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Business - Chicago Tribune

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

Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:48:27 -0500

Copyright: ©2016 Chicago Tribune

Cook County poised to adopt $13 hourly minimum wage affecting suburbs

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:01:00 PDT

Suburban Cook County is poised to join Chicago in adopting a $13 hourly minimum wage, a move critics say is better left to the state but proponents contend is a response to the state's inaction.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners is expected to pass an ordinance Wednesday that would gradually...


How to manage an office of delirious Cubs fans

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:37:00 PDT

Delirious Cubs fans, who can't seem to stop pinching themselves, are still somehow expected to show up to work.

How can Chicago employers, many of them just as delirious, respect the fandom without compromising standards at the office?

Philippe Weiss, managing director of Seyfarth Shaw at Work,...


Cubs World Series makes team’s stars a hit with marketers

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:01:00 PDT

Winning the World Series could do more than end a centurylong drought for the Chicago Cubs and their long-suffering fans. A victory on baseball's ultimate stage could launch the team's charismatic young stars, and its grizzled manager, into the sports marketing elite.

The road from local car spots...


Chip Caray returns to broadcast Cubs World Series

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:23:43 PDT

Legendary announcer Harry Caray didn't live long enough to see the Cubs make the World Series, but at least his grandson will be there.

Chip Caray, himself a former Cubs play-by-play announcer, will be doing pregame and postgame coverage for Fox-owned WFLD-Ch. 32, which is carrying the World Series...


From goat dishes to soaring Airbnb rates, Cubs fever takes hold

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 06:34:00 PDT

Chicago Cubs fans eager to beat the Curse of the Billy Goat also want to feast on the billy goat.

"It always happens, but this year is crazy," said Cookie Davos, co-owner of Halsted Packing House in the Fulton River District.

Davos estimates goat sales at the butcher shop and slaughterhouse have...


Fly the 'W' for Cubs business strategy

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:38:00 PDT

Right now, the best business story in town is the Chicago Cubs.

While the baseball team's loving public is justifiably focused on the Cubs prevailing in the World Series, businesspeople also could profit by understanding and appreciating how this organization, in a relatively short span, changed...


Tesla, once beloved by critics, plummets in new Consumer Reports ranking

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:36:00 PDT

Tesla, the upstart all-electric automaker that once landed Consumer Reports' best-ever performance rating, has now achieved a far less impressive feat, with a ranking from the reviewer that labels it one the least reliable car companies in America.

The Consumer Reports' ranking, released Monday,...


Chicagoans with less than college degree have had weakest earnings recovery

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:14:00 PDT

Despite recent good news from the Census Bureau that incomes rose significantly last year after a long period of stagnation, pay remains well below pre-recession levels for many — especially among people who should be in the market for middle-skills jobs often heralded as the key to reviving the...


Illinois Obamacare premiums rise by double-digits for 2017 plans

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 04:31:00 PDT

The wait is over: People who want to buy health insurance on the state's Obamacare exchange can go online to see their options and prices, but they may not like what they find.

The plans unveiled online Monday contain far fewer choices and significantly higher prices, and arrive toward the end...


Wrigleyville residents, building owners cash in on parking during playoffs

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:55:00 PDT

A few hours before Saturday's Game 6 between the Cubs and Dodgers, building manager Mark Jay stood near the corner of Racine and Waveland avenues waving an orange flag with the hope of selling out the 10 parking spaces behind his building.

Moments later, a car slowed to the curb and a woman in...


Everything you need to know about AT&T's deal with Time Warner

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:07:00 PDT

You may have heard that AT&T is buying Time Warner for a whopping $85.4 billion, in a deal that could bring sweeping changes to the information and entertainment economies. If you're just catching up on the news, here's a short rundown, in plain English, that'll get you up to speed.

Q: Back up...


Should doctors turn away unvaccinated children to protect other patients?

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:14:00 PDT

It took a family bout of rotavirus, a measles outbreak tied to Disneyland and stricter school enrollment rules to get Kristen O'Meara to take a harder look at and eventually switch her once-defiant stance against vaccinations for her children.

But the 40-year-old Palos Park mom said if a doctor...


