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The Memo: What to know in business this week for Nov. 20

The Number: 8

That's the ranking the Wall Street Journal gave Minneapolis in the national chase for Amazon's second headquarters. Well, technically the city was 11th since there were several ties. The Journal looked at the company's criteria, "people familiar with Amazon's thinking" (ugh) and what cities/regions have to offer. Despite great fiscal health and cost of living, Minnesota is a long shot thanks to a small tech workforce, tax issues and a poor culture fit, says the WSJ. Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta were the top candidates highlighted. I believe the next round in this competition is the karaoke contest.

The Word: "I've got concerns when 82 percent of the business total tax refund goes to corporations and we are leaving pass-throughs at an economic disadvantage in terms of competition," Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson told CNBC last week about his party's tax reform plan.

The Lead: The lights, how they burn. Businesses continued their campaign against bright white/blue LED street lighting replacing/destroying the former incandescent (sodium-vapor, actually) warmth that has long bathed Duluth's storefronts and commercial districts. Fitger's owner Scott Vesterstein wrote to the City Council that "business owners and residents should have a say in how the streetscape should look in front of their property."

The Happy Hour: "The beer is here," says Earth Rider Brewery, which is hosting its Launch Week today through Saturday with prize drawings, music and, of course, freshly brewed beer. Superior's Cedar Lounge is the place to go, as it has been designated Earth Rider's taproom — it is right next door after all.

The Call: What do you want to know?

I know what kind of stories I want to tell, but it doesn't matter if you don't want to read them. So what business stories do you want to read about the most? What am I missing? As I start looking back on the year's coverage, not to mention my favorite albums of the year, I wonder if 2018 should see my energy spent in different ways. Short of finding a new restaurant opening or closing to write about every day (this, according to web traffic, is what you truly desire) please let me know what serves you best. And thank you, as always, for reading.

The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to biz@duluthnews.com and give thanks-giving business reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at (218) 723-5329.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

(218) 723-5329
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