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That's The Randle Report for January 30, 2015
Join us again on Monday 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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Music City creatives embrace new sides of Nashville
Nashville has become a national destination. Whether out-of-towners are visiting for the weekend, or young graduates and couples come to start their careers or families, they know they can expect two things: Southern charm and good music. Nashville lives up to its title as Music City, as it really is the place to be for artists, singer-songwriters and those aspiring to jump into the music industry and looking to collaborate, grow and create. The nature of the industry combined with the booming population of the city make for an even more competitive landscape, but Nashville knows how to make newcomers feel welcome. The Tennessean
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Another year, another record for Kentucky Bourbon Trail
It was another record year for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Craft Tour. Combined, the two tours had nearly 725,000 visits last year, and an all-time high of 18 participating distilleries, according to a news release. "Some of our distilleries are up 200 percent in attendance over the last five years, which is great news for local communities that are reaping the tourism benefits," Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association, said in a news release. "And that best news is that we keep adding more and more distilleries." The Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, which features nine distilleries, was created by the KDA in 1999. The tour had 627,032 visits in 2014 — 10 percent more than the year before. Business First
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Will bourbon boom follow craft beer craze in the Triad?
The Triad's thirst for craft beer is providing a boost to those interested in moving from home brew to full-scale brewing operations, with multiple new breweries in the works and those established craft breweries expanding their territories. And at the same time, craft distilling is gaining steam nationally, with bourbon in particular occupying more space behind the bar and on the menu. Now a local family is planning to launch what would become Greensboro's first distillery. Triad Business Journal
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Kiawah Island tops list of resort spas in Southeast, Central America
Add another accolade to the Charleston area’s long list of top rankings. Kiawah Island, just outside the Holy City, won top honors from online real estate reviewer Real Estate Scorecard among its Top 10 spa resorts within master-planned communities in the Southeast and Central America. “Known as one of the top South Carolina destinations in the Lowcountry, Kiawah Island is often referred to as the ‘Hamptons of the South,’” Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Real Estate Scorecard said. Post and Courier
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Military’s impact on SC economy approaches $20 billion
COLUMBIA, SC — The impact of the military on the South Carolina economy has grown significantly since 2012, approaching the $20 billion mark, a new study shows. And the military accounts for 1 in 5 jobs in the booming Charleston area. More than 152,000 jobs are supported by the military statewide, generating $8.6 billion in personal income and about $771 million annually in tax revenue, the study says. The study, prepared by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and released Wednesday by the S.C. Commerce Department, highlights how integrated into the state’s economy the military community is – and how painful significant cuts could be, military leaders said. The State
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Austin Chamber looks to space for region's next economic frontier
The Austin Chamber of Commerce is taking a new interest in space, the final frontier, as its Opportunity Austin economic development initiative announced Wednesday that it is adding space technology and exploration industries as a focus for the group's economic development efforts. "We recognize the next great frontier for innovation in our community is space," said Phil Wilson, chairman of the Opportunity Austin Board of Directors and general manager at LCRA, in the announcement. "The emerging commercial Space Economy adds to the diversity of business in our region and has the potential to create additional opportunities for other sectors like cloud technology, energy and medicine." Austin Business Journal
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Texas oil production rose in November, despite price drop
Texas pumped out 2.3 million barrels of oil a day in November, about 40,000 barrels more than it did in October, according to preliminary data released by the Texas Railroad Commission Thursday. The modest increase came even as West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, plunged from more than $100 a barrel in late July to less than $66 by the end of November. Two months later, U.S. crude was trading at less than $45 a barrel Thursday afternoon. But even as oil companies slash drilling budgets domestically, analysts predict U.S. crude production will continue to rise through the first half of 2015. New wells continue to be drilled – all be it at a slower pace. And existing wells continue to flow. Dallas Morning News
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Low oil prices to hit Energy Corridor hardest, but will benefit other areas
Despite the oil slump's effect on Houston, certain parts of the city will be able to weather the storm more so than others. In fact, commercial real estate in parts of Houston could even see an uptick as certain sides of the energy sector benefit from the current climate, Bruce Rutherford, a global energy practice leader at Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL), predicts. "The good thing we have going for us is that the chemical and refinery industry based here and along the Gulf Coast just loves these low oil and natural gas prices," Rutherford said. "That part of our industrial economy is still booming and will continue to boom." Houston Business Journal
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Oil slump started rippling through Texas economy in November, economist says
Texas economic activity declined slightly in November, a blip that Comerica Bank's chief economist attributes to falling oil prices. The Texas Economic Activity Index fell .2 percentage points to 107.5 in November, the most recent month available. That breaks a seven-month streak of gains by the index, which looks at payroll, exports, housing starts, sales tax revenues and the Baker Hughes rig count. The number of rigs operating in Texas has declined sharply in recent months, from 900 in November to 753 operating this week, according to Baker Hughes. Dallas Business Journal
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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Just look around at what's happening in the aerospace industry in the American South. Aerospace is really making a move to become one of the region's top two industry sectors. It’s not there yet, but if large project counts are any indication, aerospace may soon challenge the petrochemicals sector as the second largest industry in the region. Never before has the aerospace industry been so important to the South's economy. Oh, what's the No. 1 industry sector in the South? Automotive is, of course. That industry hasn't been challenged much for 25 years in this region, or since we’ve been counting.

 

 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
If you have ever seen one of my presentations, then you know about the word "reshoring" and how that phenomenon has lifted the spirits of even the most skeptical Southerners regarding the future of the region's economy. After all, in the last four decades, manufacturing has suffered a bloodletting never before seen in U.S. history. The biggest factor behind the slow and long meltdown that began in the 1990s was the herd mentality to offshore manufacturing capacity to cheaper locales, primarily by U.S.-owned companies.
 


 

 

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