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Cleveland: General Business & Economic News

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I'm not sure if this is the appropriate thread, or if there's another one, so mods please move if this isn't it, but things are definitely starting to get worse in my corner of the world related to local businesses and the economy.

 

The indie grocery I went out of my way to visit (and tried hard to get others to visit) closed last week (Rego's in Westlake).

 

Last week my company laid people off; while I'd rather not post the name here you probably saw stories about it in the PD, it's a corporate law firm.  I was lucky to miss the axe on that but there "may" be more layoffs later in the year.  One person from my dept was cut, she is also pregnant and is due in less than a month - she was in our Cincy office.

 

Yesterday my husband's company announced internally that in addition to pay freeze for 09, everyone is being forced to take a 10% pay cut by way of a certain # of mandatory unpaid days they must take off between now and end of June (when their fiscal year ends).  They had layoffs maybe 1 month ago and there are more layoffs coming in the next 1-2 weeks.  If/when a story comes out about it I'm sure someone will post it here but I'd rather not post it in the thread since it's not public news.  We are pretty nervous that mr. rockandroller will be cut in the next round, taking his department down to 1 person from 3 (1 was cut in the last round) and leaving basically only the boss to do all the work.  While we do have an "emergency" plan in place if one of us loses our jobs, and we would be ok for a few months, if we *both* lose our jobs *and* have a new baby and me stuck recovering from a C section and unable to work for 2 months straight, it could easily and quickly turn into one of those stories you hear about where people go from doing ok and within 6 months they are completely screwed with no place to go.  This is scary.

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First Energy is also laying off a bunch of people, even though they recorded record profits last year.  In their defense, their 4Q earnings were low.

 

However, I really wonder how much longer people are going to accept guys like Alexander living in mansions, giving his sons black cards, etc, while those making $40k are getting laid off.  Sorry, it annoys me.

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"The developer went so far as to suggest that the inability of public officials to unite to make quick decisions has been hampering real estate development in Cleveland for a long time."

 

I know many on here insist that Cleveland is no different than any where else but there a handful of people that I know here in DC that had worked for the city of Cleveland or in some development capacity there that certainly got fed up and had to leave.  They really love Cleveland but the city kept shooting themselves in the foot and never seemed to learn their lesson no matter how much they lost.  Ive heard many interesting stories! 

 

I've experienced some of these issues too.  I don't want to get into specifics.  But there is a leadership problem here, big time.  When they keep coming from basically the same pool, due to the party-machine apparatus, it's fair to judge them on their long-term results... which are singularly awful.  If this community leadership here were an NFL team, it would be time to "blow it up" and start over with new blood. 

 

To go along this idea, my friend, who has already opened up a bar in downtown Akron, is opening a bar on W.6th.  He said the difference is like night and day when it came to getting the necessary permits, inspections, etc. 

 

This makes me believe it's not just on big-scale projects, but also smaller ones. 

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How did you do that?  How did you quote from one thread into another?

 

It doesn't take much first hand experience or inside knowledge to discover just how bad it is.  But it's real bad.  Some of the things I know I'm not able to disclose.  Half the people in charge here need to be dragged onto public square and spanked.  It's just tragic to think of all the lost potential, and how far we've fallen behind.

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"The developer went so far as to suggest that the inability of public officials to unite to make quick decisions has been hampering real estate development in Cleveland for a long time."

 

 

I know many on here insist that Cleveland is no different than any where else but there a handful of people that I know here in DC that had worked for the city of Cleveland or in some development capacity there that certainly got fed up and had to leave. They really love Cleveland but the city kept shooting themselves in the foot and never seemed to learn their lesson no matter how much they lost. Ive heard many interesting stories!

 

I've experienced some of these issues too. I don't want to get into specifics. But there is a leadership problem here, big time.   When they keep coming from basically the same pool, due to the party-machine apparatus, it's fair to judge them on their long-term results... which are singularly awful. If this community leadership here were an NFL team, it would be time to "blow it up" and start over with new blood.

