Star2Star company recognized for growth
MANATEE COUNTY -- Star2Star Communications has been named to Inc. magazine's annual Inc. 500|5000 ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.
It is Star2Star's fourth consecutive appearance on the list. The Inc. 5000 companies are chosen from the nearly 7 million privately held companies.
The company currently serves more than 150,000 business users at more than 30,000 locations across the United States and Canada. Star2Star unifies customers' voice, video, fax and instant messaging into a single system.
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The 2014 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009. They had to be U.S. based, privately held, for profit, and independent companies as of Dec. 31, 2013.
Deere to lay off about 460 from Iowa tractor plant
MOLINE, Ill. -- Agricultural equipment maker Deere is laying off about 460 employees indefinitely from an Iowa tractor factory as it continues to adjust to market demand.
The Moline, Ill., company said Friday the latest round of layoffs will be effective Oct. 20. Deere said last week that it would lay off more than 600 employees at four Midwest factories that make harvesting and other agricultural equipment due to slumping demand.
Deere & Co. is the world's biggest farm equipment supplier and employs about 67,000 people globally.
The company said this month that it planned to reduce agricultural equipment production for the remainder of the year.
FPL says customer bills to decrease in 2015
JUNO BEACH -- Decreasing fuel prices prompted Florida Power & Light Co. to predict is will reduce customer rates in 2015.
Based on the company's projections filed Friday, FPL's typical 1,000-kilowatt-hour residential customer bill will decrease nearly $2 a month beginning in January. At the same time, typical business customer bills are expected to decrease roughly 1 percent, depending on rate class and type of service.
Estimates released Friday reflect FPL's projections for the cost of fuel to generate power in 2015. FPL projects that its fuel charge will remain near its lowest levels in the past decade.
McDonald's names new U.S. president again
NEW YORK -- McDonald's named a new president for its struggling U.S. division on Friday, marking the second change in the high-profile spot in less than two years.
The world's biggest hamburger chain says it's bringing back a longtime McDonald's executive, Mike Andres, to fill the role effective Oct. 15. Andres replaces Jeff Stratton, who is retiring, and inherits some major challenges.
Stratton, 58, took over in late 2012 and replaced Jan Fields.
-- Herald staff and wire