Business & Economy

Ghassan's, a quick service Mediterranean restaurant  in Greensboro.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

It's lunchtime at Ghassan's, a quick service Mediterranean restaurant  in Greensboro. Meat hits the grill,  fries drop into hot oil and ice collects in paper cups. The local restaurant chain specializes in chicken kabobs, falafel, tabouli, hummus – all the tasty Lebanese staples. One restaurant is just a block away from the Greensboro Coliseum.

So Good Pupusas

Chefs, writers, scholars and restaurateurs will gather over the next two days for the first annual Carolina Food Summit. By building community around food, they hope to change food policy. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Shorlette Ammons, community food systems outreach coordinator at NC A&T University; Inez Ribustello, co-owner of On the Square restaurant in Tarboro; and Cecilia Polanco of So Good Pupusas about the summit and their work in rural foodways and social justice.

Wikimedia commons


Last night, presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton traded barbs about many subjects including America's economic strength. Economic stability is a key issue in the election and also in the lives of many Americans. 

As part of the NPR Nation Engaged project, host Frank Stasio asks, “What can we do to create economic opportunity for more Americans?” One possible solution is worker-owned businesses.

Chart shows the pattern of total employment in North Carolina
N.C. Department of Commerce / N.C. Department of Commerce

The estimated number of people employed in North Carolina decreased in August, marking the third straight month of decline.

The unemployment rate decreased as well, though that was due entirely to a decline in the labor force, a measure of all those in the state who are working or looking for work. Because the entire pool of those looking for work statistically shrank, so did the unemployment rate.

Gas prices are up in North Carolina as supply is dwindling.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Gasoline prices are up across North Carolina, and some stations are running out of fuel.

Colonial Pipeline shut down the line that pumps a million barrels of gas a day to North Carolina and five other Southern states. That's because of a leak that was discovered along the Alabama stretch on September 9.

Composite photo of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
U.S. Embassy and Gage Skidmore / flickr

This year, political uncertainty could dampen business investment even after the outcome of the election isn’t uncertain.

A picture of a wallet with cash in it.
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

As a whole, median household incomes in North Carolina increased at a pace slower than the national average and middle of the pack compared to southern neighbors.

Jordan Green

Residents at the Rolling Hills apartment complex in Winston-Salem have alleged Section 8 housing fraud by management. They have been making complaints of housing code violations for months.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Jordan Green, senior editor at The Triad City Beat, about the Rolling Hills story and larger issues of gentrification in east Winston-Salem.   


Am image of a drone capturing videos and still images of an apartment building in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Last week, the Raleigh-based company PrecisionHawk became the first company to acquire a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration that allows pilots to fly commercial drones beyond the line-of-sight.

  PrecisionHawk uses drones for aerial data analysis in industries like agriculture. The F.A.A. waiver is an extension of new federal regulations that will allow more companies to use drones for commercial use. 

UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox

LGBT advocates are criticizing the United Kingdom's decision to open a new trade office in the Triangle.

Raleigh To Get First Downtown Supermarket In Decades

Jul 29, 2016
Kroger announced it is buying Harris Teeter.
Mike Kalasnik via Flickr, Creative Commons

As Raleigh's housing boom continues, the downtown area is set to get its first grocery store in decades.

The company that manages Seaboard Station, a shopping center off Peace Street, announced plans to add a full-service Harris Teeter in the next two years.

An image of a CSX train
Flickr upload bot / Wiki Creative Commons

A controversial rail hub appears to have found a home in eastern North Carolina.


CSX first proposed building the container shipping hub in Johnston County earlier this year, but local opposition forced that project to be moved elsewhere.

Neal Moore checks on the next batch of blueberry crop to be harvested soon.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

At the Ivanhoe Blueberry Farms in Sampson County, many of the blueberry bushes are close to eight feet tall now, with plants so close, visitors can hardly see from one row to another.

A picture of the BCBS NC Headquarters in Durham.
Jed Record /

Customers of the state's largest health insurance company who get their coverage through the Affordable Care Act might pay more in 2017.

