Business

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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Power Crunch
1:14 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Buyer Beware as Electric Rates Soar

Connecticut's Consumer Counsel, Elin Swanson Katz.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Consumers who are scrambling to lower their electric rates in the new year are being urged to exercise caution. Looming rate increases from Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating have many considering signing up for an alternative supplier for the first time. 

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Business
6:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Holiday Shoppers Are Filling Their Carts, Online

Workers pack items Sunday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif. Cyber Monday online sales jumped 8.5 percent over 2013.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:45 pm

This weekend, Will Falls decided to skip the local mall near Raleigh, N.C., and shop online instead.

"No standing in line, no finding a parking spot," he says. "Just get comfortable and go at it."

Millions of Americans did the same — Falls helped contribute to an 8.5 percent increase in online shopping Monday compared with 2013, according to data from IBM.

That growth stands in contrast to an 11 percent drop in sales reported by the National Retail Federation at brick-and-mortar stores over the Black Friday weekend compared with a year ago.

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Technology
6:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Twitter Targets Trolls With New Rules On Abuse

An image from a Twitter video shows how a user would report harassment under a new process announced Tuesday.
Twitter

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:48 pm

Saying it wants to build "a safer Twitter," the company is announcing changes to two areas: how it handles harassment and the tools that let users block people who've sent abusive messages. One woman who has experienced such abuse calls the change "a big step up."

Twitter announced the changes in a blog post Tuesday, which reads in part:

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Seafood
5:27 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Shucking Oysters By The Thousands, With A Steady Smile

George Hastings shucks oysters at the Oyster Riot 2014 in Washington, D.C. He's been traveling the country on the shucking circuit for four decades.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 10:44 am

When it needs to serve 75,000 raw oysters to 3,000 people in one weekend, Washington D.C.'s landmark Old Ebbitt Grill calls in reinforcements. It hires expert oyster shuckers to help out with its Oyster Riot event each year. And for most of the last 20 years, those experts have included 59-year-old George Hastings.

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Technology
4:14 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Apple's Success Continues Under Tim Cook, But Steve Jobs Still Looms Large

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's market capitalization neared $700 billion late last month.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:55 pm

Since Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple, the company's market capitalization (or the value of its outstanding shares) has increased by more than $300 billion. On Nov. 26, it reached its highest level yet, almost $698 billion.

Numerically, this is a feat. Quartz says, "In nominal terms no company has ever been as big as Apple." Of course, Quartz goes on to say that, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft was bigger at its 1990s peak.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
3:23 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General to File More Comment on Utility Rate Hike

Attorney General George Jepsen in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Attorney General George Jepsen has welcomed the cut that regulators look likely to make to Connecticut Light and Power’s requested rate hike, but he said they should go further. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 2, 2014

What's Driving the Electric Rate Hike in Connecticut?; Herbalife's So-Called "Pyramid Scheme"

EyeLights/iStock Thinkstock

State regulators, in a draft ruling, have reduced the permanent rate increase proposed by Connecticut Light and Power, slashing the number from $221 million to about $130 million. It’s big news in the ongoing controversy over the energy company’s plan to increase electric rates.

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Going Digital
11:08 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Girl Scout Cookies Will Soon Be Just A Click Away

In this undated photo released by the Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts Bria and Shirell practice selling cookies on one of two new digital platforms. It's the first time the organization has allowed the sales of cookies using a mobile app or personalized websites.
Girl Scouts of the USA AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 1:56 pm

Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Samoas just became easier to buy: Girl Scouts will now be able to use Digital Cookies to sell the treats online.

"Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space," said Sarah Angel-Johnson, chief digital cookie executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA. "Online is where entrepreneurship is going."

Her comments were reported by The Associated Press.

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Holiday Shopping
9:56 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Black Friday Sales Down At Stores, Surge Online

Shoppers Manuel Orellano, middle, with his daughter Marcela, left, and her son Manuel, 6, shop for children's clothing at JCPenney at Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif, on Friday.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 2:33 pm

Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.

ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
10:25 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Frontier Pledges Quick Storm Restoration for Connecticut Customers

Credit Gary Ombler / Thinkstock

As the state hunkers down for a pre-Thanksgiving storm, Frontier Communications is assuring its customers that it will keep them connected. 

The Stamford-based company issued a statement saying it has teams standing by to restore service quickly if the weather causes outages. 

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Local Food
6:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:22 am

It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

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Connecticut Business Briefs
2:27 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Market Rewards UTC Shakeup

Credit Oleksiy Mark/iStock / Thinkstock

United Technologies' stock has bounced back just a day after the departure of CEO Louis Chenevert. Shares in the Hartford based conglomerate ended Monday down 1.4 percent, following the shock announcement that former CFO Greg Hayes would take over the top slot. 

