HUD awards Chattanooga homeless coalition $2.2 million grant and more business news

Photo by Dave Flessner / A homeless camp has been set up along the railroad overpass on 11th street just down the street from the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.

Chattanooga homeless group gets $2.2 million grant

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition a $2.2 million grant to help youths experiencing homelessness with funding for housing units and wrap around support services.

CHRC was one of 45 homeless agencies to share in the $142 million of federal funds allocated to help build systems to end youth homelessness. Wendy Winters, CHRC executive director, said the coalition will hold a local funding competition to allocate the $2.2 million.

"We are so proud of our community and HUD's recognition of our efforts," Winters said. "During the coming months, we will be working with the Young Adult Advocacy Board (YAAB) , organizations serving youth and other community partners to create a comprehensive plan to end youth homelessness in Southeast Tennessee."

Loop hopes to boost reusable packaging

Reusable packaging is about to become more common at groceries and restaurants worldwide.

Loop, which collects and sanitizes reusable containers, said Wednesday it's expanding after successful trials in France and Japan. Customers can pay a deposit for items like stainless steel canisters of ice cream. They get the deposit back when they return the empty container to the store, where Loop collects and cleans it. Kroger and Walgreens in the U.S., and Tesco in the United Kingdom are among the groceries partnering with Loop. McDonald's, Burger King and Tim Hortons have also signed on.

EU conducts first climate stress test

The European Central Bank has carried out its first climate change stress test. The analysis probes what would happen to banks, companies and the economy under different climate scenarios.

The bank found that there will be costs in the short term to polluting industries like coal mining and conventional electricity generation. But those costs will pay off in the long run if the economy avoids sharply increased natural disasters and severe weather that would come with doing nothing, or with a late and hasty response.

Banks in southern European countries like Greece were found to be particularly exposed to loan defaults if companies are hit by floods or fires.

97% of United Airlines workers are vaccinated

The vast majority of United Airlines employees are deciding to get vaccinated against COVID-19 rather than risk losing their job.

United said Wednesday that more than 97% of its U.S.-based employees are fully vaccinated. There's less than a week to go before United employees face a deadline to get the shots or get fired.

The airline says a small number of employees are seeking a medical or religious exemption from vaccination. Employees who win an exemption will be placed on leave starting Oct. 2 and could eventually come back, although they might have to wear a mask and undergo weekly testing for the virus.

Google to buy Manhattan office

Google on Tuesday announced it would spend $2.1 billion to buy a sprawling Manhattan office building on the Hudson River waterfront, paying one of the largest purchase prices in recent years for an office building in the United States and providing a jolt of optimism to a New York City real estate industry lashed by the pandemic and the shift to remote work.

The transaction comes during a precarious period for the city's office market, the largest in the country, as the swift embrace of hybrid work and the shedding of office space have presented the most serious threat to the industry in decades.

While Manhattan has a glut of office space available for lease, setting record highs during the pandemic, the four firms that make up so-called Big Tech - Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook - have staked a bullish position on the future of New York.

Google has 12,000 corporate employees in New York City - its largest satellite office outside its California headquarters - and said on Tuesday it planned to hire 2,000 more workers in the city in the coming years.

- Compiled by Dave Flessner