<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Business News - Money, Financial & Corporate News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/business http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usSat, 19 Aug 2017 04:29:28 -0500Sat, 19 Aug 2017 04:29:28 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Walmart Files Patent for Floating Warehouse ]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:40:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/walmart_722x406_2166097556.jpg

Walmart has applied for a U.S. patent for a warehouse in the sky, which could make deliveries to shoppers' homes with drones.

CNBC reported that it could be the big-box retailer's latest move to take its e-commerce business to the next level.

Bloomberg first reported the news Friday, while the patent was first submitted in February.

The machine, similar to a blimp, could fly as high as 1,000 feet, the application says, and it would be operated either autonomously or remotely by a human pilot.

Photo Credit: NBCPhiladelphia.com]]>
<![CDATA[Sneak Peek: Target's Newest Line Set for Big In-Store Reveal]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:10:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AND_statement_sleeves_1+thumb.jpg The first of Target's newest affordable brands launching this summer and fall has already begun to hit some stores, but the big reveal is yet to come.

Photo Credit: Target]]>
<![CDATA[After Sales Scandal, Wells Fargo Announces Board Shakeup ]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:31:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WellsFargo11.jpg

Wells Fargo announced a board shakeup Tuesday, including the coming retirement of three directors, in a restructuring effort following the bank's consumer sales scandal, CNBC reported.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Duke will take Stephen Sanger's position as independent chair effective Jan. 1, 2018, according to the bank's announcement.

Board members Cynthia H. Milligan and Susan G. Swenson will also leave the board after over a decade in order to “facilitate Board refreshment and provide for an appropriate transition of committee membership," the bank said in a statement.

In 2016, Wells Fargo paid $185 million in penalties following the revelation that since 2011, workers trying to meet aggressive sales goals had opened about 2 million consumer deposit and credit card accounts without customers' authorization. The bank has since abandoned those sales goals.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Costco Must Pay $19 Million for Selling 'Tiffany' Rings]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:17:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Costco4.jpg

Costco has been ordered by a federal judge to pay Tiffany & Co. more than $19 million for selling diamond rings that were identified as “Tiffany.”

In her ruling, Manhattan judge Laura Taylor Swain wrote that upper management at the wholesale club “displayed at best a cavalier attitude toward Costco’s use of the Tiffany name” when selling about 2,500 rings, The Washington Post reported

In a 2015 trial, Costco argued that the word “Tiffany” had become a generic descriptor used to define a specific style of engagement ring. Nevertheless, the jury concluded the retailer had unlawfully taken advantage of the Tiffany brand to generate $3.7 million in profits over several years.

In addition to paying the damages, the wholesale club will be prohibited from labeling their products as “Tiffany” without using a modifier like “setting,” "style" or “set.”

Costco plans to appeal this week’s decision, calling it “a product of multiple errors in pre-trial, trial, and post-trial rulings.” 

“This was not a case about counterfeiting in the common understanding of that word — Costco was not selling imitation Tiffany & Co rings,” the company added in a statement.

The rings in question were first brought to Tiffany’s attention by a customer in 2013. The original complaint filed that same year states, “There are now hundreds, if not thousands of people who mistakenly believe they purchased and own a Tiffany engagement ring from Costco,” CNN reported.

Costco has since tried to refute this, pointing to the fact that out of approximately 2,500 buyers, Tiffany was able to identify fewer than 10 who said they had misunderstood Costco’s signage.

"The rings in question were not stamped or otherwise marked with the Tiffany & Co. name (but rather were stamped with the name of the company that manufactured them)," Costco said. "They were sold in plain beige and brown wooden boxes (rather than with blue boxes or bags that said Tiffany & Co.); they were accompanied by appraisal documents that did not mention Tiffany & Co., and with sales receipts that did not say Tiffany or Tiffany & Co. Notably, Tiffany & Co. did not claim in the lawsuit that it lost a single sale to Costco as a result of any sign."

In a statement to NBC News, Tiffany & Co. said the judge's ruling “validates the strength of the Tiffany trademark and the value of our brand.”

The decision sends the message that "Tiffany is much more than a name. It stands for responsible sourcing, exacting standards and exceptional craftsmanship."

