Business & Economy

The Core design.
UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill and the Town of Chapel Hill will break ground on the new Carolina Square project today. The mixed-use project will replace the demolished University Square shops and offices on Franklin St.

Carolina Square will have shops, apartments, office space, and a performing arts center.

Oscar Wong started Highland Brewing Company in Asheville in 1994 and passed along the business to his daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn.
Carrie Turner / Carrie Turner Photography

Leah Wong Ashburn has been around beer all her life.

Her father Oscar Wong is considered the "godfather" of craft beer culture in western North Carolina. In 1994, he founded Highland Brewing Company, the first legal brewer in Asheville since Prohibition. Today, Highland is the largest homegrown craft brewery in North Carolina.

Produce, Shopping, Grocery Stores
www.usda.gov

The main principle of a cooperative organization is to give ownership to the people who use its services. Every member has a say in how the business is run and shares the profits.

But for African-American communities in the United States, cooperative economics have also historically been a method of survival. 

An image of a handshake on an isolated business background
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

Greensboro, High Point and Guilford County leaders are in informal talks about creating a united economic development partnership.

Guilford County Commission chairman Hank Henning says this proposed Guilford County Economic Development Alliance would coordinate to promote the county and its cities as a business destination.

Chuck Liddy / News and Observer

It is the responsibility of the N.C. Department of Labor to protect the rights of workers.

But a new report from the News & Observer finds that state investigators for the department did not collect $1 million in wages that were owed to 617 workers in 2014.

Food Bank, Food Lion
Leoneda Inge

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will soon be able to deliver food to the needy with its new mobile food pantry.

Food Lion donated the truck.  President Meg Ham says many families in need don’t have the transportation to get to a food distribution center.

Flat screen TVs are one of the reasons for the decreasing size of furniture. Many people opt to mount them on the wall, which eliminates the need for an entertainment center.
Jeremy Levine / Flickr Creative Commons

For more than 100 years, the High Point Market has offered furniture and home furnishings to buyers from across the state. Today, the market is the world’s largest furniture trade show.

The furniture industry has been an economic boon for the Triad and it continues to adapt to new needs as the next generation starts to settle down and buy furniture.

A picture of a modern stone mason at work.
Vladimer Shioshvili / Wikipedia

As the demand for construction has started to rebound, there's a shortage of qualified craft workers.

Associated General Contractors of America says 86 percent of general contractors in North Carolina say they can't fine enough plumbers, masons, carpenters and concrete workers. That's in line with the national rate.

RTP, Research Triangle Foundation
Leoneda Inge

The head of the Research Triangle Foundation announced Thursday they’ve raised enough money to move forward with a major, more urban redevelopment project in Research Triangle Park.

The Research Triangle Foundation has secured $50 million to begin breaking ground on Park Center.  The plan is for this 100-acre property to include two hotels, housing, restaurants and entertainment.

A picture of a mercury vapor street lamp.
Famartin / Wikipedia

Duke Energy will begin replacing Raleigh's 30,000 conventional high pressure sodium and mercury vapor street lamps with more energy-efficient light-emitting diode—LED—streetlights this week.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Meredith Archie says several North Carolina cities are making the switch, including Wilmington, Henderson and Cary.

"LED lights are more energy efficient, so they reduce the carbon footprint. And as a result of that, they expend less energy so saving money and cost on energy bills," Archie says.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

A provision in the legislature's new budget proposal would limit state spending on any light rail project to $500,000 per-year.

That's a far cry from what the North Carolina Department of Transportation recommended contributing to the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail project. In its State Transportation Improvement Program, NCDOT allotted $138 million for GoTriangle's light rail project.

MillerCoors trucks
MobiusDaXter / Wikimedia Commons

Big beer companies are starting to feel the pressure of a rising thirst for craft beer. There are more than 130 breweries and brewpubs in North Carolina, but MillerCoors announced it is closing the plant in Eden, North Carolina in September of next year.  

A picture of a foreclosure sign in front of a house.
Jeff Turner / Flickr

Foreclosures have slowed in recent years, but many families still struggle to pay their mortgages since the Recession.

A program set up to help North Carolinians pay their mortgage after a layoff or the death of a bread-winner has about a year's worth of money left. Bob Kucab  directs the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program with money from the U.S. Treasury's "Hardest Hit" fund.

