Economy & Business

Economy & Business
8:38 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Thousands of Homes in PA Without Heat

The Public Utility Commission (PUC) says too many homes are headed into the coldest part of the year without heat from a utility service. 
This year there appear to be about 15-hundred fewer homes without gas or electric services compared to last year’s survey.
And that count may be inflated as some homes are double-counted because they have neither gas nor electric services.

But the observed lack of utility services in nearly 16-thousand households could lead people to resort to potentially unsafe heating sources.

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Economy & Business
8:58 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Urban Innovation21 Launching New Business Start-up Innitiative

A public-private economic growth organization in Pittsburgh is hoping an additional $100,000 in grants to small businesses in Homewood will help jump-start the micro economy.  Urban Innovation21 has attracted national attention for its mission to ensure that the region’s rapidly growing innovation economy is inclusive and benefits all communities.

The Pittsburgh region has begun to rebound from the economic downturn but many neighborhoods have yet to see unemployment and other economic indicators recover. 

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Economy & Business
6:54 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

$10.1 Million from PNC for Updated McKeesport Housing Facility

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A 12-year, multi-million dollar investment from PNC Bank and $230,000 contribution from ACTION housing will allow a a major renovation of a YMCA facility in downtown McKeesport.

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Economy & Business
8:51 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Pittsburgh Hotel Occupancy Rates Highest in 20 Years

As 2012 comes to a close, VisitPittsburgh is reporting a record-setting year when it comes to hotel room occupancy in the region.  The rate is expected to come in at 70 percent, which is higher than it has been since the region’s tourism agency began tracking the number 20 years ago.

“It compares against the national average of 60 percent and the average of our competitor set of about 63 percent,” said VisitPittsburgh President Craig Davis.  The competitor set includes cities like Columbus, Baltimore, and Charlotte.

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Economy & Business
1:12 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales

Several large retailers took a leap of faith on what they thought would be a gangbuster holiday season, and they hired more seasonal workers this year than last.

Sales during the two months before Christmas weren't all that stunning, however, and that's meant fewer opportunities for seasonal workers, and some of them worked vastly fewer hours than they expected.

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Economy & Business
6:57 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Female Employment Strong, but in Few Industries

A Pittsburgh-based study is showing females in the region tend to pursue careers in a select number of fields, while men are represented in more industries.The analysis is part of Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board's (TRWIB)  research on various segments in the labor industry.

The data show Pittsburgh-area women, who make up nearly half the workforce in the region, are employed primarily in the healthcare, retail, education, and hospitality sectors. 

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Economy & Business
8:43 am
Thu December 27, 2012

2013 Will Be Good But Not Great According to PNC

Pittsburgh received praise in 2012 for being among a handful of large and midsized cities that had recovered from the economic downturn, but PNC Financial Services Chief Economist Gus Faucher thinks the local economy will lag a bit in 2013.

“I think that we will see job growth of about 1 percent in 2013… But I think it’s going to be below the national average,” said Faucher.  “I would expect that the U.S. job growth is going to be closer to around 1.5 percent in 2013.”

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Economy & Business
6:36 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Tax Increases v. Budget Cuts, Who Wins in PA?

New analysis by the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) shows that proposals to end tax breaks for high-income earners would have very little impact on taxpayers in most Pennsylvania counties.

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Economy & Business
3:01 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Marcellus Shale No.1 in Production in 2012

This year was one of new records and new questions for the boom in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

Previous doubts about the size of the vast resource were mostly put to rest, as data showed that the Marcellus became the most productive natural gas field in the nation, even though well drilling slowed substantially.

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Economy & Business
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Lottery Privatization Could Put Senior Citizen Programs At Risk

Privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery might have Governor Tom Corbett believing it will boost profits, but it could put programs that benefit senior citizens at risk.  In a new report, the left-leaning Keystone Research Center details how services for the elderly could suffer if the commonwealth rushes into a deal.

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Economy & Business
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Region's Economy Looked Good 2012

The Pittsburgh region continued its “ahead-of-schedule recovery” in 2012 according to PNC Financial Services Senior Economist Gus Faucher. 

“Employment in Pittsburgh is now above where it was prior to the recession and it’s one of the few places in the country where that’s true,” said Faucher.  The recession officially began in December 2007.

Pittsburgh’s economy did not fall as fast or as far as other areas of the country, making it easier to rebound.  Faucher said there were a few sectors, including professional business services, which fueled the region’s growth.

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Economy & Business
8:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

“Energy Zombies” can have a Big Impact on Home Energy Bills

These days it seems nearly everyone is trying to save money where they can. Energy provider Direct Energy says some people may not be aware that some everyday things in their homes are causing their electricity and gas bills to go up.

“An energy zombie is actually anything that mindlessly eats away at your energy bill,” said Direct Energy Spokeswoman Bethany Ruhe, “these are things you may already know about, you may not know about, but if you don’t pay attention to them – boom – you have higher electricity bills.”

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Economy & Business
2:58 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Peoples Natural Gas to Purchase Equitable Gas

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/web gas deal.mp3

<strong> UPDATED: 12:03 12/20/12 </strong>

Pittsburgh-based EQT Corporation announced it is selling its natural gas transmission business, Equitable Gas, to Peoples Natural Gas for $720 million. The deal also includes 200 miles of Pennsylvania pipelines and storage pools, and long-term commercial contracts for EQT to provide gas transmission and storage services to Peoples.