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Illinois Ranks 47th in Business Friendliness]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:04:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/business+friendliness.png

A new ranking of best states for business is not favorable to Illinois.

CNBC scored all 50 states on 66 metrics to determine the economic climate of each - and how they stack up.

Those measures were then separated into 10 categories, including workforce, quality of life, education, cost of living, infrastructure and more.

One of those categories was "business friendliness," which measures regulation and litigation in the state - grading each on the "freedom their legal and regulatory frameworks provide for business."

In that regard, Illinois ranked close to the bottom, tying for 47th place with Hawaii. Just West Virginia and California ranked lower, respectively, while Illinois' highest-ranking neighbor was Indiana in 8th.

The number one state for business friendliness was New Hampshire, followed by South Dakota. 

Illinois fared slightly better in the overall rankings, coming in 31st with higher marks in "access to capital" (an examination of venture capital investments as well as traditional bank financing for businesses, in which Illinois ranked 5th).

The Land of Lincoln also ranked 12th in "technology and innovation," which scored support for tech advancements, number of patents issued, plus research grants awarded to the state.

<![CDATA[Wall Street Starts to Pay Attention to North Korea Tensions]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 07:18:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/wall-street-sign.jpg

Wall Street reaction to threats between President Donald Trump and officials in North Korea was muted earlier in the week, but cracks are beginning to show, NBC News reported.

The Dow saw its biggest dip since mid-May on Thursday, down 205 points, following similar drops in the Asian and European markets.

The VIX, or volatility index widely used as a proxy to gauge market fear, soared by 44 percent to its highest level since Trump was elected. Still, some market observers downplayed the tensions as verbal bluster.

Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, attributed this week’s downturn in the major indices mainly to economic indicators rather than geopolitical brinkmanship.

Kent Boydston, a research analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said that "historically, there’s relatively little volatility when it comes to stock market and North Korean provocations.” But if North Korea were to launch missiles toward Guam or Hawaii "that would certainly be more of an escalation" that could potentially roil markets more.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[$martMoney]]> Tue, 08 May 2012 09:08:56 -0500 ]]> <![CDATA[Applebee’s to Shutter More Than 100 Restaurants]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 05:52:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_APPLEBEES_CLOSING_081017-150239613234800001.jpg

DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee’s, announced Thursday it will close more than 100 of the chain’s locations. The announcement came with the release of the company’s second-quarter fiscal results, which showed sales dropped by 7 percent during the first half of 2017.

<![CDATA[How Your Phone Can Detect Card Skimmers]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:39:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/skimmer-gas-pump-tda.jpg

Card skimmers at gas pumps and ATMs are a growing problem, but did you know your cell phone can protect you?

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller made a video explaining a few tips to remember when filling up your gas tank.

First, avoid pumps at the end of gas stations. They're often too far for the store clerk to have a clear view of the pump.

Next, leave your debit card in your wallet. It's all too easy for a thief to skim your debit card's magnetic strip. If they catch your pin number, you can bet your bank account is up for grabs.

Have a look around the pump. Look for tampering, a loose credit card reader or a broken seal on the pump's cabinet.

The best way to check for skimmer devices is using your phone, Miller said. Thieves often use Bluetooth technology to transmit card and pin information. Just turn on Bluetooth and search for a device. If you see a long string of numbers trying to connect, that's a bad sign.

As NBC Responds in DFW reported in April, law enforcement across the U.S. have seen a spike in skimming cases this year, and it's expected to keep rising. More credit and debit cards are using chip technology, making it increasingly difficult for thieves to skim your information.

Miller also noted to always print a receipt. You'll need the receipt to file a claim with the gas station's insurance in case you pump bad fuel, or if your identity is stolen.

If it looks like a pump or ATM has been tampered with, move to another pump or pay inside. If you notice suspicious charges on your account, contact your financial institution immediately, the TDA said.

Photo Credit: Texas Department of Agriculture
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<![CDATA[Lawsuit: CVS Charges More for Drugs Paid for With Insurance]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 05:16:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cvsgeneric_1200x675.jpg

A California woman sued CVS Health Corporation Monday, accusing the company of charging customers more when they use insurance to pay for certain generic prescriptions, NBC News reported.

