Rebecca Harris

Essential Pittsburgh
4:04 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Take A Trip To Canada, In Downtown Pittsburgh

This maple syrup poster is just one of the many Canada-themed images on display at Pop Up Canada on Smithfield Street.
Credit Marnie Schleicher / 90.5WESA

This week our neighbors to the north – Canada - will be celebrated in Pittsburgh via a temporary Canadian consulate. Canada is Pennsylvania’s largest trading partner and export market, receiving 30 percent of the state’s foreign-bound goods. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the state’s business connections to Canada.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:33 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Corporate April Fool's Jokes Going Viral

Cheetos perfume, Taco Bell purchasing the Liberty Bell and American Beagle dogwear.

They’re all examples of corporations getting into to spirit of April Fool's. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of April Fools. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:33 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

How Pittsburgh Organizations Are Bringing Hollywood To The Steel City

"The Dark Knight Rises" was filmed in downtown Pittsburgh during the summer of 2012.
Credit Kyle Huff / flickr

From film festivals, to movies and TV shows, Pittsburgh has become one of Hollywood's leading locations for motion picture and television production.

This week contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the business of filmmaking in the Steel City.

Pittsburgh has a variety of organizations that help bring Hollywood the the city, which are listed below. These organizations work with different groups and people in the community to make it possible for films and television shows to come to life in Pittsburgh.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:31 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The Business of French Products

Macarons come in a rainbow of colors and can be just about any flavor imaginable.
Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Multi-coloured_macarons,_September_2010.jpg

This week, contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the connection French businesses and products have to our commercial sector.

France is the sixth largest foreign investor in the Pittsburgh region, with 27 French-owned companies that operate about 50 establishments in the area.

Here are some Pittsburgh businesses with a French connection:

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:16 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

The Business of Gluten Free

Rebecca Harris and Paul Guggenheimer
Credit Gregory Kallenberg

One of the newest food trends in recent years is an increase in gluten-free products. From grocers' shelves to bakeries, you're finding them everywhere. Contributor Rebecca Harris looks at gluten free products in this week's business segment.

The market for gluten-free is growing, and it took second place in Time Magazine’s top ten food trends in 2012.

The Girl Scouts have introduced a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, and many people are just avoiding gluten in general.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

The Good & The Bad for Businesses in the Winter

Credit Marcus Eubanks / flickr

With the abundance of cold weather, there has been no shortage of news stories about the climate, energy issues and snow-related complications.

But in addition to an increase in coverage by media outlets, many businesses that sell winter items and services are seeing a big boom in revenue. While others may see a decrease in earnings as a result of the unsettling weather.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris divides the good from the bad and shares the implications of a long winter.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:57 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Candies and Flowers and Cards--Oh My!

Credit Selena N.B.H / flickr

Shopping bags will overflow with candy, cards, flowers and jewelry this Friday as Valentine’s Day approaches.

The holiday was originally associated with traditional romantic love in the Middle Ages, but became commercial in the early 18th century when lovers began giving gifts and making each other cards.

Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, shares some of the numbers that will be seen this Friday. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

The Business of the Winter Olympics

Credit http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/2009/12/does-sochis-olympic-logo-work/

The 2014 Winter Olympics open this Friday. While they are taking place a world away, how will they impact local businesses? We posed that question to our contributor Rebecca Harris.

There are seven Pittsburgh Penguins headed to  the Olympics, along with bobsledder Lauryn Williams and a local Pittsburgh nurse going to provide medical care, so Pittsburgh will be well represented in Sochi.

While airlines and travel agents are booking low numbers of trips to Sochi, local advertising sales are up because of the large amount of TV viewing and streaming that NBC will be offering during the games.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:29 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Super Bowl Viewers to Order 1.23 Billion Chicken Wings

MetLife Stadium prepares for Super Bowl XLVIII
Credit Anthony Quintano / flickr

While the beloved Steelers won’t be playing in this year’s Super Bowl, residents of the City of Champions still enjoy watching the annual football game.

As one of the largest watched TV broadcasts each year, the economic impact of the football game reaches all facets of the tradition.

Super Bowl revenue includes everything from commercial payments to transportation and restaurant packages. This year the game will be played on February 2nd at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Rebecca Harris, business contributor and Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University explains that this game will be a first for shared hosting by New Jersey and New York, as well as the first time the game will be played outdoors in cold weather conditions.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:16 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Why Today is a Good Day to Buy a Convertible

Credit David Defoe / Flickr

One thing you couldn’t escape during the holiday season were year end close out deals enticing you to purchase a new car. But, when is the best time to buy a new car?

