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Is Grubhub scamming your restaurant business?

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Grubhub, a popular mobile ordering and delivery platform worth at least 5 billion dollars, is in hot water (again) after it was discovered that Grubhub is allegedly listing restaurants on the platform without their permission and offering delivery from Ghost Kitchens that don’t even represent the companies on their website.

Pim Techamuanvivit, owner of Kin Khao in San Francisco, wrote in a Twitter thread this past weekend, that her restaurant has been added to Grubhub and Seamless without her permission or any kind of agreement. She does not offer delivery or take-out, yet orders were fulfilled by another business posing as Kin Khao.

It isn’t the first time something like this happens or accusations are made. It was discovered last year that Grubhub was taking control of business listings through a partnership with platforms like Yelp and putting fake phone numbers on listings.

These numbers led to a Grubhub controlled number that then generated orders and charged restaurants for sending customers that were simply trying to order from the restaurant. Restaurants were shocked when they discovered they were paying Grubhub for a service they never agreed to.

Grubhub went as far as generating fake domains that seemed to be the official website of restaurants with menus that led to Grubhub for business orders. Over 23,000 domains were discovered by journalists at New Food Economy. In a normal world, there would be consequences for these actions.

Grubhub was basically forced by New York City to start changing the policy after threats were made and a class-action lawsuit was started against them by restaurateurs they charged for these “services” that is now asking for 5 million dollars.

Yet this continues:

Of course, this isn’t limited to just New York City or San Francisco. Once this story made its way around the internet business owners in other cities also began also crying foul. The story made it over to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and it seems this may be deeply run into the food ecosystem.

Which begs the question, is Grubhub scamming your restaurant business? Is Seamless? It’s probably best to look up your own listings to make sure.

Rumors are swirling online that Grubhub is for-sale. Whether that explains this rampant behavior against restaurants or not, one thing is clear: restaurant owners have a right to control of their businesses and this is wrong plain and simple.

Restaurants have a failure rate of 60% in their first year and 80% in their first five years. Foot traffic is falling and costs are going up. Isn’t it hard enough without someone taking control of your restaurant listings, phone number, and website presence?

Carlos Eats

January 31, 2020 |

NEWS: Whiskey Business coming May 31st to St. Pete

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Whiskey Business is coming May 31st to St. Petersburg at Nova 535. The event will take place from 7PM to 10PM. VIP guests will enjoy an extra hour of partying starting at 6PM. Enjoy live music, burlesque shows, small bites from local restaurants, interactive seminars, and more.

Participating whiskey brands:

  • American Barrels Bourbon
  • Balcones Distilling
  • Bruichladdich Islay Single Malt
  • Cooper’s Craft
  • Cotherman Distilling Co.
  • Dark Door Spirits
  • FishHawk Spirits
  • Four Roses Bourbon
  • Jack Daniel’s
  • Kozuba & Sons
  • Misunderstood Whiskey
  • Old Forester
  • Old St. Pete
  • Palm Ridge Reserve
  • Sugar Works Distillery
  • Timber Creek Distillery
  • Tomatin
  • Uncle Nearest
  • Whistlepig
  • Woodford Reserve
  • and more

More info: http://whiskeybusinesstampabay.com/

Carlos Eats

May 31, 2019 |

The Face of Business Law

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| As Seen In Tampa Bay Metro Magazine |     The Face of Business Law HARRY TEICHMAN     Understanding each business and the family dynamics of every client has made Harry Teichman trusted counsel for 20 years. These […]
Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

July 25, 2017 |

Boba Guys: Best Bubble Tea Business in the USA

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Boba Guys is the best bubble tea shop in the USA and a leader in their industry. It is much more than just a nice Instagram or Snapchat post. There are lots of factors that contribute to this opinion and they have been shaped over numerous visits over the last year.

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Consistency

One of the most important factors of any cafe or restaurant is consistency.

You want your drink or order to taste the same no matter which location or time you stop by at a business. I have visited at least 3 or 4 Boba Guys locations multiple times and have not been disappointed in the quality of my drinks on any visit.

The matcha strawberry latte or horchata drink tastes the same at all the different shops and that goes for their tea menu in general. This proves that there is proper training for baristas and oversight/quality assurance testing happening.

The tapioca pearls always have the same chewiness and are never overcooked or undercooked. This is a huge credit to their employees and management. I am quite a bubble tea fanatic in Florida and am often finding myself have boba balls slicing under my teeth or even tasting undercooked pearls.

