Business

Government Shutdown
3:54 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

How The Shutdown Is Hurting The Housing Market

If interest rates go up due to the fear or reality of a debt default that would have major consequences for real estate sales.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:57 am

As with so many other types of economic activity, the government shutdown is causing more fear than actual harm in the housing market thus far.

But that doesn't mean things won't start going wrong in the very near future.

Various federal agencies play greater or lesser roles in real estate transactions. With most of them sidelined, simple matters such as closing on mortgages are becoming more complicated.

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Essential Workers
8:23 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Some Bradley Airport Workers are on the Job Without Pay

Credit redlegsfan21 / Wikimedia Commons

On the surface, air travel appears very much the same as it did before the government shutdown. But there have been big changes behind the scenes. Even when there isn't a government shutdown in effect, most people involved in putting planes in the air are invisible to travelers.

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Coming Home Project
3:38 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

UConn Business Program for Veterans Begins Fourth Year

Michael Zacchea, Director of UConn's Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The national unemployment rate for veterans has improved in recent years, hovering around the civilian rate of seven percent. At the height of the recession, returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were unemployed at nearly double the rate of non-veterans. A host of programs have been created to help former servicemembers support themselves after their military service ended. 

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Patents
9:53 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Three Connecticut Companies are Listed World's Most Innovative

United Technologies Corporation headquarters in Hartford. UTC is one of the companies named most innovative.
Credit DanielPenfield / Creative Commons

Three Connecticut companies made the list of the world's most innovative companies. The ranking comes from Thomson Reuters, which issues an annual list of the top 100 global innovators.

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Technology
11:45 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Startups in Connecticut Develop Software Talent Pipeline

Derek Koch of Independent Software in New Haven.
Credit The Grid New Haven

The job of software developer is one of the hottest occupations in the world right now, and demand for developers is only expected to accelerate. That poses a dilemma for startup technology companies here in Connecticut. In an incredibly competitive marketplace, how do they find and cultivate the right talent? One program in Connecticut is trying to come up with a solution.

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Electric Cars
4:51 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Tesla Slips From Pedestal That May Have Been Too High

It's been a rough week for Tesla, but extra scrutiny is expected for the new car on the block, says Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:52 am

Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.

"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

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Technology
3:58 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

How Reddit Emerged From A Rejected (And Very Different) Idea

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Reddit calls itself "the front page of the Internet." The social news site and global discussion board has become increasingly popular since it launched in 2005. Topics range from politics and entertainment to animal videos and conspiracy theories. Many public figures have used Reddit to reach out to fans and supporters, and last year, President Obama used the site to answer voter questions live.

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Rose City Recognition
2:04 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

One of America's Great Neighborhoods -- in Norwich?

Main Street in historic downtown Norwich, Connecticut.
Credit Marc N. Belanger / Wikimedia Commons

The Rose City is in good company.

The downtown neighborhood of Norwich, Connecticut was designated as one of the Top 10 Great Neighborhoods in the country by the American Planning Association.

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Start 'em young
10:50 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Connecticut Invention Convention Expands to Create Next Gen Innovators

Mallory Kievman, 10th grade, Loomis Chaffee, invented a lollipop that she says will cure hiccups.
Sujata Srinivasan

Thomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves....” For kids in the Connecticut Invention Convention program, now poised to expand through corporate grants, becoming inventors and entrepreneurs seems to be all in a day’s work.

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Government Shutdown
10:27 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Continue During Federal Government Shutdown

Workers at the Connecticut Department of Labor call center.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

People currently collecting unemployment benefits in Connecticut won’t be impacted by the federal shutdown. Also, federal employees who are out of work can apply for benefits.

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Insurance
3:35 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Connecticut Aims to Lure Captives

Thomas Leonardi, Commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department and the 2012 Symposium on Captive Insurance.
Credit The Connecticut Captive Insurance Association

Stamford hosts a major conference on Wednesday on what's known as the "captive" insurance industry, a business Connecticut wants a bigger piece of.

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Outsourced
3:25 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Northeast Utilities Will Outsource 200 IT Jobs

Credit Devcore / Wikimedia Commons

Northeast Utilities has revealed its plans to outsource 200 information technology jobs to Indian firms. The news comes after weeks of pressure on the company. Northeast Utilities employees had heard rumors that some jobs might be outsourced as the giant company reorganizes in the wake of its merger with Massachusetts-based NStar.

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Insuring Employees
10:18 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Connecticut Businesses "Wait and See" on Health Care Exchange

Health care has always been a stumbling block for small businesses. Many want to provide it but found it out of their reach. The new health care law is supposed to change all that, and Connecticut's exchange is ahead of the curve in providing small business plans. Will anyone take them up on the offer?

