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Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Tenants struggle amid patchwork of state rental relief efforts

Business / Business News /

Late last year, Congress gave Michigan more than half a billion dollars to protect renters in the state from eviction. There was just one catch: State leaders had to sign off on distributing the money.

Nearly two months later, the funding—along with the rest of the federal aid given to Michigan for schools, vaccine distribution and business ...Read more

Geoffrey Rank, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH/The Columbus Dispatch/TNS

AEP pledges power generation to be carbon dioxide-free by 2050

Business / Business News /

American Electric Power, one of the nation's largest power generators, is accelerating its plan to reduce its emissions from carbon dioxide and now says its goal is to be carbon free by 2050.

"Our new goals are to achieve an 80% reduction in emissions by 2030 from our 2000 baseline and reach net zero emissions by 2050," Nick Akins, the company'...Read more

Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Best Buy has blockbuster holiday season as pandemic changed consumer habits

Business / Business News /

Best Buy had a blockbuster holiday season, with record online sales and a nearly 10% increase in fourth quarter profits.

The Richfield, Minn.-based electronics retailer saw online sales increase 90% to nearly $6.7 billion, lifting overall revenue to $16.9 billion, the company said Thursday. That's an increase of 11.5% over the same period a ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Cheaper rent in San Francisco? For some Oakland tenants, the city across the Bay is more affordable now

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO — Even on a foggy San Francisco morning, the view from Scott Simmons’ 25th-floor apartment stretches from downtown to Golden Gate Park. The home of the 42-year-old tech worker is also spacious for a one-bedroom, featuring hardwood floors, new appliances and granite countertops.

A year ago, when he was sharing a two-bedroom ...Read more

Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press/Detroit Free Press/Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press

IRS still hasn't processed millions of 2019 tax returns

Business / Business News /

Christanine Brodis gathered her tax paperwork in February including a 1099-G for state unemployment compensation and a W2-G for some gambling winnings at MGM Grand Detroit, the only bright spot in a money-losing 2020. But she's looking at taxable income now.

Brodis, 48, sent her forms to a tax preparer by encrypted email, talked on the phone in...Read more

Jacquelyn Martin/POOL/Getty Images North America/TNS

US jobless claims decline by more than forecast last week

Business / Business News /

Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell by more than forecast last week to the lowest since November, signaling that job cuts are starting to ebb as COVID-19 infections decline and vaccinations accelerate.

Initial jobless claims in regular state programs decreased by 111,000 to 730,000 in the week ended Feb. 20, Labor Department ...Read more

TNS/TNS/TNS

Real estate Q&A: Can a builder terminate contract for new home after I missed deposit deadline?

Business / Business News /

Q: I signed a contract about a year ago with a small builder to purchase a new home. Since then, housing prices have increased a lot, especially in this neighborhood. My contract called for an additional earnest money deposit to be made a few weeks ago, and I inadvertently missed the deadline. The seller sent me a letter saying they were ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

PPP changes helping small minority-owned businesses land loans: 'I'm glad somebody saw the light'

Business / Business News /

When President Joe Biden announced changes this week to the Paycheck Protection Program designed to provide more equitable relief to smaller and minority-owned businesses, the benefits quickly made a difference for Barbara Wright.

A high school teacher whose $30,000-a-year side gig as a Lyft driver was stalled by the pandemic, Wright learned ...Read more

Mike Siegel/Seattle Times/TNS

Watchdog highlights 'weaknesses' in FAA oversight, urges further reform after Boeing 737 Max failures

Business / Business News /

A government report released Wednesday concludes that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight of airplane safety needs further strengthening beyond what the agency has already implemented in response to the two crashes of Boeing's 737 Max.

The final report by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation highlights ...Read more

Specialized mini Apple stores to open in Target locations, online

Business / Business News /

Apple mini stores will open in select Target locations and online this month, expanding the number of iPhones and other products available.

The Monticello, Minn., store will be one of the first with the concept. The mini stores will expand to locations throughout 2021, Target said Thursday.