Megan Schultz claims in the lawsuit that she paid $165.68 for a prescription at CVS, America's largest pharmacy chain. Had she bought the same drug without using insurance, she said it would have only cost $92.

"CVS never told her that paying in cash would allow her to pay 45% less for the drug," the complaint says, claiming that the higher costs come from the pharmacy overcharging and remitting the excess payments to its pharmacy benefit manager, which negotiates between the insurance company and pharmacy.

CVS denied the allegations, responding in a statement that they "are built on a false premise and are completely without merit."

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Airbnb Removes Accounts Ahead of Far-Right Rally in Va.]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:40:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-810944488.jpg

Airbnb has deleted accounts and canceled bookings of users who appear to be connected to "Unite the Right," a far-right political rally set for Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Neo-Nazi and white supremacist website The Daily Stormer had organized a series of large rally-weekend gatherings through the home-sharing site, Airbnb told NBC News. Concerned Airbnb users flagged the thread, leading the company to investigate potential violations of its user contract, which calls for unbiased hospitality.

Airbnb said they decided to remove the far-right lodgers because they were "pursuing behavior on the platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment."

Jason Kessler, organizer of the "Unite the Right" rally and self-described "pro-white" activist, said Airbnb's blocking of certain users is "outrageous and should be grounds for a lawsuit." 

Clay Hansen, the executive director of the nonpartisan Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in Charlottesville, said Airbnb's choice to terminate accounts does not violate the First Amendment.

"I would say that while Airbnb's actions wouldn't necessarily comport with general free speech principles, they are a private company and are entitled to enact and enforce their terms of service as they see fit," Hansen told NBC News.

The rally, scheduled to take place Saturday in Charlottesville, is shaping up to be the "the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 8, almost 700 people said they would be attending, and another 1,200 showed interest in the event on its Facebook link. The rally aims to "to affirm the right of Southerners and white people to organize for their interests."

"It's the racial targeting of white people for their ethnic advocacy," Kessler wrote in an email to NBC. "Would Airbnb cancel the service of black nationalists or Black Lives Matter activists for their social media activity? Of course not!"

White supremacists gathered in Charlottesville in May to protest the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue. They chanted "All White Lives Matter" while carrying torches. Klu Klux Klan members also protested there in July for the same cause.

The statue has not yet been taken down, but Charlottesville has gained the reputation for hosting white nationalism rallies. 

Photo Credit: Chet Strange/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Disney to Remove All Content on Netflix for Own, New Service]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:48:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/207*120/11-11-2015-bob-iger-disney-GettyImages-492431088.jpg

Disney wants to own a piece of the streaming pie.

The company announced during its latest earnings report on Tuesday it intends to pull all its content from Netflix for its own streaming service in 2019, CNBC reported. 

CEO Bob Iger told CNBC's Julia Boorstin Disney had a "good relationship" with Netflix, but decided to exercise an option to move its content off the platform. Movies to be removed include Marvel as well as Disney titles.

It will also be making a "significant investment" in exclusive movies and television series for the new platform.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Trump Effect' Hits Workplace Morale: HR, Leadership Experts]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:42:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tru9AP_17216011307728.jpg

President Donald Trump's leadership style could be affecting workplace behavior on a large scale, NBC News reports.

HR and leadership experts say a "Trump effect" has permeated through corporate America, with reports of cursing in the office, lying about resume details and spreading rumors about co-workers on the rise.

Unethical behavior can hurt productivity and affect workplace morale, the experts say. A survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute in April found that 46 percent of workers said their relationships with colleagues have deteriorated since the 2016 election.

"Trump is serving as a negative kind of role model," said Seth Spain, an assistant professor of organizational behavior and human resources at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. "They see his behavior, they see that it worked, it was effective, and use that as a model."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File]]>
<![CDATA[More Than 1400 Jobs to Be Cut Across Chicago Area]]> Sun, 06 Aug 2017 10:53:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/jobs+lost+illinois.png

More than 1,400 jobs in Illinois have been or are expected to be cut over the next few months, according to state records.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity posted its monthly Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) report last week that included filings from 14 companies on pending layoffs.

