Business & Economy

Chatham Park
Sasaki Associates

The developers of the 7,000 acre Chatham Park project have submitted a rezoning request to the town of Pittsboro, NC. Months after the initial zoning approval, the developers have acquired a few tracts of land that add up to about 45 news acres. According to Tim Smith of Preston Development, every time they add new land to the project, the whole lot will need to go through a rezoning process. He says this does not put the project on hold, because it can continue to operate under the old...

Sharing economy illustration
North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina lawmakers are taking their first look at how to regulate networks of individuals who buy and sell services between each other, a billion-dollar global industry that already operates in dozens of cities across the state.

One of the peer-to-peer economy’s biggest exponents, Airbnb, accounts for about 2,700 residential rental listings across North Carolina, and drivers who pick up passengers with their personal cars using the application Uber operate in ten cities...

Joanne Abel
Leoneda Inge

Durham-based Self Help Credit Union is celebrating 30 years of community and financial service. Self Help Credit Union officially opened for business in 1984 and has earned a reputation for serving the underserved. Joanne Abel and her partner were the first to secure a home loan. Abel remembers her home on Driver Street in East Durham, like it was yesterday. “It was a double lot and it had the biggest white lilac bush I had ever seen in Durham before or since," said Abel. "And I had the best...

Unemployment lines
Wikimedia

The U.S. Department of Labor has waived an anticipated federal unemployment tax increase on North Carolina businesses, as the state continues to pay millions it borrowed from the federal government to pay for state insurance benefits.
The waiver reduces employers’ tax hike for the 2014 tax year up to $65 per employee, or about $180 million collectively for employers across the state, officials said.

North Carolina officials sought the waiver in April, and the labor...

BB&T Logo
Wikipedia Commons

Winston-Salem based BB&T has announced a today to buy Susquehanna Bank. The $2.5 billion deal adds 245 new branches to BB&T, and extends the bank's reach into Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Much of Susquehanna's growth comes in more rural markets - something BB&T hopes to capitalize on: "One of the things we learned through the downturn over the last six years is that you don't want to have all of your franchise in high-growth markets, you want to have diversification," said CFO...

Kari Underly
Leoneda Inge

Most of America’s food industry is male-dominated, from the farmers to the chefs. But a group of women gathered in Chapel Hill, N.C. this week to learn and hopefully take their rightful place in the competitive meat business. And that includes bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. Let’s start with the hog. Kari Underly has pulled out a saw to cut around the elbow of a slab of hog on the table. She's wiping her brow, cutting up a hog is hard work. Underly is a master butcher from...

Briana Brough

As the demand for local food and farm-to-table restaurants rises, the American agriculture and food production industries are expanding.

Steve Troxler
Michelle VonCannon

North Carolina’s Agriculture and Biotechnology communities have launched a new global economic development platform. Doug Edgeton is President and CEO of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. He said Wednesday's announcement brings Agriculture, Biotechnology, company growth and jobs together. “We have the companies, we have the research, we have the workforce, what we have lacked is something to call it," said Edgeton. "So without further adieu, I’d like to officially unveil “AgBiosphere.”...

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Ken Skipper, USGS

New research from Duke University's Energy Initiative shows that revenue from oil and gas drilling tends to cover its costs to local governments. Policy Researcher Daniel Raimi says the drilling boom caused an enormous population boom and demanded expensive infrastructure upgrades in the remote Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota. But, he says, leases and taxes from the industry also increased the budgets of local governments. More developed areas, like Fort Worth, Tex., saw less of an impact,...

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Secretary Clinton’s Senior Advisor for Innovation Alec Ross working together at TechCamp in Tel Aviv.
Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

Forming partnerships and working in a collaborative setting can be difficult.

Patrick Woodie
NC Rural Center

The North Carolina Rural Center is holding its 2014 Rural Assembly today in Raleigh. It’s been two years since the last gathering. 2013 was not a good year for The Rural Center. The non-profit was issued a scathing audit and its longtime leader Billy Ray Hall was forced to retire. Patrick Woodie is the newly named president. “And we will get up every day thinking about rural North Carolina and we will go to bed every night dreaming about rural North Carolina, that’s our commitment," said...

The abandoned railroad corridor that has become the American Tobacco Trail.
Durham Trails and Greenways 2011 Master Plan

Lawmakers are considering an incremental plan to build faster rail lines between Raleigh and Richmond. While officials in North Carolina and Virginia had hoped a high-speed rail might be feasible between the two capitals, funding obstacles remain in the way. One major challenge is creating grade separation , keeping tracks from crossing existing roads. The basic tracks that cross over regular roads are limi ting. " You never reach a higher speed than 79 mph , " said No rth Carolina Rep. Bill...

Stanley Hughes
Leoneda Inge

The federal tobacco buyout program has officially ended. The last of the tobacco buyout checks are being distributed this month. The program, officially known as the Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP) , was started to help farmers transition from the Depression-era quota system to the free market. North Carolina has fared pretty well during the transition: Farmers and producers in the state collected more than one-third of the $9.6 billion in buyout payments. There is more tobacco...