Many people don’t know that the chewiness of boba balls is a Taiwanese cultural phenomenon and there should be a certain type of chewiness to the balls in order to have a quality experience. Boba Guys delivers on this experience. The sensation is called “QQ” in Taiwan and is essentially a type of texture.

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Quick Turnaround

I seem to visit San Francisco during every major national holiday when I am vacationing on the west coast and find myself at Boba Guys when there can be 30-60 people or more in line due to reduced operating hours. Despite this, the line always moves quickly and I never wait longer than a few minutes to get to the front. Once I order my drink it also comes out quickly.

I cannot say the same about bubble tea shops in Florida that sometimes take over 30 minutes to get you a drink when there are literally only 3 or 4 customers in the shop and half the time the employees forget your order completely. This goes back to management and how they train and manage their employees.

The quick turnaround is good for customers who have other things to do than waiting in line all day and for the business so they can turn as many orders as possible and make a better profit. Respect your customer’s time and your customer will respect your business. This brings me to affordability and quality.

Affordability 

When the bubble tea craze began an average drink was around $ 2 or $ 3, but the price of the drinks has soared in the last couple of years and many places are still using crappy artificial powders, low-quality creamers, and sweeteners. A few shops in Florida even charge close to $ 6 or $ 7 for a drink.

Boba Guys charges $ 4.50 and around $ 5.50 for a specialty drink with real ingredients in San Francisco, one of the most expensive places in the world to operate a business. San Francisco is filled with tons of costs you will not find anywhere else you operate a business.

It baffles me that shops in Florida are charging so much considering the rent is ridiculously cheaper in Tampa Bay compared to San Francisco and the minimum wage in Florida is under $ 9 an hour. The price of the drinks Boba Guys produces are a further testament to their commitment to their customers and to providing a great product at a price that general public can afford.

They could charge more and easily get away with it in San Francisco, but they would close their product off from a public that is already struggling with high rent and low wages in an increasingly expensive city. The ability to see this is definitely a credit to their business mindset.

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Quality

Quality would probably be first on any list about a great business you might read. However, many food businesses with great quality still fail without consistency, quick turnaround, and affordability and that is why I mentioned those factors first. Anyone involved in the food business is aware that the survival rate is less than 10% and perhaps lower in the San Francisco Bay area in the first two years of operations.

Boba Guys already survived those odds. No doubt quality has helped deliver Boba Guys this far and helped them to have a competitive advantage over other tea shops and boba shops which can easily be replicated and saturate markets (like many dessert or snack concepts).

No powders are used at Boba Guys. They use real tea. This is the first step in changing the quality of the drinks and advancing bubble tea. The artificial flavors and ingredients used to make bubble tea at most shops are hazardous to your health – not the case at Boba Guys because they use REAL tea. It sounds ridiculous that I have to emphasize this, but prior to Naga Tea in Tampa – you could never find a shop that did this in Florida.

There is plenty of research out there about how artificial food coloring and flavorings are bad for your health and Boba Guys may be one of the first, if not the first shop to push using real tea in drinks.

Boba Guys uses Straus Family Creamery organic milk which is local to California, organic, and rGBH-free and that really makes the difference in their drinks compared to most boba shops. I get hives from the creamers used in shops in Florida which does not happen at Boba Guys. Boba Guys also has options for lactose customers including Califia Farms Almond Milk and Organic Soy Milk.

Good luck trying to get more information from shops about their powder and sources for milk tea in Florida or trying to get almond or soy milk at a tea shop in Florida.

Housemade syrups used are brown-sugar based, no fructose. I don’t think I should have to really explain why fructose is bad for you. Sweetness levels are customizable as well which is catching on in Florida boba shops as well now. 100% sweetness might be a little much nowadays.

Clearly, the owners of Boba Guys considered what they love about bubble tea and what they could change to make experiences for customers better and implemented changes that are improving bubble tea cafes in general.

Transparency

Part of owning a business is your relationship with your customers and the owners of Boba Guys do their best to communicate with their customers and let them know how the progress of their business is going and answer any questions customers may have weekly.

Price changes and hour changes are clearly communicated so customers aren’t left confused and there is clearly lots of customer feedback that is helping shape their business into a successful one.

You will not find this kind of commitment to a business in general and I am a little blown away by how much energy and effort the owners of Boba Guys put into having a relationship with their customers. It is simply awesome and most certainly a key to their success.

