium complex rises from its massive foundation near Chicago's lakeshore, the developer says about a third of the residential units are under contract with buyers.

That includes six of the building's 21 penthouses priced in the $8...


7 breeds of co-workers to watch for, from the hand-raiser to the snack-nose

Thu, 2 Mar 2017 13:13:00 PST

Part of being America's most-beloved workplace advice columnist is mastering new subjects while staying on top of the latest office trends.

That's why I'm pleased to announce that, having Googled the definition of "anthropology" five minutes ago, I am now an expert on workplace anthropology.



Hhgregg closing 88 stores, including six in Illinois

Thu, 2 Mar 2017 09:53:00 PST

Electronics retailer Hhgregg will close 40 percent of its stores as it works to stem the red ink and turn around slow sales.

The 88 store closings include Hhgregg's Schaumburg, Bloomingdale, Arlington Heights, Niles, Springfield and Champaign locations, the company said in a news release Thursday....