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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: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:09:32 -0600

Copyright: ©2017 Chicago Tribune

Win Black Friday with these shopping hacks

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 08:23:00 PST

Use these hacks to guarantee yourself the Black Friday deals you want, whether you decide to shop from your couch or at the store.(image)

This holiday season, mom-and-pop shops threaten the mall

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 08:30:00 PST

More bad news for America's shopping malls: Consumers are shopping closer to home. And increasingly, home is not where the malls are.

Spending growth at mom-and-pop businesses has outpaced that of the big chains in the past two years, according to Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at credit-card...


What stores are open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday?

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:30:00 PST

The turkey may still be brining, but this year's holiday discounts have already begun.

Kohl's kicked off its turkey-day discounts on Monday, while Old Navy is offering 50 percent off everything beginning Wednesday. By the time Thanksgiving morning rolls around, nearly every major retailer will...


Sensory-friendly Santa welcomes kids with special needs: 'It’s important to have the memories'

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:20:00 PST

Hours before Woodfield Mall opened last Sunday morning, before workers turned on the holiday lights and the halls filled with shoppers, 4-year-old Liam Munnelly’s parents placed him on Santa’s lap.

Though Liam couldn’t talk back, Santa spoke to him, pointing at the decorations overhead. The little...


After winning Foxconn, Southeast Wisconsin prepares for influx of jobs as residents fear loss of 'peace and quiet'

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:40:00 PST

In April, the owners of Apple Holler, an orchard in the southeastern Wisconsin town of Sturtevant, will be getting ready to plant 2,500 apple and peach trees on land just west of Interstate 94.

Across the highway in Mount Pleasant, Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn and the state of Wisconsin...


30 years ago: A powerful video prankster could become Max Jailroom

Sun, 22 Nov 1987 22:00:00 PST

On Sunday, Nov. 22, 1987, viewers watching "Doctor Who" on WTTW-TV experienced one of the oddest things ever to cross Chicago televisions: a 90-second hijacking of the airwaves, featuring a person dressed as Max Headroom. This is the Tribune's original report about the prankster, who has never...


United Soccer League expansion team coming to North Side site proposed for Amazon's HQ2

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:15:00 PST

A new professional soccer team plans to begin playing on Chicago’s North Side within three years, at one of the sites proposed for Amazon’s second headquarters.

Developer Sterling Bay has bought a United Soccer League expansion team to play in its planned sports and entertainment stadium along...


Partisan politics could mean fewer second helpings and more early exits this Thanksgiving

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:35:00 PST

Dreading the heaping helping of partisan political bickering likely to be served up at your family’s Thanksgiving dinner?

If so, here’s one thing to be thankful for: A contentious feast probably won’t last as long.

A recently completed study on the effects of partisanship on family ties showed...


One-third of Outcome Health's staff takes buyouts

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:20:00 PST

More than one-third of Outcome Health’s employees took a buyout offered late last week by the Chicago tech firm.

That equates to about 200 employees, roughly 170 of whom are based in Chicago, according to a source close to the company. Outcome Health employs a total of about 535 people.

The buyouts...


Corporate tax cut plans put local home buyers, sellers, builders in a bind

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

If the federal tax plan, now wending its way through Congress, were already law, would you have been able to buy, sell or build your house?

Sure, posing that very idea smacks of vast overstatement.

But the way this new tax plan is shaping up, it’s going to be much harder to make such housing-related...


McDonald’s museum in Des Plaines will be demolished next month

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:30:00 PST

The McDonald’s museum in Des Plaines, a replica of Ray Kroc’s first restaurant, is slated to be torn down next month, the world’s largest burger chain said Monday.

Kroc, considered by the company to be the founder of the modern chain, built his first restaurant in 1955 after franchising the brand...


Chicago’s Vista Tower could get new owner amid Chinese government crackdown

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:25:00 PST

Chicago’s soon-to-be third-tallest skyscraper, Vista Tower, could get a new owner before the 98-story condominium and hotel tower even opens, a Chinese newspaper is reporting.

Chinese firm Dalian Wanda Group is seeking a buyer willing to pay about $5 billion for five huge developments throughout...


Rocky Wirtz's Breakthru Beverage to merge with Texas-based firm, becoming $12 billion liquor distributor

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:20:00 PST

Breakthru Beverage Group, the alcohol wholesale company that has its Illinois operation based in Cicero, is planning to merge with Texas-based Republic National Distribution Co. to form the second largest alcohol distributor in the U.S., the companies announced Monday.

