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Chamber hands out its annual awards

“From their employees to their customers and from Main Street to Downtown, these small businesses are leading all of us forward while building their unique legacy of success,” said Jim Rooney, the president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, in a press release.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff


Chamber hands out its annual awards

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Thursday announced the 2023 winners of the annual Small Business of the Year Awards, spotlighting six companies that stand out in the region’s economic landscape. The awards — which have been given out to local proprietorships for over three decades — this year were sponsored by HarborOne Bank. The honorees were recognized across six categories: MK3 Creative, a creative services agency in Charlestown, won for diversity and inclusion for launching a youth scholarship; Boston Cityscapes, a plant design firm, won for cultural excellence; Gallery EyeCare, an optometry provider in Roxbury, won for community impact for donating eyewear products and services; Fresh Food Generation, a Caribbean-American fusion food truck and catering company, won for innovation and growth for opening its Dorchester restaurant; Curio Spice, a Cambridge spice purveyor, won as a small business champion for spearheading culinary education initiatives; and the Boston PR agency Denterlein won for CEO leadership under founder Geri Denterlein. “From their employees to their customers and from Main Street to Downtown, these small businesses are leading all of us forward while building their unique legacy of success,” said Jim Rooney, the president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, in a press release. — DANA GERBER



US regulators want to force company to recall air bag inflators

The US government is stepping up its quest to force ARC Automotive to recall 67 million potentially dangerous air bag inflators by ordering the company to answer questions under oath and threatening fines if it doesn’t respond. NHTSA argues that the recall is justified because two people have been killed in the United States and Canada and at least seven others have been injured by ARC’s inflators. The explosions, which first occurred in 2009, have continued as recently as this year. The agency wants ARC Automotive Inc., based in Knoxville, Tenn., to recall the inflators, which could explode with such force as to blow apart a metal canister and expel shrapnel. But ARC is refusing, setting up a possible court fight. ARC maintains that no safety defect exists, that NHTSA’s demand is based on a hypothesis rather than technical conclusions, and that the agency has no authority to order a parts manufacturer to carry out recalls. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Dollar General cuts forecast as customers struggle

Dollar General’s shares plunged more than 19 percent Thursday after the discount retailer slashed its annual profit forecast, citing rising economic pressures on its shoppers. The company warned that adjusted earnings are likely to fall this year, abandoning its previous outlook for moderate gains. Same-store sales growth, a key metric for retailers, will rise by as little as 1 percent instead of the expansion of at least 3 percent that Dollar General had forecast in March. The deteriorating outlook underscores the worsening picture for Dollar General’s customer base of lower-income shoppers, who like many US consumers are shifting their spending to basic goods and cutting back on discretionary purchases. A rival discount chain, Dollar Tree, cut its profit outlook last week. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

A Humira syringe in Brook Park, Ohio on Jan. 24, 2023. NIC ANTAYA/NYT


Company to market cheaper alternative to Humira

AbbVie’s blockbuster drug Humira costs the US health system $90,000 per patient each year. Now, an emerging competitor plans to sell an alternative at an 85 percent discount. Coherus BioSciences Inc. will launch the cheapest-ever Humira copycat, Yusimry, in July, with a list price of $995 for two auto injectors, the company said Thursday. That’s far below the $6,922 AbbVie charges for the same supply of its drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and other autoimmune conditions. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Macy’s reduces outlook for the year as sales slow

Macy’s slashed its outlook for the entire year with sales weakening in the first quarter during an increasingly challenging economic environment, including stubbornly high inflation. Quarterly profit and sales dropped to open the year as sales began to flag in March, forcing the New York department store to cut prices on clothes and other discretionary items. Shares tumbled more than 10 percent before the opening bell Thursday before closing up 1.18 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Announced layoffs so far this year top all of 2022

US companies have announced more job cuts this year than during all of 2022, according to executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Planned layoffs reached about 417,500 jobs through May, more than four times the job cuts during the same period last year, Challenger said in a report. Excluding the start of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, the tally for the first five months of 2023 was the highest since 2009. Job cuts that began in white-collar sectors including technology and banking have started to spread to other industries, including the retail and media sectors. Tech remains the industry with the most layoffs, Challenger found. Companies have announced about 136,800 cuts in the year through May. That’s more than any full year since 2001, when the total eventually reached almost 168,400 in December. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

A passenger takes photos as he boards on China's first domestically produced passenger jet C919 before its first commercial flight from Shanghai to Beijing, in Shanghai Hongqiao Airport on May 28, 2023. AFP via Getty Images


China has first flight with homegrown plane

Millions of flights take off and land in China every year, almost all of them using planes made by Boeing and Airbus, the world’s two leading aircraft manufacturers. For years, China has been working to change that and, this week, it celebrated a milestone in that quest: the first commercial flight of a large passenger jet made in China. The C919 jet, made by Comac, a Chinese state-run aerospace manufacturer, flew about 130 passengers from Shanghai to Beijing for China Eastern Airlines on Sunday, according to Chinese state media. It is currently the only C919 plane being used for commercial flights. — NEW YORK TIMES



Rates continue to rise

The average long-term US mortgage rate climbed this week to its highest level since November, driving up borrowing costs for would-be homebuyers at a time when the housing market is being held back by a near record-low inventory of homes on the market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan rose to 6.79 percent from 6.57 percent last week. A year ago, the rate averaged 5.09 percent. The latest increase marks the third in three weeks and lifts the average rate on a 30-year home loan to its highest level since it surged to 7.08 percent in early November. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


FDA approves Pfizer vaccine for RSV

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer’s vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, for adults 60 and older, the second approval granted for shots offering protection from the virus in May. GSK was the first drug maker to get the FDA’s permission to market an RSV vaccine, on May 3. The vaccines are expected to be available in the fall before the winter RSV season. Each year, about 60,000 adults 65 and older are hospitalized with RSV and about 6,000 to 10,000 die from the virus, the FDA estimated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in one year, more than 21,000 people in that age group would need to take the GSK vaccine to prevent one RSV death; the number was nearly 25,000 for the Pfizer shot. — NEW YORK TIMES