 

To go along this idea, my friend, who has already opened up a bar in downtown Akron, is opening a bar on W.6th. He said the difference is like night and day when it came to getting the necessary permits, inspections, etc.

 

This makes me believe it's not just on big-scale projects, but also smaller ones.

 

Eventually the city develops a reputation for this.  There are many national developers etc., that wouldnt set foot in Cleveland after their negative experiences. 

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I quoted it into the box from the other thread, then copied and pasted it below. 

 

Any numbers on how the restaurants did during Restarurant Week?  I did my share in contributing.

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How did you do that? How did you quote from one thread into another?

 

It doesn't take much first hand experience or inside knowledge to discover just how bad it is. But it's real bad. Some of the things I know I'm not able to disclose. Half the people in charge here need to be dragged onto public square and spanked. It's just tragic to think of all the lost potential, and how far we've fallen behind.

 

I agree.

 

It's not only the leadership's fault, but it's the leadership's responsibility to have a vision and to move the city FORWARD. Cleveland has so many incredible amenities that it boggles my mind .. there is absolutely no reason for it to stagnate whatsoever. And yet it does .. because there's no PROGRESS .. there's no LOOKING FORWARD.

 

I honestly think that leadership in Cleveland needs to come from a new, fresh set of eyes .. almost an outsider. Someone who isn't tainted .. I guess that would take a group of people, really.

 

Exactly, it often takes an outsider to see these things since the locals are just used to it.  (Thus MMP surprise when dealing in this area)

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Some good news that hopefully could lead to more good news down the road.

 

SME, a European business group, opens office in Cleveland to seek new markets

Posted by Tom Breckenridge/Plain Dealer Reporter March 04, 2009 16:30PM

Categories: Economic development, Real Time News

A European business group seeking new markets has opened its first U.S. office in downtown Cleveland.

 

The Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Union now operates out of the Greater Cleveland Partnership offices off Public Square.

 

T

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2009/03/sme_a_european_business_group.html

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That is freaking awesome news.  I loved the first comment beneath the article, too. :clap: :clap:

 

COMMENTS (5)Post a comment

Posted by johnny216 on 03/04/09 at 4:55PM

For the love of pete, Plain Dealer, make this a front page type story tomorrow. I know it's posted online at 4:30 PM, but please scream this at the top of your lungs in tomorrow's paper. I don't even care if there's only 1 employee right now & they're living rent free in a corner of the Growth Assn's offices... shout it from the mountain tops! People need to believe that this can indeed be a place to COME TO, as opposed to a palce to BE FROM. Spread the word!

 

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How is this not in the paper?

 

See the thread regarding the discussion of local news/media in Cleveland (i.e., the PD is awful).

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This is in response to a posting in another thread that the Triangle Development at Euclid and Mayfield may soon be announced in some form. The poster noted that University Circle's economy is proving resilient in this downturn. My reaction...

 

I'm looking at helping a friend from Belarus come to America. She's a doctor and unsure if she will find a job here with the world economy in the toilet. I keep trying to reassure her that health care jobs are still available. I've shown her how dominant health care is in Cleveland's economy, that the Cleveland Clinic is one of the largest health care systems in the nation and perhaps the world, and that they have jobs. They are but one piece (albeit a big one) in our health care economy.

 

The last time I checked, the Cleveland Clinic had 500 open jobs on its web site, and there were more than 1,000 available in Northeast Ohio's overall health care field. Some may be old jobs that were already filled and not taken off the site, but certainly health care is a sector that's riding out this economy better than just about any other sector.

 

Now, getting her into the country is another matter, and for another thread.....


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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AT&T to order 8,000 eco-friendly vans from Ford's Avon Lake plant

 

Posted by Robert Schoenberger/Plain Dealer Reporter March 11, 2009 12:40PM

Categories: Autos, Economy, Environment, Manufacturing, Real Time News

 

An E-Series van from Ford Motor Co.'s Avon Lake plant sits on an AT&T service lot. AT&T plans to buy 8,000 Ford vans over the next five years and convert them to run on natural gas.

