Business

Berg’s Shoes store closes

The owners of Berg’s Shoes, one of downtown Spokane’s longest-surviving retail stores, announced they’ve closed the business.

Beth and Alex McCauley posted a note on the store door announcing the closure. In 2010 the McCauleys bought the business from Chris Berg, the grandson of the business’s founder, Oliver Berg.

Originally located in the Peyton Building, Berg’s Shoes survived in downtown Spokane for more than 80 years, specializing in footwear for children.

In 1942 the family moved to its current address at 818 W. Sprague Ave. During the 1960s the family-owned business added stores in University and Shadle Park malls. In the 1990s the owners closed all but the downtown store.

On their Facebook page the McCauleys didn’t offer a reason for closing, saying: “To all our valued customers and those who have supported us, it is with a heavy heart we announce that Berg’s Shoes is closed. We sincerely appreciate all your support and have truly loved serving the Spokane Community over the last four years.”

Rules aim to aid vets, disabled

WASHINGTON – Veterans and disabled workers who often struggle to find work could have an easier time landing a job under new federal regulations.

The rules, announced Tuesday by the Labor Department, will require most government contractors to set a goal of having disabled workers make up at least 7 percent of their employees. The benchmark for veterans would be 8 percent, a rate that could change from year to year depending on the overall number of former military members in the workforce.

The new requirements could have a major impact on hiring since federal contractors and subcontractors account for about 16 million workers – more than 20 percent of the nation’s workforce. But some business groups have threatened legal action, complaining that the rules conflict with federal laws that discourage employers from asking about a job applicant’s disability status.

New York Times site hacked

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Readers who tried to click on the New York Times’ website got nothing but error messages Tuesday afternoon in its second major disruption this month. A hacker group calling itself the “Syrian Electronic Army” claimed responsibility.

Within minutes of the attack, the New York Times announced in a Twitter message that it would continue to publish news. The company quickly set up alternative websites, posting stories about chemical attacks in Syria. “Not Easy to Hide a Chemical Attack, Experts Say,” was the headline of one.

The cyberattacks come at a time when the Obama administration is trying to bolster its case for possible military action against Syria, where the administration says President Bashar Assad’s government is responsible for an alleged deadly chemical attack on civilians. Assad denies the claim.

Consumer confidence rises

WASHINGTON – Americans’ confidence in the economy inched closer to a 5 1/2-year high on growing optimism that hiring and wages could pick up in coming months.

The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 81.5 in August. That’s up from a revised reading of 81 in July. And it’s just below the 82.1 reading in June, which was the highest since January 2008.



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