It would be the the second...


Outcome Health, under scrutiny by investors, offers voluntary buyouts

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 14:55:00 PST

Outcome Health is offering voluntary buyouts to employees amid “ongoing scrutiny” regarding allegations that the high-profile Chicago startup misled advertisers and investors.

The buyouts were offered to employees Friday, company spokesman John Eddy said in an email Sunday.

Outcome Health places...


Health care companies pull ads from Outcome Health's screens amid internal investigation

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 14:50:00 PST

A number of major advertisers and agencies have pulled tens of millions of dollars in health care ads from Outcome Health amid questions about whether the Chicago-based health information and advertising startup misled clients about its performance.

At the same time, Outcome Health’s high-profile...


Outcome Health's problems with sales pitches go back years

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

Long before investors poured nearly $500 million into Outcome Health, executives at the Chicago startup time and again reprimanded salesmen for making misleading or inaccurate claims, records show.

Outcome, which pitches doctor's offices free health-related programming and ads on TVs and tablets...


A CEO's nightmare: An endorsement from the alt-right

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 15:17:00 PST

The neo-Nazis were hungry. They had spent the day in a Charlottesville, Virginia, courthouse testifying at the preliminary hearing for a white nationalist jailed for pepper-spraying counterprotesters during August's deadly Unite the Right rally. Now, after the long drive home to Alexandria, Virginia,...


The winner in Amazon and Walmart's holiday showdown is you

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

The holiday season is meant to celebrate peace on earth, but there’s no love lost in cyberspace where an unparalleled battle is shaping up between Walmart and Amazon.

While this is serious business for them, the fun part is that you — the consumer — get to help decide the winner from your smartphone...


Chicago Tribune leaving namesake tower by mid-2018

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:20:00 PST

The Chicago Tribune will move in early 2018 to the Prudential Plaza office complex, ending a 93-year run in the newspaper’s namesake tower on North Michigan Avenue.

Parent company Tronc on Friday confirmed the newspaper will move to One Prudential Plaza in the second quarter of 2018. The Tribune...


Sears dials up 'unprecedented' discounts to record levels as it copes with slump

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:30:00 PST

Sears, reeling from billions in losses and sputtering mall traffic, is increasingly turning to a time-honored retail tactic: putting everything on sale.

The department-store chain embarked on its most aggressive holiday sales ever this month, marking down its entire inventory by 10 percent to 50...


Entercom shakes up Chicago airwaves with CBS Radio acquisition, flips WJMK-FM 104.3 to classic hip-hop

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:10:00 PST

Philadelphia-based Entercom didn’t waste any time shaking up the Chicago airwaves.

Hours after closing on its $2.4 billion acquisition of CBS Radio on Friday, Entercom flipped WJMK-FM 104.3 from classic hits to a new format: classic hip-hop.

The station, formerly known as K-Hits, will now be billed...


After Trump's election, more students consider law school, hoping to make a difference

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:10:00 PST

The election of President Donald Trump pushed Tiffany Boguslawski over the edge.

The 19-year-old aspiring politician knew she wanted to be a lawyer, but the new president, who shares her hard-line stance on immigration and international trade, sealed the deal.

Boguslawski, a triple-major in political...


Big victory for GOP as tax plan passes in House, but Senate fate unclear

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:24:00 PST

Republicans have stretched closer to delivering the first big legislative victory for President Donald Trump and their party, whisking a $1.5 trillion overhaul of business and personal income taxes through the House. Thorny problems await in the Senate, though.

The House passage of the bill Thursday...


For the first time, Chicago shoppers to spend biggest chunk of holiday budget online

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:00:00 PST

Digital cash registers will be ringing in Chicago this holiday season. For the first time, local shoppers expect to spend more of their holiday budgets online than in stores, according to a survey by consultancy Deloitte.

Chicago-area shoppers said they expected to spend half of their holiday budgets...


Macy's CEO: 'There's room for other retailers and Amazon'

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:24:00 PST

Thanksgiving turkeys aren’t even defrosted, but Macy’s already has marked the start of retail’s crucial holiday season, unveiling the decorated windows at its State Street flagship and lighting the Walnut Room restaurant's 45-foot-tall tree.