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Economy & Business
12:32 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Gun Sales Up in PA

Pennsylvanians are lining up to buy firearms in the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings, but dealers say gun owners' anxiety over a potential gun-control crackdown was driving up sales before the Sandy Hook massacre.

At Staudt's Gun Shop in Harrisburg, owner Joe Staudt says he sold out his usually large stock of semi-automatic weapons by Wednesday.

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Economy & Business
4:45 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Dick's Suspends Some Gun Sales

Coraopolis-based Dick’s sporting goods has suspended sales of “modern sporting rifles” nationwide in the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut.   Dick's Sporting Goods also said it is removing all guns from display at its store closest to Newtown.

Police say the 20-year old gunman fatally shot his mother in their home and then killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. He then killed himself.

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Economy & Business
8:44 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Highmark To Open A Medical Mall in Wexford

The 174,000 square foot medical mall to be built in Wexford will cost Highmark $100 million dollars. It’s the latest move for the non-profit insurer, which is making the transition from being just an insurer to being a health-care provider. The Blue-Cross Blue-Shield subsidiary is in the process of acquiring The West Penn Allegheny Health Care System, The Jefferson Regional Medical System and St. Vincent Hospital.

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Economy
8:28 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Fancy Sodas Gaining in Popularity in the U.S. - Pittsburgh-area Store Putting an Adult Spin on the

You can walk into any gas station or grocery store and find an array of national-brand sodas. At Village Candy in Sewickely you will find a soda case – but you won’t find Pepsi, Sprite, or Mountain Dew. The small store stocks different sodas from around the world.

 “We have bacon soda, we have something called Leninade, we have black lemonade” said owner Doug Alpern.

Craft sodas aren’t quite on the same playing field as craft beers.

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Economy
9:25 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Chemical Industry Could Reuse Brownfields to Develop Shale Gas, says Trade Group

Abandoned industrial sites or "brownfields" across Pennsylvania could be key to the continued development of the state's natural gas industry, according to a trade group of businesses tied to the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation.

At a conference on brownfield redevelopment in Monroeville on Tuesday, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) said brownfield sites are not so much ideal for drilling as they are for large-scale industrial operations related to natural gas, including the processing of gas byproducts into plastics and other products.

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Economy
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

PNC Halts Evictions

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services is suspending evictions this holiday season. No one will be kicked out of foreclosed homes for which PNC is the investor.

“We hope this suspension provides families who are experiencing financial hardship some stability over the holiday season,” said PNC Mortgage CEO Saiyid Naqvi. 

The company is not releasing details on how many families this could impact but PNC spokesperson Fred Solomon said it could be a substantial number given that PNC holds mortgages “from coast to coast.”

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Economy
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Bell Ringing Endurance Test Begins Tuesday

The head of the Salvation Army’s worship and service center in Latrobe is planning a bell ringing endurance test. Lt. Ray Knous will pick up the familiar red kettle and bell Tuesday morning and he wont stop his fund raising effort for the next 30 hours.

Knous will start ringing at 9:00 AM at the Latrobe Wal-Mart on Route 30. He hopes to not only raise some spare change but also to promote the mission of The Salvation Army and elevate awareness for The Red Kettle Campaign. 

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Economy
8:01 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Architecture, Renovation, Preservation, and Sustainability

An Essential Pittsburgh public forum on maintaining our architectural heritage while cultivating new and sustainable development, recorded at the Community Broadcast Center on the South Side Wednesday November 28, 2012. Hear the audio and view the slide shows presented at the forum to the right and below.

Historic Preservation and Renovation in Pittsburgh

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Economy
7:16 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

PUC Saw Increase In Payment Complaints, Feedback In 2011

More Pennsylvanians complained about their utility service in 2011 than complained in 2010. However, the majority of them had a pleasant experience working with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to resolve their problems.

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Economy
9:23 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

More Companies Announce Special Dividends to Avoid Tax Hike

Walt Disney Corporation, Wal-Mart, Dish Network, and now Pittsburgh-based American Eagle Outfitters are just some of the many companies that have announced they are moving up their dividend payments.

American Eagle announced today they are moving up the payment of its first quarter dividend from April to December 28th.

Brian Koble, director of research at Hefren-Tillotson, an investment advisory and financial planning firm based in Pittsburgh, said companies are trying to take advantage of lower taxes on dividend payments this year.

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Economy
5:25 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Could Have "Catastrophic" Impact on Pennsylvania

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Economy
8:50 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Salvation Army Already Behind

Holiday shoppers in Western Pennsylvania are used to seeing the yearly appearance of Salvation Army red kettles and bell ringers, but it seems that they are ignoring them a bit more often this year.

Despite reports of a Good Black Friday for retailers, the Western Pennsylvania Division of The Salvation Army said it is more than $91,000 behind last year’s Red Christmas Kettle Campaign earnings.

Major William Bode, Divisional Commander for 28 western Pennsylvania counties said while donations have been slow to come in, the needy have not.

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