Business

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
11:55 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Website Partners With Connecticut Startups

LaunchEZ's website aims to act as a one-stop portal.

A new website for Connecticut entrepreneurs aims to launch 500 new companies in the state. The grassroots effort connects inventors with investors and help services.

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Casinos
8:48 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Consultant: Schenectady Casino Will Have Minimal Impact on MGM Springfield

Regions for casino gaming development in New York state.
New York State Gaming Facility Location Board

A New York State Gaming Board Wednesday selected developers and sites for three new casinos to be built upstate. 

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Manufacturing
6:27 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Massachusetts Announces Funds To Train Machinists

Mass. secretary for Housing and Economic Development is seen touring a state-funded training center for machinists at Springfield Technical Community College

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:36 pm

The Patrick administration today announced more funding to help strengthen the advanced manufacturing industry in Massachusetts.

       Massachusetts will distribute $1.5 million to be shared by five regional workforce development agencies across the state to help recruit and train 280 unemployed or underemployed people for careers in precision manufacturing.    A vocational high school in western Massachusetts will get $400,000 to equip its machine shop with state of the art equipment.         

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Topline
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Americans Love Local Business, But Do They Spend Accordingly?

Mark Hillary Creative Commons

It’s the holiday season, meaning it’s time for Americans to hit the stores for Christmas sales and New Year's bargains. This November and December, millions of shoppers will peruse the aisles of big-box stores and chain retailers, hoping to find the coolest gifts and lowest prices.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

'Tis the Season to Be Shopping

I See Modern Britain Creative Commons

According to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, Thanksgiving sales dropped by 11 percent this year. While this might sound like an alarming figure, some economists would argue that 2014 sales aren't nearly as bad as they seem. 

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Economy
6:21 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Mortgage Giants Ease Down Payments For First-Time Homebuyers

A new directive from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will allow first-time homebuyers to put down as little as 3 percent.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:05 pm

A federal directive will go into effect Saturday making it easier for some Americans to come up with a down payment to buy a house.

The vast majority of home loans are guaranteed by the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The regulator in charge of Fannie and Freddie will allow first-time homebuyers to put down as little as 3 percent.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
1:08 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

UTC CEO: Sikorsky Stays

UTC CEO Greg Hayes.
Credit UTC

Incoming CEO of United Technologies, Greg Hayes, said the company is committed to Connecticut, at least for now. He said the company’s direction remains constant.

"The priorities: it’s the same. Nothing has changed at UTC," Hayes told analysts at an annual business outlook meeting in New York.

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Amusement Parks
10:33 am
Fri December 12, 2014

SeaWorld CEO Steps Down Amid Controversy, Drop In Attendance

In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together earlier this month at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:44 pm

Plagued by controversy and sharp drops in attendance and stock prices, SeaWorld has announced that CEO Jim Atchison will step aside.

U-T San Diego reports that the amusement park also plans on cutting an unspecified number of jobs. Atchison, according to the newspaper, will receive a $2.4 million payout and become vice chairman of the board.

Chairman David F. D'Alessandro will take on the job of chief executive officer while a permanent replacement is sought.

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Springfield
3:24 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Hundreds Hear MGM Officials Outline Casino Construction Plans

Hundreds attended a construction information meeting hosted by MGM Resorts,which plans to start building an $800 resort casino in downtown Springfield next year

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:52 am

More than 400 business owners, contractors, and tradesmen packed a meeting Thursday morning to find out how to bid for work building the MGM Springfield casino. 

MGM officials outlined a construction timetable, explained hiring goals for women, minorities and veterans, and provided contact information. Hunter Clayton, MGM Resorts top construction official said building the casino, hotel, retail stores, restaurants and other amenities is a unique and special project.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:43 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Fuel Affordability Gap Widens in Connecticut

Credit Operation Fuel

The number of households unable to afford heating bills in the state will rise again this winter. That’s the message from Operation Fuel, the non-profit that aims to help low-income families with utility bills. 

