In a TIF: Chicagoans angry about obscure funding method

By Meredith Wilson Thanks to this year’s elections, Chicagoans looking for an explanation for the city’s financial woes are turning an eye towards an opaque form of municipal funding. TIF, or tax increment financing, has been vaulted into public consciousness as the city struggles to elect a mayor and find a solution to Chicago’s rising […]

Marketing, retail shifts pay off for DSW

By Meredith Wilson Profits for shoe and accessory retailer DSW Inc. rose 9.5 percent from the previous year’s quarter, and the stock price jumped 4 percent, due to successful reorganization of leadership, marketing and pricing, beating analysts’ expectations for the quarter.

Window washers on wheels do the dirty work

By Meredith Wilson Soon after launching their window washing business, Urban Street Window Works, Scott Baermann and his partner Ryan Hoban couldn’t find a place to park their van to do a job. “Man, we should really do this on bikes,” Scott said to Ryan.

Consumer optimism depends on income bracket: survey

By Meredith Wilson Consumers in lower- and middle-income households are less optimistic about their finances and the future of the American economy than higher income households, according to the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index released Friday. Overall economic confidence dropped by 4.4 percent from last month, driven by a 6.5 percent decline in confidence […]

Supreme Court justices are skeptical of pension reform arguments

By Meredith Wilson SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — During oral arguments Wednesday, Illinois Supreme Court justices  found fault with Senate Bill 1, a law to alleviate the state’s financial burden of public employee pensions. Justice Robert Thomas interrupted the attorney for the state, Solicitor General Carolyn Shapiro, several times, asking her about the basic facts of her briefs […]

Illinois Tool Works prospects dampened by slow revenue outlook

By Meredith Wilson Analysts are confident that Glenview-based Illinois Tool Works Inc. will continue to post profits in the coming years, but are concerned with the long-term feasibility of the company’s current growth plan, a reversal of its historic rapid-acquisition policy.

Englewood rumbles for TIF reform

By Meredith Wilson Voters in the 30th precinct in Englewood on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative urging citizen oversight for how tax increment financing  dollars are used  in their district. Asiaha Butler, president of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, said the non-binding initiative in the 30th precinct was a “soft launch” of a wider campaign for reform […]

No tax hikes in Rauner’s budget proposal

By Meredith Wilson Gov. Bruce Rauner presented a balanced budget to the Illinois Legislature on Wednesday that did not include a single tax hike. The proposed state budget for fiscal year 2016 is $31.5 billion, a decrease of 21 percent from the $38.2 billion agencies reported needing for fiscal year 2016, known as the maintenance […]

Cuts shield Acco Brands from economic headwinds

By Meredith Wilson Acco Brands Corp. saw fourth quarter profit fall 12.5 percent because of a strengthening U.S. dollar and retail consolidation, but exceeded analyst estimates for the quarter. Cost-cutting measures throughout the year led the company to post an 18.8 percent rise in profit for 2014. Lake Zurich-based Acco, one of the world’s largest […]

Meredith acquires ‘Shape,’ reports second-quarter growth

By Meredith Wilson Meredith Corp. reported a 30 percent rise in profit for the second quarter compared with last-year’s quarter, due to rising advertising revenues, high-performing acquisitions and disciplined expense control, but fell short of analyst expectations.