Business & Economy

Photo of Tom Barrack, real estate mogul
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Thomas Barrack is a real estate mogul and President Donald Trump’s good friend. He built a housing empire by swooping in and purchasing foreclosed homes during the recession.

Photo of Becky Holmes
Becky Holmes

 

Becky Holmes grew up eating the bread and processed foods her family could get from food pantries. They struggled with obesity, mental illness and other ailments that made Becky realize what you eat matters. She vowed to break the cycle of poverty and be the one to give back.  


Home sales in May. The "Entire Triangle Region" includes all outlying Triangle counties as well.
Triangle Multiple Listing Service / Jason deBruyn

Housing prices continued their rise in May, and also hit a new record.

It's no secret that home prices in the Triangle have shot up. Year over year sales prices have increased for 37 straight months now.

Wilmington has seen fewer film deals since the state reduced tax credits.
Allen Forrest / Flickr

Filmmakers have spent less and produced fewer projects in North Carolina in the past two years.

That's when the state changed its film incentives program to a capped-grant program. Before the change, state taxpayers offered credits to filmmakers with a project cap but no statewide limit.

The popular Skyhouse Apartments in Raleigh while still under construction.
James Willamor / Flickr

Apartment demand in Raleigh will grow at one of the fastest rates in the country, according to a new housing report.

In fact, the research estimates that apartment units will increase by 69 percent in the greater Raleigh area by 2030.

Low-income working families with children
Annie E. Casey Foundation / Jason deBruyn

An annual report on the well-being of children in North Carolina shows mixed results. 

The data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation indicates the state ranks 33rd in the country in economic, social and health indicators for children.

Horace Robinson of Upper Cutz in Rich Square.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

With the buzzing sound of hair clippers in the background, Horace Robinson, the owner of Upper Cutz barber shop, laments that the last bank branch in his rural town closed.

"Now we’ve got to go 15, 20 miles to another branch in order just to get change," said Robinson, while shaping a client’s mustache and beard.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina headquarters in Durham.
BCBSNC

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina filed to increase Affordable Care Act premiums by 22.9 percent next year.

A rendering of the 22-story FNB Tower that will break ground in downtown Raleigh later this year.
Courtesy of FNB Corporation

First National Bank has announced plans to build a 22-story building in downtown Raleigh. The building will include residential and commercial space, and will be on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh's City Plaza. 

AgriLife Today, Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo / Flickr, Creative Commons

Two Appalachian State University students have won second place at an international competition for their creative, sustainable biofuel project.

Ali Moxley and Kelsey Simon pitched an idea to have corn chip factories use cooking oil left over from manufacturing to fuel trucks that transport packaged chips.

Flickr Creative Commons

A noncompete agreement is designed to prevent an employee from leaving his or her employer to work for a competitor. For decades, many companies required senior management to sign those agreements to protect information about the inner workings of their organizations. However, noncompete agreements are becoming more common down the economic ladder, barring blue-collar workers’ mobility and bargaining power in the workplace.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse seen from the light keepers house in Buxton. The lighthouse was put in service in 1870 and is the world's tallest brick lighthouse at 208 feet. Its beacon can be seen 20 miles out at sea.
Cliff Owen / Associated Press

House Bill 2 apparently did not dampen tourism in 2016.

North Carolina recorded a record $22.9 billion in visitor spending last year, according to figures recently put out by the Department of Commerce.

That’s an increase of 4.3 percent from 2015 and supported more than 218,000 tourism jobs, according to commerce.

Inside Raleigh-Durham International Airport, RDU
RDU

The state Senate's proposed budget includes more than $60 million for projects at Raleigh-Durham and Piedmont-Triad International Airports.

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

A fourth veto, and now a fourth override, and now hog farmers are shielded with government protection.

Hector Emanuel, special to ProPublica

Case Farms chicken company produces nearly one billion pounds of meat each year. It supplies food for customers including Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Boar’s Head, and the U.S. government. Yet a new report shows it is a business built on the backs of the world’s most vulnerable immigrants. And its factories are some of the most dangerous workplaces in America.

