Banks continue to bet on bricks and mortar

The number of local, state-chartered bank branches in Massachusetts has actually increased by 20 percent during the past five years. The Division of Banks reported 1,142 as of the end of December, compared to 953 in 2014, with steady growth each year.

L'Espalier restaurant.

Sean P. Murphy | The Fine Print

Upscale restaurant’s closing leaves holders of gift cards hungry for refunds

At least a half-dozen people say they were stiffed when L’Espalier, the Back Bay gourmet restaurant, closed suddenly.

Kansas City, MO - 1/20/2019 - (overtime) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrate the overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Kansas City Chiefs host the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead stadium. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: James M. McBride, Topic: 21Patriots-Chiefs, LOID: 8.5.157043654.


The Super Bowl Patriots are stock market bears

From hoodies to HDTVs, business picks up around the region when the Patriots go to the Super Bowl. It’s a different story for the stock market.

Major construction projects have remade the area around TD Garden and North Station, which Boston Properties wants to be known as Uptown. Above is the view looking out from the new entrance to the MBTA station.

There’s really no place like Boston’s ‘Uptown’

The latest attempt to rename a section of the city faces an uphill battle.

Latest Business headlines

Business agenda

A robotics summit, a leadership workshop, and other events and things to know.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro is the face of populism at the Davos Forum

Brazil’s new leader, Jair Bolsonaro, a man whose nickname back home is the “Trump of the Tropics,” stepped in to take up the populist mantle Tuesday.

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China is shifting blame to Washington in a case that has severely damaged Beijing’s relations with Ottawa.

State fines National Grid for storm response

A powerful wind storm in October 2017 left thousands of customers without power.

Google self-driving spinoff Waymo to put factory in Michigan

The plan will create up to 400 jobs at what the company describes as the world’s first plant “100 percent” dedicated to the mass production of autonomous vehicles.


// Sign up for Talking Points

An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered Monday through Friday.

The Fine Print

// Submit: Are you a consumer with a question?

Sean P. Murphy is the Globe’s consumer columnist, and he’s here to take your queries.

Globe Magazine

Top Places to Work

// The 2018 Top Places to Work in Massachusetts

These 128 businesses have the happiest employees in the state. Here are sortable lists of the winners, and how we compiled them.


// How Celgene leaves a legacy of chutzpah in science, drug pricing

Want to know why an industry that views itself as lifesaving and heroic is viewed by much of the public as price gouging and venal? Look here.

More Business headlines

Stocks sink on growth fears and possible snag in trade talks

Stocks fell sharply Tuesday following new signs the global economy is weakening and reports of difficulties in trade talks between the United States and China.

23MGH -- A rendering of the new building project proposed by Massachusetts General Hospital (courtesy of the hospital). This would be built on Cambridge Street between Blossom and North Grove. (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Mass. General Hospital says it plans large addition

The project includes two connected 12-story towers on Cambridge Street, with hundreds of private patient rooms, a heart center, a cancer center, operating rooms, and other clinical areas.

Fan Lucy Mitchell, 15, greeted Jason Nash as he was vlogging his day in Wellesley recently.

For Jason Nash, life is one long YouTube video

With 17 million YouTube views in a month, Boston native Jason Nash and his “Vlog Squad” cohorts have become video stars.

A home in Quincy’s Houghs Neck section, in March 2018.

Study finds rising seas are eroding value of homes along coast

Rising seas have already cost Massachusetts homeowners more than a quarter-billion dollars in lost property value, according to a study.

The Starbucks at Government Center in Boston.

Starbucks delivery coming to Boston

Dunkin’ already offers delivery via DoorDash, while Starbucks is turning to Uber Eats for half-hour service.

Republican Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn said, “I agree with consumers who demand their privacy be protected in an Internet ecosystem where everybody is playing by the same set of rules.”

Tech Lab

Will new Congress lay down the law on tech?

Divided over many issues, Republicans and Democrats appear to be slowly coalescing around a few big ideas to regulate big technology companies.

Business agenda

A salary negotiation workshop, a tech sales exposition, and other events and things to know.