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Still Revolutionary
8:21 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Key Issues Forum Focuses on Innovation

Dan Haar moderates the Key Issues Forum.
CPBN

The Hartford Courant presented a Key Issues Forum on Thursday morning in collaboration with the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. 

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Holiday Mail
7:41 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Here's Why Retailers Keep Sending You Catalogs

The number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. peaked in 2007, according to the Direct Marketing Association. It's come down since then, but last year it reached 11.9 billion.
NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:19 am

Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.

"I ignore them," says Rick Narad, a professor at California State University, Chico. "I get them in the mail sometimes, and they don't make it into the house. I walk past the recycling bin, and they go right in."

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Background Checks
1:51 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Alleged Rape Of Passenger Raises Concerns About How Uber Runs Abroad

After a woman reported that she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi, protesters gathered outside a police station.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Uber is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
10:53 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Gas in Connecticut Hits Four-Year Low

Credit Mike Mozart / Creative Commons

It's official: a gallon of gas now costs less than $3.00 in Connecticut. According to AAA's statewide survey, it's the first time in over four years that the average price has dipped below that mark. 

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Springfield
10:10 am
Wed December 10, 2014

MGM To Discuss Casino Construction Plans With Interested Builders

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:40 am

MGM officials have invited contractors to a meeting this week in Springfield, Massachusetts to discuss the company’s casino construction plans.

At the public meeting Thursday at the MassMutual Convention Center, there will be a presentation about the design and the construction timetable for the $800 million development in downtown Springfield.  Chris Boss, a carpenter from West Springfield said a project of this scope is a once in a lifetime opportunity for people in the construction trades.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
11:24 am
Tue December 9, 2014

UTC Appoints New CFO

UTC's new CFO, Akhil Johri.
Credit United Technologies

United Technologies is bringing back a long-time executive to serve as chief financial officer.

Akhil Johri succeeds Greg Hayes, who became president and CEO of the conglomerate last month after the unexpected departure of CEO Louis Chenevert. 

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Higher Education
9:43 am
Tue December 9, 2014

UConn in Negotiations to Buy Storrs Hotel

The Nathan Hale Inn is already more than half-filled with student housing.
University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is in negotiations to buy a hotel in Storrs and eventually turn it into a student dormitory.

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Olive Oil
6:11 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Olive Oil Producers In 'Crisis' From Weather, Pests And Disease

Damaged olives hang in the grove belonging to Augusto Spagnoli, an oil producer from Nerola, near Rome. Producers and experts declared Italy's 2014 olive harvest the worst in history, due to adverse climatic conditions that helped the olive fly proliferate, thus destroying the olives before they could be harvested.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:49 am

There's been a dramatic drop in oil production, but it's not barrels of light sweet crude. It's olive oil.

Curtis Cord, publisher of the Olive Oil Times, tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered there are many reasons why production has fallen so much in Italy and Spain this year.

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Electronics
6:07 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Inventor Ralph Baer, The 'Father Of Video Games,' Dies At 92

German-American game developer Ralph Baer shows the prototype of the first games console which was invented by him during a press conference on the Games Convention Online in Leipzig, Germany in 2009. Baer died on Saturday. He was 92.
Jens Wolf DPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:32 pm

Ralph H. Baer, the man widely acknowledged as the "father of home video games" for his pioneering work in electronics and television engineering, died on Saturday at his home in Manchester, N.H. He was 92.

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Business
4:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 1:57 pm

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
11:38 am
Mon December 8, 2014

WSJ: Chenevert Ousted Over Personal Priorities

UTC's headquarters in Hartford.
Credit DanielPenfield / Creative Commons

The Wall Street Journal is the first to take a guess at the mystery surrounding the departure of United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert.

The paper reported this weekend that the company board engineered his abrupt ouster because of concerns that he was spending too much time on his private interests.

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Casino Industry
9:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

State Funds Casino Job Training In Western Mass.