Wrigleyville rooftop tickets shaping up to be hot World Series item

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 11:46:56 PDT

Cubs fans have been waiting for the team to return to the World Series since 1945, and some fans have been angling for rooftop tickets to the Fall Classic since the spring.

Wrigley Rooftops has been building a waiting list that's drawn fans from as far away as Australia since April, said operations...


Video gambling has hot hand in Illinois

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:00:00 PDT

The lounge at Bertrand Lanes bowling alley was the first Waukegan business to get a license to install video slot machines.

Ask owner George Lawrence why he decided to offer gambling and he rubs his thumb and index finger together — the gesture for money. "It keeps the doors open," said the 78-year-old...


Drug price control? AbbVie, Takeda, Astellas vote 'no' with their millions

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:47:00 PDT

Three of the area's largest pharmaceutical companies are in the thick of an intense California-based battle over rising drug costs, a fight that could spread to Illinois and other states.

AbbVie, Takeda and Astellas, along with other major drug companies, have contributed nearly $86 million toward...


Take just one step forward on your career goals

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:22:00 PDT

It's the time of year when we start saying things like, "Wow, I can't believe it's almost the end of the year" and, "Wow, I've accomplished literally none of the career goals I set out to achieve" and, "Wow, I'm despondent and filled with shame."

Good times.

What's unfortunate — aside from our...


Hospitals printing 3-D hearts to help in surgeries

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 22:43:00 PDT

The night before operating on 2-year-old Myla Kramer, her surgeon held a copy of her heart, produced on a 3-D printer, in his hands.

Dr. Mark Plunkett studied it, trying to determine how to patch the many Swiss-cheeselike holes in the bottom of her heart — a potentially life-threatening condition....


Long-simmering food truck fight heats up on Chicago streets, in court

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 08:42:00 PDT

For Chicago food trucks, the fight for business begins before dawn, with a race to save downtown lunch spaces in popular, city-sanctioned serving locations.

Not every operator participates in the early morning scramble, but those who don't run the risk of losing out on the choicest lunch spots.


Watch out for counterfeiters, no matter how much you want that Cubs ticket

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:35:00 PDT

Game six of the Chicago Cubs playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, at home at Wrigley Field, was always going to be a hot ticket.

But the particular route the Cubs are taking to get there — a pair of grim shutout losses that left fans wondering if the last home game had already been played,...


Special ambulances will scan, treat stroke victims in western suburbs

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:54:00 PDT

New types of ambulances will likely speed through the western suburbs soon, in hopes of delivering lifesaving care to stroke victims sooner.

Unlike typical ambulances, the new mobile stroke treatment units of Rush University Medical Center and Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital will...


Photographer, a former refugee, sues Trump in Chicago over Skittles tweet

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:10:00 PDT

A British photographer and former child refugee has sued the Trump campaign for allegedly using his photo of a bowl of Skittles in a tweet against accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S.

David Kittos filed the copyright infringement suit this week in a Chicago federal court, naming as defendants...


Wrigleyville becoming refined, redefined

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:03:00 PDT

Sluggers World Class Sports Bar and Grill, a cavernous Wrigleyville watering hole, used to spend $20,000 a year on ballpark advertising.

But several years after the Ricketts family bought the Cubs in 2009, that relationship ended.

"All of a sudden, they didn't want our money anymore," said Zach...


Illinois unemployment rate holds steady at 5.5 percent in September

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:32:00 PDT

Illinois' unemployment rate held steady in September at 5.5 percent and employers added 7,400 jobs to payrolls, mostly in professional and business services, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the state Department of Employment Security.

Last month's unemployment rate was lower...


Caterpillar opens first Chicago office in Merchandise Mart

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:21:00 PDT

Caterpillar has opened its first Chicago office, an innovation-focused space in the Merchandise Mart the company hopes will attract young, tech-savvy talent.

The Digital and Analytics Hub officially opened Thursday.

Morgan Vawter, chief analytics director for Peoria-based Caterpillar and one of...


Cubs fever spreads at work: 'W' flags fly, jerseys replace dress code

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:01:00 PDT

If there is a special occasion, chances are the LaSalle Network has dressed up in themed decor to celebrate.

