Tax credits: A better way?

An overhaul of state and federal earned income tax credits may be more effective at helping low-wage workers than an increase in the state’s minimum wage, according to a paper produced by the Maryland Public Policy Institute. The recommendation is the preferred option of three possibilities contained in a paper obtained by The Daily Record. (Daily Record)

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Lord & Taylor strikes back at White Flint Mall owners over planned redevelopment

National retailer Lord & Taylor has stepped up its legal rhetoric over the planned redevelopment of the White Flint Mall in Montgomery County, accusing the mall's owners of trying to "bull rush" through a lawsuit over the future of the project. Lord & Taylor sued the mall's owners, principals of Lerner Enterprises LLC and The Tower Cos. in July, claiming they breached a decades-old contract by letting leases expire and knocking down the former Bloomingdale's store. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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W.R. Grace emerges from bankruptcy, finally

After nearly 13 years in bankruptcy, chemical maker W.R. Grace & Co. formally emerged from court protection Monday, bringing an end to one of the longest Chapter 11 cases in U.S. history. The Columbia-based company's joint plan of reorganization went into effect Monday, establishing two trusts that will award more than $4 billion to personal injury claimants and property owners. (Balt. Sun)

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Meritus Health to cut 120 positions as part of systemwide staff reduction

Meritus Health plans to cut 120 positions, including 60 current workers, by Feb. 15 as part of a systemwide staff reduction, President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph P. Ross confirmed Monday. Faced with shrinking revenues due to federal budget cuts in 2013 and an upswing in costs due to uninsured patients, the health system also plans to cut hours for 43 employees, Ross said. (Herald-Mail)

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Longshoremen union to hold secret ballot on proposed port contract

Members of a longshoremen's union at odds with port of Baltimore employers will vote next week on whether to accept the employers' "best and final" contract offer. The secret ballot vote, scheduled for Feb. 11, has the potential to end an extended stalemate between the International Longshoremen's Association Local 333 and the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore, which represents employers. (Balt. Sun)

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Shares of Bank and Men's Wearhouse fall as prospects for merger dim

As the prospect of a $1.6 billion merger between Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. and Men's Wearhouse dimmed, investors retrenched Monday, pushing down shares of both retailers much further than the broader market decline. The market reacted after a weekend in which Hampstead-based Jos. A. Bank rejected a Men's Wearhouse request to negotiate. Bank also raised antitrust concerns in a letter sent Sunday to Men's Wearhouse CEO Douglas S. Ewert, after the Federal Trade Commission questioned the merger. (Balt. Sun)

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Cold and unhedged: How the polar vortex drove Clean Currents out of business

The polar vortex sunk Clean Currents LLC. The Silver Spring-based renewable energy supplier surprised its customers, the green energy industry and government officials on Friday when it announced that it would no longer serve its 6,000 residential and 2,000 commercial clients in D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania. Those customers were being returned to their local utility, effective immediately. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Brookshire Suites relaunches as 'urban playground'

The owner of an aging downtown Baltimore hotel hopes to breathe new life into the property with a gritty, cool makeover that incorporates graffiti, sleek, white couches and a chain link fence. The multi-million dollar upgrade of the Brookshire Suites at Calvert and Lombard streets gives a new street twist to the 1958 building, which began as a parking garage but has been a hotel since the 1980s. (Balt. Sun)

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