CLEVELAND -- AT&T plans to spend $350 million over the next five years to buy 8,000 vans made at Ford Motor Co.'s Avon Lake plant and convert them to run on natural gas.

 

continued at>>>>>>

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2009/03/att_to_order_8000_ecofriendly.html

 

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While the Pee Dee is busy talking about the Med Mart.....

 

http://www.newsnet5.com/entertainment/18949001/detail.html

 

CLEVELAND -- A New York City-based independent film and television production company announced plans to bring a film studio to downtown Cleveland.

 

Nehst Studios and the city of Cleveland agreed on a one-year, rent-free lease with an option to renew at the Cleveland Convention Center.

 

The signed lease is the result of two years of talks between Nehst and the city.

 

The goal is to create a first-rate movie production studio that can serve Cleveland and the rest of the region. It will produce films spanning numerous genres, including documentaries, Web series, television and feature films.

 

Pending approval of a tax credit bill before the Ohio Legislature, Nehst will begin producing films at the Convention Center.

 

The initial investment of up to $80 million in film production will fund 8 to 15 films during the next two years, with each film crew employing at least 100 to 200 people, according to Nehst.

 

The economic benefit across multiple industries is expected to yield a multiplier effect of $120 to $165 million.

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^Sooooo...how does this work if the Convention Center is being rebuilt?

 

Well, if they start their one year lease now, they probably won't have to worry about that, lol.  In all seriousness, though, I was wondering the same thing.

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^Sooooo...how does this work if the Convention Center is being rebuilt? 

 

Well, if they start their one year lease now, they probably won't have to worry about that, lol.  In all seriousness, though, I was wondering the same thing.

 

I spoke with Ken Silliman, the mayor's chief of staff, about this very topic several weeks ago.

 

The short answer is that Nehst is well aware that once its year-long lease expires, the Convention Center might be in the midst of major renovations to accommodate the medical mart project. The lease is for a year, and if the med mart is set for the Mall site at that time, Nehst can either stay until construction schedules force it out or begin looking for new space. Silliman said there are options; "that will be a very happy problem for us to solve."

 

Henry Gomez, Plain Dealer City Hall reporter

www.cleveland.com/cityhall

 

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Lease signed to create film studio and soundstage in Cleveland Convention Center

by Julie E. Washington/Plain Dealer Reporter

Tuesday March 17, 2009, 4:30 PM

Plain Dealer FileNew York-based Nehst Studios has a one-year, rent-free lease with an option to renew to create a 17,000-square-foot studio and soundstage in the Cleveland Convention Center.

 

CLEVELAND -- New York-based Nehst Studios, confident that Ohio will pass tax incentives for film productions soon, is getting ready to start shooting two family films in Cleveland. Nehst Studios has signed a lease with the city of Cleveland that will allow the company to create a permanent Hollywood-caliber film studio in the Cleveland Convention Center, said Nehst founder Larry Meistrich.

 

More at

http://www.cleveland.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/03/lease_signed_to_create_film_st.html

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Shooters To Hire 300 People

 

POSTED: 11:58 am EDT March 26, 2009

UPDATED: 12:14 pm EDT March 26, 2009

 

CLEVELAND -- A West Bank of the Flats entertainment complex announced Thursday it will hire 300 people.

 

The positions will be full and part time for the Shooters and Silk Nightclub.

 

The job fair will be Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1.

 

Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted beginning at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/19019914/detail.html

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prolly not good news for FEB, let's hope they can recover.

 

S&P cuts Developers Diversified rating to junk status

Posted by Michelle Jarboe/Plain Dealer Reporter April 02, 2009 15:18PM

Categories: Breaking News, Real Estate News Impact, Real Time News, Real estate

 

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its corporate credit rating for Developers Diversified Realty Corp. to junk status, based on concerns about the company's high debt load and limited access to cash.

 

Developers Diversified, a shopping center owner based in Beachwood, has experienced a flurry of ratings cuts recently. Thursday afternoon, S&P announced it had cut the company's corporate credit rating from "BBB-" to "BB" -- tipping Developers Diversified from a low investment-grade rating firmly into junk status. S&P also lowered its ratings on the company's unsecured debt, from "BBB-" to "BB+", and docked the company's preferred stock, taking it from an already-low rating of "BB" down to "B."