Those companies, the majority of which are located in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, plan to cut 1,482 workers, with most of the layoffs occurring by the end of the year.

The businesses in Chicago include:

  • Pace Industries, Inc., a kitchen and bathroom cabinet manufacturer on the city's West Side, planning to lay off 120 employees and close by November 1.
  • PPG Industries, Inc. will close a flat glass manufacturing facility on the city's Southeast Side by October, impacting 55 workers.
  • The Sears department store located at 1601 N. Harlem Ave. will be closing its doors by Sept. 30, laying off 116 people.

Companies planning cuts across the suburbs are:

  • Pacific Coast Feather Company, a Seattle-based bedding manufacturer, plans to shutter its facility in Des Plaines after being bought out by Hollander Sleep Products in June. The closure will occur by Sept. 14, the company said, and will impact 29 workers.
  • Newell Brands, Inc. is closing an office facility in Downers Grove. 134 employees will be laid off between Sept. 30 and June 30, 2018.
  • Standard Refrigeration LLC, a manufacturer of power boilers and heat exchangers, plans to cut 102 workers when it closes in Wood Dale by Sept. 30.
  • Amcor Rigid Plastics USA, LLC plans to close a plastic bottle manufacturing facility in Batavia, laying off 110 employees by March 2018.
  • Grocery chain Ultra Foods is closing its Kankakee store, impacting 92 workers by Sept. 15.
  • After losing its contract with Waukegan Community Unit School District 60, food service contractor Aramark laid off 117 workers at once on July 31.
  • CORPAK Medsystems, Inc., a surgical and medical instrument manufacturer in Buffalo Grove, is closing by Dec. 15, letting 81 employees go.
  • Flood damage is forcing Westmoreland Nursing Center in Lake Forest to close its doors, the company said, laying off 84 people on Aug. 4.
  • Kane Warehousing Inc., a general warehousing and storage company in Romeoville, is laying off 178 workers after losing a contract.
  • Medtronic, a professional equipment and supplies wholesaler in Joliet, is cutting 185 employees by Dec. 15 as part of a restructuring effort.

In central Illinois, Aclara SGS LLC in Champaign laid off 79 workers on July 28 after losing a contract.

The DCEO requires companies with at least 75 full-time employees to provide 60 days' notice of plant closures or mass layoffs.

A mass layoff under Illinois law is a loss of employment over 30 days of at least 25 full-time employees if they constitute at least one-third of workers at the site, or 250 employees total.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wells Fargo May Find More Unauthorized Accounts ]]> Fri, 04 Aug 2017 16:21:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WellsFargo11.jpg

A new review of Wells Fargo’s consumer sales scandal could reveal a “significant increase” in unauthorized accounts, CNBC reported Friday.

"We expect that our review of the expanded time periods ... may lead to a significant increase in the identified number of potentially unauthorized accounts," the firm said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "However, we do not expect any incremental customer remediation costs as a result of these efforts to have a significant financial impact on the Company."

Wells Fargo said legal costs are expected to exceed the $3.3 billion it had already set aside.

Shares fell 1 percent on Friday in light of the news.

The bank has been embroiled in a scandal since last fell when it was discovered that workers had opened about 2 million consumer deposit and credit card accounts without customers’ authorization.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Secret Service Command Post Inside Trump Tower Has Moved Out]]> Fri, 04 Aug 2017 16:06:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-500449256.jpg

The Secret Service command post inside President Donald Trump's namesake Manhattan skyscraper has been moved.

A spokeswoman for the umbrella company that controls Trump's various businesses said Friday that the Secret Service moved out of Trump Tower to somewhere "more cost effective and logistically practical."

The Secret Service won't say where its Trump Tower command post has relocated. A spokeswoman says the move hasn't affected security.

A Government Services Administration spokeswoman says officials are searching for a permanent space. She wouldn't comment on lease negotiations.

The Trump Organization's Amanda Miller described the location change as a mutual decision. She didn't respond when asked about terms of the government's lease or what prompted the location change.

Trump hasn't visited his Trump Tower residence since moving into the White House.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Target Hiring Dozens at Job Fairs in Chicago Suburbs]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:12:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target-store-sign.jpg

Target is holding two jobs fairs in the Chicago area this week, aiming to hire about 150 employees for its newest suburban stores.

