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Akron tech startup 7signal leaving for Cuyahoga County; is lured by $480,000 loan

By Katie Byard Published: March 21, 2017

An Akron tech startup, nurtured in the business incubator in the city’s downtown, is planning to relocate to Independence.

Cuyahoga County is luring the company, 7signal, with a $480,000 Business Attraction Forgivable Loan.

The county’s loan will be forgivable “only upon the company’s creation of 48 jobs having average annual salaries of at least $100,000 and maintenance of those jobs within the County over 7 years,” according to a news release issued by Cuyahoga County.

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Ohio Attorney General reminds consumers to be wary of tax-related scams

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 20, 2017

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning Ohio consumers to be wary of tax-related scams. In a press release, DeWine said these scams are increasing as the April 18 tax filing deadline approaches.

“As we get further into tax season, we’re seeing more of these scams,” Attorney General DeWine said. “What we want people to remember is that if callers are threatening you, saying you have to pay immediately, or saying they’re going to put you in jail, it’s not the IRS.” 

The most common tax scam reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is the “IRS” imposter phone scam. The ploy generally begins with a call claiming the recipient is in trouble with the IRS and must call a certain phone number to avoid arrest or legal action. Eventually, the person is asked to pay to resolve the supposed problem.


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Meeting climate accord standards could cost Ohio 100,000-plus jobs, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 17, 2017

Ohio could lose more than 100,000 jobs and its gross domestic product would fall by $9 billion if the United States agreed to adopt stricter emission measures in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce says in a new report.
Nationally, meeting the Paris accord emissions standards could cost the U.S. economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040, according to the study by NERA Economic Consulting done on behalf of the chamber. The report is called “Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Regulations on the Industrial Sector.”
The report said Ohio’s state GDP would decline by 1.2 percent, or $9 billion, in 2025; household income fall by $390; and employment by 110,000 jobs, including 24,000 manufacturing and industrial jobs. Ohio’s cement output would drop by 16 percent, while iron and steel output would decline by 13 percent.

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Citizens Bank online transactions delayed this morning; issue now resolved

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 17, 2017

12:09 p.m. Update:

Citizens Bank Vice President of Media Relations Lauren DiGeronimo confirms that all issues were resolved as of 10:47 a.m. DiGeronimo said no fees will be incurred by customers, due to the issue. The mobile app is also now working.


Here is the earlier story:

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Northeast Ohio economy will grow this year, PNC expects

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 16, 2017

The Northeast Ohio economy should grow modestly this year, much as it did in 2016.
So says the latest market outlook released Thursday by PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh.
“The regional economy is steadily inching forward as it overcomes major drags in its key manufacturing industry,” PNC said.
Report highlights include:
• Health-care, finance and professional services industries will add to economic growth.
• Higher energy prices are helping stabilize some factories as investment returns to the Utica shale region.
• Higher steel tariffs and stabilizing steel demand are helping local steelmakers.
• Auto sales, including high demand for light trucks, SUVs and crossovers, are expected to have their best year on record and therefore benefit the region’s auto supply chain companies.
• Cheaper gasoline coupled with slowing demand for fuel-efficient cars will hurt the Youngstown area; there already have been employment and production cuts at General Motors’ Lordstown plant where the compact Chevrolet Cruze is made.
• Upside risks include Washington-based tax cuts and boosts to infrastructure spending.
• Downside risks include a strong dollar and trade protectionism that could hurt exports.
• Continued population loss will hurt Northeast Ohio job growth. Population loss also hurts, among other things, demand for housing. On the plus side, out-migration appears to be moderating.
• Natural gas extraction from the Utica shale will generate jobs, income and tax revenue.
• Fledgling manufacturing hubs for the machinery of new energy technologies and transportation equipment hold promise.
• The region’s lower costs and availability of underutilized resources will help attract new industries and opportunities.
• Median household income will grow from an estimated $49,800 in 2016 to $50,700 this year. The region’s median income currently is about 9 percent lower than the nation’s. 

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Diebold Nixdorf to sell U.K. business to meet merger requirements

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 16, 2017

Diebold Nixdorf Inc. is selling off its legacy business in the United Kingdom.
The Green maker of ATMs on Thursday said that the sale is needed following a decision by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, or CMA, regarding Diebold’s purchase in August 2016 of German ATM maker Wincor Nixdorf.
“The CMA has concluded that a structural remedy is required. Diebold Nixdorf is now actively pursuing a divestiture of its legacy Diebold business in the U.K. with a potential purchaser,” Diebold Nixdorf said in a statement. “The company believes it can satisfy the CMA’s requirements and conclude this transaction as soon as practicable.”
The company did not disclose any financial information related to the sale.
Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf brands and operations remained unjoined while awaiting CMA review, the company said.
The company also reaffirmed its 2020 financial targets that include net cost improvement of $200 million and adjusted earnings per share of approximately $3.50.

