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Why Mercedes-Benz is moving to Atlanta
For Mercedes-Benz, the hassle of uprooting about 1,000 corporate jobs and trucking them 900 miles south to Atlanta is an investment in the next 50 years. On Jan. 6, the German luxury automaker confirmed two weeks of speculation that it would relocate its U.S. headquarters from Montvale, N.J., over the summer. Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported Mercedes-Benz USA's (MBUSA) plans to move to the city on Dec. 16. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted yesterday

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FIRST LOOK: Mercedes-Benz Atlanta area headquarters key business recruiting tool for Atlanta (SLIDESHOW) (Video)
Luring Mercedes-Benz USA’s $93 million headquarters to metro Atlanta is more than about bringing one of the world’s best known brands and 500 high-paying jobs to the city. The headquarters win is a critical economic development tool for the metro region, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said at the headquarters groundbreaking event Monday morning. When businesses choose to locate their headquarters, they can choose anywhere along the eastern seaboard, or in the United States, Reed said. "The decision by Mercedes was an intentional one, it was a deliberate one,” he said. “The (Mercedes) decision allows us to market our region to other companies, and to say that one of the leading brands on the planet — when it had a variety of choices — chose the metropolitan Atlanta region.” Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted yesterday

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Concerns for Alabama port as global shipping industry starts to sink
The average lifespan of a well-manufactured steel shipping container is thought to be about 12 to 15 years, during which time it will be transported to ports all across the world and loaded on to trains that will carry it the length and breadth of continents. However, the industry that uses these sturdy and well-traveled boxes, which are the foundation of the international import and export business, has recently found itself in financial turmoil, causing a ripple effect to international ports and raising questions about the health of the shipping business. AL.com
Submitted yesterday

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FedEx's Carter talks Amazon, drones and innovation
During his keynote address at the Greater Memphis IT Council’s Innovate IT Seminar, Rob Carter, executive vice president and chief information officer of FedEx Corp., jokingly referred to a common theme embraced by technology companies: “When we say we want to make the world a better place, we really mean it,” Carter said. Carter discussed a variety of technology topics, including how FedEx approaches technological innovation, as well as the prospect of eventual competition from Amazon. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Fred Smith stepping down as president of Memphis-based FedEx
Fred Smith will drop one of his many titles at FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) as part of the series of moves announced Monday at the company's annual shareholder meeting. With the announcment of executive vice president Mike Glenn's retirement and FedEx Express CEO David J. Bronczek's promotion to president and COO of FedEx Corp., founder, chair of the board and — still — CEO of FedEx Corp. Smith lost one of his titles. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Investors pony up $1.5 million for Austin tequila maker
Tequila 512, the scrappy liquor company based in Austin, has secured $1.5 million in private funds to continue its expansion by adding employees and entering new markets. In association with the capital investment, Tequila 512 introduced its first anejo product — aged 13 months in oak casks that previously held bourbon to create what the company says is a "peppery body and slight mango finish.” Austin Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Failed Savannah film studio project executives charged with fraud
Three executives of Moon River Studios, the failed film studio complex outside Savannah, Ga., are in trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly defrauding investors. On Sept. 23, the SEC charged Manu Kumaran, the founder and former chairman and CEO of Medient Studios (later Moon River Studios), his successor Jake Shapiro and Roger Miguel, the CEO of Moon River's parent company Fonu2, with allegedly backdating and falsifying documents in an attempt to secure financing for the project. Atlanta Business Chronicle
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The most active part of the US economy is sending 'mixed signals'
Markit Economics reported a jump in service-sector activity during September, although new orders and hiring slowed. The firm's flash purchasing manager's index — a preliminary report — was 51.9, beating the forecast for 51.2. When the index is above 50, it indicates that the sector is in expansion. Growth in new orders slowed to a four-month low, and in turn, companies reduced hiring, Markit said. Yahoo.com
Submitted yesterday

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US consumer confidence jumps to 9 year high
US consumer confidence jumped to its highest level in more than nine years, as low oil prices and the continued improvement in the labour market bolstered sentiment among American consumers. Financial Times
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What the U.S. Election Could Mean for the Economy
Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R) squared off on Monday night in the first of three debates before the election on November 8. With the race to the White House heating up voters and investors want to know how this election will impact the U.S. economy. "The Fed sees near-term growth at around 2%, but then medium longer term growth was revised down to about 1.8%," BloombergTV's Alix Steel reported on "Bloomberg Go" Tuesday morning. The Street
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Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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