Ohio’s more than 7,000 retailers are expecting a slight increase in sales this holiday season over last year, though where those spending increases are projected may be a surprise.

Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate are pushing for a bill that would recognize occupational licenses granted in other states.

A third of Ohioans are not homeowners. Two lawmakers want to change that with a bill they say will help first-time homebuyers. 

A new report from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce says businesses it surveyed in the Buckeye State plan to hire employees despite the uncertainty of economic stability. 

Ashlie Tinor works at Uncle Beth's BBQ, a small family restaurant in Champaign County.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

When small towns shrink or disappear in rural America, homestyle, family restaurants feel the pinch, and they have often been replaced by chains like Applebee’s, Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans.

But that trend looks to be reversing. In 2016 Bob Evans, based in Ohio, sold 27 restaurants, and Bloomberg News has reported a resurgence in the popularity of mom and pop restaurants all over the country.

The last Chevy Cruze rolled off the assembly line at the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, Wednesday. Workers draped an American flag over the white, four-door sedan. Now, most of the more than 1,500 workers on the last remaining shift will be laid off.

Renee Wilde / WYSO

Here in southwest Ohio, it’s not hard to find small country towns that were thriving fifty years ago but are now struggling to survive.

They’re all subject to similar economic forces – but each one has its own story.

In Greene county, the Village of Jamestown has just about 2,000 people today – slightly more than 50 years ago, - but what Jamestown has lost – is its vital downtown.

City of Fairborn Administrative Offices

Fairborn officials are reacting to news one of the city’s largest employers is shutting down. Teleperformance USA announced plans to close its Fairborn facility and lay off more than 300 workers.   calls seeking comment from Teleperformance were not immediately returned.

In a letter to the city, Teleperformance officials say corporate restructuring is behind the decision to close its Fairborn call center. 

The number of Ohioans who lost their jobs in "mass layoffs" was higher in 2018 than the year before. 

Generally speaking, when a company with more than 100 employees decides to lay off 50 or more people, a federal law known as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) considers that a "mass layoff." But before that can happen, an employer must provide employees with at least 60 days written notice.

The Christmas shopping season is when millions of Americans are hoping to find bargains, but at least one holiday staple has gotten more expensive. According to the payment services company Square, the average price for a real Christmas tree in Ohio is just over $61 or about 5 percent higher than in 2016. 

So why are these evergreens more expensive? For one thing, the overall supply of Christmas trees is down.