So with the Chicago Cubs — nail-bitingly — on the cusp of a historic shot at the World Series, the staffing firm's Loop office has draped Cubbie blue, white and red streamers across the...


What are you really buying when you make a digital purchase from Amazon or iTunes? Maybe not what you think

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:31:00 PDT

The dirty little secret of the digital marketplace long has been that buyers of e-books, MP3 songs and movie downloads aren’t really acquiring anything that resembles traditional ownership.

How secret is this? According to a study scheduled to be published shortly by two law professors at Case...


When trouble hits, company reputations can suffer

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:20:58 PDT

So it's come to this: McDonald's is benching the Ronald.

As the Tribune recently reported, clown mascot Ronald McDonald is on a commercial hiatus, the result of a company effort to distance one of the world's most recognized corporate symbols from a recent flurry of bizarre and disturbing clown...


Chicago's food truck rules are unconstitutional, Courage for Cupcakes operator argues

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:57:00 PDT

The operator of a Chicago food truck was in court to argue that two provisions of the city's food truck laws be declared unconstitutional. Lawyers for Laura Pekarik, who has operated "Cupcakes for Courage" food truck for five years, contended Wednesday that Chicago's food truck community has been...


Calif. attorney general investigates claims of Wells Fargo identity theft

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:25:00 PDT

California's attorney general is conducting a criminal investigation into whether employees at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo bank stole customers' identities in the sales practices scandal that rocked the bank and cost its CEO his job, documents released Wednesday show.

A search warrant and supporting...


American Airlines is flying the 'W'

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:20:00 PDT

A good season for the Chicago Cubs is also good news for American Airlines, which couldn't have picked a better moment to sign on as the team's official airline.

The Cubs jilted hometown carrier United Airlines, the team's exclusive airline sponsor for about a decade, in favor of Fort Worth, Texas-based...


T-Mobile to pay $48 million fine after FCC finds it misled customers with ‘unlimited’ data plan

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:44:00 PDT

T-Mobile has agreed to a $48 million settlement with the Federal Communications Commission over claims it misled customers when promoting its unlimited data plan policy.

T-Mobile must pay a $7.5 million federal fine, give $5 million in services and equipment to U.S. schools and give affected customers...


Where do losing baseball teams' postseason T-shirts end up?

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:57:00 PDT

After the final at-bat of the 2016 World Series, as T-shirts commemorating the winning team hit retailers' shelves almost as soon as they're on players' backs, versions celebrating the losers start a journey to the shredder.

It didn't always work that way. In past years, retailers donated preprinted...


What will you see on Obamacare exchange for 2017? Details start to emerge

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 05:00:00 PDT

Though full details won't be released until later this month, some information is starting to trickle out about what Illinois residents will and won't find when they shop for health insurance on the state's Affordable Care Act exchange.

Neither Northwestern Memorial Hospital nor its physician group,...


GE opening microfactory in Chicago to build industrial prototypes

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:07:00 PDT

GE is opening a microfactory in Chicago to turn big industrial ideas into small-batch prototypes.

The Chicago manufacturing facility, set to open in December, will be the first for Fuse, a new GE crowdsourcing initiative to create and build innovative industrial products. One of the first challenges...


Airlines must refund bag fee if your luggage is delayed, Obama administration says

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 05:29:00 PDT

If an airline delays returning your luggage after a flight, you will get a refund for your bag fee, under a new set of consumer-protection rules the Obama administration plans to adopt. 

Among other changes, the administration is calling on airlines to more accurately report on-time arrival rates,...


Rate your Chicago police encounter with Excuse Me Officer

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 03:30:00 PDT

A Chicago startup wants to let citizens rate and review interactions with police officers, a la Yelp.

The Excuse Me Officer website, and its upcoming mobile app, could provide data about heroic officers providing good service as well as about bad actors who might discriminate or sexually harass,...


Revolution Brewing founder on huge beer recall: 'It's like a death in the family'

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:41:00 PDT

Revolution Brewing, one of Chicago's most popular and fastest-growing craft breweries, suffered a setback this week in announcing the recall of an estimated 10,000-plus barrels of beer for quality issues.

Revolution issued the recall Monday for specific batches of Anti Hero IPA, Fist City Pale...