Charles Iacovou
www.wfu.edu

Wake Forest University’s business school is ending its traditional full-time MBA program. Controversial? Practical? Charles Iacovou is Dean of the Wake Forest Business School. “It was about time and it was the right time," said Iacovou. There are currently three different ways to get a Master of Business Administration degree from Wake Forest. Ninety-eight students are in the full-time, day-time program. But more than 300 students are in the evening and Saturday MBA programs. Dean Iacovou...

Unemployment Rate
NC Commerce

North Carolina’s unemployment rate edged downward in September. But some still call the latest jobless report “mixed.” The state’s jobless rate sits at 6.7 percent , down one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before. Mike Walden is an Economist at NC State . Each month two separate surveys are taken – a Household survey and a Business Payroll survey. Walden follows the payroll survey, with a larger sample size. “So my view is that the job market in North Carolina in September was...

Durham
James Willamor / Flickr Creative Commons

Like residents of other regions, individuals in the South face economic disparities like a widening gender gap, income inequality, and higher rates of unemployment among young adults. But in the South, it is also more difficult for those young people to move up the economic ladder than in any other region. And a report released today by Durham research firm MDC ties many of those disparities to limited access to employment programs and higher education. Host Frank Stasio talks with David...

A picture of a house with solar panels on the roof.
Gray Watson / Wikipedia

Residential insurance companies want to raise their premium rates by an average of 25 percent. The N.C. Department of Insurance will hold a public hearing on the issue today. It will be up to Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to decide whether a rate increase is excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. The North Carolina Rate Bureau represents all 150 residential insurance companies in the state. Last year the Department of Insurance and the Rate Bureau agreed to the rates rather...

NC State Fair
Wendy via Flickr/Creative Commons

It's time for the North Carolina State Fair again. The 11-day festivities kicked off in Raleigh Thursday, but the fair has been in the headlines a lot these past months. Much discussed was a battle over carrying firearms at the state fairgrounds . A gun rights group challenged the fair's long-standing policy barring firearms on the property. A judge upheld the fair's stance on the issue. The News & Observer reports that Judge Donald Stephens' ruling allowed fair officials to post signs...

A picture of a window with a for rent sign.
capl_@_washjeff.edu / Creative Commons

North Carolina has better houses and apartments for sale or rent than in recent years. But Bob Kucab says with that rise in quality, affordability has become a problem. He directs the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency . “And the biggest culprit is quite simply that housing costs have risen faster than incomes for most families over the past 10 years,” Kucab says. Now, developers, real estate agents, lenders and agencies are gathering to share potential solutions. David Bennett works with...

Hispanic Business
Fusion Multicultural Marketing

Hispanic entrepreneurs and other business and community leaders are in Durham today for the Annual Hispanic Market Advantage Conference. Iris Ramirez Reese is the CEO of Fusion Multicultural Marketing and Communications and she helped organize the conference. Reese says there were a lot of haters when she first got started. “I remember when I started my business people thought I was crazy! 'You’re going to start a Hispanic focused marketing and advertising agency? Are you kidding me?'” Reese...

Triangle Startup Weekend
Triangle Startup Weekend

Triangle Start-up Weekend is underway in Raleigh, and the focus is on women. Eleanor Ismail will be there. She's President and Co-Founder of Aura Life, a company that’s developing natural remedies for yeast infections. She has this start-up advice. “Just go with boldness, have courage, be open-minded, be a team player and just have fun," said Ismail. Aura Life was a crowd favorite at a previous start-up event. Naga Chadaram is the company's CEO and Co-Founder. “We are paying forward. We got...

NC Welcome Sign
NC Commerce

The state’s new Economic Development office is officially open and several employees have walked over from the Commerce Department. About 34 people moved from Commerce to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, located on Weston Parkway in Cary. The new non-profit partnership essentially privatizes some of the Commerce Department’s duties. John Lassiter chairs the board. “We’ve got our key sales and marketing folks, along with travel and tourism team that will be focusing on...

Chef Scott Crawford in his home kitchen.
Carol Jackson

Recently I spent much of the day with Scott Crawford. Crawford used to be executive chef at the Umstead Hotel & Spa and their five star restaurant Herons , a place Newsweek called one of the "101 best places to eat in the world." Crawford has a bit of free time because he's left the world of high-pressure fine dining to try something new. He is staking his future on a new restaurant, Standard Foods, and its proximity to an urban farm. We spent the day visiting visiting the construction of...

Fish and Wildlife Service worker on boat checking gill net full of fish
Pedro Ramirez, Jr. / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It's the height of commercial flounder season along the North Carolina Coast, but gillnet fishing boats have been banned from heading out. That's because a large number of sea turtles are still swimming in those areas. The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries has temporarily closed areas in four Northeastern sounds and southern coastal waters to the fisheries. The agency was uncomfortable with the number of interactions fishing boats were having with endangered sea turtles since...

Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh
Dave DeWitt

The state has released new documents about negotiations to sell the Dorothea Dix Hospital Campus to Raleigh. While an agreement looks close the two parties still haven't settled all the terms. The state and the city both agree that $52 million is a fair price for the 308-acre property. The problem is that Raleigh wants to buy the land outright, and build a destination park there. But the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services campus is on the property, and the state doesn't...

Pages