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Business news briefs — Dec. 9

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LOCAL BUSINESS

SBA nominations sought

The district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting preliminary nominations for the 2012 Small Business Person of the Year Award.

Eligible are those who own and operate an enterprise and meet SBA size standards, according to the SBA’s Cleveland District Office, which covers the Greater Akron area.

Anyone can make a nomination. Include the following information about the nominee: company/organization contact information, number of employees, annual sales in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and North American Industrial Classification (NAIC) code.

For more information on NAIC codes, go online to http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics. SBA size standards apply in defining a business as small. To find additional information on SBA size standards, go to ­­http://­www.sba.gov/­content/table-small-business-size-standards. Nomination letters go to Patsy Welsh at patricia.welsh@sba.gov. Applications can be submitted online at: http://­nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/user. Deadline is Jan. 3. For more information, call Welsh at 216-522-4172.

AUTO INDUSTRy

Hyundai recall under study

U.S. safety regulators are looking into whether a Hyundai Elantra recall should be expanded. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a recall query to determine if 52,000 Elantra Touring cars from the 2009 through 2012 model years should be recalled.

ACQUISITION

Sysco purchases US Foods

Sysco Corp. agreed to acquire closely held US Foods for $3.5 billion, adding brands from Cattleman’s meat to Devonshire desserts, in the largest food-distribution deal in eight years in North America. Sysco will pay $3 billion in common stock and $500 million in cash for US Foods, the companies said. The deal bolsters Sysco’s position as North America’s largest distributor of food to restaurants, expanding its geographical reach and creating supply chain cost savings. The combined business, with about $65 billion in annual sales, will be led by Sysco Chief Executive Officer Bill DeLaney.

ALUMINUM

Steelworkers plan to rally

The United Steelworkers will rally at 9 a.m. Wednesday to try to reopen the Ormet Corp. aluminum smelter in Clarington. Ormet said it is closing down the smelter in southeastern Ohio and laying off about 700 workers because it did not get a needed electricity subsidy. The Steelworkers rally will start in Clarington and then send a delegation to Columbus, where the union will urge Gov. John Kasich and others to prevent the permanent closure of the smelter.

WATER

Aqua Ohio investments

Water provider Aqua Ohio Inc. declared its $23 million infrastructure investment program was a success. Aqua Ohio provides water service to communities in Summit, Stark and other counties. The $23 million infrastructure investment program included spending $5.1 million in its Lakeshore/Ashtabula operating division, which serves part of Summit County, and $6 million in its Stark County operating division. Aqua Ohio said it intends to spend $30 million next year on infrastructure improvements in the state. Aqua Ohio has 33 water systems in the state, with about 450,000 customers.

FOOD

McDonald’s sales drop

McDonald’s Corp.’s U.S. sales funk worsened in November as rivals lured away diners amid the choppy economic recovery. Sales at U.S. stores open at least 13 months dropped 0.8 percent in November, Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s said. Analysts projected a 0.3 percent gain, the average of 14 estimates from Consensus Metrix. Global same-store sales rose 0.5 percent. Analysts projected a 0.6 percent gain. The world’s largest restaurant chain, which last year got 32 percent of revenue from its U.S. locations, has been revamping its menu and trying to improve service to attract Americans amid fierce competition. Burger King Worldwide Inc. recently introduced new items similar to McDonald’s fare, including barbecue rib sandwiches and Big King burgers.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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