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Boba Guys is the best bubble tea shop business in the USA and I will visit them anytime I am near one of their shops and support them. If you haven’t visited them, I highly recommend visiting them if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City.


Carlos Eats

July 7, 2017 |

Business Highlights

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(AP) ___

US new-home sales climb to best level since late 2007

WASHINGTON Americans stepped up their purchases of new homes in July to the fastest pace in nearly nine years, the latest sign that low mortgage rates and a solid job market are helping support the residential real estate market.

New-home sales jumped 12.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 654,000 annual units, the strongest level since October 2007, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The demand has eclipsed the pace of construction. Just 4.3 months’ supply of new homes is available on the market, down from 5.2 months a year ago.

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Lawmakers demand information on EpiPen price increase

WASHINGTON Lawmakers are demanding more information on why the price for lifesaving EpiPens has skyrocketed.

EpiPens are used to ward off potentially fatal allergic reactions, and the price has surged in recent years. A two-dose package cost less than $ 60 nine years ago. The cost is now closer to $ 400.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote to Mylan, the company that manufactures the devices, and asked for more information on why the prices have increased. Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., on Tuesday asked the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold a hearing on the issue.

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Modest but steady gains for US indexes; homebuilders soar

NEW YORK Stocks posted modest gains on Tuesday, bringing indexes nearly back to the record levels they reached last week. Homebuilders rose sharply following a big jump in sales of new homes last month, and Best Buy soared after the electronics retailer reported a surge in profit as online sales increased.

Trading volume in the New York Stock Exchange was low again Tuesday, marking one of the slowest days of the year. Investors have had little in the way of economic data or company news to react to recently, and many traders are on vacation in the ending days of summer.

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Eurozone business resilient in face of Brexit uncertainties

LONDON Business activity across the 19-country eurozone grew at a steady, moderate pace in August as the region continued to show little concern about the impact of a British exit from the European Union.

A gauge of activity in the services and manufacturing sectors in the eurozone, the so-called purchasing managers’ index, rose slightly to a seven-month high of 53.3 points from 53.2 in July. The index is on a 100-point scale, with the 50 mark separating contraction from growth in activity.

The result echoes the steady growth seen in July and confirms that businesses in the eurozone aren’t overly worried about Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

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McDonald’s recalls millions of Happy Meals fitness bands

NEW YORK McDonald’s is recalling millions of fitness bands given away in Happy Meals because they might cause skin irritation or burns to children.

The fast-food chain said last week that it would stop distributing the bands in Happy Meals. Now it’s recalling 29 million of them in the U.S., and 3.6 million in Canada.

The company received more than 70 reports of incidents after children wore the bands, including seven reports of blisters, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Step-It Fitness plastic wristbands look like watches and are supposed to track physical activity.

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Best Buy posts higher profit, better online and store sales

NEW YORK Best Buy’s profit jumped 21 percent as the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer increased sales online and tried to create a better shopping experience in the stores while it also cut costs.

The company said online sale rose 24 percent to $ 835 million, a beacon for investors who have watched Amazon.com eat away at the sales of almost every traditional retailer.

Revenue at established stores, an important measure of a retailer’s health, also increased a surprising 0.8 percent. The company has been working on revamping its stores and improving sales staff training to convert browsers into buyers.

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AT&T to provide cellphone roaming, other services in Cuba

DALLAS AT&T has reached a deal for enhanced roaming and other cellphone services for wireless customers visiting Cuba.

The telecommunications giant announced the agreement with the state telecommunications company, Etecsa. Terms were not released. AT&T says a start date and pricing for the wireless roaming in Cuba including talk, text and data will be announced later.

Sprint announced a roaming agreement with Etecsa last fall to allow subscribers visiting Cuba to send and receive calls and text messages.

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Tesla lays claim to world’s fastest production car

DETROIT Tesla Motors says a new version of the Model S electric car is the quickest production car in the world from zero to 60 miles per hour.

The company says the Model S P100D sedan can go from stopped to 60 in 2.5 seconds.

The LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder with gas engines were faster, but they were million-dollar specialty cars that can no longer be bought new, CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday.

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Parent of Circle K buying Texas-based CST Brands for $ 4.4B

SAN ANTONIO The parent company of the Circle K convenience store and gas station chain has agreed to buy San Antonio-based CST Brands in a $ 4.4 billion deal.

Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard and CST Brands announced the agreement Monday following approval by their respective boards. The deal is expected to close in early 2017, subject to approval of CST Brands shareholders and regulators.