The Tribune previously reported that Macy’s struck a...


Head of Akorn board resigns after charges of bribing docs to prescribe opioids

Thu, 2 Nov 2017 13:30:00 PDT

John Kapoor has stepped down as chairman of Lake Forest-based Akorn Pharmaceuticals less than a week after he was charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy, as the founder of a different company, to bribe doctors and pharmacists to overprescribe an opioid pain medication.

Kapoor resigned from...


Willis Tower's Metropolitan Club getting new look, shorter name

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:45:00 PST

The Metropolitan Club plans a multimillion-dollar upgrade of its longtime space in Willis Tower, after the private club extended its lease in Chicago’s tallest building until 2029.

The club, which was one of the first tenants in then-Sears Tower when the 110-story building opened in 1974, said...


Chicago, other cities could see 'record' Thanksgiving traffic delays, AAA says

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 04:55:00 PST

The number of travelers hitting the road this Thanksgiving holiday is expected to swell to levels not seen in more than a decade, triggering what could be “record” traffic delays in some of the country’s biggest cities, including Chicago, according to the American Automobile Association.

In fact,...


When it comes to restructuring, GE can learn from Cat

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

As it embarks on one of the largest corporate transformations in modern history, General Electric may find it helpful to use locally based Caterpillar as a guiding light.

That’s because when it comes to cost-cutting, boosting sales, making money and getting back in the good graces of Wall Street,...


Caterpillar ends investment in Uptake, data mining startup launched by Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:00:00 PST

Caterpillar is ending its investment in Uptake, Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell’s data analytics startup.

The equipment manufacturer took an early minority stake in Uptake, which CEO Keywell and fellow Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky launched in 2014. Caterpillar, now based in Deerfield, has...


'Mancow' Muller sues new radio boss for emotional distress

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:00:00 PST

Shock jock Erich “Mancow” Muller is so upset about his current employer hiring his former boss, longtime Chicago radio executive Marv Nyren, that he’s suing Nyren for emotional distress.

Muller, who presides over the “Mancow Morning Show” on WLUP-FM 97.9, filed a lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit...


Slagel Family Farm, meat supplier for Chicago restaurants, starts dog food line

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:00:00 PST

Slagel Family Farm, a meat supplier to Chicago restaurants like Acadia, Bad Hunter and Girl & the Goat, is extending its reach to four-legged diners.

The Fairbury farm has started a raw dog food line, called “Farm 2 Bowl,” after requests from some high-profile chef customers and as part of a broader...


In challenging times, Mag Mile retail rents stay among North America's highest

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 16:05:00 PST

North Michigan Avenue storefronts still bring in some of the highest rents in North America, with new deals averaging $550 per square foot even amid volatile times for retailers.

Magnificent Mile annual retail rents remained unchanged from 2016, according to the Main Streets Across the World report...


Rochelle rail-car plant loses $352 million Amtrak contract to California

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:00:00 PST

A Japanese rail-car maker with a manufacturing plant in Rochelle has lost a lucrative contract to build high-speed Amtrak passenger trains after years of safety problems, technical failures and layoffs.

Nippon Sharyo lost the contract from the California Department of Transportation, originally...


Portillo's rolls out delivery in most markets with DoorDash partnership

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

In potentially troubling news for bulging waistlines across the land, Portillo’s has expanded delivery in nearly all of its markets nationwide in a new partnership with DoorDash, a San Francisco-based delivery service.

The Oak Brook-based chain known for food like Italian beef, Chicago dogs and...


Feds investigating exposure of patient data at Cook County Health and Hospitals System

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:42:00 PST

The federal government is investigating a security lapse that exposed the personal information of more than 700 patients at Cook County Health and Hospitals System this year.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has listed the data exposure among its current...


Boeing inks $1.3B Ethiopian Airlines deal for 777 freighters

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 05:48:00 PST

Boeing Co. inked a $1.3 billion deal on Tuesday to sell four 777 freighters to Ethiopian Airlines as an aircraft provider to a Kuwaiti carrier resuming operations tentatively agreed to buy 25 Airbus A320neos.

Chicago-based Boeing and Ethiopian, Africa's largest cargo operator, made the announcement...


