Tire Discounters expands into South

Tire Discounters, which entered the Chattanooga market last week when it opened a new store on Highway 153 in Hixson, will expand into the Huntsville, Ala., market later this year.

The nation's eighth-largest independent tire retailer, Tire Discounters already has about 100 stores nationwide. Huntsville will make Alabama the sixth state in which the company operates.

"Having opened or remodeled 29 locations in the past three years, we're eager to continue that momentum and bring our high levels of customer service to more and more customers," company President Jamie Ward said in a statement.

The company, family-owned and operating from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been in business since 1976. This year, it plans to add three stores in Chattanooga.


Local gas prices drop by 1.6 cents

Gasoline prices in Chattanooga fell for a second consecutive week last week, dropping another 1.6 cents per gallon to an average of $2.17 per gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga.

Although local gas prices are up 32.2 cents per gallon from a year ago, they remain 32 cents per gallon cheaper than the U.S. average of $2.49 per gallon.

"Gasoline prices took a breather heading into Thanksgiving which may last another few days, but as oil prices perk back up heading into OPEC's annual meeting, we may see a rebound soon," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "OPEC's decision may reverberate at pumps in the months and year ahead, and while the decision is likely to be an extension of production cuts made at their meeting a year ago, it's certainly not yet guaranteed."

Among more than 350 metropolitan cities, Chattanooga ranked as the 20th cheapest city to refuel your vehicle. Cleveland, Tenn., where gas prices fell to just $2.14 a gallon, was the third cheapest city in America for regular gas behind only Henderson, Ky., and Gadsden, Ala.


Employer tax credits rise from additional hires

Tennessee employers received more than $322 million in federal tax credits in the first 10 months of 2017 by hiring nearly 124,000 workers eligible for Work Opportunity Tax Credits.

With the state's jobless rate at an all-time low, employers already have hired more eligible workers for the tax credits than they did in all of 2016. Eligible workers must come from targeted groups who consistently have a difficult time entering or re-entering the labor force, including persons who have been unemployed for a long period of time, veterans, food stamp recipients, ex-felons, persons in vocational rehabilitation and supplemental social security income recipients.

Employers may receive tax credits from $2,400 to $9,600 a year for each employee hired from the targeted groups.

"This tax credit benefits everyone involved," Tennessee Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips said. "It can help improve an employer's bottom line, while assisting someone who faces significant barriers when looking for employment."


New-home sales up by 6.2 percent

Americans bought new homes in October at the fastest pace in a decade. The 6.2 percent monthly increase reflects both the underlying strength of the economy and the worsening shortage of existing homes for sale.

The Commerce Department said new-home sales last month rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000. That marks the third straight monthly gain and the best sales clip since October 2007. Much of the sales growth came from the Northeast and Midwest.


Farm worker union wins contract battle

The California Supreme Court handed a victory to organized farm labor Monday in a lawsuit that pitted the union launched by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez against one of the largest U.S. fruit farms.

In a unanimous ruling, the high court in the nation's leading agricultural state upheld a law that aims to get labor contracts for farm workers whose unions and employers do not agree on wages and other working conditions.


Panama hotel seeks to end Trump name

Owners of the Trump International Hotel in Panama are working to strip President Donald Trump's name from the 70-story building and fire the hotel management company run by Trump's family.

The property once paid at least $32 million to associate with Trump. The uprising by Panama hotel owners — following news that Trump was effectively being paid to end a similar management contract for the Trump Soho hotel in New York — points to continued struggles for the Trump brand outside strongholds such as Mar-a-Lago in Florida and the Trump Hotel in Washington.