Business

Business
10:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Commercial Drones Ready to Fly

A StillFly drone in the air over the Saybrook Point Inn
Harriet Jones

Officials' estimates say that in the next twenty years there could be as many as 30,000 drones flying in US airspace. Depending on your point of view, that's either a great technological leap forward, or a very scary prospect. Businesses are similarly divided about our drone future.

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A Real Living Wage
8:52 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Episode 487: The Trouble With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew supports herself and her son in New York City on $23,000 a year. According to the government, she does not live in poverty.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:48 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

According to the government, there are 46.5 million Americans who live below the poverty line. In other words, that's how many people are officially poor. But pretty much everyone who studies poverty agrees: The way we arrive at this figure is completely wrong.

On today's show, we figure out how we got here, why still measure poverty in a way that so many people agree is wrong, and how could we do it better.

For more, see our stories:

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Sustainable Dining
1:49 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Conscious Diners Drive Up Demand For 'Farm-to-Chef'

Firebox executive chef Sean Farrell, at right. Even though organic, local ingredients are more expensive, business is booming. “We’ve seen a 20 percent growth across the board in sales throughout this full year,” Farrell said.
Sujata Srinivasan

This week was Farm-to-Chef week, as the Connecticut Department of Agriculture makes an effort to promote local produce at Connecticut restaurants. The state’s eateries report they are seeing more demand for locally-grown food.

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Where We Live
10:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Small Business After Hours: The Not-So-Quiet Corner

Live radio inside The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, Connecticut.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

Have you visited the Quiet Corner lately? In nighttime satellite imagery, it shows up as a swath of darkness in a field of twinkling lights. This rural area is larger than you might think - it’s about half the size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, and about ten times the size of Acadia National Park in Maine. And it’s almost 80 percent forest and farmland.

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Economy
12:02 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

UConn Economist: Spend Less, and Risk Being Worse Off

Credit Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis

Economists at the University of Connecticut are calling on the state to use bonds that have been approved by the legislature but never issued. The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis forecast reports that if the state relies only on traditional drivers like the housing market to grow the economy, it could begin to lose jobs again in 2014.

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Submarines
11:47 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Changes at Electric Boat in Groton

Electric Boat in Groton.
Electric Boat

The president of Electric Boat, Kevin Poitras, has announced his retirement, just over a year after taking the reins at the Groton submarine yard. He'll be succeeded in the top job by Jeffrey Geiger, who's currently president of the Bath Iron Works in Maine. The two yards are both owned by General Dynamics.

Poitras garnered praise for his tenure at Electric Boat, where he's worked since the early 1970s. Second district Congressman Joe Courtney noted particularly his relationships with local colleges to develop training and mentoring opportunities.

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Small Business
4:08 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Hartford Storefront Project Running Months Late

Vacant storefront on Hartford's Trumbull St. waiting for iConnect tenants
Credit iConnect/Hartford

In the spring, the city of Hartford launched the iConnect program, meant to fill vacant storefronts with new businesses. It's an idea that's been tried - with some success - in cities like New Haven, but Hartford's "Pop-up Storefront" has taken months longer than expected.

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Bridgeport
3:40 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Community's Bank Depositors to Receive Checks

The Community's Bank in Bridgeport went into receivership.
Credit <a href="http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Bridgeport-Bank-Shuttered-223691121.html" target=new>NBC Connecticut</a>

Customers who had money in The Community's Bank in Bridgeport should receive their insured deposits back this week after the bank failed and was put into receivership. It's the first bank failure in Connecticut in more than a decade.

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Economy
11:06 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Why Is The Global Shipbuilding Business Struggling?

Laborers stand on a new ship at a Rongsheng Heavy Industries shipyard in Nantong, China, in 2012. The troubles at Rongsheng, China's largest private shipbuilder, mirror what's happening in the global industry.
Aly Song Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 12:43 pm

There's news this week that shipbuilder STX Finland will close what it describes as "the world's leading ferry builder," a yard where the company also built small cruise ships, icebreakers and naval craft.

The company blamed economic conditions for the closure of the Rauma Shipyard. Work from there will be shifted to the company's facility in Turku. About 700 people will lose their jobs.

