VIDEO: Businesses adjust to greater consumer expectations

By Andrew Fowler

Now more than ever American consumers have a lot of influence on retailers and they’re not afraid to use it. According to a trend report from Chicago-based analysts at Mintel,  consumers now expect speed and convenience on-demand thanks to the internet. Proper Suit, a custom menswear retailer, is one Chicago business that is changing with the times.

According to the report, in addition to rising consumer expectations, shoppers are becoming more aware of their rights and corporate misbehavior. In addition, wearable technology is expected to be a bigger trend in 2015.

Continue reading

Fed minutes: ‘many’ favor delaying interest rate hike

By Lucy Ren

The majority of the participants at the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting leaned towards delaying the interest rate hike, according to the FOMC’s January meeting minutes released on Wednesday.

Continue reading

VIDEO: The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition aims to improve state environmental standards

By Julie Woon

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is teaming up with the new Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition to urge passage of legislation that would improve environmental standards in the state. The group says 32,000 jobs a year could be created in Illinois by increasing clean and efficient energy.

Continue reading

VIDEO: Holiday lures young adults to church but ministry makes them stay

By Meg Rauch

A Pew Research Study says that one-third of adults under 30 in the U.S. do not identify with any religion. A Catholic Church in Chicago is bringing more young people back to mass and getting them involved in their faith.  Continue reading

VIDEO: Obama to designate Pullman as first national monument in Chicago

By Adriana Cargill

President Obama will arrive this Thursday in the Pullman Historic District to officially designate the neighborhood as the first national monument in Chicago. Pullman will join the ranks of the Statue of Liberty  in telling the nation’s story.

George Pullman is a controversial 19th century railroad industrialist who created an experimental town to house his workforce. Most of the original buildings are still standing today. Pullman’s company town played an important role in labor history and early African American civil rights history.

Many neighborhood residents are elated about the designation but others remain skeptical.

Continue reading

VIDEO: How the “puppy mill” ban could affect Chicago animal lovers

By Julie Woon

Last year, Chicago aldermen passed a bill voting 49-1 in favor of banning pet mills throughout the city. Starting in March, the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits by pet stores and large scale breeders becomes illegal. That means Chicago residents will have to adopt or purchase animals online or from small-scale breeders.

Continue reading

VIDEO: “Ash and dash” hits Chicago

By Abigail Hodgson

One Chicago parish is taking Ash Wednesday outside church walls and onto the streets of Chicago.

For people too busy to attend an Ash Wednesday service, Urban Village Church volunteers positioned around the city – from CTA stations to popular lunch stops – spreading ashes on foreheads in a visible cross accompanied by the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Continue reading

VIDEO: Chicago ordinance against puppy mills may hurt small pet shops

By Adam Banicki

Story updated on Feb. 19 with details about federal lawsuit.

The Chicago City Council voted 49-1 to ban the resale of certain animals in an attempt to rid the city of puppy mills.  The ordinance goes into effect next month.

Owners of small neighborhood pet shops, such as Jim Sparks who owns Park Pet Shop in Mount Greenwood, feel it unfairly targets their sales of properly cared for animals.

Continue reading

President to dedicate Pullman Park as Chicago’s first national monument

By Matt Yurus

President Barack Obama heads home Thursday to designate America’s next national monument: Chicago’s historic Pullman Park, a site that was home to unprecedented advances in industrialization and impacted African-American and labor history.

In 1879, George Pullman, the man who gave America the luxurious Pullman railcar, built his factory and America’s first “company town” on the Far South Side of Chicago. Continue reading

VIDEO: Immigration plan on hold because of federal court ruling

By Mathias Meier

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez says a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block President Obama’s executive action on immigration may delay but won’t prevent efforts at reform.

This story followed Gutiérrez on the road while he spoke to immigrants planning to apply to the program and has his reaction when he heard about the legal decision to stop it.

Continue reading