The company said it will be hiring for its two new stores in Skokie and Oak Park, both of which are slated to open this fall.

The "small format" stores will mark the seventh and eighth such stores in the area, following six others built in the city. 

“We look forward to continue growing the number of our Chicago-area team members at our two new stores opening in October,” Tony Pena, district team leader for Target, said in a statement. “The Oak Park and Skokie small-format stores will offer local guests an easy, inspiring shopping experience and a unique product assortment that are conveniently located in the heart of these two neighborhoods.”

At the job fairs, store leaders will conduct pre-scheduled interviews with applicants, the company said. Anyone interested in applying or attending the event can visit Target.com/careers to apply in advance or apply in-person on the day of a job fair.

The job fair events will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The locations include: 

Oak Park

4050 North Harlem

Norridge, Ill. 60706


2209 Howard Street

Evanston, Ill. 60202


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford Scholarship: $160K for MBAs Who Return to Midwest]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 18:12:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/stanford-campus.jpg

Stanford might pay up to $160,000 for you to get your MBA -- as long as you work in the Midwest after graduation.

That's the deal the Silicon Valley university offered to the winners of its first-ever Stanford USA MBA Fellowship, who were announced Wednesday, CNBC reported.

This scholarship, which follows similar programs for Africa and India, was established because "the Midwest is strategically important to the United States and global economy, and Stanford wants to contribute to its strength," Jonathan Levin, the dean of the business school, said. 

Besides working to support "the region's economic development" in at least two of their first four years out of business school, scholarship applicants must have some connection to the Midwest, such as being a current resident or graduating from high school there.

Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Target to Hire 150 Employees for New Suburban Stores]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:21:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-623890362.png

Target announced plans to hire approximately 150 people for two Chicago-area "flexible-format" stores Wednesday.

The retail giant is searching for employees for its Oak Park and Skokie locations, according to a release.

Candidates are asked to apply online here, or in person during the company’s job fairs. Job fair events will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the company said.

The Oak Park job fair will take place at 4050 N. Harlem Ave. in Norridge, while the Skokie event will be at 2209 Howard St. in Evanston.

Both locations are slated to open on Oct. 18, the company said. The Oak Park store will be located at the corner of Lake and Maple Streets in a new mixed-use project called "Elevate Oak Park," and the Skokie location will be at the southwest corner of Dempster Street and Bronx Avenue adjacent to the CTA Yellow Line station. 

The stores will bring the Minnesota-based company’s total number of Chicago locations to 84, with eight of those being its new flexible-format style.

The flexible-format design allows Target stores to be built in smaller locations (often urban areas) and tailor items to meet local customers’ needs.

The Oak Park location will be about 22,000 square feet and will feature a grocery section, cosmetic products, men’s and women’s apparel, toys, sporting goods, home décor, and electronic and tech items. It will also include order pickup and Target mobile, the company said.

The store in Skokie will sit at approximately 33,000 feet and feature many similar elements.

The company has five other small-format stores in the Chicago area, including State Street, Streeterville, Lincoln Park North, Hyde Park, Belmont Station locations, as well as a Lakeview Ashland store opening in October as well.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taco Bell Across From Wrigley Field May Be Closing]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 12:40:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/4PM+VO+TACO+BELL+WRIGLEY+-+00000312_28297293.jpg

The Taco Bell located across from Wrigley Field may not be open to see another Cubs World Series. 

According to Crain's Chicago Business, the developer that recently bought the site of the Wrigleyville Taco Bell has unveiled plans for a three-story retail and restaurant complex on the property.

A listing by Mid-America Real Estate shows the property located at 1111 W. Addison is up for lease.

The planned development includes 40,000 square feet of retail space, including a 7,300-square-foot rooftop space. 

Listing agent Paul Bryant said it is too early to know how much the property in the upcoming development will be leased for and a timeline has not been released. 

A group of community members are hoping to save the popular restaurant from leaving Wrigleyville. Resident CJ Black has organized an event on Facebook aimed to gather community members to share their sadness.

The event description states, “Come out and stand up for a wonderful establishment that has always been there for you when you've needed it the most.”

