The Home Depot – GF home sales…Grand Sky & Hugo’s liquor license
Bouncing back from months of retrenchment, America’s consumers stepped up their spending by a solid 2.4% in January, the sharpest increase in seven months and a sign that the economy may be poised to sustain a recovery from the pandemic recession. The Commerce Department report shows personal incomes, which provide the fuel for spending, jumped 10% last month.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is underscoring the U.S. economy’s ongoing weakness in remarks that suggest that the Fed sees no need to alter its ultra-low interest rate policies anytime soon. Powell’s comments are in contrast to increasing optimism among many analysts that the economy will grow rapidly later this year.
North Dakota recorded 7,053 initial unemployment claims in January 2021, up 0.3 percent from December and higher by 58.8 percent compared to the same month one year ago. Eighteen of 20 industries and 49 of 53 counties reported higher initial claims compared to the same month one year ago.
Demand for new homes in the U.S. surged 4.3% in January as the housing market remains one of the strongest segments of the economy. Last month’s increase pushed sales of new homes to an adjusted annual rate of 923,000 the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That’s much better than the 855,000 analysts were expecting.
Home sales in Grand Forks / East Grand Forks held steady in January. A total of 41 homes and townhomes exchanged hands last month – the same number as reported one year ago. In December the Grand Forks Area Association of Realtors reported 74 sales compared to 46 in 2020. The average sales price last month was $244,554.
The average American household spends $2,471 on property taxes for their homes each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Figures compiled by the financial website WalletHub rank North Dakota 29th and Minnesota 32nd on the lowest property tax ranking list.
The Grand Forks council is expected to give final approval this week to an on-sale / off-sale beer and wine liquor license for the new downtown Hugo’s store. The two areas would be in separate locations within the building. A preliminary plan presented to the city suggests the on-sale would include a bar with booths and high tables. The area would also feature a series of TV’s and a fireplace. Patio seating would be available for 40 customers plus a mezzanine level with outdoor space.
Lowe’s extended its strong sales streak through the holiday season as customers kept investing in their homes during the pandemic. The nation’s second largest home improvement retailer behind Home Depot reported that fourth-quarter profits almost doubled from a year ago.
Costco is increasing its starting wage to $16 an hour. The starting wage scale puts Costco above competitors including Amazon, Target and Best Buy, which have $15 minimum wages. Walmart’s starting pay is $11 an hour.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is recalling more than 430,000 light truck tires in the U.S. due to sidewall bulges that could cause tire failure. The recall covers certain Discoverer, Evolution, Courser, Deegan, Adventurer, Hercules, Back Country, Multi-Mile, Wild Country, and Big O tires in several sizes.
Grand Sky Development Company, LLC has entered into lease agreements with four tenants to occupy the entirety of the new Multi-Tenant Building 1 at the business and aviation park. The tenants include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Northern Plains UAS Test Site, Grand Sky Airfield Operations, LLC and Innovets Aerospace. The MT1 building was conceived several years ago to support smaller organizations that want to be at Grand Sky but don’t want to invest the funds to build their own buildings under long-term leases. Plans are already underway for a new Multi-Tenant Building 2.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that it has awarded $454,375 in Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants to startups. Since January, DEED awarded grants to 17 companies, of which 13 are target minority, veteran or woman-owned businesses or are located in Greater Minnesota.
As part of the announcement by Altru to resume construction on the new hospital project in 2021 comes the addition of an ambulatory surgical center in the Altru Specialty Center. The surgery center will offer orthopedic, eye and urology procedures along with plastic surgery.
Starting March 1, the Grand Forks Library will be expanding open hours and will no longer require appointments. The library will have a capacity limit of 50 patrons at once, as well as require masks, encourage social distancing, and frequently sanitize high-touch surfaces. No meetings or in-person programming will be allowed at this time.
Hasbro has removed the gender from its Mr. Potato Head brand, but not from the actual toy. The company, which has been making the potato-shaped plastic toy for nearly 70 years, announced on Thursday that it was dropping Mr. from the brand in an effort to make sure “all feel welcome in the Potato Head world.” Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will still exist but the branding on the box will say “Potato Head.”