 

continued at>>>>>>

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2009/04/sp_cuts_developers_diversified.html

 

 

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^ So, did they at least finish grading it?  Any sewer work?  Looks like the site is basically ready to go.  So there's an asset, which could be driven up in a hurry by the medical mart.

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As we all know...but it is still nice to be reminded

 

 

Cleveland poised to cash in on Cavs playoff run

Posted By:      Updated: 4/16/2009 10:07:27 AM  Posted: 4/15/2009 5:28:48 PM

 

CLEVELAND -- The city, fresh off the heels of the Rock Hall Induction Ceremony, is about to get another jolt of publicity and cash.

 

"Every single game generates about $3.7 million in direct spending by fans attending the game," says Tami Brown ,of Positively Cleveland, the region's Convention and Visitors Bureau.   

 

"Millions more is generated by fans going out to bars and restaurants around the city."   

 

When the playoffs are involved, those numbers skyrocket.   

 

"We are hoping for a deep playoff run, and look most forward to the fans attending the conference finals," says Dennis Fischer, the manager of The Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Cleveland.   

 

Those attending conference finals games are more likely to be out-of-towners, willing to stay in hotels, pay the big ticket prices and purchase the playoff merchandise.   

 

In this down economy, LeBron and company have provided ticket brokers a horse worth riding.   

 

"The Cavs are the main thing right now," says ticket broker Scott Merk. "It's like printing money, as of right now."   

 

Channel 3 found tickets for the first round for as low as $27.     

 

The deeper the Cavs go, the higher the ticket price and the better the exposure for Cleveland.   

 

"That kind of visibility for city is priceless," Brown says. 

 

http://www.wkyc.com/news/local/news_article.aspx?storyid=111644&catid=3

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Even the first round should be real good in terms of spinoff, because Detroit fans will show up in droves.

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Even the first round should be real good in terms of spinoff, because Detroit fans will show up in droves.

 

Make sure you've had your shots, God knows where those D'twat people have been or what diseases they may be carrying!!  :evil:

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Cleveland neighborhood entrepreneurs feed informal economy

by Olivera Perkins/Plain Dealer Reporter

Saturday April 25, 2009, 3:31 PM

 

 

CLEVELAND -- When Zainab Rahman needed money, she turned her front porch into a take-out restaurant.

 

As soon as she fired up the deep fryer, lines began forming for catfish and tilapia dinners. Rahman's Polish Boy sandwich specials made her improvised restaurant a required stop on the walk home from school. The jumbo croissants she sold for less than $4 a dozen made her popular among bargain hunters in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood.

 

More at http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2009/04/cleveland_neighborhood_entrepr.html

 

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I agree with the idea of helping these people become legal entrepreneurs. Fining them and shutting them down because they're violating codes or laws isn't necessarily helpful to the local economy, either. Instead, more needs to be done to encourage these people and help become legitimate businesses. I hope that happens.

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Some good news that hopefully could lead to more good news down the road.

 

SME, a European business group, opens office in Cleveland to seek new markets

Posted by Tom Breckenridge/Plain Dealer Reporter March 04, 2009 16:30PM

Categories: Economic development, Real Time News

A European business group seeking new markets has opened its first U.S. office in downtown Cleveland.

 

The Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Union now operates out of the Greater Cleveland Partnership offices off Public Square.

 

The SME Union, as it's known, has access to millions of small- to mid-sized companies across 38 countries, officials say.

 

 

"We understand Cleveland and the region has a lot of opportunities to offer European countries as an international hub," said Bulgarian businessman Dimitar Ivanov, who directs the office.

 

...

 

But a lakeside port and well-developed industry were among attributes SME Union liked about Greater Cleveland, Ivanov said.

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2009/03/sme_a_european_business_group.html

 

I haven't heard any new news about this great development.  Has anyone else heard anything?