Officials with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina have asked state regulators for a nearly 19 percent rate increase for customers who buy coverage through

An image of Saul Berenthal and his family
Saul Berenthal

As a Jewish child in Cuba, Saul Berenthal never felt like an outsider. His parents fled to the country from Eastern Europe during the Holocaust and eventually raised Berenthal in the Jewish and Cuban cultures. After the Cuban revolution, Berenthal and family came to the U.S. in 1960 to start a new life.

Sallie Krawcheck has gone from Wall Street executive to leading Ellevate, a women's professional network.
A.E. Fletcher Photography

Note: This is a rebroadcast  

Sallie Krawcheck was once one of the most senior executives on Wall Street with top positions at Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch.

She held her own in a male-dominated industry, but after two public firings from those positions, Krawcheck took a different career path. 

RDU, Paris, Delta Air Lines
Leoneda Inge

The new non-stop Delta Air Lines flight to Paris, France from Raleigh-Durham International Airport took off without a hitch Thursday night.

Community and business leaders celebrated along with Delta staff.  They say the Paris flight is a sign North Carolina’s economy has rebounded since the recession, and is growing.

The Delta Air Lines, RDU, Paris party consumed at least four gates. There were balloons, sweets from Cary’s La Farm Bakery and lots of pictures.  But the real action was at gate C-15 as passengers prepared to board their flight to Paris.

Krispy Kreme, JAB Holding Company
Leoneda Inge

A German conglomerate is buying Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in a billion dollar deal that will take the company private.

JAB Holding Company is buying Krispy Kreme for about $1.35 billion. Several experts say it’s a sweet deal. The German conglomerate is paying $21 a share, a 25% premium over what Krispy Kreme was worth at market close on Friday.

Bennett College for Women, Wells Fargo, Financial Advisors
Bennett College

There’s a national movement to make sure the nation’s financial advisors look like the clients they serve.

But before that can happen, there needs to be a larger number of financial advisors in the pipeline.

A new partnership between Wells Fargo and Bennett College for Women sets out to help solve the problem.

HB2, House Bill 2, Chambers of Commerce
New Media Campaigns

The state legislature begins its short session today. Regardless of the official calendar, the issue on many people’s minds is North Carolina’s new law limiting discrimination protections.  Local business groups are calling for its repeal.

Governor Pat McCrory
Hal Goodtree / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order this week that changes some provisions in North Carolina's controversial House Bill Two.

It loosens some of the limits placed on discrimination protections for LGBT people, but it leaves the provisions on bathrooms and minimum wage restrictions in place.

The order was announced in the wake of a business backlash against HB2. Deutsche Bank said it would freeze the expansion it had planned for 250 jobs in Cary. Paypal recently halted plans to create 400 jobs in Charlotte.

A picture of a wallet with cash in it.
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

North Carolinians are having more trouble attaining the American Dream, according to a new report from Durham-based research center MDC and the John M. Belk Endowment.

Image of Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company
Capitol Broadcasting Company

Jim Goodmon was immersed in the world of broadcasting as a young kid, watching his grandfather build Capitol Broadcasting Company from the ground up. He spent his teen years driving around eastern North Carolina giving away free TV antennas to encourage people to start tuning into WRAL.

An image of 'The Road Taken' by Henry Petroski
Bloomsbury Press

Approximately 65,000 bridges in the U.S. are considered "structurally deficient," according to the latest report from the American Society of Civil Engineers. With roads in constant need of repair and bridges collapsing, America's infrastructure is at a crossroads, says author Henry Petroski.

Image of Meredith Sawyer, early childhood educator in Greensboro who earns less than a living wage
Duke Center for Documentary Studies

An estimated 20 percent of North Carolinians earn less than a "living wage."

Advocates refer to that term as the household income needed to cover housing, food, child care, healthcare, transportation, taxes and other necessities.

A new interactive video exhibit from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University tells the stories of these workers and explores the options for new policies that might help them.