New York judge denies investors' request to freeze $225M for Outcome Health founders

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 18:50:00 PST

A New York state judge has denied a request from big-name investors in Outcome Health to freeze $225 million set to be distributed to two founders of the Chicago-based startup under fire for allegedly misleading advertisers and investors.

The investors — including units of Goldman Sachs and Google...


Emirates agrees to buy 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners for $15.1 billion

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 05:40:00 PST

Long-haul carrier Emirates purchased 40 American-made Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners on Sunday at the start of the biennial Dubai Air Show, a $15.1 billion deal certain to please U.S. President Donald Trump who has touted the plane’s sales as a job creator in America.

The deal appeared to surprise Boeing’s...


Brookfield offers to buy GGP stake for more than $14B

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:20:00 PST

Brookfield Property Partners LP bid about $14.8 billion to acquire the stake it doesn't already hold in U.S. mall owner GGP Inc. as the companies seek to repurpose struggling bricks-and-mortar shopping centers.

The firm offered $23 a share for the 66 percent of GGP it doesn't own, Brookfield said...


Charities fear GOP tax plan could lead to loss of billions of dollars in donations

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:53:00 PST

Charities in the Chicago area and across the country are bracing for the potential loss of billions of dollars in annual contributions as a result of a tax overhaul plan from congressional Republicans that would eliminate the incentive to donate for nearly all Americans.

The proposed House bill,...


Why veggie burgers are the hot new menu item — for meat lovers too

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:55:00 PST

Chicago restaurants are betting that meat-loving Midwesterners will opt for a veggie burger in disguise.

A new group of plant-based burgers that are made to mimic the taste and texture of real beef burgers — in some cases, they even “bleed” beet juice — was introduced at a handful of Chicago burger...


GOP's new tax plan is 'a real hard sell' for local small businesses

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 11:10:00 PST

There’s a saying about government and entrepreneurs that goes like this: “Politicians love small business until it wants something.”

Well, many small-business owners definitely crave more than they seem to be getting out of the sweeping tax proposals emerging from congressional lawmakers. Although...


Proposed Goose Island office building would be 6-story all-wood tower

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 14:30:00 PST

A shuttered Goose Island lumberyard could soon become home to a type of construction not seen in Chicago since the 1800s: a wood-structured office building.

Real estate developer Hines said it plans to build a six-story, 270,000-square-foot office building on Division Street that would become the...


Employees want their job to matter, but meaning at work can be hard to find

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 22:00:00 PST

Jennifer Ruiz holds her patient’s trembling hand as she presses a stethoscope to the frail woman’s chest and belly. She compliments the woman on her recently painted fingernails. She cheerfully asks how she’s feeling, knowing she’ll get no answer from the little curled body in the big hospital...


Starbucks plans Princi kitchen on Near North Side to supply new bakeries

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 13:40:00 PST

Starbucks is planning a kitchen on Chicago’s Near North Side where it will prepare food for its future Princi bakeries in Chicago, as well as for its four-story Roastery on Michigan Avenue that’s slated to open in 2019.

The proposed “Starbucks Princi kitchen” would occupy about 17,700 square feet...


Outcome Health investors receive DOJ subpoenas as Chicago-area hospitals back away

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 04:00:00 PST

The Justice Department is subpoenaing investors in Chicago-based Outcome Health in the wake of a lawsuit accusing the prominent health information and advertising startup of committing fraud to secure nearly $500 million in funding.

The orders from federal investigators, revealed in court documents...


Chicago Cubs provide winning workplace off the field

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 22:00:00 PST

Clinching the World Series after more than a century is the least of the reasons why employees say they love working for the Chicago Cubs organization.

Sure, the team passed out 2016 World Series rings, which one employee said more exciting to get than her wedding ring. But front-office employees...


Displaced medical school will relocate from Caribbean cruise ship to Tennessee

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 07:40:00 PST

More than 1,400 medical school students, faculty and staff who’ve been attending classes on a cruise ship since Hurricane Maria will move yet again — this time to Tennessee.

Students at the Dominica-based Ross University School of Medicine have been going to classes and living aboard a cruise liner...


Capital One's 450-plus job cuts make up half of state layoffs in October

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 08:50:00 PST

Layoffs at Capital One’s Rolling Meadows office made up more than half of the state’s mass layoff warnings in October.

In August, the financial services company said it would lay off more than 400 employees as it downsized its call center because fewer customers rely on call center services. The...