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Maybe someone can contact Dimitar Ivanov for more info, who it says "directs the office." 

 

I'm searching right now for some contact info....no luck

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So far, just a more in depth article...

 

http://www.gcpartnership.com/News.aspx?id=3192

 

European business group to locate U.S. office in Cleveland

 

Effort to encourage business growth between Europe, northeast Ohio to be announced at GCP Annual Meeting

 

Cleveland, Ohio - March 4, 2009 - A business organization with operations in 34 European nations will locate its U.S. office in Cleveland.

 

The Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Union ("SME Union") was established in 1996 to promote growth of businesses in Europe. The U.S. office of this umbrella business organization will be located in the Greater Cleveland Partnership's (GCP) offices in the Higbee Building in downtown Cleveland.

 

The announcement will be made at tomorrow's annual meeting of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) by Board Chairman Henry L. Meyer III and Nadezhda Mihaylova, vice president of the SME Union and deputy speaker of the Bulgarian National Assembly. The meeting will be held Thursday, March 5, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Hanna Theatre, 2067 E. 14th Street.

 

"The goal of the new venture is to establish new ties between small- to mid-sized companies in Europe and the U.S. that expand international trade and market opportunities in both places," Meyer said. "Having this office in Cleveland will give us another pin on the global map to strengthen the competitiveness of local companies and industries involved in trade and commerce." 

 

This new U.S. office for SME Union will be directed by Dimitar Ivanov, who is from Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

The SME Union, an umbrella business organization affiliated with the majority political party coalition in the European Parliament that includes representation from the 38 European countries. The SME Union works with all the governments and chambers of commerce in Europe to help small and mid-sized companies grow. Through its connections, the SME Union has access to almost 20 million small to mid-sized businesses across the 38 countries.

 

The SME Union's operation in Cleveland will be advised by a group representing Northeast Ohio organizations involved with international trade and development including the Port of Cleveland, the State of Ohio Department of Development, the Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium (NEOTEC), the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET), the City of Cleveland, the GCP and others. The new partnership was brokered by The Cleveland Foundation, specifically by Jorge Delgado, the Foundation's director of International Affairs.

 

Ms. Mihaylova said that she was impressed with the Cleveland region's commitment to build stronger ties with Europe when she met with representatives from the region, including Mayor Jackson, other City officials, and Team NEO representatives in Brussels several months ago.  She added that addressing the economic difficulties presently confronting the U.S. and Europe requires the new kinds of collaboration such as that demonstrated in the SME Union's decision to open its U.S. office in Cleveland.

 

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the location of the group's office here reflects his administration's insistence that Cleveland push hard to further integrate itself into the international world of trade and business.

 

"Cleveland has a unique set of assets that businesses can benefit from by locating here.  My trade missions last year, were entirely about making sure the global marketplace understands what we have to offer and how we both can benefit," Mayor Jackson said. "When we met with SME leadership back in December we were able to demonstrate how and why Cleveland is the perfect location to establish new ties and expand international trade opportunities. I would like to thank the Greater Cleveland Partnership for hosting their office."

 

Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of The Cleveland Foundation, added "The Cleveland Foundation is pleased to support this new partnership between the GCP and the SME Union. Adding that, deeper international ties like this are critical to Cleveland's future. Expanding global commerce is an important way to increase our city's ability to generate jobs and investment."

 

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Worst Cities for Jobs

By Joel Kotkin, Forbes.com

May 1st, 2009

 

The Sun Belt just might recover, but employment prospects look grim in Michigan, Ohio and California.

One of the saddest tasks in the annual survey of the best places to do business I conduct with Pepperdine University's Michael Shires is examining the cities at the bottom of the list. Yet even in these nether regions there exists considerable diversity: Some places are likely to come back soon, while others have little immediate hope of moving up.

 

...

 

See http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/worst-cities-for-jobs.html;_ylc=X3oDMTFpNWtldTZkBF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEX3MDOTc2MjA0NjUEc2VjA2ZwLXRvZGF5BHNsawN3b3JzdC1qb2Jz

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