Black's event, titled "Save the Wrigleyville Taco Bell," is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. on Aug. 26 at the Addison Street Taco Bell.

“It feels as though we are losing a part of what makes Wrigleyville, Wrigleyville,” Black said. “When you refer to the Taco Bell everyone knows it, it’s iconic.”

Black is asking asking organizers to bring posters to this event and share their fondest memories of the Taco Bell. He said his goal is to allow the community to gather in a safe manner, but he also wants to express appreciation for the individuals who work at the Taco Bell.

<![CDATA[Cook County's New Soda Tax Takes Effect]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:17:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/430A+VO+BEV+TAX+-+00002111_28291476.jpg

Cook County's new tax on sweetened beverages went into effect Wednesday morning.

Beginning at midnight, the controversial tax on sugary drinks rolled out across the county following weeks of arguments in and out of court.

The measure was originally supposed to be implemented on July 1, but its rollout was delayed after opponents filed a lawsuit against the proposal, ultimately resulting in more than 300 county employees being given layoff notices

Judge Daniel Kubasiak lifted the temporary restraining order that halted the measure on Friday, with collection slated to begin Wednesday. 

The new tax will collect an extra penny per ounce of any drink sweetened with sugar or a substitute sold in Cook County, and is expected to raise $67.5 million in new revenue by Nov. 30, according to county estimates. 

The cost to consumers will be 12 cents per can of soda and 67 cents per two-liter bottle, with the revenue helping to fund services, including health care, as the county faces a budget deficit of nearly $174.3 million.

Now, as stores prepare to charge the new tax, employees are tasked with ensuring cash registers are updated and ready to make the shift. 

"I’ve got about two or three employees, for the last two or three days, that that’s been their full time job," said Marty Sandoval, who owns the La Chiquita grocery and restaurant on Pulaski.

Sandoval said he's also apprehensive of the drop in sales for the three of his four stores located in Cook County.

"I don’t know what the sales drop will be," he said. "I know there will be a sales drop... That’s going to be tough on us."

<![CDATA[Dow Approaches 22,000, Closes at Record High]]> Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:02:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/wall-street-sign.jpg

U.S. stocks traded higher on Tuesday, the first trading day of August, as the Dow Jones industrial average approached another milestone, CNBC reported.

The 30-stock index rose about 82 points to a new record, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains.

The Dow also traded near 22,000. The S&P 500 rose 0.25 percent, with utilities and financials leading advancers. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.2 percent.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Nation’s Top 10 Consumer Complaints in 2016]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:51:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/solarpanelsoregon_1200x675.jpg

Shoddy installation of solar panels and leasing lemons vehicles are leading high on the list of complaints to state and local consumer protection agencies last year across the country, according to the annual consumer agency survey conducted by Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI).

The report included complaints from 39 state and local consumer protection agencies from 23 states participated in the survey.

The survey asked about the most common complaints they received in 2016; the fast-growing complaints, the worst complaints, new trends in consumer problems and new laws that are needed to better protect consumers.

Complaints about solar energy sales were cited as a new consumer problem that could increase in the future as the green energy industry grows. Despite solar energy being environmentally friendly, and for consumers a sound economical choice, the complaints ranged from ranged from misleading sales practices to inferior installation of the equipment.

"Consumers should check out the company and make sure they understand the terms of the agreement before they sign on the dotted line for solar contracts," said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy at CFA.

Another new problem is used car leasing with little to no down payment where state lemon laws may not apply. Grant said the interest rates may be relatively high, however, and state lemon laws and other consumer protections may not apply to these transactions.

"Consumers who lease used cars may be stuck with lemons or be on the hook for costly repairs," Grant said.

In 2015, imposter scams were on the top ten complaints this year -- scams did not make the list but were still widespread, according to the survey.

"Imposter scams are still prevalent," said Amber Capoun, NACPI President and a Legal Assistant in the Office of the State Banking Commission in Kansas.

Some agencies reported a new trend in scammers requesting payment via store gift cards.

"Crooks are looking for ways to get cash fast and avoid being traced," NACPI President Capoun observed. "Gift cards should only be used to buy something for you or someone you know, not to send payments to strangers."