Illinois 2015 college grads owe almost $30,000 on average

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:25:14 PDT

Two-thirds of recent graduates of Illinois colleges and universities have student debt, making them the eighth-most indebted group in the nation's class of 2015, according to a study.

Somewhat better news: Those borrowers are on the hook for an average of $29,305 in student loans, which ranks Illinois...


Illinois business: Let's make a Cuba trade deal

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:28:00 PDT

The Obama administration's decision last week to again loosen trade restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba means it will soon be easier to enjoy a fine Cuban cigar and savor a swig of that island's flavorsome rum.

But some major Illinois companies and industries hope that greater access to smokes...


How one chicken company is kicking the antibiotic habit

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:42:00 PDT

As of this week, all Perdue Farms chicken products in Chicago will be sold under the claim "No Antibiotics Ever," a subtle shift in the grocery store that represents a harbinger of large-scale change coming to the chicken industry.

The announcement — also relevant to markets in Denver, Minneapolis,...


Study finds your micromanaging boss could be killing you

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 10:02:00 PDT

A demanding job may not in itself be bad for your health. But having a demanding job with a micromanaging boss could shave years off your life.

So suggests a new study from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, which tracked 2,363 Wisconsin residents in their 60s over a seven-year period.


As $100 billion goal crumbles, Peoria's Caterpillar shakes up its C-Suite

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:24:00 PDT

As chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc., Douglas Oberhelman once pushed the company, like one of its trademark yellow-and-black bulldozers, to plow forward into world markets -- no matter the obstacles.

Oberhelman saw the growing middle class in China, India and Brazil demanded a better...


More McDonald's top brass to depart by year's end

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 08:57:00 PDT

McDonald's has announced that two more longtime executives will leave the company at the end of the year.

Karen King, McDonald's USA's chief field officer and Erik Hess, senior vice president of customer experience, have decades of combined experience at the world's largest burger chain. King was...


Caterpillar CEO to retire next year after 41 years with company

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:38:00 PDT

Caterpillar's Doug Oberhelman will retire after a 41-year career with the largest maker of construction and mining equipment, leaving his replacement to finish the job of navigating a commodities slump.

The 63-year-old will be replaced as chief executive officer on Jan. 1 by company veteran Jim...


Jim Beam bourbon will keep flowing despite distillery strike

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 10:59:00 PDT

A weekend strike at two Jim Beam distilleries in Kentucky will not leave bourbon lovers high and dry, the company said Monday.

Deerfield-based Beam Suntory, which owns the Jim Beam brand, said it has an ample supply on hand and contingency plans in place to keep the bourbon flowing while it works...


Illinois egg supplier accused of false advertising

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 15:19:00 PDT

The egg carton depicts an idyllic scene with an expansive green pasture, a red barn in the distance and a few white chickens walking upon the logo for Davidson's Safest Choice eggs, with nothing but azure skies above.

But one of the most influential animal welfare organizations in the U.S. is saying...


On the hunt for customers, retailers turn to corporate events

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

When the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau wanted to connect with Chicago organizations that might consider hosting events in the bureau's home city, it skipped the standard cocktail party or baseball game and invited them out shopping.

About 30 meeting planners came out to custom handbag...


Career motivation from Cooper the lake dog

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:32:00 PDT

Let us pause our chaotic work lives a moment and reflect on a dog.

This dog's name is Cooper. He's some form of golden Labrador, I guess, though I can't detail his pedigree with any accuracy. It doesn't really matter and, as you'll find, the "who" of Cooper is far less important than the "why."


Only one insurer will offer PPO plan on state Obamacare exchange

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 15:28:00 PDT

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will be the only insurer offering PPO health insurance plans on the state's Obamacare exchange next year, according to information released Friday by the state Department of Insurance.

That's down from five insurers that offered individual PPO plans on the...


Airlines invest in on-the-ground perks at O'Hare lounges

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 07:31:00 PDT

The United Club under construction in O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 1 was originally built in the 1980s and looked the part, with wood finishes, a black-tile bathroom, and a limited selection of both snacks and electrical outlets.

But as airlines bifurcate their business between bargain...


