In Traverse City, which has hosted the National Cherry Festival since 1926, some residents say festivals occupy the public park too much, while others say it's a reasonable price to pay for the money it brings to businesses.
Many small towns across the country are using special events to attract visitors and commerce. The strategy has been a big hit in places like Aspen, Colo., and Park City, Utah, whose names have become synonymous with major festivals.
But it can take a toll. Some residents in the northern Michigan town of Traverse City complain that they're suffering from festival fatigue and would like a little less excitement.
Now, we'll introduce you to someone who did successfully sign up for insurance on HealthCare.gov. Michael Lappin of Atlanta, Georgia had a reason to shop for insurance early. His husband has health care needs that made buying their insurance on the individual market difficult and expensive.
Jim Burress, from WABE in Atlanta, profiles the small business owner.
And today's last word in business is: trademarked tartan.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Officially, it's called Haymarket Check. But the iconic tan, black and red tartan is best known as the symbol of the Burberry brand. The British fashion house came up with it at its Haymarket shop in London over a century ago.
WERTHEIMER: But Chinese officials are not impressed. They've decided to revoke Burberry's tartan trademark in China.
No surprise. NPR's business news begins with Black Friday.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Yes, this is the day when retailers begin to turn a profit for the year. But, the deals and door buster sales keep getting earlier and earlier each year. And that's actually beginning to cut into profits.
Movies and books have long been used to advocate for causes, such as climate change or breast cancer. As video games become more mainstream, advocates are beginning to see how this art form can be a new way to reach out and get people engaged in a cause.
Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.
The trunk, which stood just steps away from Lenin's tomb for two weeks, was supposed to host a six-week exhibition celebrating the companies ties to Russia. The suitcase also blocked the view of the St. Basil's Cathedral from the square's entrance, enraging some politicians.
You are not imagining it, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier. Black Friday has been around for decades — that's the point where retailers hope to begin to make a profit.
Shoppers looking to get a jump on deals can shop on Gray Thursday – think Black Friday intruding into Thanksgiving Day.
This Turkey Day, many national chains will open their doors early in an effort to boost sales. K-Mart opened at 6 a.m.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:08 am
The forecast, by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, was issued on Wednesday. It contrasts with that of the Greek government which says the economy will grow next year.
The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:29 pm
The Obama administration announced it is delaying until November 2014 a requirement that small businesses shop for health insurance via the troubled federal HealthCare.gov site, which has been blamed for many problems since its launch last month. The shift applies to businesses with fewer than 50 full-time workers.
NPR's Tell Me More is again using social media to reach out to a new community of leaders — this time, to recognize black innovators in technology. African-Americans represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:22 am
A U.S. judge says American Airlines can exit bankruptcy and join forces with US Airways Group, all but ensuring that their merger can take place within weeks. Wednesday's bankruptcy court ruling was one of the final hurdles for a huge merger that's been in the works for more than a year.
The ruling by Judge Sean Lane comes months after he gave his preliminary approval to the plan. The two companies are now planning to finalize their merger on Dec. 9, when they would combine to create the world's largest airline.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 7:02 am
Peppered with complaints from citizens about burning eyes, sore throats and headaches, city officials in Irwindale, Calif., went to court to see if they could do something about smells coming from a factory that produces Sriracha hot sauce.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:57 am
An aspect of the Affordable Care Act is meant to rein in exploding health care costs. To do that, the law has created hundreds of experiments in which hospitals have volunteered to participate. Our Planet Money team went to one hospital in Ohio that's trying to get doctors more involved in understanding hospital economics.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:25 am
The retail company Men's Wearhouse has announced it is launching a takeover battle for rival Joseph A. Bank. What makes the effort unusual is that just last month Joseph A. Bank was trying to take over Men's Wearhouse. The turnaround is an example of what Wall Street calls a Pac-Man defense.
John Brown, the head of Zion Oil & Gas, believes the Bible will help him find oil in Israel. The company, which is listed on Nasdaq, has so far spent $130 million and drilled four dry holes. Brown is shown here at one of the company's drilling rigs in Israel.
They say an oilman has to be a gambler, but can he be a prophet?
Zion Oil & Gas, based in Dallas, is a publicly traded company that believes it is commanded by the Bible to search for oil in Israel, both to help the Holy Land and make money for investors. The 22 employees of Zion Oil in Texas and Israel, and many of its 30,000 investors, believe the company is on a mission from God.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
An internal review of a report that aired on CBS' "60 Minutes" about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, reached damning conclusions. Now, Laura Logan, the CBS correspondent who reported that story, and her producer are taking leaves of absence at management's request.