The newly designed store spaces will better display ...Read more

Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Consumer Confidential: Internet providers put hypocrisy on full display in challenging net neutrality

Business / Business News /

California got the go-ahead from a federal judge this week to enact a net neutrality law passed in 2018. I'm guessing you don't much care.

Not that you're ambivalent about the internet. There probably isn't a single more important technology in your life right now, which is why I've called for authorities to regulate the internet like the ...Read more

NTSB/TNS

Engine failure on a Boeing 777 plane this weekend turned out OK. Here's why

Business / Business News /

About a month before the engine of a United Airlines Boeing 777 burst into flames last weekend after departing Denver International Airport, a Bombardier jetliner flying from Denver to Billings, Mont., declared an emergency when one of its engines failed shortly after takeoff. That plane landed safely 20 minutes after departure.

Nearly a year ...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/Myung J. Chun

Disney California Adventure park to reopen for food and shopping event

Business / Business News /

About a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of theme parks statewide, Disney California Adventure park plans to reopen starting March 18 at limited capacity, welcoming visitors who buy tickets to stroll through the park and purchase food, drinks and merchandise.

Months ago, Disney reopened its park-adjacent Downtown Disney ...Read more

Ford Motor Co./Detroit Free Press/TNS

Ford building new Texas-style Explorer King Ranch at Chicago plant

Business / Business News /

Ford announced Wednesday it is rolling out a new version of its Explorer SUV — the King Ranch Edition — with the “authenticity” of a Texas ranch and a made-in-Chicago label.

The Explorer King Ranch, set to hit showrooms in the spring, will be built exclusively at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant on the city’s Southeast Side.

Ford has ...Read more

TNS

Bakers, pet lovers lifted profits for Land O'Lakes in 2020

Business / Business News /

Spending on comforts lifted the financial performance last year for Land O'Lakes Inc., one of the nation's largest farmer cooperatives, as it delivered more products to people who coped with the pandemic by baking, taking better care of their pets and starting backyard menageries.

Land O'Lakes on Wednesday reported a profit of $266 million for ...Read more

TNS

Tech Q&A: Why you can't play streaming video while driving

Business / Business News /

Q: My Samsung Galaxy phone won't play the sound on YouTube videos when it's connected by Bluetooth to my car, a 2016 Fiat 500. I can get sound for other things, such as map directions or phone calls. I think the problem is in the car's Bluetooth connection, but the Fiat dealer has been of no help. How can I fix this?

—Jean Mitchell, Edina, ...Read more

Chicago Tribune staff/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune staff

Exelon to break up into two companies

Business / Business News /

Exelon Corp. plans to split into two publicly traded companies, one for its regulated electric and gas utilities like ComEd and the other for its power generation assets like its nuclear power plants.

The announcement was made Wednesday as the Chicago-based company announced fourth-quarter earnings of $360 million, beating Wall Street estimates...Read more

John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Federal judge allows businesses to proceed with lawsuits seeking COVID-19 payouts from Society Insurance

Business / Business News /

A Chicago federal judge has rejected a bid by Society Insurance to toss a mountain of lawsuits filed by businesses hit hard by the pandemic, a departure from recent rulings in other courts that sided with insurance companies.

The Monday ruling gives hope to dozens of restaurants, bars and other businesses — including Chicago's storied Billy ...Read more

TNS

As women drop out of labor market, moms call for more aid

Business / Business News /

As women have left the U.S. workforce in droves, in what some economists have deemed the first female recession, calls for structural changes to support them are growing louder.

Since the pandemic took hold, more than 2 million women have dropped out of the workforce. The crisis has exposed the burdens on working women but also provided an ...Read more

Smiley N. Pool/10053254S/TNS

Why the Texas cold wave will add hundreds to utility bills in Minnesota

Business / Business News /

Many Minnesotans will get $300 or more tacked onto their heating bills due to the spike in U.S. gas prices after a historic cold wave hit the South.

That was the word Tuesday from the state's largest gas utilities at a special meeting called by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to examine the surge in gas prices. The PUC voted to ...Read more