Arne Duncan: Police can't stop Chicago's violence, business community must step up

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 09:30:00 PDT

Arne Duncan has been spending time recently at Cook County Jail. The former U.S. education secretary goes to talk to "the shooters," he said, to get their input on how to curb the city's soaring gun violence.

The fundamental answer, Duncan says, is jobs.

"Every time I'm with them I'm telling them,...


Meet the Ohio resident who quit his law firm job to run a Cubs blog

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 17:44:00 PDT

Hey, die-hard Chicago Cubs fans, here's a question: Would you give up a budding professional career, spend a personal fortune and commit years of your life to develop a risky entrepreneurial venture that exists only to cheer and chronicle the team you love?

Even many of the Cubbies' most ardent...


Chicago may license pharma reps as part of battle against opioid abuse

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 14:47:00 PDT

Chicago could become one of the few cities in the nation requiring pharmaceutical sales representatives to carry a special license, a measure that Mayor Rahm Emanuel says would help fight opioid addiction.

An ordinance the city expects to introduce next month would require pharmaceutical reps who...


Cubs giving you a case of playoff fever at work?

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:12:00 PDT

Dave Broussard was pretty down about the Cubs' loss to the San Francisco Giants Monday night and wasn't up to going to work Tuesday morning.

So the die-hard Cubs fan called in to work, taking an impromptu vacation day to stay home and rest for Tuesday night's game.

"I was like, you know what —...


Chicago developer sees no apartment glut, says renting will continue to reign

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:23:00 PDT

The apartment market in Chicago has been red hot, with record development of new luxury high-rises, refurbishment of old buildings and soaring rents.

Developer David Ruttenberg, 36, has had his hand in all of it as the trend of city living has become popular with millennials and empty nesters....


Employer-driven jobs program aims to prove it improves people's lives

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 04:00:00 PDT

A consistent challenge in workforce development is figuring out what works — and that means not just tracking how many people a program has placed into jobs, but whether their lives actually improved as a result.

Skills for Chicagoland's Future, a nonprofit funded mostly with public money, on Friday...


Chicago police used Geofeedia, the TweetDeck for cops under fire from ACLU

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 12:30:00 PDT

A Chicago startup backed by the CIA and used by the Chicago Police Department has landed at the center of a battle over privacy and social media after reports that its platform was being used for government surveillance.

Geofeedia helps clients monitor social media posts tied to a specific place for...


Amazon to hire 120,000 nationally for the holidays, including jobs in Joliet

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:46:00 PDT

Amazon plans to hire 120,000 seasonal employees across the U.S. for the holidays, including thousands of positions at its Joliet fulfillment center and several other Chicago-area locations, the company said Thursday.

Seasonal hiring is up 20 percent from last year to support "growing customer demand,"...


Ronald McDonald has kept low profile long before clown scare

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 05:11:00 PDT

Ronald. Paging Ronald. Are you there, Ronald?

McDonald's said Tuesday that its trusty clown mascot Ronald McDonald is taking a hiatus in response to a rash of creepy clown sightings across the U.S. and even across the pond. But he was keeping a low profile long before that.

Ronald McDonald has...


Court's ruling on gig economy regulations is a warning for old-line business

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 05:37:00 PDT

recent federal appellate court ruling that favored ride-sharing firms like Uber and Lyft over the Chicago taxi industry also carried a powerful message to business: older companies beware!

The decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which backed the city's right to regulate ride-sharing...


Preckwinkle to propose Cook County tax on pop, lemonade, sports drinks

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 04:52:00 PDT

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday will propose a penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages including pop, lemonade and sports drinks to help close a 2017 budget shortfall, a move that comes just 15 months after she pushed through a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase,...


Check out Bartesian, (more than) a Keurig for cocktails

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:31:00 PDT

Coming soon to a wedding registry near you: a machine that allows a person to insert a recyclable pod of concentrated liqueur, press a button, slide a glass into place and walk away with a stiff cocktail.

Beam Suntory announced Wednesday that it was taking a minority stake in Bartesian, a Canadian...


Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf resigns in wake of scandal

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:57:00 PDT

Wells Fargo's embattled CEO John Stumpf is stepping down as the nation's second-largest bank is roiled by a scandal over its sales practices.

The San Francisco bank said Wednesday that Stumpf is retiring effective immediately and also relinquishing his title as chairman. He won't be receiving severance...