Boeing's $37 billion mega order in China is said to cover mostly old deals

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 08:58:00 PST

Boeing's $37 billion order, unveiled during Donald Trump's first visit to China as U.S. president, consists mostly of previously agreed deals, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

The 300 aircraft order from China Aviation Supplies Holding Co., the state-owned company that does...


There's a buzz surrounding Constellation's legal marijuana deal

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

It’s a mind-expanding investment, man.

With the recent purchase of a minority stake in a Canadian marijuana company, Constellation Brands — whose major beer division is based in Chicago and is best known for selling Corona beer, wine and spirits — is lighting up one of the year’s most intriguing...


Emanuel: Allow taxis to charge surge prices, require same background checks as Uber, Lyft drivers

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 04:45:00 PST

Responding to years of criticism that City Hall favors upstarts Uber and Lyft over taxi owners, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday pitched a solution: Make the beleaguered cab companies more like their increasingly prosperous ride-share competitors.

Taxi drivers would get the option of pre-arranging...


Pilotlight, a new shared kitchen, to open in former Le Cordon Bleu school

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 11:45:00 PST

A New York-based food incubator is opening a shared kitchen for small food businesses in the former Le Cordon Bleu culinary school on Chicago’s Near North Side.

Pilotlight, formerly known as Foodworks, will occupy about 40,000 square feet on North Orleans Street where cooking students once hunched...


Major investors sue Outcome Health, alleging firm committed fraud to secure $487.5M investment

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 13:55:00 PST

Investors in Outcome Health, including a fund co-founded by gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and units of Goldman Sachs and Google, have sued the Chicago health information and advertising startup and two of its founders, alleging they committed fraud to secure almost $500 million in funding...


2 Chinese investors drop out of bid for Chicago Stock Exchange

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 14:25:00 PST

Two of the three China-based bidders for the Chicago Stock Exchange have withdrawn from a group trying to acquire the market, officials said Wednesday.

American investors would own 71 percent of the exchange under an amended proposal submitted to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Chinese...


Sears strikes deal that will allow it to sell properties to fund its pension

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 10:15:00 PST

Sears Holdings Corp. said Wednesday it signed a deal that will allow it to sell up to 140 more properties to finance a $407 million contribution to the company’s pension plans.

Hoffman Estates-based Sears said it struck the deal with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a federal agency that guarantees...


Christkindlmarket, skating rink headed to The Park at Wrigley

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 13:05:00 PST

Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is headed to Wrigleyville.

Organizers of the annual German holiday markets, which started 21 years ago on Daley Plaza, are adding a third location this year: The Park at Wrigley, the plaza outside Wrigley Field.

The plaza, part of the Ricketts family’s redevelopment...


When in Rome, or Chicago: Thermal baths open in former River West paint factory

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 13:53:00 PST

Chicagoans looking to soak in ancient Roman thermal pools, housed inside a somewhat less ancient restored former paint factory: Your bath is almost ready.

Aire Ancient Baths, a Spanish company, is opening a 20,000-square-foot facility in the River West neighborhood later this month, featuring cold,...


Twitter is officially doubling the character limit to 280

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 14:19:00 PST

It's official. We're going to 280. Now every Twitter user — from first-day users to President Donald Trump — will have twice the room to share their thoughts.

Twitter on Tuesday confirmed that it is doubling its iconic character count for good, after a month or so of tests trying out longer tweets.


Does DNAinfo's demise sound death knell for hyperlocal websites?

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

The fast and furious death of DNAinfo, part of a respected but unprofitable online neighborhood news operation, raises a nagging question: Can hyperlocal news sites ever really make it?

By make it, I mean money.

You know, the end result from selling subscriptions, advertising or something unique...


For food giants, rising tide of e-commerce means sink or swim

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 14:00:00 PST

Have you ever plucked a bottle of ketchup from a grocery store shelf after remembering your kids finished the last bottle the night before?

Or perhaps you’ve indulged in a box of cookies that wasn’t on the grocery list but still somehow ended up in your cart?

These spontaneous purchases are a challenge...


CVS to roll out same-day delivery for prescription drugs

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 12:30:00 PST

CVS Health is cranking up prescription deliveries to customer homes or workplaces, as the drugstore chain tries to squeeze more of an edge from a massive store network that puts 70 percent of the U.S. population within three miles of one of its locations.

