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Updated at 9:51 a.m. ET

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has become a symbol of a global health nightmare. To date, 175 cases of the coronavirus — the infectious disease the World Health Organization is now calling COVID-19 — have been confirmed aboard the ship.

A truck crosses the border between Mexico and the United States in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Associated Press

Congress on Tuesday reached an agreement with the Trump administration on a new North American free trade deal, leading lawmakers and business leaders in Texas to breathe a sigh of relief.

Business and government officials posed for the ground breaking picture where Dallas' Uber Hub will operate
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

State and local officials helped celebrate Friday’s ground breaking for the new Uber Hub in Dallas’ Deep Ellum.  

Future Of Texas Plumbers' Licensing, Regulation Uncertain After Legislative Impasse

May 29, 2019
Shutterstock

Plumbers in Texas will no longer be subject to state regulations after lawmakers this week flushed the state plumbing code and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, a state agency that employed dozens and generated $5.2 million in revenue in 2017.

Shutterstock

The country's biggest milk-maker is based in Dallas, and business at Dean Foods has, well, soured. First-quarter sales were down, and milk consumption in general is declining. Meanwhile, Dean faces more competition for milk production.

Many college students studying abroad focus more on soaking in the culture — and the local drinking scene — than on their future careers. But for Charles Brain and Walker Brown, their time as exchange students in South Africa in 2014 sparked something more.

The attorneys general of 38 states and territories sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday, urging them: Please, let us bank the money generated by the country's booming cannabis business.

The school security industry is a growing one and within it, school districts have to decide how to spend their money.
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC for Guns & America

As school security has become a top priority in communities across the country, security companies have found a thriving new market for their products. 

In Austin, Texas, a new raft of anti-LGBT legislation is working its way through the state legislature. One of the bills would allow state licensed professionals of all stripes — from doctors and pharmacists to plumbers and electricians — to deny services on religious grounds. Supporters say the legislation is needed to protect religious freedoms. But opponents call them "religious refusal bills" or "bigot bills."

This big, beautiful carrot has nicks and dings, but "it doesn't affect the taste," says Imperfect Produce's Tony Masco. "If you're looking for something big and bold, you're still going to get it."
Rachel Osier Lindley / KERA News

Think of the last time you shopped for food. Those sliding glass doors open, and you're greeted by orderly rows of apples, pears and leafy green lettuce.

That's because the supermarket produce aisle is like a popular nightclub — not everyone gets in.

The Royal Australian Navy will be able to rescue sailors in disabled submarines 2,000 feet underwater thanks to a San Antonio-based research organization.

From Texas Standard:

Ranchers and cattlemen have some beef with U.S. meatpackers. They claim the meatpackers are purposefully driving down the price the cattle raisers get for their beef. In 2015, meatpackers started to pay ranchers less for their cattle. It would make sense then, that the price of ribeye in the supermarket would also drop around that time. But that didn't happen.

Plus One Robotics, a San Antonio startup at the forefront of robotic vision and machine learning, is growing. Its software is paired with vision sensors and teaches robotic industrial arms to see. Using soft grips, they can pack and sort boxes.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Texas law that requires people contracting with the state to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. 

Buy something on Amazon and want to send it back? Kohl's will take it off your hands for you. The department store chain announced Wednesday that starting in July, it will accept Amazon returns at all of its 1,150 stores.

The San Antonio City Council re-affirmed its controversial decision to exclude Chick-Fil-A from a San Antonio International Airport concession contract Thursday.

Julio Cortez / Associated Press

Opportunity zones are an effort to bring investors to struggling neighborhoods in exchange for tax benefits. There are thousands across the country, including 18 in Dallas County, seven in Tarrant and three in Denton County.

Closed On Sundays: A Guide To Some Of Texas' Confusing Alcohol Regulations

Apr 17, 2019
In Texas, laws governing the sale of alcohol can be complicated and confusing.
Erika Rich for The Texas Tribune

Texas politicians love to portray the Lone Star State as a mecca for free-market capitalism and low regulation. But those lawmakers might want to take a gander at their state’s byzantine alcohol policies. 

Armando Farias, 56, tends to his small shop filled with Mexican goods at Plaza Garland.
Miguel Perez / KERA News

Plaza Garland is an indoor marketplace where mariachi bands play regularly and merchants sell everything from Mexican ice cream and custom-made piñatas to gold jewelry and handmade toys.

It's nothing like the old Kmart that used to stand in its place.

Multinational oil giant Chevron will buy the American oil and gas production and exploration company Anadarko Petroleum in a $33 billion cash-and-stock deal that strengthens Chevron's position in the booming Permian Basin.

It's not uncommon for people who want to start businesses in lower-income neighborhoods to have trouble getting bank loans. But increasingly, there are investors looking specifically to help businesses in those areas, with the aim of reversing the cycle of disinvestment.

A week ago, Clive Bar on Rainey Street looked the way it always does: dark wood paneling and floors, a deck off the inside bar with tables for people to drink outside.

Friday afternoon, it was a different story.

Kim Roxie was a student when she first realized there was a problem.

“It was working at a makeup counter while I was in college and coming in contact with so many women who were tired of the way beauty was being done,” she says. “A lot of beige and not enough brown in the cosmetic department.”

Nobody reads the fine print. But maybe they should.

Georgia high school teacher Donelan Andrews won a $10,000 reward after she closely read the terms and conditions that came with a travel insurance policy she purchased for a trip to England. Squaremouth, a Florida insurance company, had inserted language promising a reward to the first person who emailed the company.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

Amazon, the giant online retailer, is closing all 87 of its U.S. pop-up kiosks, which let customers try and buy gadgets such as smart speakers and tablets in malls, Kohl's department stores and Whole Foods groceries.

Walmart's U.S. CEO Greg Foran is telling all store managers that they should make "every effort" to provide new job options for greeters with disabilities. Many of these front-door workers remain in limbo as the company plans to eliminate its trademark greeter position in about 1,000 stores in coming months.

Editor's Note: If you're a Walmart greeter — or know someone who is — and would like to share your story with NPR, please reach out to us at tech@npr.org.

If you ask John Combs what his biggest worry is, he'll say: "How will I feed Red?"

Red is actually white. He's a labradoodle rescue, just tall enough for Combs to pet if he reaches over the armrest of his wheelchair. Combs, 42, has cerebral palsy. He has difficulty speaking. But he has no difficulty saying the line most Americans have heard at least once: "Welcome to Walmart!"

Texans would be able to take home beer directly from local breweries if a bipartisan bill before the Texas Legislature becomes law. 

On a clear spring day in 2013, two smoke stacks fell in El Paso. They had been a part of the landscape, and the El Paso economy for years. It took a mere 30 seconds for them to come down.

Will the bankers be wearing bluejeans on Wall Street?

Levi Strauss & Co., which patented bluejeans in 1873, is planning to go public in one of the most high-profile initial public offerings of the year. The company, which is still controlled by the descendants of its namesake founder, has been private since 1985.

The news confirming the highly anticipated Levi Strauss stock offering sent shares of other apparel-makers on a roller-coaster ride: The stock prices of Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, American Eagle Outfitters and Buckle all declined.

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