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Huge Atlantic City Casino Shuts Down NPR
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As large-market casinos fold ‘em, how are local casinos holding up?

When the first slot machines hit Michigan a couple of decades ago in a small tribal casino, the notion of spinning the wheels was enough of an unheard-of novelty that my mother and I drove two and a half  hours to the central part of the state, for the pleasure of pumping our dimes and quarters into […]

Tim Horton's coffee cups and Burger King bag
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Burger King bid for coffee shops puts fast food evolution in the spotlight

Wall Street gobbled up shares of fast-food monarch Burger King on Monday, following word that the 60-year-old chain might be headquartering north following the acquisition of the Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnut shops. Both chains enjoyed double-digit stock price hikes, with investors licking their chops over the favorable tax situation Burger King would enjoy as […]

Labor Day activities boating
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Chronicle the changing nature of jobs for a fresh take on Labor Day

With Labor Day only a week away, you may be pondering ways to commemorate the holiday, which was first observed in September 1882 in New York City, according to an account on the U.S. Department of Labor website. In the ensuing 132 years, the ebb and flow of the organized labor / collective bargaining movements […]

Ongoing Ferguson strife highlights economic, business concerns elsewhere
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Ongoing Ferguson strife highlights economic, business concerns elsewhere

The ongoing civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., sparked by the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown, seems a bit of a stretch as a premise for business coverage. But with no end in sight to the confrontations and headlines – especially in light of another shooting on Tuesday in the St. Louis area – and […]

Businesses beyond retail chalk up back-to-school sales
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Businesses beyond retail chalk up back-to-school sales

It’s axiomatic that back-to-school season is good business for apparel and footwear sellers, purveyors of pencils and gadget suppliers. But for an interesting twist on the standard end-of-summer stories, how about a look at other businesses that benefit from back-to-school, including unexpected sectors like lice salons and bars.  Services that reflect the realities of hectic […]

divorce cake with bride on top
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Retailers delight as people throw showers for all occasions

Oh, the weather outside may be delightful, but to some the forecast is frightful:  Never-ending showers. The gift-giving type, that is.  Rites of passages of all sorts are nowadays being coopted by retailers and marketers as the ideal occasions for showers involving lots of presents and even registries. From college students to first-time grannies to […]

Minnesota State Fair ferris wheel in sunset
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Quirky business features: Carnies, damsels, scams and beer

It’s been a month or so since the last edition of Quicktips and those scraps of paper are piling up again in my notebook. From the sober to the silly, here are a few story nuggets you may want to add to your near-term lineup: State Fairs.  How did that sneak up?  Summer 2014 is […]

Tony Steward sponsors
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Racetrack accident highlights pros and cons for corporate sports sponsors

It’s been a rough stretch for corporate sponsors of sporting events, who’ve had to react to public relations fiascos ranging from Lance Armstrong’s drugging revelations to the racist remarks by the soon-t0-be former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  Now, a motorsports incident over the weekend has set the stage for another dilemma for corporate underwriters […]

BEA Personal Consumption Chart
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August is the month for getting thrifty, counting resales

Over the weekend a neighbor hefted a brightly-colored plastic outdoor play set and proudly noted that it had been a bargain purchase at a local thrift shop, just in time for another visit by the grandkids. Wow, I thought, what an illustration of the timid consumer spending that – despite an uptick in June, as […]