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That's The Randle Report for December 19, 2014
Join us again tomorrow morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window above to find your favorite stories from yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Click on the headline to access Southern Business & Development magazine.
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Why Mercedes Benz may move HQ to Atlanta
In an other sign of the auto industry's march southward, luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz could relocate its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta — a move that would bring about 1,000 jobs. Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the possible move on our website on Dec. 16. Montvale, N.J.-based Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is said to be scouting for at least 150,000 square feet in Atlanta, a source told the Chronicle. The company is considering sites in Central Perimeter and the northern suburbs, including Alpharetta, Cobb and Gwinnett. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Report: Mercedes-Benz USA mulling headquarters move to North Carolina or Georgia
Mercedes-Benz USA is considering moving its New Jersey headquarters to Georgia or North Carolina, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people briefed on the matter. The automaker is considering Atlanta and several cities in North Carolina, the Journal reported late Tuesday. The company is reviewing tax-incentive packages, the paper said. Mercedes-Benz USA, which has been based in Montvale, N.J., since 1972, is a division of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG. One of its divisions is Daimler Trucks, which has operations in Mount Holly, Gastonia and Fort Mill, S.C. North Carolina was prepared to offer Toyota up to $107 million worth of incentives to lure the automaker’s North American headquarters to Charlotte, but in April, the state lost out to Texas, which offered less money but benefited from other factors, such as direct flights to Japan, the Observer has reported. Charlotte Observer
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Dallas Fed says Texas could lose 125K jobs by mid-2015
While consumers cheer $1.99 gasoline prices, there could be a real negative impact to Texas because of tumbling crude oil prices. Falling crude oil prices could cost Texas up to 125,000 jobs by mid-2015, Michael Plante, a senior research economist at the Dallas Fed, said. Texas produces 36 percent of the crude oil in the United States so Texas will be harder hit than other states, he said. He said the states of North Dakota, Oklahoma and Louisiana also would be hit hard. Plante is citing economic models that predict how falling crude oil prices could affect the economy nationwide. Austin Business Journal
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Texas sets job growth record for fourth month; business, professional services tops hiring
Texas continued a strong streak of job growth in November, tacking on 34,800 positions and setting an annual job growth record for the fourth consecutive month. The added jobs also are pushing down the state's unemployment rate, which fell to 4.9 percent from 5.1 percent in October. That rate was a full point higher at 6.1 percent a year ago. "The Texas economy continued its record-breaking expansion, providing job opportunities across a wide range of industries," said Andres Alcantar, chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission. "Texas employers set another record by adding 441,200 jobs over the year and we must continue to focus our efforts on expanding our state's skilled workforce to meet employer needs in high-demand industries." Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Space startups aim to get rich on emerging commercial space industry
Today the first company that comes to mind when you think of commercial space is SpaceX, which has multibillion dollar contracts with NASA. But there are many other companies in the emerging space economy. Scrappy startups with big visions and ideas that could revolutionize the commercial industry. As launches get cheaper and technology gets smaller, it’s now possible to get in on an industry that was once reserved for superpowers with superbudgets. Today tech billionaires and venture capitalists are pumping money into these startups, many of which are in Silicon Valley. Private space company Planetary Resources believes that incredible amounts of platinum and other rare earth minerals could be mined from asteroids — minerals, often used in electronics, that are now mined mostly in China. Al Jazeera
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Meet Randy Boyd: Tennessee’s new economic development chief
Randy Boyd's voice on the other end of the line is electric. I'd spoken with several people Thursday who mentioned his passion and high-energy nature. Those qualities poured through when I caught up with him on the phone Thursday afternoon. He said he was in for a busy night with a couple holiday parties that had already been on the calendar, where he expected to be thanking numerous congratulations. Boyd stepped down Thursday as chairman and CEO of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based company he founded in 1991 that now posts more than $350 million in annual sales. Nashville Business Journal
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Tennessee posts impressive manufacturing numbers
Memphis led the way for Tennessee's third straight year of gaining manufacturing jobs. According to the 2015 Tennessee Manufacturers Register, since September 2012, the state has recovered 17 percent of jobs lost during the recession. That rate of recovery is outpacing the total U.S. gain by 3.3 percent. The Manufacturer's Register is published by Manufacturers' News Inc. The report said Tennessee has added 4,473 industrial jobs from September 2013 to September 2014. The state is home to 6,828 manufacturers employing 388,991 workers, a 3.9 percent increase in the state's manufacturing jobs since September 2012. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Louisville Metro Council approves $9 minimum wage
Minimum-wage workers got an early Christmas present Thursday night while some in the business community expect lost jobs. At its final meeting of the year Thursday night, the Louisville Metro Council voted, 16-9, to increase the minimum wage for workers in the city to $9 an hour by July 1, 2017. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he would accept the measure because it was a "balanced, compromised solution." Metro Council president Jim King was the only council member not present for the vote. Business First
Submitted 8 hours ago

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Mayor Greg Fischer proposes $8.75 minimum wage for Louisville workers
Saying he wants a "balanced approach" to the question of a minimum wage increase, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has proposed an increase in the wage to $8.75 an hour for workers in Louisville. The announcement came during a news conference this afternoon at Metro Hall. Earlier this week, Fischer said he would veto an ordinance to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017 if it passes Louisville Metro Council. As with that ordinance, Fischer's compromise proposal would gradually increase the minimum wage over multiple years, but it wasn't immediately clear what the timetable is for Fischer's proposal. He said his proposal would give full-time workers about $3,120 more per year. Business First
Submitted 8 hours ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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