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Business

Business news, from Chicago’s largest corporations to local small businesses, including consumer watchdog reports and updates from industries like technology and retail.

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Kaegi botched COVID tax relief

The Cook County assessor cut values based on jobs he thought neighborhoods would lose due to the pandemic. It was a wild miscalculation that worked out well for some, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, not so well for residents of a poor South Side neighborhood.

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Neighbors sour over closing of historic Mars Wrigley factory: ‘It was divine’

The factory will be phased out over the next two years, the company announced this week. The future of the building remains unclear, as does the fate of its 280 workers.

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Chicago Fire in talks for Near West Side training center

The facility within the Roosevelt Square development would involve a lease for 30 acres of Chicago Housing Authority property.

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Chicago’s candy crown slips with Mars exit

Does anybody care whether Chicago is the "candy capital of the universe" anymore?

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Rising costs ding McDonald’s profit

Sales rose 7.5% at U.S. restaurants open at least a year as limited-time products and a growing loyalty program brought in customers despite higher menu prices.

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Pet insurance can help keep costs for your fur baby in check

It won’t reimburse you for every penny you spend at the vet, but it can help prevent you from being slapped with an expensive bill.

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A new restaurant, studio space and a neighborhood store receive city grants

Thirty-one small businesses on the South and West sides were recently awarded grants from the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

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Lightfoot granted emergency contracting authority at wild City Council meeting

Wednesday’s meeting also featured a protracted floor fight over an attempt by Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) to force an immediate vote on his long-stalled plan to empower the City Council to hire its own legislative counsel.

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Boeing’s 787 problems lead to $4 billion loss

The aircraft maker took a charge of $3.5 billion to cover additional delays in delivering copies of its 787 jetliner and compensation for airlines that are still waiting to get their planes.

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St. Anthony Hospital campus in Little Village gets zoning go-ahead

A City Council committee backs the hospital’s move to a 29-acre parcel slated to get other medical and community services.

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Airport contract workers to get raise — and then another next year

Roughly 6,500 employees serving as everything from caterers, de-icers, and baggage handlers to wheelchair attendants, airfield and cargo workers stand to benefit.

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New elevated nature trail eyed for West Side

Similar to The 606, the Altenheim Line proposal calls for a greenway along an elevated rail line, except advocates want to avoid pressures for displacement.

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Hub for food startups planned in Grand Boulevard

The city has accepted a developer’s proposal to convert the building at 5021 S. Wabash Ave. into commercial cooking facilities and test kitchens.

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Dow closes with a gain after 1,200-point slide

The market’s gyration reflected investors’ uncertainty over how aggressive the Federal Reserve’s inflation-fighting measures will be and the possibility of conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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Merchandise Mart owner plans residential tower nearby, city council member says

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) has told constituents Vornado Realty Trust has a plan to build at the southwest corner of Kinzie and Canal streets.

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City Hall wrongly OK’d Pilsen tavern The Giant Penny Whistle’s liquor license, inspector general finds

In a new report, it says the Lightfoot administration and former Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner had no legal authority to agree to license the bar without lifting a 1995 moratorium.

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Projects with Madigan ties went to the front of the line for massive Rebuild Illinois initiative

The $45 billion statewide capital plan includes nearly $4 billion in projects added by a handful of the state’s most powerful politicians, including the former House speaker.

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State launches next phase of I-80 corridor construction in Joliet: ‘A game changer for this community’

The state investment in the $200 million public-private partnership is $32 million, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. CenterPoint Properties, an inland port, is investing up to $170 million to build a new toll bridge on Houbolt Road over the Des Plaines River.

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City Council committee moves — again — to dry up market for stolen cell phones

The ordinance boosts fines and penalties for secondhand dealers, pawnbrokers and bogus phone repair shops that buy and sell stolen cell phones. The maximum penalty would rise to $10,000 for each illegal sale, up from $2,000.

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Bronzeville business owner said it’s taken creativity and a state grant to survive the pandemic

Trez V. Pugh III is the founder and CEO of Sip and Savor.

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Don’t be afraid, it’s just public radio

Sun-Times, WBEZ merger a reason to hope.

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Sun-Times sale called a ‘marriage with a dowry’

The Sun-Times combination with WBEZ includes pledges of cash from foundations and a key backer of the deal.

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Microsoft’s Activision buy could shake up video gaming, but is it good for gamers?

For the average person playing Candy Crush or Call of Duty, ‘There will probably be no changes at all,’ one analyst says. But it could be good news for game development.

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Reilly settles for watered-down crackdown on pedicabs

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) had proposed banning pedicabs altogether from the River North entertainment district after 6 p.m. and prohibiting pedicabs from using amplified sound. On Wednesday, Reilly settled for a whole lot less.

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Florida orange production is on pace for state’s smallest crop in 77 years. Blame citrus diseases.

If the latest USDA estimate holds true, Florida would produce its fewest number of oranges since 1944-1945, and California would surpass it for the first time in recent years.

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Allstate buys downtown building for possible headquarters

The insurance company, which is selling its property in Northbrook, is acquiring the 10-story building at 29 N. Wacker Drive.

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As Colorado coal plant shuts down, a town dependent on coal for jobs grapples with a bleak-looking future

Craig, Colo., is losing its coal plant, and people who live in the town in northwest Colorado fear this is the beginning of the end for their community.

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Board of WBEZ parent company approves acquisition of Sun-Times

The noncash transfer will not be final until contracts are approved, but both media organizations said they hope to close on the deal by the end of the month.

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City delays decision on Southeast Side metal shredder permit

An assessment of the public health impact of rebranded General Iron operation has been slowed by COVID-related delays, the city said Tuesday.

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Failing at football, Bears face a bigger test with a stadium

The pressure is building on a franchise that underperforms financially in one of the NFL’s top markets.

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Patrick Daley Thompson can show jurors his amended tax returns, judge rules

U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama made the ruling at a hearing Friday, where it appeared Thompson’s trial is on track to begin Feb. 4.

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Martin Shkreli ordered to return $64M, is barred from drug industry

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s ruling came several weeks after a seven-day bench trial in December. The Federal Trade Commission and seven states brought the case in 2020 against the man dubbed "Pharma Bro" in the media.