The nation's second-largest drugstore chain...


McDonald's, Kmart, others settle suits over website access for the blind

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 10:40:00 PST

McDonald's, Kmart, Grubhub and home supply company Empire Today have all settled cases that alleged their websites and smartphone apps weren’t properly accessible to the blind.

The settlements were confidential, so the exact terms couldn’t be known, but the lawsuits called for the companies to...


Skyline shake-up: Changes coming in Chicago's tallest buildings

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 09:26:00 PST

Three of Chicago's 10 tallest skyscrapers could be knocked from the list in the next five years(image)

State's review of Sears' $15M in tax breaks drags on as company strives to stay afloat

Fri, 3 Nov 2017 15:40:00 PDT

Struggling Sears Holdings Corp. has cut thousands of jobs and closed hundreds of stores this year as it strives to stay afloat heading into the retail industry’s make-or-break holiday season.

But while it’s waiting for shoppers, Sears is also waiting on the state of Illinois, which has yet to decide...


GOP's proposed tax plan could hit Chicagoans in areas with high property taxes

Sat, 4 Nov 2017 15:00:00 PDT

For Chicago-area residents with simple income streams and uncomplicated tax returns, congressional Republicans’ proposed tax plan could mean a bigger refund after Tax Day. But homeowners in areas with high property taxes and homebuyers could take a hit.

The plan, introduced Thursday, would nearly...


A behind-the-scenes peek at Macy's State Street holiday decorating

Sat, 4 Nov 2017 14:09:00 PDT

What do you need to erect and decorate the 45-foot tree that has stretched toward the ceiling of Marshall Field’s/Macy’s Walnut Room restaurant for the past 110 holiday seasons?


The eight-tiered artificial tree is built and decorated from the top down, starting with the 11-foot top tier that...


IPhone X crowds prove it's a must-have for Apple fans, even at $999

Fri, 3 Nov 2017 11:00:00 PDT

Apple opened its gleaming new $27 million glass-enclosed store along the Chicago River two weeks ago, but Friday was the store’s coming out party, as hundreds lined up — some camping out overnight — to be among the first to own the new iPhone X.

It was a familiar scene but a new locale along North...


DNAinfo, Gothamist news sites shut down by billionaire Joe Ricketts after union vote

Fri, 3 Nov 2017 05:20:00 PDT

DNAinfo, the 8-year-old hyperlocal news website, abruptly shut down Thursday afternoon.

Joe Ricketts, chief executive officer of DNAinfo and recently acquired Gothamist, announced the decision in an online letter to readers.

“I've made the difficult decision to discontinue publishing DNAinfo and...


How the GOP's tax plan could wallop homeowners

Fri, 3 Nov 2017 06:41:00 PDT

Pricey U.S. housing markets from the New York suburbs to California's coastal cities could take a direct hit under the tax-reform bill released by House Republicans.

Under the bill, mortgage interest would be deductible on loans up to $500,000 instead of the current $1 million for couples filing...


House tax bill will cap mortgage interest deduction, leave 401(k)s unchanged

Thu, 2 Nov 2017 20:42:00 PDT

House Republicans on Thursday proposed the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in three decades, a plan that would sharply cut tax rates for corporations and individuals while eliminating many popular deductions that Americans have long enjoyed.

At its core, the legislation would deliver the...


WYCC drops PBS, weighs channel-sharing deal with WTTW

Thu, 2 Nov 2017 14:30:00 PDT

After 34 years as Chicago’s “other” public television station, WYCC-Ch. 20 is down to its final weeks to strike a channel-sharing agreement with rival WTTW-Ch. 11 or go off the air.

Some would argue it’s already gone.

Last week, WYCC dropped its PBS affiliation, scrapped its full slate of programming...


Trump picks Jerome Powell to lead Federal Reserve, succeeding Janet Yellen

Thu, 2 Nov 2017 15:00:00 PDT

President Donald Trump tapped Jerome Powell on Thursday to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair when her term ends in February, choosing a moderate member of the Fed's board who has backed Yellen's cautious approach to interest rate hikes.

Powell, 64, is seen as a safe pick whose selection will likely...