NLRB complaint against Postmates raises specter of fight over employee classification

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 15:38:17 PDT

The Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against on-demand delivery service Postmates last week alleging labor violations against its drivers, raising a question that has dogged the gig economy since the rise of Uber: Are the drivers employees?

The complaint...


Has Chicago rent relief already begun?

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:06:00 PDT

Rents in the Chicago Loop have begun to fall, suggesting relief may be at hand as a record number of new apartments continue to come on the market.

In the third quarter of this year, the average rent in the Loop declined 1.2 percent to $2,176, according to apartment tracker MPF Research. And for...


Northwestern modifies handbook to treat football players like employees

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:47:00 PDT

Northwestern University may not consider its football players to be employees, but it changed provisions in its handbook to treat them as such, avoiding legal action by the National Labor Relations Board and signaling that questions about the workplace status of student-athletes remain very much...


With new owner, MillerCoors focuses on growth

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 13:01:00 PDT

The sun rose on MillerCoors' Chicago headquarters Tuesday morning just the same as the day before. It was, as MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley often says, business as usual, but with one small exception.

"The biggest change is we are now the largest American-owned brewer, and that's a big deal...


Marcus Lemonis hosts 'Elevator Pitch' ad series with Chicago entrepreneurs

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:30:00 PDT

It’s a scenario every entrepreneur imagines: You walk into an elevator and find yourself standing in front of your dream investor. You have 60 seconds. What do you say?

The UPS Store and Marcus Lemonis ⇒, the Lake Forest-based host of CNBC’s “The Profit” and CEO of Camping World, just launched...


Twitter cuts off Chicago startup Geofeedia after ACLU reports police surveillance

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:05:00 PDT

Twitter has cut off Chicago-based Geofeedia’s access to its data, in the wake of a report from the American Civil Liberties Union that law enforcement has been monitoring activists and protesters using social media data collected by the startup.

Twitter is following moves from other social media...


Abbott says St. Jude heart device problem won't affect sale

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 11:59:00 PDT

Abbott still plans to acquire a Minnesota-based medical device company despite a warning Tuesday that batteries in that company's heart devices are running out early, creating potentially life-threatening situations for patients.

St. Jude Medical said Tuesday that the batteries in some of its heart...


Ronald McDonald lying low until clown scare blows over

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 07:54:00 PDT

For now, McDonald's is benching its mascot.

In a statement Tuesday, the fast-food chain announced that Ronald McDonald and his signature red and gold garb won't be seen in public for a while, at least until America stops being so collectively terrified of his kind.

The chain's more than 14,000...


There's high interest in cracking down on payday lending — and pushback, too

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 14:02:00 PDT

If you never had to take out a payday loan, then consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, many folks are forced to tap this credit option, which is marketed as a short-term fix for fast and easy cash but often ends up being a long-term debt with ruinous sky-high interest rates.

A quick $500 loan...


Chicago ranked third best place in country for active living

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 21:02:00 PDT

Chicago is known as the best place to grab a deep-dish pizza, a hot dog and a sopping-wet Italian beef sandwich.

But apparently, it should also be known as a great place to burn those calories.

The Chicago area's bike paths, walkability, public transit and parks make it the third best community...


Mariano's parent Kroger navigates tough times

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 13:33:00 PDT

The opening of Mariano's 39th store in the Chicago area comes at a challenging time for parent company Kroger.

Like other grocery retailers, Kroger has felt the pinch of deflationary food prices created by excessive supply, a reality that's expected to extend into next year. There are also longer-term...


In Bronzeville, new Mariano's store reflects a change long coming

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:12:00 PDT

South Side shoppers who like sushi and a glass of wine while grocery shopping need look no further.

The new Mariano's store in Bronzeville opens Tuesday, all 74,800 square feet of it, marking the second recent upscale grocery store opening in a mostly low-income, African-American neighborhood on...


Millennials aren't big spenders or risk takers, and that's going to reshape the economy

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:00:00 PDT

They’re known for bouncing around jobs, delaying marriage and holing up in their parents’ basements.

Dubbed recently as the "children of the Great Recession" by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, millennials are the best educated and most diverse population of young people in U.S....