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New Citizens Bank Branch to open in Acme Green grocery store

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 15, 2017

Citizens Bank will hold a grand opening on Friday, Mar. 17, to celebrate its new branch inside the Acme Fresh Market located at 3875 Massillon Rd in Green.

This is the ninth Acme branch for Citizens. The celebration will occur from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will feature activities for children and adults as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Our customers continually praise the convenience and excellent level of service they receive at our supermarket branches,” said Joe DiRocco, president of Citizens Bank in Ohio. “We are excited about the new branch in Green and we invite the community to celebrate with us on March 17.”

In addition to the ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., Citizens Bank customers and the general public are invited to attend the celebration, which includes a balloon artist from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.,  refreshments, and $5 gift cards to Acme for using the ATM or having a colleague demonstrate the Citizens mobile app.  

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Belden Village Mall shoppers can learn about disaster preparedness April 1

By Katie Byard Published: March 15, 2017

Shoppers at Belden Village Mall on April 1 will have the opportunity to learn how to prepare for an unforeseen disaster at the mall's American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Day event.

Shoppers at the Jackson Township mall who take a brief pre and post-test to determine their safety/preparedness knowledge will receive a first aid kit that will be filled with safety supplies such as glow sticks, emergency drinking water, a face mask and gloves. Included will be information on what to do in case of an emergency.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dominion East Ohio will make the kits available.

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Norton company employee's safety innovation is first-place winner; device prevents spills

By Katie Byard Published: March 10, 2017

A Norton company employee’s creation of a system to cut down on spills and hand injuries is the first place winner in the annual Ohio Safety Innovation Awards.

Paul Hunt, process safety engineer at Norton-based ICP Adhesives & Sealants, presented his innovation Thursday at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Safety Congress & Expo in Columbus.

ICP, formerly Fomo Products Inc., won $6,000 as first-place winner. C & K Industrial Services Inc. of Cleveland, which specializes in vacuuming and pressure washing of sewer lines, pipes and various industrial equipment, won second place and $4,000 for its use of remote-controlled “hyrdoblasting robots.”

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Myers Industries has 4th quarter loss but makes money for full year

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 9, 2017

Akron manufacturer and specialty tool distributor Myers Industries Inc. lost money in its fourth quarter but still showed a profit for its full fiscal year.
Myers, which makes plastic and rubber containers and related products, also said it will begin consolidating its Material Handling division this year and make other changes as it continues to refocus the company.
Myers Industries lost $1.46 million, or 5 cents per share, on revenue of $130 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31. That compares to net income of $771,000, or 3 cents per share, on revenue of $139.2 million a year ago.
Shares of Myers Industries were up 5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $13.40 as of 1:32 p.m. Revenue beat analyst estimates while net income fell short by a penny.
“Fourth-quarter results were in line with our expectations as we faced the continued impact of a reduced capital spending environment that persisted across many industrial markets for most of 2016,” Dave Banyard, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“Demand in agriculture markets has been notably weak with record sales declines in some channels over the previous two years. Some of our most strategic products sell into these customers,” Banyard said. “While we are disappointed with our sales performance during the year, we managed costs well and made tangible improvements in the management of working capital and capital spending, both of which will continue to be part of our strengths moving forward.”
For the full year, Myers Industries had net income of $1.06 million, or 3 cents per share, on revenue of $558.1 million. That compares to net income of $17.8 million or 57 cents per share, on revenue of $601.5 million for fiscal 2015.
Banyard called 2016 “a transition period” for the company.
“We’ve already made several important structural changes to the business, including solid working capital improvements in each business and a 15 percent reduction in corporate headcount during the fourth-quarter of 2016,” he said. “In 2017 ... we will begin a consolidation of our manufacturing footprint in Material Handling that we expect to complete by year-end, and we will also be evaluating potential new sourcing partnerships as we seek a more flexible operating model.”
Myers Industries said it expects 2017 revenue will be about the same as in 2016.
The company said its enterprise strategy is centered on a niche market focus, flexible operations, and strong cash flow growth.
Myers Industries also will pay a dividend of 13.5 cents per share on April 4 to shareholders of record as of March 17. 

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