'Babies Before Bezos': Union protests $2 billion for Amazon bid amid child care debate

Thu, 2 Nov 2017 11:40:00 PDT

Carrying signs that read “Babies Before Bezos,” about two dozen union workers called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner to spend more on child care subsidies, citing $2 billion in incentives dangled to lure Amazon to Chicago.

The Service Employees International Healthcare union on Wednesday...


Jewel-Osco to offer grocery delivery option with new online ordering program

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 13:45:00 PDT

Jewel-Osco, the largest traditional grocery store chain in the Chicago area, plans to launch a delivery service next week — the latest bricks-and-mortar grocery retailer to leap into online sales.

Beginning Tuesday, most Chicago-area residents will have the option of ordering groceries online for...


Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell leaves board amid other director shifts

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 12:45:00 PDT

Groupon on Wednesday announced several changes to its board, including the departure of co-founder Brad Keywell, and said it’s shifting toward deals that are easier to redeem and intensifying its focus on discounts at local businesses.

“I'm proud of where Groupon is headed today,” Keywell, who...


Papa John's blames NFL 'debacle' for hurting its pizza sales

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 09:10:00 PDT

Papa John's International Inc. founder John Schnatter is going after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying weak handling of the league's national-anthem controversy has hammered sales of his pizza.

"The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and owners' satisfaction,"...


Sodikoff working on Mag Mile food hall

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 13:05:00 PDT

Brendan Sodikoff will bring new food and beverage vendors to two floors of the 900 North Michigan Shops mall, becoming the latest restaurateur to jump into Chicago’s food hall explosion.

Sodikoff’s Chicago-based company, Hogsalt Hospitality, will curate the new concept expected to open in fall...


Accused debt-collection scam operators to relinquish gold bar, homes, cash in $47 million settlement

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 14:00:00 PDT

State and federal agencies have settled civil charges against the operators of a collection of Westmont-based businesses they said ran a fake debt collection scheme.

The three defendants have agreed to surrender assets worth at least $9 million — including cash, a 1-kilogram gold bar and homes;...


Far South Side hospital disputes F grade for safety

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 04:55:00 PDT

A hospital serving mostly low-income people on the city’s Far South Side is one of only 15 in the country to get a patient safety grade of F on a recent report — a grade the hospital disputes.

Roseland Community Hospital was the only hospital in Illinois to receive the failing grade this week as...


CME to sell bitcoin futures in bet on soaring cryptocurrency

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 13:25:00 PDT

With the price of bitcoin soaring, the CME Group announced plans Tuesday to launch a futures contract on the digital currency by year’s end, offering a trading platform for investors — and perhaps some legitimacy for skeptics.

The new contract, pending regulatory approval, will be based on the...


Obamacare enrollment: Here's what you need to know

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:25:00 PDT

Choosing the right health insurance plan can be a cumbersome process, and this year’s political back-and-forth over Obamacare has made it seem even more confusing.

For months, executive orders and congressional debates have swirled around the law, officially called the Affordable Care Act. President...


Illinois bulks up Obamacare website as sign-up period approaches

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:30:00 PDT

Illinois is adding more information to, its Obamacare website, on Wednesday, allowing consumers on the first day of open enrollment to look at and enroll in all individual plans both on and off the exchange.

The state also has expanded the hours of its help line and established...


Boutique hotel with 44 rooms, two restaurants planned in Logan Square

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:35:00 PDT

A boutique hotel with two restaurants could soon be coming to a Logan Square building that has been most known for its billboards.

Chicago developers are in talks with 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and neighborhood groups as they seek zoning approval to bring a 44-room hotel to the former...


$60 million loan is Sears' 3rd time tapping CEO's pockets this month

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:55:00 PDT

Sears Holdings has borrowed millions of dollars from affiliates of its CEO for the third time this month.

The struggling Hoffman Estates-based retailer disclosed a $60 million loan in a regulatory filing Monday.

Earlier this month, Sears borrowed $100 million from affiliates of Sears CEO Edward...


Corona owner, medical marijuana company will introduce cannabis-infused beverage

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:25:00 PDT

Alcohol giant Constellation Brands is making a foray into marijuana, a precedent-setting move for an industry that has mostly stayed on the sidelines during the cannabis boom.

Constellation will pay about $191 million (C$245 million) for a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corp., a Canadian seller...


How Harvey Weinstein is altering the landscape of workplace sexual harassment

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 20:05:00 PDT

Will Harvey Weinstein reshape the national discussion about sexual harassment at work?

