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Business news briefs — Dec. 2

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Mesnac gets tax credit

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Monday announced it approved a 40 percent, five-year Job Creation Tax Credit to help tire industry company Mesnac Americas Co. open a research and technical center in Akron.

Mesnac, a Chinese firm that makes equipment for the rubber and tire industry, expects to create 35 full-time jobs in Akron. Annual payroll is expected to be $3.9 million.

The new center will be at Miller and Ridgewood roads and cater to Mesnac’s customers in the Americas.

Schulman completes deal

Fairlawn-based polymer compounder A. Schulman Inc. announced it completed its acquisition of Network Polymers Inc., an engineered plastics compounding and distribution business. The acquisition agreement was first announced May 28. The price was about $49.5 million, the company said.


Sector shows growth

Manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2½ years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy rate. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3. That was up from 56.4 in October and was the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 signals growth. One component of the index, a measure of hiring, rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months. And a gauge of export orders reached its highest level in nearly two years. Manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months.


Saab resumes production

Two and a half years after Saab shut down production due to financial trouble, the Swedish car rolled a new sedan off its assembly lines in Trollhattan, in southwest Sweden.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden, a Hong Kong-based company, said the first 200 cars will be delivered in the spring and will cost $42,500. Next year, it will also launch a 9-3 wagon, followed by convertible and electric models.


Workers plan protest

Fast-food workers in about 100 cities are being asked to walk off the job Thursday, organizers say, which would mark the largest effort yet in a push for higher pay.

The actions would build on a campaign that began about a year ago to call attention to the difficulties of living on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Protesters are calling for pay of $15 an hour, although many see the figure as a rallying point rather than a near-term possibility.

It’s not clear how large the turnout will be at any given location, or whether the walkouts will be enough to disrupt operations. Similar actions this summer had varying results, with some restaurants unable to serve customers and others seemingly unaffected.

Fast-food workers have also been seen as difficult to organize, given the industry’s high turnover rates. But the Service Employees International Union, which represents more than 2 million workers in health care, janitorial and other industries, has been providing organizational and financial support to the push for higher pay over the past year.


Dow drops 77 points

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 77.64 points to 16,008.77. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 4.91 points to 1,800.90. The Nasdaq composite fell 14.63 points to 4,045.26. The government reported that developers boosted construction spending in October at the fastest pace in more than four years.


NCR acquires Digital

NCR Corp. says it is paying $1.65 billion to buy Digital Insight Corp., a provider of online and mobile banking services. NCR makes ATMs and other hardware and software to handle payments. It says the deal will expand its capabilities in banking, allowing it to offer a single platform that retail banks and other financial institutions can use for all kinds of services, and payment and transaction types. Digital Insight is based in Menlo Park, Calif., and it is owned by private-equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC. NCR also said it bought fraud-prevention software company Alaric Systems Ltd. for $84 million.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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