Should you buy American or foreign, new or used? This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of car buying. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The Business and Popularity of Knitting

Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Whether its mittens, afghans or sweaters, knitting has made a comeback in recent years. Young and old are spinning yarns and contributor Rebecca Harris, has been looking at the business of knitting.

She finds that while many think of knitting as something for the old, an increasing number of young people are taking the time to learn to spin yarn as a means of building communities.

Many of the stores that sell yarn and supplies have a large part in this trend. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:47 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

The Business of Outdoor Winter Recreation

Business contributor Rebecca Harris and Host Paul Guggenheimer brave the cold outside our studios.
Credit Marcus Charleston

Now that the holidays are over there are plenty of long gray days ahead.

Rather than give in to cabin fever, strap on some skis or snowshoes, get outdoors and enjoy the white stuff!

Business contributor Rebecca Harris has been looking at the business of winter recreation and shares some interesting info about the profitability of the ski industry, how resorts are focusing on sustainability, and some local ideas for a snow day.

Economy & Business
4:09 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Namaste and the Business of Yoga in Pittsburgh

An outdoor yoga class in Grandview Park
Credit BYS yoga studio / Facebook

From the downward sun salutation, to the archer, yoga enthusiasts are striking poses across the country. And yoga studios are springing up everywhere.

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, the classic techniques of yoga date back more than 5 thousand years, and come from a desire to develop greater personal freedom, health, and self understanding.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:44 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Rebecca Harris Travels to Washington With a Focus on Small Business

The White House Business Council hosts roundtables throughout the year to get input from the business community at-large.
Credit Chris Wieland / Flickr

The bad weather currently blanketing the northeast did not keep our intrepid business contributor, Rebecca Harris from making it to the nation's capital Monday.  She sat on a business roundtable at the White House which focused on the government's interest in local businesses. 

Harris received the invitation from Sam Brown, Director of the White House Business Council, a part of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:06 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Millennials Driving the Business of Tattoos

Over one-third of all Millennials have at least one tattoo.
Credit Kenzie Saunders / Flickr

Tattoos were once the domain of sailors and bad guys in movies and television. Over the past two decades the art of inking has increased.

Tattoo parlors are everywhere and they’ve achieved the ultimate pop culture status of reality shows devoted to the craft.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris says Millennials are driving the trend.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:35 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Millennials Return Home: The Business of the Boomerang

Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

As Thomas Wolfe famously stated, “You can’t go home again.” Yet millennials in Pittsburgh aren’t taking heed.

Along with Cleveland and Albuquerque, Pittsburgh was recently listed in an article by The Atlantic as a town luring back its townies.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris comments on this trend and how it can affect the city’s demographics and economy.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:36 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Trend Shows More Shelter Animals Find Homes

Credit Jerry Wong / flickr

Lost and stray animals are finding their way to better homes, according to a recent trend at animal shelters.

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, fewer pets are landing in animal shelters and the number of euthanized dogs and cats has decreased. What has emerged is a trend toward adopting these unwanted animals, instead of going to a pet shop or breeder.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:08 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

TV Program Shows How to START UP a Company

Gary Bredow hosts the new PBS show START UP, featuring entrepreneurs from around the country.
Credit START UP USA

Many Americans dream of owning their own business, but too often statistics and a fearful economy stop their progress- not Gary Bredow.

He started his own production company after quitting his desk job and he now hosts the public television program, START UP, where he talks with American entrepreneurs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:31 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Pittsburgh International Airport Has Steady Growth Without Being a Hub

Credit flickr user PIT Airport

While we're no longer a US Airways hub, the Allegheny County Airport Authority continues to bring new development and flight routes to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Through internal modifications and innovative marketing and promotional strategies, the Airport Authority has managed to maintain a positive impression and steady growth.

“Pittsburgh is always on the top of the list when airlines need to land or take off in an emergency…from hurricanes to blizzards,” says Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:40 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Temporary Art Installations Boost Economy

Rebecca Harris and her mother from St. Louis, Dr. Susan Uchitelle
Credit Rebecca Harris

Temporary art installations are all the rage—while they’re around. This past summer Pittsburgh has seen a host of exhibits including the “yarn-bombing” of the Andy Warhol Bridge and, of course, the Rubber Duck Project.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the economic impact of these visiting art projects.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:21 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Hauntrepreneurs Thrive in Halloween Season

Rebecca Harris and the crew of Essential Pittsburgh in Studio A
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Fear and fright have become big business.  Young “hauntreprenuers” thrive during the Halloween season by enticing thrill-seekers to commercial Haunted Houses and families to Halloween attractions

Business contributor Rebecca Harris says the Halloween attraction industry appeals to 18-34 year olds looking for a fright and the big corporation looking to grab the young market.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:09 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

The Business of Pharmacies Expand & Evolve

Pharmacies now offer more than prescriptions. They often have small medical centers and administer immunizations and flu shots.
Credit Assia R / flickr

No longer are pharmacies the corner soda shop drug stores of the past.