The scandal that rocked Hollywood and toppled the career of the famous producer has raised the discussion of workplace misconduct to a new level. Coming on the heels of other sexual harassment scandals involving...


Illinois Office of Tourism to expand to Mexico and China

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 05:25:00 PDT

The Illinois Office of Tourism will open offices in China and Mexico to attract foreign visitors and help boost the state’s tourism industry, officials announced Monday.

The government agency will expand into Mexico City on Nov. 1 and Beijing on Dec. 1, with three additional support offices in...


Billionaire drug executive with Chicago ties is charged with bribing doctors to prescribe opioid

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 09:35:00 PDT

John Kapoor, chairman of the board of Lake Forest-based Akorn Pharmaceuticals, has been charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and pharmacists to overprescribe an opioid pain drug made by another company he founded.

Kapoor, 74, founder of Insys Therapeutics, and a group of...


Fears of Amazon moving into prescription drug sales are already disrupting health care

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 05:48:00 PDT

The possible megamerger between pharmacy giant CVS Health and the health insurer Aetna would be the biggest deal of the year if it goes through. It would also create a combined company less vulnerable to disruption by Amazon, the online retail giant that has been eyeing the pharmacy business.



Amazon Stadium? Chicago developer hopes it's the ticket to HQ2

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 13:45:00 PDT

A Chicago developer is offering a unique perk in the all-out competition to win Amazon’s second headquarters: Amazon Stadium.

Sterling Bay’s proposal to bring as many as 50,000 Amazon headquarters workers to its Lincoln Yards development includes the potential for a sports and concert venue near...


Parka brand Canada Goose opens 10,000-square-foot Michigan Avenue flagship store

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:15:00 PDT

Just as temperatures have started dropping, outerwear brand Canada Goose is opening a flagship store on Michigan Avenue.

It’s the third retail outpost for the Toronto-based company, best known for made-in-Canada, arctic-ready parkas, some of which weigh as much as 8 pounds and run up to $1,695....


Amazon quietly gets approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in multiple states

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:20:00 PDT

Throughout the past year, and without much fanfare, Inc. has gained approval to become a wholesale distributor from a number of state pharmaceutical boards, according to a review of public records.

It’s unclear, though, whether the regulatory filings support speculation that the e-commerce...


Can United Airlines brain trust survive another tough journey?

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 03:00:00 PDT

United Airlines has a knack for flying into bad weather.

The forcible removal in April of Dr. David Dao from a United regional jet sparked widespread public outcry and damaged the airline’s public image. Now, the company is having big problems with Wall Street, which is raising pointed questions...


Here's why CVS wants to buy Aetna for $66 billion

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 05:30:00 PDT

CVS Health is reportedly in talks to buy the nation's third largest health insurer, Aetna, in a deal that would allow the pharmacy giant to expand into an entirely new arena of health care.

A successful deal could push millions of Aetna's members toward CVS's retail pharmacies, walk-in Minute Clinics,...


American and Southwest signal rising airline prices ahead

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:35:00 PDT

American and Southwest airlines are expecting their average prices to move higher the rest of this year, which would mark a shift from fare wars that have cut into profits and created turbulence for airline stock prices.

Both carriers said Thursday that they see a key measure of revenue per mile...


Illinois sues payday lender over low-wage workers forced to sign noncompete agreements

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 12:40:00 PDT

The Illinois attorney general’s office is suing Check Into Cash, a national chain of payday lending stores, for allegedly forcing low-wage employees to sign noncompete agreements in violation of state law.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, said Check Into Cash effectively...


Chicago-area hospitals have merger fever. Is it good for patients?

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 11:00:00 PDT

Chicago-area health systems have merger fever, excitedly scooping up hospitals and joining forces in what they say is an effort to improve patient care and lower industry costs.

But is it good for consumers’ care or pocketbooks? Not always, according to research and real-life examples.

The list...


Hugh Hefner, Wonder Woman and wacky wigs: Fantasy Costumes is open 24/7 before Halloween

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 04:00:00 PDT

The Wonder Woman costume just didn’t fit right.

But Fantasy Costumes owner George Garcia had a solution for his customer: There’s another version for rent that fits a little differently.

When it comes to the costume business, Garcia said, variety is key.

The owner of the blocklong shop in the Portage...