Economy & Business

90.5 WESA explores the regional economy, as well as covering the issues that ordinary Pittsburghers face in their working lives.

Heather Ainsworth / AP

Pennsylvania regulators aren't predicting when sports betting will begin legally in the state now that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The ornate, four-story building at 413-415 Wood Street is abuzz with the sounds of construction. Landmarks Development Corporation is restoring the space to make way for fashion boutique Peter Lawrence this summer.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Greater Pittsburgh was host to nearly 12 million overnight trips in 2016, according to new data from the Pennsylvania State Tourism Office

Small Businesses Grapple With Maze Of Conflicting Pot Laws

May 3, 2018
Ted S. Warren / AP

A low unemployment rate and the spreading legalization of marijuana have led many businesses to rethink their drug testing policies for the first time in decades.

Charles Krupa / AP

Six online fantasy sports game operators are now offering wagers that are regulated and taxed by Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Tuesday that regulation began over the weekend of games operated by six companies that filed applications to the agency.

The gaming board was charged with regulating the growing business in last October's law that also expanded casino-style gambling in Pennsylvania.

Loren Elliot / AP

In less than a month, the U.S. Department of Commerce will make a decision on whether or not they will be excluding certain American companies from the effects of the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs. Some Pittsburgh-area businesses are hoping to get on the list.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Stakeholders heralded transparency, sustainable development and potential plans for rapid city growth at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center this week as part of the 4th annual P4 Conference. The event came as city leaders continue to balk at sharing their Amazon HQ2 proposal.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration went to court this week to block requests for records of financial incentives it offered Amazon to build its second headquarters in Pennsylvania.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Sales associate Dale Benner adjusted his stance, peering through two layers of reinforced glass. Less than 10 yards ahead, a soft “pop pop” barely registered over the low hum of classic rock piped overhead.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Amazon, one of the world’s most successful businesses, started out as an online bookseller. But an effort to lure its second corporate headquarters--and 50,000 jobs--to Pittsburgh has not exactly been an open book.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Trump appointee Linda McMahon made stops in the midstate Tuesday to promote efforts the Small Business Administration is making to pump money to business owners.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Forty-five percent of the owners of Pennsylvania's small to mid-sized businesses are optimistic about the future of their companies, according to the latest PNC Economic Outlook survey. 

Rob Long / Provided Photo

A Pittsburgh nonprofit known for its small grants to grassroots organizations will shut its doors in June.

The Sprout Fund will spend its last several weeks as an organization awarding small “legacy” grants similar to the small seed grants that were the basis of the organization.

The Sprout Fund found success by giving modest monetary awards to early-stage community projects. The idea was to close the gap between the grassroots idea and the complicated process of landing a grant from a large foundation.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council's public hearing on a controversial rental permit program was filled with opposition from area landlords.

Matt Slocum / AP

Several truck driving groups have filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the state Department of Transportation over toll increases.

The lawsuit filed Thursday claims the increases violate federal commerce law and hinder a citizen's constitutional right to travel. The group says money collected from tolls is being used on projects unrelated to the Turnpike System.

Tariffs Lift Hopes For Jobs In American Mill Towns

Mar 14, 2018
Mark Duncan / AP

In the heart of America's diminished steel country, support for President Donald Trump's tariffs on imports is broad and bipartisan. It is tempered, though, by a strong streak of realism.

Scott Dalton / AP

Dick's Sporting Goods on Tuesday reported disappointing holiday sales numbers in part due to weak demand for one-time hot brands like Under Armour.

The company's CEO also said recent changes to its firearm policies, ending the sale of guns to anyone under 21, will hurt future sales and may cause fewer shoppers to come to its stores.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Starting April 1, Amazon will start collecting sales tax on all purchases made by customers from Pennsylvania.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate remained stable in January, even as employment and payrolls crept down slightly.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Fears of a trade war were among the reactions to President Trump’s signing Thursday of a proclamation ordering new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. 

Richard Drew / AP

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Wednesday that Amazon leaders had not yet requested a formal visit to the city.

An Amazon spokesperson said Wednesday that the company is working with each of remaining 20 cities to “dive deeper on their proposals and share additional information about the company’s plans.”

The spokesperson confirmed that Amazon would visit each location.

On a recent sunny afternoon at a solar farm outside Philadelphia, Pa., commercial drone pilots Tony Zimlich and Gunner Goldie are preparing for flight.

Dressed in hard hats and matching yellow vests, they run through a series of safety and equipment checks, and survey the surrounding terrain and airspace, before picking up what looks like a pair of oversized video game controllers. Then, with a streak of beeps and whirs, their drone — about the size of a milk crate — rises steadily into the sky above.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A report released Wednesday claims the wages Giant Eagle pays employees leave thousands in poverty and dependent on public assistance.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Dick's Sporting Goods will immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21, according to CEO Edward Stack.

The announcement from the nationwide store chain came as students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, returned to class for the first time since a teenager killed 17 students and educators with an AR-15 rifle two weeks ago.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Friday is the deadline for city leaders to either comply with or appeal to the Court of Common Pleas an order from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records to reveal details of its application to have Amazon establish its second headquarters in Pittsburgh. 

Richard Drew / AP

Amazon has announced plans to create another 125 technology jobs in Pittsburgh, more than doubling its current tech workforce in the city.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

An Australian investment firm has acquired The Mall at Robinson, one of the larger retail venues in the Pittsburgh area.

Cleveland-based Forest City Realty Trust said Monday that it had completed the previously announced sale of its interest in the mall to QIC.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. QIC already had an ownership stake in the mall, which Allegheny County recently reassessed at $89 million.

90.5 WESA

Last month, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records ordered the City of Pittsburgh to release its bid to become Amazon's second headquarters.

Mayor Bill Peduto said at the time he'd fight the ruling, even if it meant going to court. 

Ronald Woan / Flickr

According to a CNN report from last summer, 44 million Americans make money outside their regular job with a "side hustle." Carnegie Library's new Side Hustle lecture series, which launches this week, will highlight different options for joining the gig economy each week.

Mini-Casino Headed For Lawrence County, Along Ohio Border

Feb 8, 2018
Julie Jacobson / AP, file

The family that owns northeastern Pennsylvania's Mount Airy Casino Resort won the rights Thursday to build a mini-casino on the opposite side of the state along the Ohio border, an area that has tried for years to land a casino project.

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