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The latest business news delivered in a convenient, AD-FREE, easy-to-read stream. Brought to you by News Plexus, a pioneer in sustainable news publishing.

The latest business news delivered in a convenient, AD-FREE, easy-to-read stream. Brought to you by News Plexus, a pioneer in sustainable news publishing.
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NewsPlexus Media January 19, 2020

Starbucks, home of the $4 latte, is moving into poor areas
Starbucks has a point to prove: There's more to the company than selling $4 lattes to rich people. The Seattle-based coffee giant that has cultivated a reputation for being socially responsible said Thursday it is expanding its effort to put more coffee shops — and create more jobs — in poor neighborhoods.
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NewsPlexus Media January 19, 2020

Amazon lets third-party sellers use FedEx ground again
Amazon said it will allow its third-party sellers to start using FedEx's ground service again after banning them from using it for about a month during the busy holiday shopping season because FedEx purportedly wasn't delivering on time.
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NewsPlexus Media January 17, 2020

Target, like other retailers, did not have a Merry Christmas
Target reported a rare shortfall in holiday sales, raising concerns about the challenges ahead for the traditional retail industry even as the economy remains strong. Target's disappointing growth of 1.4% percent for November and December, dragged down by toys and electronics, fell well below the previous year. Target joined a growing list of retailers reporting meager performances during the critical holiday shopping season.
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NewsPlexus Media January 17, 2020

Microsoft: $250M more for affordable housing in Seattle area
One year after Microsoft announced it was committing $500 million toward affordable housing in the Seattle area, it's upping that by half. The additional $250 million will provide a line of credit to help the Washington State Finance Commission finance about 3,000 additional units of affordable housing.
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NewsPlexus Media January 12, 2020

GrubHub says it currently has no plans to sell its business
Grubhub says it has no plans to sell the company, a day after media reports said it was exploring its options as competition in the food delivery business grows increasingly fierce.
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NewsPlexus Media January 12, 2020

Robots out of work as automated businesses close in Bay Area
It has been a bad week for robots in the San Francisco Bay Area. A Silicon Valley company that used robots to make its pizzas closed this week, and three coffee shops in downtown San Francisco that used robots as baristas also shuttered.
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NewsPlexus Media January 12, 2020

US employment remains strong, 145,000 jobs added in December
U.S. employers added 145,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%, signaling that the job market remains strong at the start of 2020 even if hiring and wage gains have slowed somewhat more than a decade into an economic expansion.
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NewsPlexus Media January 12, 2020

Facebook again refuses to ban political ads, even false ones
Despite escalating pressure ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Facebook reaffirmed its freewheeling policy on political ads Thursday, saying it won’t ban them, won’t fact-check them and won’t limit how they can be targeted to specific groups of people. Instead, Facebook said it will offer users slightly more control over how many political ads they see and make its online library of political ads easier to browse.
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NewsPlexus Media January 12, 2020

Facebook cable plan hits resistance in Oregon coastal town
A battle playing out in Oregon is pitting residents of a tiny coastal town with no stoplights or cellphone service against one of the world's biggest tech companies. Locals in Tierra del Mar are trying to stop Facebook from using property in their quiet community to build a landing spot for an undersea cable connecting America with Asia. Representatives of the social media giant say Tierra del Mar is one of the few places on the U.S. West Coast suitable for the ultra-high-speed cable.
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NewsPlexus Media January 12, 2020

Google legal chief leaving amid sexual misconduct troubles
David Drummond, the legal chief of Google parent company Alphabet, is leaving at the end of the month, following accusations of inappropriate relationships with employees. Alphabet did not give a reason for Drummond's departure in a short regulatory filing Friday.
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NewsPlexus Media January 12, 2020

Macy's closing stores despite upbeat holiday sales numbers
Macy's is closing 29 stores in coming weeks despite the company reporting some improvement in comparable-stores sales during the crucial holiday shopping season. In an email to The Associated Press, the Cincinnati-based retailer said the store closures include 28 Macy's locations and one Bloomingdale's store.
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NewsPlexus Media January 11, 2020

IKEA to pay $46M in boy's dresser tipover death, lawyers say
IKEA has agreed to pay $46 million to the parents of a 2-year-old boy who died of injuries suffered when a 70-pound recalled dresser tipped over onto him, the family's lawyers said Monday.
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NewsPlexus Media January 11, 2020

Pier 1 Imports closing nearly half of stores as sales falter
Pier 1 Imports is closing nearly half its 942 stores as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online. The home decor company said Monday it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers.
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NewsPlexus Media January 11, 2020

