Dick’s to relocate
Dick’s Sporting Goods didn’t have to go on a long hunt to find a place to relocate in the Chapel Hill retail area.
Developer Visconsi Cos. Ltd. in Pepper Pike said it will soon start building a new free-standing Dick’s Sporting Goods store at The Plaza at Chapel Hill between Burlington Coat Factory and Marc’s, using space from the soon-to-be demolished Plaza Cinemas. The new Dick’s at the Howe Avenue and Main Street property will be in line with the other plaza stores, not set back as the cinema building was.
Dick’s will lease the store from plaza owner Visconsi. The retailer will relocate from its current store on nearby Buchholzer Boulevard. The new store is expected to be completed this fall.
Debit card rule change
Policy Matters Ohio and other consumer advocates said a Florida bank will drop a feature of its prepaid debit cards that the advocates said allowed the Ohio company providing the cards to bypass state law limiting interest rates.
At issue was the optional “overdraft protection” feature — and accompanying fees — that allowed purchases when the cards were empty.
The cards — issued through the Florida bank — were provided by Ohio payday lender CheckSmart, which has area locations.
David Rothstein of Policy Matters Ohio and other consumer advocates have argued that overdraft fees on prepaid debit cards amount to payday loans. The overdraft protection fee on the cards allowed CheckSmart to charge what equates to a nearly 400 percent annual interest rate, Rothstein said.
“This is the right move [by the Florida bank],” Rothstein said. “Hopefully, other payday storefronts will take note and follow state lending laws on payday loans.”
The consumer groups and federal regulators had pressed the Florida bank, Urban Trust Bank, to rid the cards of the overdraft protection. The bank agreed to do so last week, according to the consumer groups.
Counseling sessions set
Akron SCORE, an area nonprofit group that offers small-business counseling, will offer free workshops in February. Aimed at small enterprises, the programs will be at the University of Akron’s Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing in the Polsky Building, 225 S. Main St.
The workshops are:
• Business Basics, today, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and again Feb. 27, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
• Marketing Techniques for Success, Monday, from 6-8:30 p.m.
• How to Build a Successful Website, Feb. 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
• Business Plan, Feb. 25, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
SCORE also will offer a workshop on International Business Basics from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, at the Midpoint Campus at 50 Pearl Road in Brunswick.
SCORE information is available online at www.akron.score.org. The phone is 330-379-3163.
Ohio firm for sale
Military periscope maker Miller-Holzwarth Inc., based in Salem on the Columbiana and Mahoning county line, is in receivership and its assets are up for sale.
The small company and its 47 employees couldn’t survive actual and threatened defense department budget cuts, owner Jennifer Moll told Bloomberg News. The business, founded in 1955 to make hospital beds, closed last July. In 2007, the company was named Region V Subcontractor of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
When Miller-Holzwarth was unable to make a $1.5 million payment to a New York-based defense contractor, a Medina County judge put the company into receivership. Attorney Lisa M. Barbacci in Medina is the receiver.
Miller-Holzwarth made periscopes for military vehicles, including the Humvee, the Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle and others. It also made ballistic glass and transparent armor for military vehicles.
Dow sees 130-point drop
Major indexes dived the most this year Monday, the first trading day after the Dow broke 14,000 and closed at its highest level since the financial crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped as much as 143 points in afternoon trading. It closed down 129.71, or 0.9 percent, at 13,880.08. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 17.46 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,495.71. The Nasdaq composite index lost 47.93, or 1.5 percent, to 3,131.17.
Merck & Co. was among the Dow’s biggest losers, dropping 98 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $40.85. The pharmaceutical company said Friday that its earnings declined in the fourth quarter and 2013 might be weaker than analysts had hoped. Corporate earnings reports continue this week. Health insurer Humana leapt $3.51, or 4.7 percent, to $78.86 after results beat Wall Street’s forecasts.
Compiled from staff and wire reports