CST Brands is one of the largest independent retailers of motor fuel and convenience merchandise in North America. The company has more than 14,000 employees at over 2,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

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Ruling: Grad students at private universities can unionize

NEW YORK The National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday that student teaching and research assistants at private universities are employees and have a right to be represented by unions.

The 3-1 ruling overturns a 2004 NLRB decision that said graduate students were not employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act.

Tuesday’s decision in a case involving graduate students at Columbia University potentially affects graduate students at hundreds of private colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Graduate students at many public universities, which are covered by state labor laws, are already unionized.

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Howard Johnson’s restaurant to close, leaving only 1 more

BANGOR, Maine The upcoming closure of one of the last two Howard Johnson restaurants will leave the once-proud restaurant chain teetering on the brink of extinction.

The slice of roadside Americana will no longer be served up in Bangor after Sept. 6. The closing will leave only one Howard Johnson restaurant, in Lake George, New York.

Before falling on hard times, Howard Johnson took restaurant franchises to a new level. The orange-roofed eateries once numbered more than 800, with the New England-based restaurant chain predating the ubiquitous Howard Johnson hotels.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,547.30. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,186.90 and the Nasdaq composite rose 15.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,260.08.

Crude oil closed up 69 cents to $ 48.10 a barrel while Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, rose 80 cents to $ 49.96. In other energy trading, heating oil rose 1.5 cents to $ 1.502 a gallon, wholesale gasoline rose 1.5 cents to $ 1.499 a gallon and natural gas rose 8 cents to $ 2.761 per thousand cubic feet.

Bay News 9 – business

August 23, 2016 |

South St. Pete business owners to get grant funding

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It’s pay day for a half dozen business owners in South St. Petersburg.

  • Businesses owners to get grant funding
  • South St. Pete labeled as a ‘Community Redevelopment Area’

Friday, city officials delivered on a plan to generate tax dollars that could be turned around and given to small business owners to improve their businesses.

Earlier this year, the city council declared parts of South St. Petersburg as ‘Community Redevelopment Areas,’ a designation previously used for downtown.

The label allows the city to turn tax dollars into grants for business owners.

“We had people that were applying for things like, needing fire sprinkler systems or new windows or play grounds if they were a daycare center,” says Mayor Rick Kriseman.  “So a lot of different little needs that they had that would really help them take that next step with their business.”

Elihu Brayboy and his wife own Chief’s Creole Café on the corner of 9th Avenue South and 22nd Street South.  He’ll get more than $ 100,000 for his investment in renovating the Merriweather Building just doors away from his restaurant.

City officials expect the CRA to generate more than a million dollars next year for other business owners in the area to take advantage of.

Bay News 9 – business

August 13, 2016 |

Business Highlights

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(AP) ___

Volkswagen has emissions-cheating fix ready

DETROIT Volkswagen’s plan to fix most of its 2-liter diesel engines that cheat on emissions tests includes a computer software update and a larger catalytic converter to trap harmful nitrogen oxide, and it may not hurt mileage or performance, according to dealers who were briefed by executives on the matter.

Limited details of the plan were made public last week at a regional dealer meeting in Newark, New Jersey, by Volkswagen of America Chief Operating Officer Mark McNabb, said two dealers who asked not to be identified because the plan hasn’t been made public.

One dealer said the group was told that early testing of a small sample of repaired cars showed that the fix made “no discernable difference” in the cars’ mileage, horsepower or torque. Both dealers said they were told that more testing was needed and that the plans still had to be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.

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Desperately seeking drivers, Uber and Lyft offer car options

No car? No problem for ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

These companies are offering rentals, leases and financing deals aimed at getting more drivers on the road. After all, the more drivers they sign up, the more rides are available and the more money they make. But critics say drivers are paying high and even predatory prices.

The deals have also caught some regulators’ attention. The California Public Utilities Commission is probing whether some of these leasing and renting arrangements run afoul of its requirement that ride share drivers use a “personal vehicle.”

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The post-Ailes Fox News may have bigger problems

NEW YORK Roger Ailes built the Fox News Channel into a ratings juggernaut, one that successfully presented a conservative alternative to mainstream news and garnered a large new audience in the Age of Trump.

But you don’t have to look too far down the road to see big challenges that have nothing to do with Ailes’ untimely departure.

While Fox has been the top-rated U.S. cable-news channel for 14 years, overall cable news audiences have been shrinking outside of presidential elections. More than half of Fox’s viewers are over 65, says data tracker Nielsen, compared to just 15 percent of Americans as a whole. They’re also more conservative than the general public, at a time when younger generations are trending more liberal, according to Pew. And it’s lagging in the digital efforts that many analysts consider key to attracting young people.

