Business Briefs: 6/27/14

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Health department hits Robinson restaurants

The Allegheny County Health Department took action Wednesday against two Robinson restaurants for recurring food safety violations. The Ichiban Hibachi and Sushi Bar at 1160 Park Manor Blvd. was shut down for inadequate refrigeration and storing food at unsafe temperatures.The restaurant was cleared to reopen Thursday. The closure order followed a consumer alert posted in April for the same critical violations.

Meanwhile, DeLuca’s Diner, also on Park Manor, was hit with a consumer alert for holding food at unsafe temperatures and other problems. The alert was removed Thursday after a follow up inspection. Inspection reports for Allegheny County restaurants are available online at​Restaurant/.

Sole Power takes home $100,000 pitch prize

Sole Power, an East Liberty-based startup that converts energy from footsteps to electricity, took home a $100,000 prize during the Rise of the Rest Tour’s pitch competition at AlphaLab Gear in East Liberty. The tour, which was created by AOL co-founder Steve Case in an effort to promote startup economies outside of Silicon Valley and New York, arrived in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Mr. Case’s Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Revolution will provide the investment and hands-on mentorship for Sole Power founders Hahna Alexander and Matthew Stanton.

Consumer spending up 0.2 percent in May

Consumers stepped up

their spending slightly in May, boosted by a jump in auto sales and higher income. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.2 percent last month after no gain in April. Income rose 0.4 percent in May after a 0.3 percent April gain.

GM set to recall Chevy Cruze compacts

General Motors is preparing to recall about 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars because the air bags might not inflate properly in a crash. Spokesman Jim Cain says the cars were built with an incorrect part made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. The Cruze is built in Lordstown, Ohio.

Ikea raises hourly pay for U.S. workers

Ikea’s U.S. division is raising the minimum wage for thousands of its retail workers, pegging it to the cost of living in each location. The 17 percent average raise is the Swedish chain’s biggest in 10 years in the U.S. The pay increase will take effect Jan. 1. It will translate to an average wage of $10.76 an hour, a $1.59 increase from the previous $9.17.

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