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Farms
3:01 am
Tue September 17, 2013

American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?

A cornfield is shrouded in mist at sunrise in rural Springfield, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:30 pm

When critics of industrial agriculture complain that today's food production is too big and too dependent on pesticides, that it damages the environment and delivers mediocre food, there's a line that farmers offer in response: We're feeding the world.

It's high-tech agriculture's claim to the moral high ground. Farmers say they farm the way they do to produce food as efficiently as possible to feed the world.

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Economy
1:17 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Emerging Market Currency Crisis: Local Impact

Credit Sujata Srinivasan

With U.S. economic growth inching upward, the Federal Reserve’s announcement in May that it might taper off quantitative easing – initiated to boost domestic growth – is sending emerging economies into a tailspin. Global economies are so inter-connected with the U.S. through trade and investment channels that the currencies of Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico all fell. But the Indian currency was especially sensitive, falling to its lowest in 20 years.

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Wall Street
10:32 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Creating Smarter Financial Regulation

This Joseph Keppler illustration from 1901 shows that Wall Street bubbles are nothing new

Yale’s School of Management wants the nation’s regulators to learn the lessons of the financial crisis, and they’re designing a new program to help them do it. When Wall Street hit the skids in 2008, it was Main Street that largely paid the price. Andrew Metrick, professor of finance at the Yale School of Management, says one reason is that regulators weren’t looking in all the right places in the years before the crash.

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New London
10:10 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Schooner Festival Showcases Innovation

New London's Waterfront Park will host the CT Schooner Festival
Credit Harriet Jones

Connecticut is celebrating its maritime heritage this weekend with the Schooner Festival in New London. The brand-new event hopes to attract thousands of people from around the region, and provide a showcase for local companies.

The Fishers Island Ferry prepares to sail from its terminal in New London. She'll have some company today, as 20 schooners, sturdy, sleek and fast sailing vessels with a long history in Connecticut, arrive in the Thames River.

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Economy
9:55 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Connecticut Companies Survey World Markets

Bill Stone, CEO of Windsor's SS&C Technologies
Credit Sujata Srinivasan

The U.S. economy is picking up and the Eurozone’s out of a recession, but emerging markets are now slowing down. In this new economy, companies find it takes more than one market to fuel growth.

Think of the global economy as a large pizza pie worth nearly $75 trillion. Each country adds more dough and toppings, and the pie keeps growing. But downturns change that.

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Connecticut's Flagship
7:46 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Amistad America: State Funds Used Appropriately

Freedom Schooner Amistad is Connecticut's flagship.
Ed G (Flickr Creative Commons)

The executive director of Amistad America Inc., a New Haven-based non-profit, asserts that all money it has received from the state has been used appropriately. Amistad America owns and operates the Freedom Schooner Amistad, and recently lost its non-profit status after falling behind in filing federal tax returns.

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Economy
3:43 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Tired Of Inequality? One Economist Says It'll Only Get Worse

Economist Tyler Cowen believes that income inequality in America is only increasing. His new book is called Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation.
Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:57 am

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

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Budget
12:37 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Maybe 'Muddling Through' Isn't That Bad For The Economy

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:15 pm

When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.

Like men on a burning wooden bridge, they raced along, making crazy-fast decisions. They seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out big banks, saved automakers, slashed interest rates and funded a massive infrastructure-building project to stimulate growth.

But that was then.

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Business
8:11 am
Mon September 9, 2013

New Direction for CTNext

reSET, the co-working space that hosts Hartford's CTNext hub
Credit Harriet Jones

  It’s been just over a year since Connecticut began to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Dubbed CT Next, the system has launched four hubs, hosted many events, signed up hundreds of nascent companies and spent almost five million dollars. But as it goes into its second year it has changed direction and some are left wondering if enough has been achieved.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:56 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Making Tea Honestly

Ashwin on Flickr Creative Commons

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Business
11:46 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Changes Could Mean Angel Flight

Angel investors pump a lot of cash into start-up businesses in this country - by some accounts about $23 billion a year. But some say they'll back off from looking for new opportunities if the Securities and Exchange Commission implements new rules on funding -- rules that are due to go into effect September 10. The irony is that the rules were supposed to make it easier for start-ups to find seed money.

