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Business news

Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown  has announced it’s boosting engine production. Toyota officials along with Governor Steve Beshear are hailing the automaker's latest expansion as welcome news – both for a company recovering from highly publicized recalls starting in 2009 and the state of the economy in the Bluegrass.

One of Kentucky’s most famous bourbon distilleries is being sued by current and former employees who claim they were victims of sexual discrimination. Four of the five women suing Maker’s Mark still work at the distillery. The women filing the sexual discrimination suit say they were subject to a hostile and intimidating atmosphere around the bottling line at the distillery in Loretto.

Consultants hired last week to help Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Commission on tax reform stressed the importance of tax policies and business climates in surrounding states. A new rating released today by Chief Executive Magazine places Tennessee and Indiana in the top five states, in terms of having business-friendly climates.

The Tennessee Valley Authority will look for ways to reduce its expenses in the months ahead, and some positions will be cut. TVA officials announced today that the power supplier brought in about eleven percent less revenue during the first six months of its financial year, compared to the first six months of the previous financial year. An unusually warm winter, which reduced power sales, was cited as a major contributing factor.

CafePress Incorporated will move its Global Headquarters to Louisville,in a move that  will create nearly six hundred jobs in  Jefferson County.  The company already has a 140 thousand square foot fulfillment center in the area. That operation will be expanded by another 185 thousand square feet, at an investment of more than sixteen million dollars.

A decision is expected within six weeks over whether Instant Racing is legal in Kentucky. The state’s Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case Wednesday. Instant Racing is a slots-like game that Kentucky racetracks hope to use to boost race purses. But the Family Foundation of Kentucky says the game isn’t pari-mutuel betting like horse racing, but instead is closer to a slot machine.

A Kentucky Court of Appeals panel Wednesday afternoon is hearing arguments on the legality of the slot machine-like Instant Racing game being used at Kentucky Downs in Franklin and approved for Ellis Park in Henderson. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission last year approved Instant Racing, a game that lets gamblers place bets on old horse races using a machine similar to a slot machine.

GM

General Motors  is announcing plans to open 600 new dealerships in China, despite a recent slowdown in sales growth.  The company is also planning to add assembly lines in that country.

In Louisville, executives with YUM Brands say Taco Bell's US sales have increased after a slump that had lasted nearly a year. The company went to court in 2011 to counter a suit in California, that claimed the company's beef and burrito mixes contained only about 35% beef. Taco Bell executives have maintained that their beef is 100 percent USDA inspected.

 Governor Steve Beshear has signed a bill into law that gives tax incentives to automakers in Kentucky. The new law allows manufacturers and suppliers to tap the incentives if they have 1,000 employees, have been in business in Kentucky for at least five years and are willing to invest $100 million in the state.

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