Jamey Mock


At PerkinElmer, growth’s again at top of mind

It’s been just over a year since PerkinElmer completed the largest acquisition in its history.

Wealth inequality ‘out of control,’ Oxfam warns

Billionaire fortunes increased by 12 percent last year, while the world’s poorest half saw their wealth decline by 11 percent, anti-poverty campaigner Oxfam said.

Africa will be an enormous growth market for years, says Alex Finkelstein. Above, a new bridge in Mozambique.


The VC forecast includes hopes for AI and Africa, worries about politicians

A survey of local venture capitalists turns up some recurring themes.

Developers plan a 1.9 million-square-foot complex at the former power plant in South Boston. But currently, a restriction prevents residential projects on the site.

Legislature may get involved in fight over housing at old power plant in South Boston

South Boston politicians who have concerns about a massive redevelopment project at the shuttered Boston Edison plant have taken their fight to the State House.

“We just don’t see any need to continue manufacturing those beers.’’ said Sean Mossman of COOP Ale Works.

More lenient state laws could mean beer makers cut off low-alcohol brands

Beer snobs are raising their mugs to a stronger brew in three states that once forbade grocers from selling anything but low-alcohol brands, and the changes could indirectly chill the industry in two others where such regulations remain.

Forbearance can protect credit score during shutdown

Once a loan is entered into forbearance status, a lender temporarily suspends the required payments.

Massport’s plans for Logan Airport include reconfiguring the access roads for terminals B and C.

Logan Airport due for huge makeover aimed at improving access

Plans are underway for expanded and updated terminals, new access ramps, and limited curbside access to terminals. Is there a monorail in its future?

A ride share car displays Lyft and Uber stickers on its front windshield in downtown Los Angeles, California.

Bill calls for higher fees for Uber, Lyft in Mass.

Three Massachusetts lawmakers are joining with a regional planning advocacy group to call for higher fees for ride-hailing companies.

At a Raise Up rally last May, hundreds gathered at the State House to support paid leave and a $15 minimum wage.

Chesto Means Business

Supporters look to revive the ‘millionaires tax’

Proponents suffered a crushing defeat in June when the state’s high court ruled that the “Fair Share Amendment” would be unconstitutional.

Sarah Hodge Grob said, “I’ve always loved fashions, especially the transformative effect that clothing can have on someone.”


Her mission: finding clothes that you won’t return

True Fit’s Sarah Hodge Grob helps gather data that’s used by retailers and manufacturers to better target consumers.

US regulators have met to discuss imposing a record-setting fine against Facebook

The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine the FTC imposed on Google in 2012.

Seafood worker dies from injuries at New Bedford plant

William Couto of Acushnet is the second Sea Watch International worker in five years killed after getting caught in machinery.

Sweden forms a government after 133 days, but it’s a shaky one

After a deadlock lasting more than four months, Sweden got a new government on Friday, with the Social Democrats and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven holding onto power under an agreement that excludes a right-wing, anti-immigrant party.

Japan bars women from taking part in emperor’s throne handover

Japan bars women from taking part in emperor’s throne handover

The Model 3 assembly line, under a tent, at Tesla's factory in Fremont, Calif.

Tesla to cut 3,000 jobs in bid to sell Model 3 to mass market

The least-expensive version of the Model 3 now available costs $44,000. CEO Elon Musk said in a companywide e-mail that he wants the lowest-priced Model 3 to sell for $35,000.

Uber used surge pricing during storm last March, state agency rules. It’ll cost them $950,000

Despite the settlement with state officials, Uber defended its use of surge pricing but welcomed the agreement.


Drug maker payments to doctors are linked to higher opioid overdose deaths

In a county of 100,000 people, three additional payments to physicians were linked to 18 percent more prescription opioid deaths, according to the study.

Celgene is in the process of being acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a blockbuster $74 billion deal.

Two local biotechs sign deals with New Jersey’s Celgene

Kyn Therapeutics and Obsidian Therapeutics are both focused on developing cancer treatments.

