As 2018 comes to a close, here’s a month-by-month look back at some of the biggest business stories that made headlines in the Akron area during the year:

January

FirstEnergy Corp. receives a $2.5 billion infusion of private capital that the utility says reduces debt and strengthens its strategy to become a fully regulated utility.

A Georgia brewery wins a $307,458 default judgment for breach of contract and fraud against SysTech Stainless Works, a former Canton manufacturer of brewing equipment.

February

Gervasi Vineyard in Canton continues to expand, announcing plans to start construction of a distillery and a 24-room hotel on its 55-acre site.

LyondellBasell Industries announces $2.25 billion purchase of Fairlawn polymer company A. Schulman Inc.

The Crystal Clinic unveils plan to build a 60-bed hospital facility for orthopedic and plastic surgery patients that will add nearly 500 employees when it opens in Fairlawn in 2020.

March

Douglas Weintraub, an entrepreneur and investor in startups, is named chief executive officer of Bounce, Akron’s Innovation Hub.

The J.M. Smucker Co., owner of Crisco cooking products, calls off its proposed acquisition of Wesson oil after the Federal Trade Commission decided the deal would “reduce competition” and “tend to create a monopoly.”

Recently enacted cuts in corporate tax rates lead some companies in the Akron area and across the country to announce employee bonuses.

Struggling retailer Toys R Us announces it is closing all of its stores.

Small, independent drugstores continue to dwindle in the Akron area as larger chains crowd them out.

FirstEnergy Solutions, the unregulated power generation arm of Akron’s FirstEnergy Corp., files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

April

In a pairing of two Akron-rooted rivals that would have been unthinkable in another era, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Bridgestone Americas Inc. say they are teaming up to form one of the largest tire distribution joint ventures in the country.

May

The family leadership at Akron-based GOJO Industries passes the mantle to the third generation and first female solo top leader, Marcella Kanfer Rolnick.

June

Summa Health’s new West Tower on its Akron City Hospital campus takes significant shape. The $220 million, six-story building will also become the health system’s new front door and is the centerpiece of the $270 million first part of a two-phase project over the next six or seven years.

FirstEnergy Corp. offers buyouts to nearly 600 support staff members, including more than 200 who work in the Akron area.

July

Smucker announces the sale of its U.S. baking business, which includes such iconic brands as Pillsbury and Hungry Jack, to Brynwood Partners in a transaction valued at $375 million.

Menards home improvement store opens in Cuyahoga Falls, the chain’s second location in the Akron area.

August

Akron Fulton International Airport rebrands itself as Akron Executive Airport as part of a new economic development strategy.

Acme Fresh Market announces expansion of its grocery pickup service, offering same-day pickup at all of its 16 stores.

Akron-Canton Airport breaks ground on a $34 million gate expansion project.

September

Myers Industries Inc,, a company rooted in Akron for 85 years, announces its decision to move to Cleveland. Weeks later, the company reverses itself and decides to remain at 1293 S. Main St. near the developing Firestone Business Park.

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises decides to move its North Carolina headquarters as well as hundreds of employees from Barberton and Copley to Akron’s East End Offices.

October

Summa Health puts itself on the market for a new partner to boost patient services, improve finances and thwart competition.

Virginia-based nuclear power parts maker BWX Technologies says it will spend more than $80 million in Barberton and another $50 million in Euclid over the next several years to upgrade facilities and create more than 110 jobs.

November

General Motors outlines a plan to end production of the Chevrolet Cruze and shutter its Lordstown assembly plant, a mainstay of the Northeast Ohio economy for more than 50 years, eliminating about 1,600 hourly and salaried jobs by spring 2019.

Huntington Bank agrees to keep 1,200 jobs, a regional headquarters and millions of tax dollars in Akron.

December

General Motors says most of the blue-collar workers at Lordstown and three other U.S. plants slated for closure next year will be able to find employment at eight other GM factories where jobs are being added. But that means Lordstown workers would have to move to Toledo or out of state in order to continue employment with GM.

The Sears/Kmart retail empire moves to the verge of extinction as Sears Holding Co. shuts down underperforming stores and seeks to sell off the remaining profitable properties.