The other fake meat: Impossible Foods unveils pork, sausage
After a big year for its plant-based burger, Impossible Foods has something new on its plate. The California-based company unveiled Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage on Monday evening at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.
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NewsPlexus Media January 8, 2020

Another major US dairy, Borden, seeks bankruptcy protection
The U.S. dairy industry, the largest in the world, is under severe pressure as the consumption habits of Americans shift. Borden Dairy Co. filed for bankruptcy protection, the second major U.S. dairy to do so in as many months. Borden produces nearly 500 million gallons of milk each year for groceries, schools and others. It employs 3,300 people and runs 12 plants across the U.S.
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NewsPlexus Media January 8, 2020

New law may encourage businesses to offer retirement plans
A new law expanding retirement plan options for small businesses may encourage more companies to offer the benefits to their workers. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, known as the SECURE Act, won final congressional approval in the Senate last month and was signed into law by President Donald Trump.
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NewsPlexus Media January 8, 2020

Federal judge holds freelancers to new California labor law
A federal judge will not temporarily exempt freelance journalists and photographers from a broad new California labor law, saying they waited too long to challenge restrictions that they fear could put some of them out of business. U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez in Los Angeles denied the temporary restraining order sought by two freelancers' organizations while he takes more time to consider their objections to the law requiring that many be treated as employees instead of independent contractors.
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NewsPlexus Media January 8, 2020

Lyft's good-guy image tainted by sexual assault lawsuits
For years, Lyft has been the good guy of ride-hailing. In early days, its cars were adorned with whimsical pink mustaches. Its founders talked about improving peoples’ lives by reducing individual car ownership. And while Uber drivers grabbed headlines for assaulting passengers, somehow — despite many drivers working for both companies — Lyft remained unscathed. That changed when dozens of women filed lawsuits against Lyft in recent months.
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NewsPlexus Media January 5, 2020

US manufacturing activity falls to lowest level in decade
U.S. manufacturing activity fell to the lowest level in more than a decade, as the sector was hurt by weakening demand and last year's global economic slowdown. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Friday that its manufacturing index dropped to 47.2 in December, from 48.1 in November.
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NewsPlexus Media January 5, 2020

Catalog retailers see reason for optimism after declines
Catalogs, those glossy paper-and-ink offerings of outdoor apparel, kitchenware and fruit baskets, are not yet headed for the recycling bin of history. A catalog-industry rebound appears in the works, fueled in part by what might seem an unlikely group: younger shoppers who find it's sometimes easier, more satisfying and even nostalgic, flipping pages rather than clicking links.
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NewsPlexus Media January 5, 2020

As robots take over warehousing, workers pushed to adapt
Guess who's getting used to working with robots in their everyday lives? The very same warehouse workers once predicted to be losing their jobs to mechanical replacements. But doing your job side-by-side with robots isn't easy. According to their makers, the machines should take on the most mundane and physically strenuous tasks. In reality, they're also creating new forms of stress and strain in the form of injuries and the unease of working in close quarters with mobile half-ton devices that direct themselves.
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NewsPlexus Media January 5, 2020

Uber, Postmates sue to challenge California's new labor law
Ride-share company Uber and on-demand meal delivery service Postmates sued Monday to block a broad new California law aimed at giving wage and benefit protections to people who work as independent contractors. The lawsuit filed in U.S. court in Los Angeles argues that the law that took effect Wednesday violates federal and state constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.
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NewsPlexus Media January 3, 2020

2020 brings higher labor costs for small businesses
Small business owners have plenty of changes to deal with as 2020 begins — higher labor costs for many companies, and some owners will discover that they have to comply with new laws that aren’t on the books in their own states. Here's a look at a handful of the 2020 changes in federal, state and local laws and regulations.
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NewsPlexus Media January 3, 2020

Smokers, do not apply: U-Haul won't hire some nicotine users
U-Haul has a New Year's resolution: Cut down on hiring people who smoke. The moving company said that it won't hire nicotine users in the 21 states where it is legal to do so, saying that it wants to ensure a "healthier workforce."
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NewsPlexus Media January 3, 2020

American Airlines vows to share Boeing proceeds with workers
American Airlines said Thursday it is negotiating with Boeing Co. over compensation for the airline's grounded planes and expects to share some of the proceeds with employees. American had 24 Boeing 737 Max jets when the planes were grounded worldwide in March after two deadly crashes.
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NewsPlexus Media December 30, 2019

One of the longest-running newspapers in California printed its final edition on Sunday, ending 161 years of publishing news about the city of Martinez east of San Francisco.
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NewsPlexus Media December 29, 2019