Credit Suisse will add 1,200 jobs in Research Triangle Park
Credit Suisse / Flickr

Financial services giant Credit Suisse will add 1,200 new jobs in North Carolina and invest more than $70 million at its Research Triangle Park campus, the company announced Tuesday.

A screenshot taken of the Google timelapse video over Hatteras.
Google

North Carolina Sea Grant, using Google satellite imaging, looked at coastal erosion dating back to 1984.

N.C. Sea Grant took a close look at Hatteras, Ocracoke, Bogue and other areas along the coast and outer banks.

Spencer Rogers is the N.C. Sea Grant coastal construction and erosion specialist. He said tracking the changes over time is important not only for public policy, but for property owners as well.

Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed two secretarial orders
Department of the Interior

On Friday, President Trump has issued an executive order that opens up the possibility of off-shore drilling in American waters, including off the coast of the Carolinas.

The Oxford Wastewater Treatment Plant treats 3.5 million gallons of wastewater per day.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Flooding. Sewer spills. Contaminated drinking water.

Across North Carolina's communities, water systems have been pushed to their limits, and in some cases overrun. Hurricane Matthew, for example, wreaked havoc. On a smaller scale, flooding throughout the Triangle this week showed that drainage systems are susceptible even outside major disasters.

Morning on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Outer Banks Real Estate / Flickr Creative Commons

Businesses on the Outer Banks are preparing for an annual influx of international students who spend their summers working along the barrier islands. 

A picture of High Point Market.
High Point Market Authority

When House Bill 2, also known as the “bathroom bill,” passed last year, it caused some businesses in the state to lose customers and revenue. Now, officials with the biannual High Point Market hope they’ll see an increase in attendees this year.

map of a proposed change to U.S. 70
Courtesy of the NC DOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is taking public comment on a plan to overhaul two busy intersections on U.S. 70.

Image of scholar William (Sandy) Darity
Duke University Sanford School School of Public Policy

Why are some people rich and others poor? Answering this elusive question has been the lifelong work of economist William (Sandy) Darity. Darity was an observant child, and from an early age he picked up on how wealth disparities divide communities. 

A picture of a sale sign in front of a home.
myguysmoving.com / Flickr, Creative Commons

Anyone looking to buy a home has probably noticed slim pickings this year.

According to data compiled by the Associated Press, there are fewer than 3,000 homes for sale in Raleigh. That's down 16 percent from last year, and less than half the available homes from 2012.

A house for sale in Stokes County, N.C.
Images of Money via Flickr

North Carolina homeownership rates increased noticeably in 2016, the first year since the Great Recession to show a significant upward trend.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether this uptick will hold.

GlaxoSmithKline
www.gsk.com

North Carolina entrepreneurs raised more than $800 million in funding deals last year, the second-highest annual total since CED began tracking investment funding.

Figures were released by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, which tracks business investments flowing into North Carolina.

A drawing of a neighborhood surrounding a light rail station.
Gateway Planning / GoTriangle

Transit consultants are hosting six public meetings in Chapel Hill starting next week to discuss possible development around stations along the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit line, which would run along U.S. 15-501.

buildings in a downtown area
Kristopha Hohn / flickr, Creative Commons

Triangle entrepreneurs are more optimistic about hiring, sales and spending than they were last quarter, according to the Quarterly Outlook of Triangle Entrepreneurs from the N.C. State Entrepreneurship Clinic.

House Under Construction
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Workplace fatalities in North Carolina hit a six-year high, according to preliminary data released by the N.C. Department of Labor.

Manufacturing, Textiles, Cotton, American Giant
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Part of President Donald Trump’s appeal is his pledge to bring jobs back to America. There’s a San Francisco apparel manufacturer who has tried his luck both ways – manufacturing abroad and in the US. Today, American Giant has found success in making sure every inch of its casual line of clothing is made in America. And that means it's also made in the Carolinas.

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