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Will the Mississippi Coast see BP money in 2017? Don’t hold your breath
BAY ST. LOUIS -- Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, hosted a two-hour meeting with the residents of Hancock County on Saturday morning at the Bay St. Louis Library. Among the topics was the BP economic-damages money and where and when it will be spent. He said it may be a while before the money is spent on the Coast, if it is spent in South Mississippi at all. “(Gov. Phil Bryant) and (Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves) are saying that we don’t have to spend the money right now and we can just kick the can down the road, but I think that’s a terrible idea.” Biloxi Sun Herald
Submitted 3 days ago

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Louisiana will never be able to restore 85 years of coastal loss, official says
BATON ROUGE -- Bren Haase, chief of planning and research, painted a bleak future for Louisiana's coast during the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority board meeting Wednesday (Jan. 18) should no counter-actions be taken by the legislative and executive branches. He presented a draft of the 2017 coastal master plan that calls for $50 billion worth of projects aimed at flood risk reduction and minimizing land loss. The draft underscored Louisiana's erosion loses from 1932 to 2010: 1,800 square miles of land. "As much as we would like to have the coast that we had in 1932, there's no question we can't get there," Haase said. "We're never going to be able to restore it to that level." NOLA.com
Submitted 3 days ago

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Heads up, Middle Tennessee: There's a catch in Gov. Haslam's transportation plan
On Wednesday, Gov. Bill Haslam revealed his hotly anticipated transportation plan, and while he did include the enabling legislation component Middle Tennessee officials asked for, there's one notable catch. The proposal, called the IMPROVE Act, would "allow municipalities, only if approved by local voters through referendum, to impose a surcharge on their sales tax rate that would be solely dedicated to public transit projects." Nashville Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Here's when Middle Tennessee could break ground on mass transit, according to Moving Forward
Middle Tennessee's most vocal advocates for mass-transit laid out their vision for a potential project timeline in a new scorecard released Wednesday. Presented by Moving Forward chairman and former Bridgestone Americas Inc. CEO Gary Garfield at a Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting, the scorecard summed up the region's mass-transit progress, including the passage of a regional plan, and laid out what Moving Forward, which is backed by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, hopes to see over the next three years. Nashville Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Atlanta Braves' potential spring training facility in Sarasota takes 'major step forward'
A spring training facility for the Atlanta Braves in the Tampa Bay region is another step closer to reality. Sarasota County on Tuesday announced that it has entered exclusive negotiations with the team for a facility in North Port's West Villages, a master-planned community. The Braves are in the market for a new facility because the team's lease in Kissimmee expires this year. Beyond the initial investment of a new facility, the Braves' presence in this market could be a tourism boon for Sarasota. Tampa Bay Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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FPL ramps up solar energy with new centers, more ahead
Florida Power & Light, a subsidiary of Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE), is ramping up its renewable energy efforts with three new solar power centers and additional sites planned in the months ahead. On the last day of 2016, the company officially connected three 74.5-megawatt universal solar power plants to the energy grid that serves its customers. In the coming months, FPL plans to build four more solar power plans and install numerous solar systems in local communities. South Florida Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Jacksonville-based CSX ends 2016 on high note, starts 2017 off on strong footing
CSX Corp. (Nasdaq: CSX) ended a long year of struggle on a high note, with net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 of $458 million, or 49 cents per share, versus $466 million, or 48 cents per share, for the same period of 2015. After a year of making efficiency cuts to combat the steep decline coal happening since 2014, CSX rounded out 2016 with full-year efficiency savings of $430 million. This was also the second consecutive year the Jacksonville company had a sub-70 operating ratio, the measure of efficiency for railroads. CSX posted an full-year operating ratio of 69.4 percent, down from 69.7 percent in 2015. Jacksonville Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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AT&T unveils $100M redevelopment plans for its Dallas campus - and what could stand in the way
Telecom giant AT&T (NYSE: T) plans to begin construction "fairly quickly" on the $100 million redevelopment of its downtown Dallas campus after getting necessary approvals from the City of Dallas in February, says one executive. "We hope to receive the necessary approvals from the City of Dallas by the end of the first quarter and begin the six-month design process after that," said Mike Peterson, a vice president for external affairs with AT&T, told the Dallas Business Journal. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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IT company to relocate, build new headquarters in Frisco, Texas business park
Frisco-based IT service provider Skinny IT plans to build a new North Texas headquarters in its home city, which will include office and warehouse space in Frisco's newest 216-acre business park. The company has an 8.89-acre tract within the business park under contract with plans to build a new 130,000-square-foot facility in the business park, called Frisco Park 25. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Amazon to open third fulfillment center in Coppell, Texas
Amazon will employ 1,000 full-time workers at a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center to be built in Coppell. The online retailer is developing the facility, its third in Coppell and ninth in Texas, in partnership with Hillwood Investment Properties and Perot Development Companies. It will be part of the Amazon Robotics fulfillment network, allowing the center to streamline the fulfillment process. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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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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