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How ‘Pokemon Go’ went from prank to phenomenon

SAN FRANCISCO The origin of “Pokemon Go” is as peculiar as any of the Voltorbs or Snorlaxes that players track and capture in the surprise hit game.

Its hybrid DNA flows from a digital mapping pioneer’s fascination with the world around him, Google’s affinity for offbeat ideas, Nintendo’s comeback quest and a 20-year-old menagerie of animated monsters so popular that it spawned a company just to be its talent agency.

Then all it took was a prank to hatch a mobile video game that has turned into a cultural phenomenon.

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IMF head calls for quick end to Brexit uncertainty

BEIJING The head of the International Monetary Fund called Friday for quick action to end uncertainty over Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, which she said is dampening global economic growth.

The IMF cut this year’s global growth forecast by 0.1 percentage points to 3.1 percent in a report released this week due to the shockwaves of the British vote.

Investors are watching this weekend’s meeting of the G20 and finance officials for any sign the United States, Germany, China and other major economies may agree on joint action to accelerate a weak global economic recovery.

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18 states see significant job gains, but unemployment rises

WASHINGTON Unemployment rates ticked up noticeably in six states in June, even as employers continued to add jobs and the hiring outlook improved.

The unemployment rate in 21 states is now significantly below the national figure of 4.9 percent, while it’s higher in 14 states. In Colorado, the rate jumped 0.4 point from May to a still-low 3.7 percent as more of its population began looking for work without being hired, a positive for the economy as it suggests greater optimism that these people will find jobs.

Employers added a significant number of jobs in 18 states last month, while three states lost a meaningful level of jobs. This also matches the national figures that showed an increase of 287,000 jobs in June, after lackluster hiring in April and May.

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US home rental price growth pulls even with wages

WASHINGTON U.S. renters are seeing their housing costs rise at a much more manageable pace, as new construction has tempered years of runaway increases in rent.

Real estate data firm Zillow says that median rent rose a seasonally adjusted 2.6 percent in June from a year ago, matching the gains in average hourly wages. Rental costs have decelerated after consistently exceeding earnings growth in previous years, a sign that additional building is giving more options.

The median monthly rent nationwide was $ 1,409. Annual increases in rent surpassed 9 percent in both the Seattle and Portland, Oregon areas, although it has moderated in markets such as San Francisco, where yearly price growth went from double-digit gains to 7.4 percent.

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Another creep higher sends S&P 500 to record high, again

NEW YORK Another day, another lazy creep higher for stocks and another record high.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9.84 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,175.01 on Friday. It surpassed its prior record set Wednesday by 0.09 percent, the latest nudge higher for a market that has taken a decidedly slow-and-steady path to all-time highs in recent weeks. Telecom and utility stocks led the way, as they have for much of this year.

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Boom times for airlines: $ 3.9 billion in 2Q profits

FORT WORTH, Texas Compared with their checkered track record, major airlines are enjoying boom times.

Planes are full, and jet fuel is still much cheaper than it was last year. The four biggest U.S. carriers just reported a collective second-quarter profit of $ 3.9 billion.

And yet investors seem to be looking past the bottom line. They have become obsessed with fare prices falling now for more than a year that may foreshadow thinner profits in the future.

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Fortune, friction and decline as casino ‘Chinatown’ matures

UNCASVILLE, Conn. No ornate archway marks it. No obvious business district with exotic signs and storefronts sets it apart. But in the quiet neighborhoods around two of the nation’s largest casinos, a sort of suburban Chinatown has been growing for over a decade.

Drawn from New York and Boston by good-paying jobs at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods resorts, Chinese and other Asian immigrants have been buying homes, raising families and growing their own food in what had once been largely white communities along Connecticut’s Thames River.

The influx has caused tension with some locals, who complain about too many people crammed into single-family homes and of front lawns in manicured neighborhoods turned into miniature farms to feed large families.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53.62 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,570.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9.86 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,175.03. The Nasdaq composite rose 26.26, or 0.5 percent, to 5,100.16

The price of U.S. crude fell 56 cents to settle at $ 44.19 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 51 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $ 45.69 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $ 1.36 a gallon, heating oil fell 1 cent to $ 1.36 a gallon and natural gas rose 9 cents to $ 2.78 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Bay News 9 – business

July 22, 2016 |
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