The top complaints were those most frequently cited by the agencies as the most common complaints they received last year:

1. Auto: Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes.

2. Home Improvement/Construction: Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job.

3. Utilities: Installation issues, service problems, billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, internet, electric and gas service.

4. Retail Sales: False advertising and other deceptive practices, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver.

5. Credit/Debt: Billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics.

6. Health Products/Services: Misleading claims, unlicensed practitioners, failure to deliver, medical billing issues.

7. Services: Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform.

8. Tie - Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics; household goods misrepresentations, failure to deliver, faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances.

9. Internet Sales: Misrepresentations or other deceptive practices, failure to deliver online purchases.

10. Home Solicitations: Misrepresentations, abusive sales practices, and failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations, do-not-call violations.

The CFA has joined other groups to better protect consumers by showing support for laws can that telephone companies should be required to do more to block illegal robocalls and other scam calls. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed rules which would allow phone companies to block calls in certain circumstances where the Caller ID appears to be spoofed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[A Journey Through 100 years of Ford Trucks]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:49:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/200*120/fordtruck.jpg

The first Ford truck made its debut 100 years ago. The Model TT was made by Henry Ford at the request of his customers who wanted a utility vehicle that could haul heavier loads for work.

<![CDATA[Jeff Bezos Is the World’s Richest Man]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:19:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/450831304_10.jpg

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, with a fortune of over $90 billion, CNBC reported.

According to Forbes and Bloomberg, the Amazon CEO had a net worth of over $89 billion as of the close of markets Wednesday, while Bill Gates had a net worth of just over $90 billion.

Amazon's share price jumped by more than $15 a share overnight, and was recently trading near that level, while Microsoft is down slightly. If the stocks hold up today, Bezos will add more than $800 million to his fortune. That would put him past Gates, assuming the valuations of their non-stock holdings haven't changed.

Of course, Amazon stock could fall or Microsoft could rally. But even if Bezos doesn't end the day as the richest man, he will likely take the crown from Gates more permanently in the coming days and weeks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Dishes Out Free Swag With Delivery Orders ]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:13:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/062117+%284%29.jpg

McDonald's is dishing out free swag to customers who order their food delivered Wednesday. 

Celebrating its new partnership with Uber Eats, the world's largest hamburger chain said it will hand out free sweatshirts, sweatpants, pillowcases, sandals and more to those who order "McDelivery."

The company's new delivery service is currently available in 3,500 restaurants across the country and even more worldwide. 

"Global McDelivery Day is our way of celebrating the expansion of delivery while highlighting McDonald’s ability to give our customers the great tasting food they love at McDonald’s, where they want to enjoy it," McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. 

The giveaways are part of a so-called "McDelivery" clothing collection that will be available for one-day-only at participating locations

See below for a list of locations in Illinois:

6401 CERMAK RD, BERWYN, IL, 60402


2425 E 79TH ST, CHICAGO, IL, 60649








180 W ADAMS, CHICAGO, IL, 60603

6231 N. BROADWAY, CHICAGO, IL, 60660


6740 N CLARK, CHICAGO, IL, 60626

2438 W CERMAK, CHICAGO, IL, 60623



600 N CLARK, CHICAGO, IL, 60610





5200 S. LAKE PARK, CHICAGO, IL, 60615



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chipotle's Norovirus Outbreak the Result of Lax Sick-Policy]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:00:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cms872.jpg

Chipotle Mexican Grill's recent norovirus outbreak in Virginia was the result of lax sick policy enforcement by store managers, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

The company said in their earnings conference call that they believe an employee was the cause of the outbreak.

"We conducted a thorough investigation, and it revealed that our leadership there didn't strictly adhere to our company protocols. And we believe someone was working while sick. And we took swift action and made it clear to the entire company that we have a 0 policy -- or a 0-tolerance policy for not following these protocols," CEO Steve Ells said during the conference call.

It has been about two years since an E. coli outbreak rattled the food chain. In Oct. and Dec. 2015, at least 60 people were infected with the illness after eating at locations across the country. At least 22 people were hospitalized.

CLARIFICATION (July 26, 2017, 6:58 p.m. EST): An earlier version of this story implied that a direct quote was made from a Chipotle executive about the cause of the outbreak.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File]]>