Modern pharmacies and drug store chains have expanded their role from prescription outlets to alternative venues for medical treatment.

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, many drug stores are going above and beyond their traditional roles by offering immunizations and flu shots for all ages throughout the year. She says because they deal with prescriptions daily, pharmacists often know more about the latest medical trends than doctors and can be a valuable partner for consumer health.

Essential Pittsburgh
3:52 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Hispanic Business Contribution in Pittsburgh

The IGA Market on Broadway in Beechview, is one of many businesses catering to the neighborhood's growing Hispanic population.
Credit Market on Broadway IGA / Facebook

As the Hispanic population in the Pittsburgh region grows, businesses touting authentic Latin food are flourishing.

These stores bring culture and exposure to the region, says business contributor Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University.

They’re also providing area grocery stores with Latin American and Mexican items to fill the ever-increasing demand. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:38 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

The Diet Industry is Big Business

People who have lost and kept off 30 lbs or more suggest working out for 150 minutes per week.
Credit Lululemon Athletica / flickr

As obesity rates rise in the United States, so too do the amount of citizens annually attempting to diet. Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, says studies show at any one time, America has an estimated 108 million people on diets.

She notes that most are women, most make four or five attempts per year to diet and an overwhelming majority are trying to lose weight by themselves, without a plan or program.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:23 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

The Business of Couponing

Guess which American company was the first one to adopt the coupon?
Credit The Coca Cola Company

Always one for quirky trivia, Essential Pittsburgh business contributor Rebecca Harris fills us in on the origins of the now ubiquitous coupon. Perhaps more intriguing, however, is the coupon’s future. Though 80-90% of the coupon market still lies in print, the online coupon market is exploding. This is especially true when it comes to smartphones, with the mobile market projected to be $46 billion by 2016. Harris says, the advent of personalized coupons means mass coupon printing is no longer necessary. “You don’t have to be a huge retailer,” she says, to enjoy the benefits of the mobile coupon craze.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:11 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fast Growing Occupations

Rebecca Harris discusses the 100 best jobs of 2013.
Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

When business contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the US News and World Report’s list of the top 100 best jobs for 2013, she noticed the effect that the aging baby boomers were having on the economy. The rapid rise of healthcare related jobs reflects this trend. Another important shift in the economy can be seen in the advent of the Chief Listening Officer position in some companies. She says this job’s rise to prominence shows that “before social media, business was really a one way communication...now when consumers talk, businesses have to listen.”

Essential Pittsburgh
3:39 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Digging Deeper Into the Business of Farmers Markets

Farmers markets provide a great place for local producers to test out their business ideas.
Credit Rhonda Schuldt / Local Goodness


For many, farmers markets are one of the wonderful diversions of the summer season, where practical shoppers and foodies alike can peruse the offerings of local farmers. They provide community, frugality and an opportunity to skip the supermarket. But what are the business benefits of participating in a farmers market?

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, the sellers in a farmers market get to see some clear benefits, one of which is the direct connection to their customers.

“It’s direct consumer marketing and the farmers get to decide on the pricing,” which helps them ensure they get fair pay for their hard labor.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:18 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Business of Ice Cream with Rebecca Harris

What's this year's frozen treat craze? Frozen Yogurt, a.k.a. Froyo.
Credit Flickr


In the world of “frozen dessert products,” ice cream is still king, reports business contributor Rebecca Harris. Though recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of numerous frozen treat fads, the U.S. still consumed more ice cream than anything else by a long shot. In 2012, 899 million gallons of the frozen treat were doled out in cones, cups, pints, and tubs, compared to 467 million gallons of low fat ice cream and only 74 million gallons of frozen yogurt.

If those numbers aren’t eye popping, think of it this way: the US market for ice cream has been more than $10 billion. And according to Harris, “It’s all about the tub. Well over half the US $12 billion in annual sales is served in pints or half gallons.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:13 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Business of the 4th of July

Fireworks are more than entertainment- they're big business on the fourth.
Credit Flickr

For most people, the fourth of July is the last day to think about business. However, there's big money to be made in the celebration of our nation's independence.

Essential Pittsburgh business contributor Rebecca Harris broke down the tremendous amounts of money Americans drop on what we've come to think of as necessities for this patriotic summer holiday. The sums are eye-popping.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:51 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

The Business of Landscaping with Rebecca Harris

A recent national survey showed 81 percent of people with a yard say the upkeep is important to the look of their home. This week it’s all about the curb appeal and joining us to talk about the business of landscaping and what it can do for your home is business contributor Rebecca Harris.

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