Business Briefs – December 24, 2017

Former Tobacco Barns Repurposed For Anti-Smoking Message

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A state with one of the highest smoking rates in the country is paying farmers to paint anti-smoking messages on old tobacco barns. The program in Kentucky pays farmers to paint a message advertising a phone number people can call for help quitting smoking. It echoes the advertising campaigns of some tobacco companies, who for decades would pay farmers to paint ads on their barns.

Tech Firm: End-of-the Year Spending Up 9.2 Percent So Far

NEW YORK (AP) — A payment technology firm says that spending is surging just days before December 25. First Data says overall spending excluding gas, rose 9.2 percent from Nov. 1 through Monday, outpacing the 3.7 percent pace for the year-ago period. The company analyzes online and in-store payments across different forms of cards from 1.3 million merchants. Cooler weather, higher confidence and low unemployment are enticing shoppers to spend.

Fiat Chrysler Recalls Nearly 1.8M Trucks for Shifter Problem

DETROIT (AP) – Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 1.8 million Ram trucks because they can be shifted out of park without the driver’s foot on the brake or even without a key in the ignition. The recall is mainly in North America and covers trucks with steering-column shifters. Owners will be notified when service is available.

Spokane to Seek Factory For New Boeing Plane

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Business leaders in Spokane will make a pitch to attract the design, production and final assembly of Boeing’s new midsize airplane.

Greater Spokane Incorporated, the region’s chamber of commerce, along with Spokane International Airport, say they are forming a task force to attract the project.

Boeing’s proposed new airplane is called the “NMA” and the company plans to announce the launch of the project in 2018.

Spokane business leaders said Friday they want Boeing to continue to manufacture airplanes in the Pacific Northwest. They touted the 240 aerospace manufacturers in the Inland Northwest, along with the region’s lack of congestion and affordable housing prices.