Even amid affluence of tech capital, local news struggles
The cities and suburbs on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay are home to 2.7 million people, a world-class University of California campus and bedroom communities for Silicon Valley that produce median incomes 50 percent higher than the national average. What they no longer have is a thriving landscape of local daily newspapers.
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NewsPlexus Media December 28, 2019

Rust Belt region banks on becoming hub for electric vehicles
The day Youngstown's steel mills began shutting down 40 years ago remains fresh in the minds of those who live in the blue-collar corner of Ohio. Community leaders don’t want the recent closing of General Motors' massive assembly plant to leave that same lingering gloom. The region is embarking on an ambitious plan to become a research and production hub for electric vehicles and carve out a new economy for itself by mixing its industrial past with emerging technology.
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NewsPlexus Media December 28, 2019

California law will force small businesses to rethink staffing
A California law that makes it harder for companies to treat workers as independent contractors takes effect next week, forcing small businesses in and outside the state to rethink their staffing. The law puts tough restrictions on who can be independent contractors or freelancers rather than employees. Supporters say it addresses inequities created by the growth of the gig economy, including the employment practices of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft that use contractors.
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NewsPlexus Media December 28, 2019

Champagne and shoes: Luxury stores adapt to changing shopper
Luxury department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue once ruled among the affluent set. Now, they’re fighting a tough battle to lure younger shoppers faced with a lot more shopping choices, including second-hand retailers and fashion rental companies. The new entrants have disrupted the luxury sector by creating different channels to attain the seemingly unattainable. For luxury department stores that once had a lock on where the well-heeled could shop, that has forced them to reimagine their approach. They now offer new services as well as food and alcohol to lure back customers who were once exclusively theirs.
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NewsPlexus Media December 28, 2019

Businesses facing new overtime rules in new year
The new year brings new overtime rules for employers including small businesses and in turn, a pay raise for an estimated 1.3 million workers. The Labor Department rules that go into effect Jan. 1 raise to $684 per week, or $35,568 a year, the threshold at which employees are exempt from being paid overtime. That's a 50.3% increase from the previous threshold of $455 per week or $23,660 annually.
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NewsPlexus Media December 28, 2019

San Francisco cafes are banishing disposable coffee cups
A new cafe culture is brewing in the San Francisco area, where a growing number of coffee houses are banishing paper to-go cups and replacing them with everything from glass jars to rental mugs and BYO cup policies. What started as a small trend among neighborhood cafes to reduce waste is gaining support from some big names in the city's food and coffee world.
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NewsPlexus Media December 23, 2019

Kansas city's move against paper strikes some as retaliation
A growing community near Kansas City has decided to stop publishing its legal notices in its hometown newspaper, describing the move as cost cutting but doing it after several officials criticized the coverage the city was receiving. The City Council in Gardner, Kansas, changed its newspaper of record following a staff report that the city would likely lower its costs 75% by going with another weekly publication. The Gardner News, which was the paper of record for at least three decades, stands to lose thousands of dollars a year.
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NewsPlexus Media December 23, 2019

Catalog retailers see reason for optimism after declines
Catalogs, those glossy paper-and-ink offerings of outdoor apparel, kitchenware and fruit baskets, are not yet headed for the recycling bin of history.Until recently, the future appeared grim for the mailbox-stuffers. A one-two punch of postal rate increases and the Great Recession had sharply cut their numbers. Common wisdom had everything retail-related moving online. But a catalog-industry rebound appears in the works, fueled in part by what might seem an unlikely group: younger shoppers who find it's sometimes easier, more satisfying and even nostalgic, flipping pages rather than clicking links.
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NewsPlexus Media December 23, 2019

Tesco halts work at Chinese factory over prison labor claim
The U.K.-based grocery chain Tesco said it halted production at a factory in China on Sunday after a British newspaper reported the factory used forced labor to produce charity Christmas cards for the supermarket. Tesco said it also launched an investigation of the Chinese supplier it hired to make the holiday cards, Zheijiang Yunguang Printing, after the Sunday Times raised questions about the factory's labor practices.
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NewsPlexus Media December 20, 2019

Entrepreneurs upbeat about hiring, researchers find
Although many small businesses struggle to find staffers to fill their open positions, many entrepreneurs with recently launched companies intend to create jobs within a few years. That's one of the findings of a study by researchers at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
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NewsPlexus Media December 18, 2019

Employers post more jobs in October in sign of solid economy
The number of available jobs jumped in October after hitting an 18-month low the previous month, a sign the job market remains strong. The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of available positions rose 3.3% to nearly 7.3 million. That suggests that businesses remain confident enough in the economic outlook to create more jobs.
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NewsPlexus Media December 18, 2019