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:20 pm

The Patrick administration has awarded funding to help train people for jobs in the new Massachusetts casino industry. 

Holyoke Community College is getting a $1.75 million grant to build a Center for Hospitality and Culinary Excellence that will be used in part to prepare people for casino-related jobs.  HCC President William Messner has led the effort to partner with the casino industry on workforce development.

" We see this as simply an extension of our tradition, of our mission to provide first class training for businesses and organizations."

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Europe
4:17 am
Mon December 8, 2014

U.S. Tech Firms See Green As They Set Up Shop In Low-Tax Ireland

The Apple campus in Cork, southern Ireland, employs 4,000 people — though its financial benefits are felt across the city. But Ireland's attractive tax laws — which have lured other industry leaders — are now under scrutiny.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 8:54 am

Here's a fact that might surprise you: All of the top 10 U.S. companies that were born on the Internet — including Google, Amazon and eBay — have overseas corporate headquarters in Ireland.

The American tech sector is huge in Ireland. It's growing rapidly — and having a huge impact on life there.

But the tax system that's fueling the growth is also infuriating some people in the U.S. and Europe — and has Ireland reconsidering its tax code.

A City, And Country, Transformed

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Business
4:44 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

2014: The Year When The Job Market Finally Turned The Corner

A construction worker clears wood from a platform that spans the Penn Station railroad tracks in New York City on Nov. 18. Construction jobs rose by 20,000 according to the November jobs report.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:23 pm

As 2014 winds down, you might want to save that calendar hanging next to the fridge.

Maybe even frame it.

After so many years of misery for the middle class, 2014 is now looking like the one that finally brought relief. The November jobs report, released Friday by the Labor Department, had blowout numbers showing a surge in job creation, an upturn in work hours and a meaningful boost in wages.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
1:50 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

National Park Status for Coltsville Heads to the Senate

The iconic Colt dome in Hartford.
Library of Congress

A bill that would make Hartford’s Coltsville into a national park has passed in the U.S. House. 

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Business of Health Care
12:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Small, Independent Connecticut Hospitals Want Legislative Help

The Griffin Hospital emergency department.
Credit Turner Construction

A group of small, independent hospitals in Connecticut said the increasing cost of providing health care coupled with lower reimbursement rates from insurance providers and the government is making it harder for them to survive, and they’re seeking help from state lawmakers.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
3:03 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Electric Suppliers Sued in Connecticut

Credit Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

A West Hartford law firm has filed suit against several independent electric suppliers in the state, accusing them of price gouging and deceptive business practices. 

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Online Business
3:37 am
Thu December 4, 2014

A Syrian Entrepreneur Looks To Build The Amazon Of The Arab World

Ronaldo Mouchawar, a native of Syria, is the founder of Souq.com, which is now considered the leading e-commerce site in the region. He says his company, which is based in Dubai, reflects a quiet transformation that is taking places in parts of the Arab world.
Courtesy of Souq.com

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 9:11 pm

When Ronaldo Mouchawar was working in a Boston engineering firm he dreamed of moving back to the Arab world. Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, he had come to the U.S. to study, then got a high-paying job, but he believed he "owed something" to his home region.

It turned out his ticket back was a smart idea at the right time.

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Television
3:17 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Hate The Idea Of 'Peter Pan Live'? NBC Is Counting On It

NBC is hoping you might just hate Peter Pan Live! (starring Allison Williams) enough to watch it.
Virginia Sherwood AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 10:40 am

It's one of the biggest ironies of NBC's gamble tonight with the blockbuster production Peter Pan Live!

This incredibly earnest TV musical just might succeed if enough people hate it.

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Development
1:20 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Drive-Through Zoning Issue Generates Controversy Near Vacant Hartford Lot

A vacant lot at Farmington and Girard Avenues in Hartford.
Farmington Avenue Alliance

Will a McDonald's open in Hartford's West End? Not if neighbors and the city of Hartford have their way. 

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