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The week’s top business news


Need for bilingual workers on the rise

Help wanted: people who can speak more than one language. Even as the Trump administration seeks to limit immigration, employers are increasingly looking to woo immigrants as consumers — and employees. Banks and cellphone providers are hiring employees who can communicate with potential customers in their native tongues. Software firms are seeking out translators and customer service representatives who can help them build their business around the world. And health care providers looking to serve the immigrants in their communities, as well as patients traveling to the United States for medical care, are beefing up their staffs with people who can understand, and convey, their concerns. The number of online job postings targeting bilingual workers more than doubled nationwide between 2010 and 2015, rising 162 percent, according to a new report by New American Economy, a coalition of mayors and business leaders that supports immigration reform. The languages seeing the biggest rise in demand: Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic. Bilingual job listings for higher-end positions, including those in finance and engineering, grew the fastest, but the majority of bilingual jobs didn’t require a bachelor’s degree, including medical assistants and customer service representatives. — KATIE JOHNSTON


Kenmore Square Citgo sign is staying put

The rooftop Citgo sign in Kenmore Square is staying put, after the petroleum company reached a deal with its new landlord Wednesday, ending a standoff that had threatened one of the Boston skyline landmark. The fate of the sign had been in question since last year, when the building that hosts it was sold by Boston University to Related Beal, a New York-based development company. With the lease for the sign expiring in February, the two sides had tried but failed to strike new terms to keep it on the Beacon Street building where it has stood since the 1960s. But last week Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh intervened and brought the parties together to work out a deal. The controversy emerged last fall soon after Related Beal bought a total of nine buildings in Kenmore Square from BU for $134 million. Believing its old lease terms of $250,000 to be far below current market rates, the new landlord had wanted Citgo to pay as much as 10 times that amount. — ADAM VACCARO AND TIM LOGAN



Editas strikes deal with Allergan on eye-disease drugs

Gene-editing pioneer Editas Medicine said Tuesday it will collect a $90 million upfront payment from Irish drug giant Allergan PLC in a partnership that gives Allergan the option to license up to five experimental eye-disease drugs from Editas, including one targeting a rare genetic disorder that can cause children to go blind. Under the agreement — the latest in a string of genome-editing collaborations — Cambridge-based Editas gave Allergan’s subsidiary, Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Ltd., the option to license experimental drugs developed with the promising genetics technology Editas is using, including Crispr-CAS9. “Allergan has very deep expertise in ophthalmology and brings biological, clinical, and commercial expertise,’’ Editas chief executive Katrine Bosley said in an interview. Editas, one of several Cambridge companies working in the gene-editing field, got a boost last month when the US patent office ruled that Crispr-CAS9 discoveries at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard — work that Editas has licensed — were distinct from those at the University of California licensed by two local rivals, Crispr Therapeutics and Intellia Therapeutics Inc.Shares of Editas closed up 4.5 percent to $26.04 Tuesday. Under the arrangement, Editas will be eligible to receive additional development and commercial milestone payments, as well as sales royalties, if the drugs are successful. The drugs include Editas’s lead program for Leber Congenital Amaurosis, a genetic retinal disorder that can result in vision loss and blindness in children. The treatment is in the pre-clinical development stage. — ROBERT WEISMAN



Bain takes Canada Goose public, gets a warm reception

The Boston-based investment firm Bain Capital took Canada Goose Holdings Inc. public on Thursday with great success. After its first day of trading, the maker of $900 parkas was worth almost seven times its value when Bain invested a little more than three years ago. Shares jumped 40 percent at the open on both the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, and ended the day up about 26 percent. The stock closed at $16.08 on the New York Stock Exchange, with a gain of $3.30. Bain Capital bought a 70 percent stake in the Toronto company in December 2013 for an undisclosed price. At that time, the company was valued at close to $250 million. It’s now worth $1.7 billion, based on trading in New York. The company sold 23 million shares Thursday, raising about $256 million, but Bain remains a majority owner. Canada Goose’s chief executive, Dani Reiss (above), whose grandfather founded the company’s predecessor company 60 years ago, also is an owner. — BETH HEALY



Higher-income Americans could lose coverage

It’s not just the poor who stand to lose coverage under the Republicans’ new health care plan. Millions of higher-income Americans who get insurance through their employers would also join the ranks of the uninsured. On Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a scorching analysis suggesting that under the GOP plan — dubbed the American Health Care Act — 24 million people would become uninsured over the next decade. Deep cuts to Medicaid account for the bulk of the newly uninsured. Beyond that, reduced government subsidies and lower penalties for forgoing insurance also play a role, the CBO said. But what about workers who already have coverage? Over half of all US firms currently offer some kind of health benefit, according to a 2016 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and together those firms help provide coverage for the majority of Americans under 65, more than 150 million people. Under the House GOP legislation, this pillar of the American social contract will get a bit weaker. According to the CBO, 7 million people would cease to get insurance through their employers and fail to pick up an alternative. This drop-off in employer coverage is substantial, accounting for over a quarter of the total increase in the number of uninsured forecast by the CBO. Not all of these people are “losing” coverage. Some workers will actually choose not to purchase insurance through their employer. The penalties for skipping out are pretty low in the Republican plan, particularly if you stay uninsured for several years. The CBO also predicts that many employers will cut back on their offerings, not least because the AHCA would eliminate a key penalty for doing so. That will force more workers to purchase individual plans on their own. And for older workers this poses a serious problem, since premiums for those age 50 to 64 are expected to rise dramatically. — EVAN HOROWITZ



State says firm’s delivery ads may violate law

Massachusetts officials say online marijuana directory Leafly may be violating state law by publishing ads for pot-delivery services they say are operating without state oversight. The website is one of the most popular in the cannabis industry, widely used by consumers to find nearby dispensaries and other licensed suppliers in states such as Massachusetts that have legalized the drug. Last April, Leafly removed ads for more than 20 Massachusetts delivery services after the state Department of Public Health, which oversees the medical marijuana program, questioned their legality. But two weeks ago, the website re-listed several delivery outfits, saying it had verified their owners were state-licensed “personal caregivers” authorized to supply patients with pot. Health officials reiterated this week that the delivery operations appear to be violating provisions of the medical marijuana law that limit most caregivers to one patient at a time and prohibit them from profiting from the transaction. Only the state’s licensed nine dispensaries are permitted to sell marijuana to multiple patients, the officials said. — DAN ADAMS