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Business
11:45 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Hartford Fast Food Workers Strike

Fast food workers rally outside the Old State House in Hartford.
Credit Harriet Jones

It's tough to know how many workers from Dunkin Donuts, Subway, McDonalds and other fast food outlets in Hartford walked off the job Thursday. But organizers of the one-day strike say they're happy the city has joined what's becoming a national movement.

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Small Business
8:13 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Kitchen At Hartford Public Library

J Holt

Hartford's Downtown gained another dining option this week, and one that's been a long time coming. For the two institutions behind it, fresh food and good coffee are just the starters. WNPR's J Holt has more.

When the Downtown branch of the Hartford Public Library underwent a major renovation in the early two thousands, a three story tall, glass walled atrium space was built right up front, with the intention of it becoming a cafe.

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Lending
8:03 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Microloans Benefit Connecticut Mom and Pops

Sujata Srinivasan

In an ongoing effort to create growth for mom and pop businesses in the state, the U.S. Small Business Administration is making capital available to Connecticut Economic Development Fund, a non-profit offering micro-loans. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan has more.

James Dufour owns Connecticut Carpentry in Meriden. He makes cabinets for hospitals and employs seven people. Up until the start of the financial crisis, the nearly 30-year-old business had little trouble accessing bank loans. 

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Business
3:13 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Americans Abroad Say They'll Miss ESPN TV

Connecticut-based ESPN has suspended its TV broadcasts in most of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and US sports fans living abroad say they’re having a tough time adjusting to the change.

Peter Alegi says Americans overseas love to argue about 2 things: US politics and US sports. Alegi – a self-described baseball nut - is a New Haven native who has lived for decades in Italy.  Speaking from the town of Todi, Italy, he says ex-pats will sorely miss TV broadcasts of major league baseball, the NBA and NFL.  

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Technology
9:02 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Changing the Science of Concussion

The UNH Chargers scrimmage
Harriet Jones

Athletes and concussion. There's barely a hotter topic in all levels of sports right now as more coaches and players start to recognize the long-term debilitating effects of repeated head trauma.

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Media
11:57 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Businesses Await Word on the Fate of Patch

Harriet Jones

What’s up with Patch? That question seems to be on the lips of many small business owners who rely on the hyperlocal news sites to get the word out about sales, events and promotions. As Patch’s corporate parent AOL threatens closures and consolidations, some are wondering if it will ever be the same again. 

At the Branford River Resort and Spa, manager Doreen Bastian is creating just the right relaxed atmosphere for her guests.

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Barbershop Law
6:32 am
Fri August 16, 2013

A Connecticut Lawyer on the Cutting Edge

Diane Orson WNPR

With law school grads facing a tough job market, some entrepreneurial attorneys are trying out hybrid businesses. One Connecticut attorney has opened a shop that combines his passion for the law with his skill as a barber.

Donald Howard says he first got the hybrid-business idea working as a paralegal for a personal injury attorney who doubled as a sports agent. Then he saw the concept again on a reality television show.

"It was a guy in California who did Legal Grind, a coffee house and a law office."

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Jobs
12:38 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Connecticut Will Pioneer Alternative Jet Fuel Center

Courtesy: Rep. Larson's office

Connecticut is known for its aerospace industry, and it also has some pretty nice farming country. The two might not seem to have a lot in common, but new study hopes to use waste from one to power the other. 

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Books
11:27 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Twin Passions Lead to Major League Business Opportunity

Harriet Jones

It's a common story for a personal passion to lead to a business opportunity. For one Connecticut entrepreneur it was the convergence of two passions -- baseball and art -- that launched her on the road to success. 

 

 

"Well, I grew up listening to the Red Sox on the radio, and on the only station that we had on our TV, you know, back in the Seventies. And my dad was a baseball coach and an umpire, so we just grew up with the Red Sox as sort of part of the family."

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Thu August 8, 2013

'New York Times' Is Not For Sale, Sulzberger Says

Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 12:37 pm

Responding to speculation that his newspaper would be next, New York Times Publisher and Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has issued a flat "the Times is not for sale" statement.

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