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Getting There
2:29 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Train Delays Call for Commuter Creativity

The departures board at Grand Central Station.
Credit Banfield / Wikimedia Commons

With Metro-North service still only running at 50 percent of normal capacity, Connecticut commuters are entering a second week of delays and challenges getting to work. Being a regular Metro-North commuter frequently calls for ingenuity. Last week's electrical failure left many searching once again for a Plan B.

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Sandy Relief
10:46 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Malloy Announces Online Sandy Relief Application for Small Businesses

Cosey Beach in East Haven, Connecticut, on October 28, 2012.
Credit Jan Ellen Spiegel

Governor Dannel Malloy pointed small businesses in Connecticut who were affected by Superstorm Sandy to a new state website, Connecticut Recovers, to apply for a share of $10.5 million in federal grants. The site is intended to streamline the process of filing for relief.

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The Græy Lady
2:42 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Again? Hartford Courant Braces For More Layoffs

<em>Hartford Courant</em> employees may face another round of layoffs.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

Targets for "expense reductions" have not been set, but The Hartford Courant's parent company, Tribune, confirmed that it has asked newspaper managers to look for areas they could cut back. According to a report by The Los Angeles Times, there will be staff reductions but they have not determined how many jobs will be affected.

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Energy
10:35 am
Fri September 27, 2013

State Legislators Respond to Rumors of Outsourcing at Northeast Utilities

Credit Guido Gerding / Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers are turning up heat on Northeast Utilities over rumors the utility giant will outsource its information technology functions. The legislators say the company isn't playing straight with them. For several weeks, gossip has been circulating about the intentions of Northeast Utilities with regard to its IT department.

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Where We Live
10:30 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Excitement and Terror of Buying a Car

John DeSimone, Modern Tire
Chion Wolf

Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”

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Business
2:07 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

State Loan for KAYAK as HQ Moves to Stamford

Paul English, co-founder of KAYAK.
Credit Bill O'Donnell / Wikimedia Commons

Online travel site KAYAK will move its headquarters to Stamford, with the help of a $2.5 million state loan. KAYAK is already headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, and was recently acquired by the state's other online travel giant, Priceline.com.

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Where We Live
10:00 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Where We Farm, Live From Holcomb

Holcomb Farm, West Granby
Chion Wolf

It’s Harvest Time for farms all over Connecticut, and that means a growing number of small farms that work on the “community supported agriculture” model. In CSAs, members share the risk of a volatile New England growing season, and share in the bounty as well.

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Local Trade with Australia
4:18 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State Trade Mission Charms Aussies With 'Made in Connecticut' Products

Officials at a trade mission in Sydney included one dressed as Nathan Hale.
U.S. Department of Commerce

Executives from several Connecticut companies, along with U.S. Department of Commerce officials from Middletown, are on a trade mission in Australia this week to promote exports, inbound investments and tourism. It’s all hands on deck. Officials dressed up as Mark Twain and Nathan Hale at “The Tastes and Sights of Connecticut” event, which kicked off the week-long visit.

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Ponzi Schemes
11:46 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Feeder Fund Investors May Get Madoff Payout

Bernard Madoff's 2009 mug shot.
Credit US Department of Justice

People who lost money in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme after investing in feeder funds could get a share in more than $2 billion recovered by the government. So far, feeder fund investors have been shut out of compensation.

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Small Business
4:47 am
Tue September 24, 2013

When It Comes To Businesses, How Big Is Small?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:41 pm

First in a series about small businesses in America.

Small businesses are celebrated and exalted as the hard-working, most deserving members of the political economy. They get tax breaks, and they're touted as the engines of job creation.

But a basic question: What is a small business? It turns out there is no one definition.

Classifications Of Small

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Technology
6:30 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Fake Reviewers Get Zero Stars From New York Attorney General

Some reputation management companies required that its writers have a certain number of Yelp friends. Yelp says it welcomed the New York attorney general's crackdown on fake reviewers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 12:04 pm

No doubt most of you reading this post have looked at Yelp or Google+ Local to check the user reviews before you tried that fish store, bakery or even dentist. On occasion, you may have wondered if some of those reviews were too good to be true.

It turns out that some of them were.

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Technology
1:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Apple Sells 9 Million New iPhones In Opening Weekend

Apple says it has sold 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c models since their launch on Friday. Here, staff members at an Apple retail store in Beijing cheer a customer after he bought a new iPhone.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:29 pm

Sales of its new iPhone 5s and 5c models have surpassed other iPhone releases and exceeded initial supply, Apple says. The company says it has sold 9 million of the phones since their launch on Friday and that "many online orders" will ship in coming weeks.

"This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than nine million new iPhones sold — a new record for first weekend sales," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a Monday press release. He added that "while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly."

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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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