Judy Wicks
Gene Smirnov

For most entrepreneurs, finding a competitive advantage means a way to beat out the competition. But for restaurateur Judy Wicks, discovering how much clients embraced her sustainable practices made her want to share them with other restaurants.

Host Frank Stasio talks with entrepreneur and author Judy Wicks about her book, “Good Morning, Beautiful Business” (Chelsea Green Publishing/2013) and her ideas about the potential for a compassionate economy.

A picture of summit participants at a table in 2014.
Innovate Raleigh

Area youth and minority leaders will rub elbows with representatives from large tech firms and start-ups at the fourth annual Innovate Raleigh Summit today.

The non-profit Innovate Raleigh works to connect entrepreneurs and resources. Executive Director Jenny Hwa says the organization will study whether it's a gap in education that limits diversity in the tech industry.

InnovateNC, Institute for Emerging Issues, Wilmington
NC State

A new initiative to help spark innovation across the state will focus on five cities.  The announcement was made Friday at NC State's Hunt Library.

“Next up we have Greensboro!  Come on up Greensboro!” shouted Christopher Gergan, CEO of Forward Impact.

Gergan helped make the "InnovateNC" announcement.

Doctor payoffs
Mike Licht / Flickr Creative Commons

Physicians earn their livings from patient care, but for many, fees are not their only source of income.

New data released under the Affordable Care Act shows how much individual doctors receive from pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Several physicians in the Triangle receive thousands of dollars.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Triangle Business Journal reporter Jason deBruyn about the fees and access to the data.

Jim Rogers is the former CEO, President and Chairman of Duke Energy and wants to bring electricity to the developing world.
Duke Energy

More than 1.2 billion people in the world live without electricity. Former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers wants that figure to change. After a career at the helm of the largest electric power company in the United States, he is determined to bring power to developing countries.

An image of an event from Working American in Greensboro
Carolyn Smith / Working America

Labor Day was established as a national holiday in 1894 to celebrate the achievements of American workers. What does labor in the state and nation look like today?   In 2013, North Carolina had 130,000 workers earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 or less, comprising 5.8 percent of all hourly-paid workers.

Downtown Raleigh
Mark Turner / Wikipedia

Residential builders are scrambling to keep up with demand for downtown housing in cities across North Carolina.

New apartment building projects are on track to double the number of housing units in the core of downtown Raleigh within a few years.

Bill King of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance says much of the demand comes from millennials and downsizing empty-nesters who want to be close to the action. King says there have been few options in the Triangle, which developed as a "suburban region".

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

The regional bus and transportation planning agency GoTriangle has released an advance copy of the draft environmental impact statement for the Durham-Orange light rail line proposal. The statement is to be published formally later this week by the Federal Transit Administration. You can read about the impact statement and comment online here.

MikeKalasnik / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina department store Belk will be sold for $3 billion to a private equity firm in New York. 

Sycamore Partners is acquiring Belk, a company with a long history in the Charlotte area. William Henry Belk founded the department store in Monroe in 1888. Belk has more than 1,000 corporate employees in Charlotte.  It's not yet clear what will happen to those employees or the nearly 300 Belk stores in the Southeast.

Jason deBruyn, Triangle Business Journal
Triangle Business Journal

The FDA approved the first-ever drug for female sexual dysfunction. The Raleigh-based company, Sprout, is behind the libido pill.

  This morning, Valeant Pharmaceuticals announced it is buying Sprout for $1 billion. Some hail the FDA approval as a victory for gender equality but critics say the many risky side effects outweigh the benefits.

Dan Ariely is a world renowned behavioral economist at Duke University.
nrkbeta / Flickr Creative Commons

Dan Ariely credits his career to an accident that left him in a hospital bed for three years.

At age 17, Ariely suffered from third degree burns on most of his body after a chemical explosion.

It was his inability to move for long periods of time that allowed him to observe the nuances of human behavior.

An image of the Greensboro Skyline
Public Domain

The City of Greensboro and the U.S. Economic Development Administration recently finished hosting a contest looking for the best plan to revive the city's economy.

Out of six finalists, judges selected the plan submitted by a team from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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