Trump Taj Mahal closes after 26 years; nearly 3,000 workers lose jobs

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 16:14:00 PDT

Donald Trump built the Taj Mahal casino and once called it "the eighth wonder of the world."

The Republican candidate in the race for the presidency — who took his Atlantic City casinos through bankruptcy four times — minced no words about Monday's shutdown of the gambling hall.

"There's no reason...


Why lower-income students are drawn to for-profit schools

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 15:14:00 PDT

Richard Green graduated from high school 20 years ago, eager to get a college degree in computer science and launch a career.

So when a recruiter from what was then DeVry Institute of Technology told him he could finish his bachelor's degree in three years instead of four, he signed on."You want...


More employers are offering telemedicine, but why aren't workers using it?

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 12:32:00 PDT

Precious Witherspoon's throat felt increasingly raw and her head began to hurt as the workday wore on.

But Witherspoon, an executive assistant at Chicago-based PowerReviews, didn't want to call in sick the next day and haul herself to a doctor's office to hear what she already suspected — that...


As recession voices grow, check your exposure to stocks

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 15:31:00 PDT

Recession chatter is back.

After skipping worrisome talk for a few months, a handful of respected analysts again are trash-talking the economy and flinging wet blankets at people oblivious to mounting risks.

Notable among the less-than-enthusiastic voices on the economy have been Bank of America...


Chemical weapon for sale: A synthetic opioid from China that will kill heroin users

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 06:49:00 PDT

For a few thousand dollars, Chinese companies offer to export a powerful chemical that has been killing unsuspecting drug users and is so lethal that it presents a potential terrorism threat, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The AP identified 12 Chinese businesses that said they would...


Ailing Sears is a test of CEO Lampert's survival instinct

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 12:14:00 PDT

The holiday buying season is approaching and with it comes a package of questions about the fate of Sears, Kmart and company CEO Edward Lampert.

Financial and retail experts have long predicted catastrophe for this franchise, which has suffered from more reorganizations, store closings, deep cutbacks...


The era of big monthly job gains appears over — and economists say that's a good thing

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 11:56:00 PDT

The era of monthly payroll gains of at least 200,000 appears to be over after the Labor Department reported on Friday that job growth was lackluster again in September, but economists said that’s a good thing.

Although the 156,000 net new jobs added last month  was down from August and a bit below...


Lemonis' Camping World raises $250 million in IPO

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 13:56:09 PDT

Let other businesses obsess over millennials.

Being a Gen Xer, even a baby boomer, is OK in the book of one of the Chicago area's newest publicly traded companies.

Lincolnshire-based recreational vehicle retailer Camping World Holdings, headed by CNBC reality-show entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis, just...


It's feast or famine for Cubs gear sellers as postseason approaches

Thu, 6 Oct 2016 12:12:00 PDT

A Chicago Cubs postseason run can bring big business for local team merchandise companies — if they call the right plays.

As both fan and businessman, Clark Street Sports co-owner Jason Caref salivates at the thought of a Cubs trip to the World Series.

"Nobody alive has ever seen the Cubs win the...


How the egg industry conspired to crush vegan competitor Just Mayo

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 07:21:00 PDT

A government-supervised group representing the egg industry overstepped its authority by waging a two-year “crisis” campaign to halt the growth of a San Francisco vegan mayonnaise startup, joking about putting “a hit” on its CEO and deleting emails in an apparent attempt to cover its tracks, a...


Mars takes full control of Wrigley, blending chocolate business for new unit to be based in Chicago

Thu, 6 Oct 2016 11:20:00 PDT

Mars is combining its chocolate business, which makes famous brands like Snickers, M&M's and Twix, with its Wrigley candy subsidiary, headquartering the combined division in Chicago.

The combination was possible after Mars said Thursday it would take full control of Wrigley by acquiring the stake...


Podcaster, consultant to billionaires talks marathon, productivity, 'Survivor'

Thu, 6 Oct 2016 15:20:00 PDT

Suzanne Muchin, a marathon runner, parent of five, mentor, careerlong entrepreneur and branding consultant whose client roster has included billionaires and a Nobel laureate, has something new to add to her resume.

