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Municipal coalition endorses public bank to aid small businesses, cities and towns

Somerville Mayor Joe CurtatoneNicolaus Czarnecki/BH


Municipal coalition endorses public bank to aid small businesses, cities, and towns

The Metro Mayors Coalition, a group of 15 cities and towns in Greater Boston, has put its support behind proposals to create a public bank that would help small businesses and municipalities obtain financing. Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone spoke to the Legislature’s financial services committee on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to create a public bank. The current banking system, Curtatone said, is leaving many small-business owners behind. Other supporters of the concept include state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Bankers Association is opposing the legislation, saying that the state already has a wide variety of quasi-public agencies and public-private initiatives that can help small businesses, and lawmakers would be better served by bolstering their efforts rather than creating an entirely new entity. — JON CHESTO



Raytheon CEO expects to lose thousands of employees to vaccine mandate

The top executive of the aerospace and defense giant Raytheon Technologies said Tuesday that he expects to lose thousands of staffers who will not comply with a companywide coronavirus vaccination mandate for US employees. In an interview on CNBC, CEO Greg Hayes said, “We will lose several thousand people,” adding that hiring was underway. The news agency Reuters first reported on Hayes’s comments about the expected departures, which amount to a fraction of Raytheon’s 125,000-strong US workforce. The company announced the vaccination mandate last month. Other large defense contractors have instituted their own mandates, following President Biden’s announcement of sweeping vaccination requirements that cover millions of contractors that do business with the federal government. In August, the Pentagon announced that it was making coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for military personnel. — WASHINGTON POST


More than 96 percent of Tyson employees are vaccinated

Nearly three months after Tyson Foods mandated coronavirus vaccines for all its 120,000 US workers, more than 96 percent of them are vaccinated, the company’s chief executive, Donnie King, said in an employee memo on Tuesday. Less than half of Tyson’s workforce was inoculated when it announced on Aug. 3 that it would require vaccines. Nearly 60,000 more Tyson employees got the shot following the announcement, Mr. King said. Tyson has said workers must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 as a condition of employment. Tyson was one of the first major companies to mandate vaccines after incentives like paid time off to be inoculated started to lose traction. Its stance was notable because it included frontline workers even as labor shortage concerns prevented many companies from expanding vaccine mandates beyond the office. Meatpacking involves close quarters and long hours, which make its workers particularly vulnerable to catching the coronavirus. A number of workers died last year after the virus swept through the nation’s processing plants. — NEW YORK TIMES



UPS profit up on e-commerce

United Parcel Service rode higher prices and strong delivery demand driven by e-commerce to post profit that topped analysts’ expectations. It also raised its operating margin outlook to 13 percent for 2021 from an earlier target of 12.7 percent. UPS and rival FedEx have been grappling with hefty volume since the pandemic hit last year. Both have aggressively raised prices to offset the expense of handling more residential deliveries, which have grown faster than more-profitable commercial packages. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GM to use dealerships to deploy chargers

General Motors will use its dealership network to deploy up to 40,000 electric vehicle chargers across the United States and Canada, as the veteran automaker ramps up its shift to plug-in models. Starting next year, GM will give each dealer up to 10 Ultium-branded chargers to install in their communities. The chargers will be available for use by all EV drivers, not just those who buy a GM model. The effort will help deploy public charging stations in rural areas and underserved urban neighborhoods, the automaker said Tuesday in a release. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Sales of new homes climbed 14 percent in September

Sales of new homes jumped 14 percent in September to the fastest pace in six months as strong demand helped offset rising prices. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that sales of new single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 800,000 units last month which was well above what economists had bee expecting. However, the government revised lower its estimates for sales in the previous two months with August now showing a 1.4 percent decline to a rate of 702,000 units. The median price of a new home, the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less, rose to a record $408,800 in September, up 9.5 percent from a year ago. The average sales prices in September increased to $451,700, up 11.5 percent from a year ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Prices climb again

High lumber prices are back, even as the industry steps into what is normally a seasonal lull. Prices are climbing amid tight supplies and a pickup in homebuilding. Western Canada is seeing reduced output and the US South is grappling with labor shortages. The United States is also expected to double duties on a common Canadian wood next month, adding to costs. Wood prices have been volatile, whipsawing since the pandemic began. They touched record highs amid a COVID-19 inspired home-building boom, then collapsed because sawmills ramped up production and the high prices stifled retail demand. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Woman suing Kellogg for $5m over strawberries in Pop-Tarts

A woman is seeking $5 million from Kellogg, accusing the popular cereal company of misleading customers into thinking its strawberry Pop-Tarts contain more strawberries than they actually do. It’s among a wave of lawsuits alleging Big Food is labeling its products in ways that make them seem healthier than they are, as consumers show greater interest in knowing where their food comes from and how it is made. — WASHINGTON POST


Ralph Lauren foundation to invest $5m in sustainable cotton

Ralph Lauren’s foundation says it will invest $5 million during the next five years to increase the production of sustainably grown cotton in the United States. The foundation’s pledge, announced Tuesday, is part of apparel companies’ broader efforts to boost the supply of environmentally friendly materials in order to help meet sustainability targets they have set for themselves. Ralph Lauren, for instance, has said that by 2025 it will source cotton and other key materials in a sustainable way. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Ikea moving into former Topshop in Oxford Circus

Ikea is buying the former Topshop store on Oxford Circus, one of the busiest retail locations in Europe, as the Swedish home-furnishings giant expands into city centers to win urban customers. Ingka Investments, the property division of Ikea, said the group had agreed to acquire the seven-story building at 214 Oxford Street in London for $522 million. The site, made famous when supermodel Kate Moss brought traffic to a standstill posing in the window to launch a clothing collection in 2007, will host one of Ikea’s smaller stores. The format targets shoppers less able to travel to the large, edge-of-town stores Ikea is known for. — BLOOMBERG NEWS