Fifth fired Google worker files federal labor complaint
A fifth former Google worker has filed a complaint with federal regulators accusing the company of improperly firing employees for labor organizing activity. Kathryn Spiers, a security engineer, said Google fired her after she created a pop-up notification for employees to inform them of their labor rights.
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NewsPlexus Media December 18, 2019

Ford to add 3,000 jobs in the Detroit area, invest $1.45B
Ford Motor Co. is adding 3,000 jobs at two factories in the Detroit area and investing $1.45 billion to build new pickup trucks, SUVs, and electric and autonomous vehicles. The company said Tuesday that about $750 million will go the Michigan Assembly Plant in the Detroit suburb of Wayne, where 2,700 jobs will be added during the next three years. Another $700 million will be invested in the truck plant in Dearborn, where 300 new jobs will be added.
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NewsPlexus Media December 18, 2019

 Halting 737 Max production will hit suppliers, airlines
As Boeing prepares to shutter much of a huge factory near Seattle that builds the grounded 737 Max jet, the economic hit is reverberating across the United States in places such as Wichita, Kansas, Stamford, Connecticut, and Cincinnati. Those cities are home to some of 900 companies worldwide that supply parts for the troubled plane, which analysts say is the largest manufactured product exported from the U.S.
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NewsPlexus Media December 16, 2019

In reversal, Hallmark will reinstate same-sex marriage ads
The Hallmark Channel, reversing what it called a "wrong decision," said Sunday it will reinstate same-sex marriage commercials that it had pulled following a complaint from a conservative group. The earlier decision by Crown Media, Hallmark's parent company, to pull several ads for the wedding planning site Zola featuring two brides kissing at the altar had caused a storm of protest on social media.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up
Christmas tree supplies are tight again this year across the United States, depending upon location and seller. The industry is still bouncing back from the Great Recession and trying to win people back from a shift toward artificial trees when times were especially tough. Industry officials say not to worry: Everyone who wants a last-minute tree should be able to find one. It just might take a little more searching, especially if customers want a specific type, and you might have to pay a little more.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Holiday shopping off to slow start, US retail sales up 0.2%
U.S. retail sales rose at a modest pace in November as the holiday shopping season appeared to have a slow start. The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in November, down from 0.4% in the previous month. Healthy car sales lifted the overall figure. Excluding autos, sales ticked up just 0.1%.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Firm hands out $10M in holiday bonuses to 198 employees
A commercial real estate developer is handing out a total of $10 million in bonuses to its 198 employees. WTOP reported Monday that Baltimore-based St. John Properties announced the bonuses at the company's holiday party.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Washington state OKs some of the nation's toughest OT rules
Washington state is adopting some of the nation's most aggressive overtime rules, restoring protections for hundreds of thousands of salaried workers and taking what supporters say is a crucial step toward rebuilding the middle class. The Department of Labor and Industries finalized the rules Wednesday and will phase them in by 2028. By that time, salaried workers making up to about $83,400 a year will be entitled to time-and-a-half pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

General Motors has agreed to loan $40 million to a newly formed company that wants to make electric pickup trucks at a massive Ohio assembly plant GM shut down earlier this year. The agreement between the two companies also would allow GM to buy back the plant up until next May, documents filed last week show. The amount available would be more than enough to cover the $20 million price tag for the plant.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Amazon says Trump's 'improper pressure' doomed Pentagon bid
Amazon says President Donald Trump's “improper pressure" and behind-the-scenes attacks harmed its chances of winning a $10 billion Pentagon contract. The Pentagon awarded the cloud computing contract to Microsoft in October. Amazon argues in a lawsuit unsealed Monday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that the decision should be revisited because of “substantial and pervasive errors" and Trump's interference.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

California fines CVS $3.6 million for failing to recycle
California is fining the nation's largest pharmacy health care provider a record $3.6 million for failing to redeem deposits on bottles and cans at some of its locations, regulators said Monday. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, better known as CalRecycle, said its investigation found that 81 of CVS Pharmacy's 848 retail stores in California refused to redeem the recyclables or pay a required $100 daily fee as an alternative.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Uber reports more than 3,000 sexual assaults on 2018 rides
Uber, as part of a long anticipated safety report, revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during its U.S. rides in 2018. That figure includes 235 rapes across the company's 1.3 billion rides last year. The ride-hailing company noted that drivers and riders were both attacked and that some assaults occurred between riders.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

US firms keep hiring, easing worries of weakening economy
American businesses have complained for years that they can’t find the workers they need to fill available jobs. November’s robust hiring gain suggests that at least some have found a way to do so. With the unemployment rate now at a half-century low of 3.5%, many economists have also warned that hiring would soon slow simply because there are fewer unemployed workers available.
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