Her podcast, "The Big Payoff," has formed a partnership with DailyWorth, a Philadelphia-based...


Did Land of Lincoln members need to shop for new coverage after all?

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 14:57:00 PDT

About one-third of the individual members of failed insurer Land of Lincoln did not buy new health coverage on the state's Obamacare exchange as of last week's deadline, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance.

But that may not mean they are uninsured. Former members began receiving letters...


Will airline tech turbulence delay holiday flights?

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 13:11:36 PDT

Besides being major domestic airlines that serve the Chicago market, what else do United, American, Southwest and Delta have in common?

One troubling answer: In recent years, each has suffered major computer technology meltdowns that grounded flights, inconvenienced and frustrated the flying public...


Theranos will close labs and Walgreens testing sites, laying off hundreds

Thu, 6 Oct 2016 09:40:00 PDT

Elizabeth Holmes, the embattled founder and chief executive of Theranos, said late Wednesday that the company will close its clinical labs and Walgreens testing centers.

The open letter, posted on the company's website, was essentially an epitaph for the consumer-facing business that was the focus...


Kmart, Ticketmaster layoffs among nearly 800 reported to state in September

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 15:33:00 PDT

Kmart alerted the state of plans to lay off 274 workers at two retail locations as it begins previously announced store closures in the state.

The Kmart job cuts, scheduled for Dec. 4, are among 790 mass layoffs reported to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in September,...


On Chicago Marathon weekend, some businesses can't lose

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 10:18:00 PDT

Running has a reputation as a low-gear, budget-friendly sport. But get enough people pounding the pavement, and their dollars can add up to the tune of about $277 million, according to Bank of America Chicago Marathon officials.

Nearly 39,500 runners took part in last year's marathon, each spending...


Cook County approves paid sick leave law, bringing suburbs in line with city

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 14:57:00 PDT

The Cook County Board voted Wednesday to require that employers give workers paid sick time, bringing the suburbs in line with a Chicago law approved in June.

The county ordinance, which largely mirrors the city's and also goes into effect July 1, allows employees to earn one hour of paid sick...


$1 million awarded to Advocate doctor who said he was fired for reporting sexual harassment

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 05:14:00 PDT

A Cook County jury has awarded $1 million to a former Advocate Christ Medical Center doctor in a case involving allegations of sex, lies and audiotape.

The jury on Monday found in favor of Dr. Brett Ohlfs, a former emergency physician at the Oak Lawn hospital, who said the hospital fired him in...


Boeing CEO vows to beat Musk to Mars as new space race beckons

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 10:46:00 PDT

Boeing once helped the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in the race to the moon. Now the company intends to go toe-to-toe with newcomers such as billionaire Elon Musk in the next era of space exploration and commerce.

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg sketched out a Jetsons-like future...


ConAgra Foods paid $108.9 million in cash for Rick Bayless' Frontera Foods

Tue, 4 Oct 2016 15:18:00 PDT

ConAgra Foods paid $108.9 million in cash to acquire Frontera Foods, the Chicago-based packaged Mexican food company founded by celebrity chef Rick Bayless, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The cost of the acquisition, which was announced Sept. 26, was...


Chase ATMs leaving Chicago-area Walgreens stores

Tue, 4 Oct 2016 14:05:00 PDT

Finding a Chase ATM in the Chicago area is going to get harder next year.

The New York-based bank, which holds 22 percent of the deposits in the Chicago area, is selling most of its off-site ATMs, including 442 cash dispensers in local Walgreens stores.

Chase has 1,913 ATMs in the Chicago area,...


Trump falls in Forbes 400 wealth ranking, Illinois' Ken Griffin rises

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 09:59:00 PDT

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has been slipping in recent election polls, has lost ground in another measure of success — his ranking on the annual Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans.

Trump's net worth was pegged at $3.7 billion, an $800 million decline from last year,...


Chicago casino back in play? Why you shouldn't bet on it

Tue, 4 Oct 2016 05:44:00 PDT

Another round of Chicago casino roulette is underway as City Hall prepares to accept proposals to redevelop the former Michael Reese Hospital site on the South Side.

That's spawned fresh speculation the 49-acre Reese property is a viable bet to become home to an upscale, multipurpose entertainment...