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Corporate Leadership
2:15 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Mystery Surrounds UTC Change of Command

New UTC CEO Greg Hayes
Credit UTC

Investors and employees have been left baffled by the sudden resignation of Louis Chenevert, the chief executive of United Technologies. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:31 am
Mon November 24, 2014

UTC's Chenevert Retires

UTC CEO Louis Chenevert

Louis Chenevert, the chief executive officer of United Technologies Corporation, has announced his retirement.

He will step down immediately, and he'll be succeeded by current chief financial officer Greg Hayes.



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Three-Wheelers
8:59 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Manufacturer Seeks Connecticut's OK to Sell New Vehicle

The Slingshot is a reverse tricycle with two wheels in front and one in back.
Facebook

The maker of a new vehicle called the Slingshot is meeting with state motor vehicles officials to discuss whether they may sell the three-wheeler in Connecticut. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
2:02 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Connecticut Lawmakers to Retailers: Hands Off Thanksgiving!

Steven Depolo Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers say they want to make another effort to save Thanksgiving. In the face of widespread store openings, Representative Matt Lesser said he’ll once again introduce a bill that would make stores pay their employees 2.5 times their normal rate on Thanksgiving. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
1:44 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

State Adds Jobs; Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

Credit Wavebreak Media / Thinkstock

Connecticut employers added 3,600 jobs in October, with the biggest gains coming in the retail sector. The state’s unemployment rate, which is based on a separate survey, remained steady from September at 6.4 percent. In the first ten months of the year, Connecticut has added 18,300 jobs, up from 13,700 in the same period of 2013.

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Insurance Capital
12:33 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Resigns

Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi.
Credit State of Connecticut

Connecticut's insurance commissioner is moving on for a job in the financial services industry. Thomas Leonardi will leave the agency in December.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:54 am
Wed November 19, 2014

State Seeks Input on Public Retirement Plan

Credit iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut officials are seeking public input on a proposal to create a state-administered retirement plan for private sector workers. 

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Cost of Obesity
8:35 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Obese Workers Costing Connecticut Millions in Lost Productivity

iStock Thinkstock

Absenteeism among obese workers is costing the nation billions in lost productivity, according to a new study.

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:20 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Gov. Malloy: Expanded Gaming Up to Connecticut Legislature

hareshd5000 Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy said he’s not among those who are calling for expanded gaming in Connecticut to counter new competition from Massachusetts. The governor told reporters that the decision whether to allow more gambling facilities is a legislative matter, and he won’t be playing a lead role.

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Media
9:18 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Uber Exec In Hot Water After Suggesting A Journalist Smear Campaign

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:39 am

The popular ride-service company Uber is in damage control mode after a senior vice president expressed interest in unveiling details about the private lives of journalists in retaliation for unflattering coverage of Uber's business practices.

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Energy
8:06 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Connecticut OKs Higher Electric Generating Rates

Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary / Thinkstock

Connecticut regulators have approved higher rates to generate electricity for residential and business customers of two utilities. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
9:12 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Pfizer, Merck in Cancer Drug Partnership

Cancer cells in a 3D rendering. Merck and Pfizer will initially target lung and ovarian cancer.
Credit iStock / Thinkstock

Pfizer has signed a major cancer drug deal with German firm Merck. The news dampens speculation that Pfizer is still interested in a renewed bid for British drug maker AstraZeneca. 

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Automobiles
4:29 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

For Best-Selling Truck, Ford Bets Big On Aluminum

A 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. The aluminum-sided F-150 could set a new industry standard — or cost the company its pickup truck crown.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 5:30 pm

The first 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off the assembly line this week, and it is no normal truck. The new F-150 pickup is the first with an aluminum body, making it hundreds of pounds lighter than its predecessors.

Ford isn't taking this gamble on just any truck — the F-150 is the company's most important vehicle. Morgan Stanley estimates the F-Series truck line and SUV derivatives represent 90 percent of Ford's global profits.

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Business
5:43 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

As Casinos Fold, Stakes Are High For Atlantic City Transformation

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian stands in front of an outdoor goods store under construction. The state's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority contributed land and $12 million for the project.
Rob Szypko NPR

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:46 pm

In gambling, they say, the house always wins. But that hasn't been the case in Atlantic City this year. By year's end, the city that once had an East Coast monopoly on gaming may lose its fifth casino.

The city is reeling from the closures. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that the first order of business is to "stop the bleeding." So city and state officials are trying to reposition Atlantic City by literally building it up.

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