Economy & Business

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

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<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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Economy
8:40 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Bakery Square Expansion Moving Forward

The successful office and retail development of Bakery Square in Larimer is on track to gain more property and add buildings.

After a special zoning proposal for "Bakery Square 2.0" drew no opposition at a public hearing before Pittsburgh City Council on Monday, the legislation will come before council on Wednesday for a preliminary vote.

If the special zoning is approved, developer Walnut Capital could demolish the former Reizenstein Middle School in January to make way for new construction across the street from the current Bakery Square site on Penn Avenue.

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Economy
9:13 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Income Inequality a Growing Problem in Pennsylvania

Much like the rest of the nation, Pennsylvania has experienced a widening gap between the wages earned by low-income and higher-income people over the last decade.

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Economy
11:46 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday

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The Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is no longer in limbo.  The day sandwiched by two shopping frenzies provoked by large retailers is now “Small Business Saturday.” It’s an effort created by the federal government’s Small Business Administration.

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Economy
8:37 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Pittsburgh Ranked Best City For Veterans

Pittsburgh continues its reign as the “Most Livable City” but this time for military veterans. The USAA, a company offering banking, investing and insurance to people and families that served or serve in the military, ranked Pittsburgh as the number one city for veterans based on affordability and job and education opportunities.

Scott Hollowell, a certified financial planner for the USAA, said Pittsburgh met all of the criteria to be the best.

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Economy
8:37 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Local Expert Predicts Ho-Hum Holiday for Retailers

A local marketing professor thinks national estimates for holiday sales are a bit inflated.  Duquesne University’s Audrey Guskey said while the National Retail Federation is looking for 4.1 percent growth over last year’s holiday sales, she is expecting a more modest 3.5 percent.

“With the economy being very tough we are going to see shoppers holding back a little bit and not spending as much,” said Guskey.  “So it will be a ho-hum holiday season.”

Some retailers made pre-Black Friday headlines by announcing they would begin their traditional sales Thursday evening.

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Economy
5:27 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Chance of Economic Growth in PA Dim

The state’s nonpartisan economic analysis agency says Pennsylvania’s standing for the next five years isn’t looking particularly good.

Pennsylvania’s agency for nonpartisan economic analysis sees low revenue growth and high deficits in the commonwealth’s future. 

The Independent Fiscal Office is projecting just a zero-point-eight percent growth rate in revenue for the next fiscal year.

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Economy
8:09 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Keeping Pittsburgh Warm and Fed on Thanksgiving

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Light of Life will serve Thanksgiving dinner at its North Side mission on E. North Avenue Thursday from 1-6p.m.  to anyone in the community who wants to have a meal and will deliver meals to the elderly and disabled at 13 high rises in Pittsburgh.

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Economy
5:30 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Marcellus Drilling: Economic Boost vs Environmental Threat

More than 70% of tri-state area citizens see Marcellus Shale drilling as a chance to give the local economy a boost, but eight in ten residents believe drilling poses at least a slight threat to the environment and public health.

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Economy
5:37 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Turkey Dinner for the Underprivledged

Pittsburghers have been donating food and cash since October to help Urban Impact, Light of Life, and Circle of Hope ministries distribute unprepared food items to 170 local needy families and their effort culminated a busy volunteer effort Monday.  Laundry baskets overflowing with turkey, stuffing, pies, mashed potatoes and canned goods were put together and distributed by volunteers who aim to feed those who would otherwise not be fortunate enough to feast on a Thanksgiving dinner this year.

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Economy
8:26 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Unemployment Agency: $300 million Hard to Track

Limited employer engagement, failure to identify and share best practices, and programs operating below capacity are only a few factors causing problems for those trying to help the unemployed in southwestern Pennsylvania.  The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (WIB) is conducting a survey of agencies that help the unemployed and will use the results to create a framework for Allegheny County.

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Economy
1:39 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

PA Jobless Breaks Rising Streak as Payrolls Grow

Pennsylvania's jobless rate is down for the first time in six months as employers expanded their payrolls slightly in October.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.2 percent, as both overall employment and the number of people working or seeking work grew.

The national unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.

Pennsylvania's jobless rate had begun rising again after it dropped back to 7.4 percent from the recessionary peak of 8.7 percent in 2010.

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Economy
4:06 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Cardboard City To Highlight Homelessness

While Rome wasn’t built in a day, this cardboard city will be built and taken down in one.

Beginning at 6 p.m. today and ending at 6 a.m. Saturday, Somerset County will be home to this cardboard city, which will be located at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Somerset.

Roofs Over Our Families (R.O.O.F) will host the event as part of a series of activities for National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

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