State Street launches more layoffs, estimated 1,500 jobs

It’s unclear how many will come from the ranks of the company’s Boston workforce.

FILE - In this Tuesday, May 20, 2008, file photo, John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, talks during an interview with The Associated Press, in New York. Vanguard announced Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, that John C.


Jack Bogle: A painful thorn in Boston’s side

Bogle’s Vanguard Group undercut the very premise on which much of the city’s fund industry was built: that stock-pickers are worth the fees they charge investors for managing their money.

Stop & Shop wants to roll out the driverless stores this spring.

Your city street may soon turn into a grocery aisle

Stop & Shop said it will pack fresh grocery items into remote-controlled vans that will roll through Boston area streets this spring, but is it legal?

The sports book at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., opened in November.

Baker’s sports betting proposal goes outside traditional gambling industry

Governor Baker’s plan would allow companies to operate online sports betting without a financial relationship to an existing casino, opening the doors to many potential sports books.

Weekend agenda

An excel bootcamp, a business conference, and other events and things to know.

State Senator Eric Lesser is taking another swing at anti-patent troll legislation.

Chesto means business

Mass. lawmakers take another swing at patent trolls

Eric Lesser is resuming his legislative fight against people who use patent demand letters to bully tech firms large and small into paying up.

Sara Myerson, director of planning at the Boston Planning & Development Agency, is leaving her job.

City’s top planner is stepping down

Sara Myerson of the Boston Planning & Development Agency says she’ll take a job in the private sector.

An image of Puma's North American Headquarters, with a proposed sign, at Assembly Row in Somerville. The building is scheduled to open in 2021.

Puma is moving its headquarters to Assembly Row

The shoe maker will consolidate its Massachusetts operations and add jobs at the Somerville site.

Unfortunately, only the government can print money to pay its debts.


Here’s another economic problem to watch: Bad loans are rising

A growing number of businesses, mainly small and midsize, are having trouble keeping up with their bank loans.

Microsoft pledges $500m to ease Seattle housing crisis

It would be the most ambitious effort by a tech company to directly address the inequality that has spread in areas where the industry is concentrated.

H. Lawrence Culp Jr. was named chairman and CEO of General Electric Oct. 1.


GE is shedding more light on its political donations

GE executives decided to broaden the company’s disclosures of political donations to include trade association dues and gifts to “social welfare” nonprofits, used to funnel dark money to candidates.

Business agenda

Mortgage rates, an etiquette class, and other events and things to know.

Alex Jones called the Sandy Hook shootings a hoax.

Social media storm prompts Roku to ban Infowars from platform

Roku gave a platform reaching millions to the conspiracy site that called the Sandy Hook school shootings a hoax. After hours of outrage, it backed down.

Many scientists say exposure to electromagnetic fields may pose a health hazard. They’re especially concerned about cellphones, because of their position close to the user’s head.

Could your cellphone’s electromagnetic field make you sick?

Health activists want Massachusetts health officials to release data they hold about the risks of cellphones and other wireless technologies.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere, at a Senate hearing, stayed at Trump International Hotel.

T-Mobile executives were Trump customers while seeking deal approval

A VIP Arrivals list for the Trump International Hotel in Washington reveals frequent stays by T-Mobile higher-ups as they attempted a contentious merger which required government approval.

FILE - This Oct. 15, 2018 file photo shows a sign for a Sears Outlet department store is displayed in Norristown, Pa. Multiple media outlets reported early Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, that billionaire Eddie Lampert has won a bankruptcy auction after strengthening his bid in several days of negotiations with creditors. Lampert, Sears’ chairman and largest shareholder, upped his offer to more than $5 billion and added a $120 million cash deposit through an affiliate of his ESL hedge fund. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Sears survives bankruptcy auction and will keep 400 stores open

Billionaire Eddie Lampert, the company’s chairman and largest shareholder, reportedly won the auction with a $5.2 billion takeover bid early Wednesday.

Innovation Economy by Scott Kirsner


Kirsner’s Innovation Economy column appears in the Boston Sunday Globe, and he contributes to the Globe’s Beta Boston website.