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Nebraska economic development director

to leave post

LINCOLN, Neb. | Nebraska’s state economic development director is leaving his post next month.

Director Dave Rippe plans to return to his hometown of Hastings to work in real estate and talent development after he steps down on Aug. 9. Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the departure Monday, praising Rippe for his “outstanding service” to the state and his help in winning national economic development awards.

Ricketts said he already has begun a search to replace Rippe, who started working for the state in January 2016. An interim director will lead the agency until a full-time replacement is chosen.

Ricketts credited Rippe for leading a state economic development team that recently attracted investments from companies including Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Rippe is the third person to lead the department under Ricketts.

Starbucks to expand delivery nationally

in 2020

SEATTLE | Starbucks said it will offer delivery in most of the U.S. by early next year.

The Seattle coffee company launched delivery last fall in Miami with its partner, Uber Eats. It has since expanded to 10 additional U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Starbucks said Uber Eats will remain its preferred provider as it rolls out delivery more widely.

Customers in most areas where Starbucks and Uber Eats operate will be able to order drinks and other menu items. Uber Eats said it currently covers more than 70% of the U.S. population.

Starbucks and Uber Eats also will work together to improve delivery packaging, in-store operations and delivery speed.

Alibaba lets U.S. small, medium businesses sell on platform

NEW YORK | China’s e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba will allow small and medium-sized U.S. businesses to sell on Alibaba.com.

U.S. businesses, until Tuesday, were only able to buy merchandise on the platform.

Alibaba is looking to juice its growth, which has been held in check by Amazon and threatened by trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Alibaba said the platform has 10 million active business buyers in more than 190 countries and regions.

One-third of the order volume is from U.S. businesses, said John Caplan, president of North America B2B and globalization at Alibaba Group.

— From AP reports