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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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Suburban businessmen linked to Ald. Carrie Austin involved in a property tax shell game

Suburban businessmen linked to Ald. Carrie Austin and a federal investigation didn’t pay taxes on properties for years, then bought up $861,000 of their own tax debts — for $26,000.

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The Navy told him he served long enough to get his kids free college. Its math was 6 days off.

His daughter’s GI Bill-covered tuition at DePaul was cut off. Now, she and her father, a vet who served 22 years and was honored for saving 2 lives in Afghanistan, have to repay more than $20,000.

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UAW approves new contract with Ford

The union voted Friday on a four-year contract.

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Pot lottery winners chosen — and downtown tops their choices for weed shops

Cresco Labs and PharmaCann were among the pot companies able to chose the most lucrative locations to sell cannabis when recreational pot becomes legal next year.

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Massive Starbucks Reserve Roastery like Willy Wonka’s fictional chocolate factory — but for adults

The 35,000-square-foot roastery on Michigan Avenue opened Friday.

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United delays planned return of grounded Boeing 737 Max

United said Friday that without the planes, it will cancel 56 flights a day in January, February and early March, down from 93 a day this month.

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Read ‘Binga: The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black Banker’ excerpt

The new book by former Sun-Times editor Don Hayner tells the story of the South Side as seen through the eyes of one very ambitious man and also the story of the start of segregation in Chicago.

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Public weed consumption will be allowed only at dispensaries and smoke shops, not bars and restaurants

Backtracking on the law they passed last spring, Illinois lawmakers voted Thursday to sharply restrict where people will be able to consume cannabis once it becomes legal in January.

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Pot firms look to hit jackpot in Friday lottery to determine locations of city’s 1st recreational shops

During the drawing, 19 companies will choose which of the city’s seven districts for recreational dispensaries they plan to move into.

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Former Outcome Health executive charged with fraud

Ashik Desai has also been named in a three-count complaint from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Sears cuts more jobs in Hoffman Estates

Up to 300 corporate staff were affected locally and elsewhere, a source said.

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Lightfoot softens $54 million ‘payoff’ charge against Uber

Instead of calling it a payoff, as she did Wednesday, the mayor on Thursday used "investments" to describe the offer she said was made to African-American ministers enlisted by Uber.

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First company in city gets feds’ OK to fly drones over people

Helios Visions has found a niche providing mapping and photo services on construction projects, but the waiver could eventually allow companies to make deliveries.

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‘Many’ to be charged in clout-heavy Chicago bank’s failure after massive fraud

‘The number of defendants would be many more,’ a prosecutor says of the collapsed Washington Federal Bank for Savings in Bridgeport, where many customers had ties to the Daley family and the 11th Ward Democratic Party.

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Luxury New York developer blindsides alderman with plan to build 434-unit building on 18th Street in Pilsen

Property Markets Group’s previous plan to build an even larger development at the site was blocked by former Ald. Daniel Solis.

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Tesla’s disappearing miles: Owners say automatic software fix has had unwanted side effects

The electric carmaker’s update after a series of car fires has also cut into how far vehicles go without a recharge and lengthened charging time, complaints and lawsuit say.

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Qualtrics adding 200 jobs in downtown Chicago

Company plans an office at 191 N. Wacker Drive next spring.

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Lightfoot says Uber offered black ministers $54M to get her to ‘back off’ fee hike — which Uber disputes

Its plan would raise millions more while being more equitable, the company says. Mayor says the plan ‘doesn’t hold any water.’

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Lightfoot floats minimum wage compromise

Chicago’s minimum wage would rise to $15-an-hour by 2021 — four years sooner than the state — but tipped workers would be guaranteed only 60 percent of that.

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Abbott CEO to step down next year

CEO Miles White is leaving the job after 21 years at the helm of the medical technology giant.

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Indoor grower Gotham Greens expands in Pullman

Company opens 100,000-square-foot greenhouse to boost year-round produce sales.

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The buzz intensifies for Starbucks’ caffeinated crown jewel on Michigan Avenue

The Reserve Roastery spreads the celebration of coffee over 35,000 square feet.

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SafeSpeed rep under federal scrutiny pushed Oak Lawn to issue more red-light-camera tickets

John O’Sullivan, who’s also a south suburban political operative, was part of an effort to pressure police to cite more drivers for violations, records and interviews show.

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Boeing orders, deliveries drop further as 737 Max remains grounded

Chicago-based Boeing said it took 10 new orders in October, down from 24 in the same month last year, which included 14 Max jets.

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Ford’s workers in Chicago oppose four-year UAW deal

But the other U.S. factories, including Chicago Heights, are backing the proposed contract.

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Uber CEO faces criticism after calling journalist’s murder ‘a mistake’

During an interview, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi compared journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s slaying and the government of Saudia Arabia’s role in it to an accident in which one of Uber’s autonomous vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian last year in Arizona. The country’s sovereign wealth fund is the fifth largest stakeholder in Uber.

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Uber wants users to help it fight City Hall

It’s using receipts to urge riders to speak out about the city’s proposal for higher taxes on shared rides.

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Bronzeville sits squarely in developers’ sights

What happens at the former Michael Reese site will affect adjoining parcels.

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Desiree Rogers leads group buying Johnson Publishing’s Fashion Fair cosmetics

She plans to revive a pioneering firm in cosmetics for black women.

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Real ID? Real pain in the neck for Illinois residents trying to get one

Secretary of State’s driver’s license facilities are facing a crush of people wanting the cards. That means longer waits and long lines for everyone. And you might not even need the new ID.

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Ex-Chicago city official moonlighted for red-light camera contractor that’s part of federal probe

While Bill Helm was deputy aviation commissioner, overseeing airfield maintenance at O’Hare Airport, he also was working for SafeSpeed, LLC, and didn’t disclose that, records show.

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Sears, Kmart will close one-third of remaining stores

Two stores in Illinois will close.

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Google and Pritzker celebrate a doubling of the tech giant’s Chicago workforce

The company promises to bring more digital training to neighborhood entrepreneurs.

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Airbnb announces changes after Vice uncovers Chicago rental scam

The company is trying to improve user trust and make it easier for guests and hosts to report problems and obtain refunds when things go awry.