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Birmingham gets rave reviews from Washington Post
Yet another national publication is encouraging tourists to travel to the Magic City. The Washington Post's "You're Going Where" feature, which puts a spotlight on under-the-radar or overlooked travel destinations, focused its latest edition on Birmingham. The article featured a blend of recommendations from old Birmingham– such as Sloss Furnaces and the Civil Rights District – and new Birmingham, such as the Pizitz Food Hall and the Negro Southern League Museum. It spotlighted the city's food scene, including Highlands, Hot and Hot Fish Club and Post Office Pies, as well as Red Mountain Park, Pepper Place and the recently reopened Redmont Hotel. Birmingham Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Southern Living: Birmingham among Best Cities in the South
The Magic City has earned yet another accolade from a major publication – this time from an outlet in its own backyard. Southern Living named Birmingham among its list of The South's Best Cities for 2017. Birmingham ranked 10th on the List. Charleston, S.C,; Savannah, Ga.; and New Orleans, La.; topped the list, in that order. Atlanta and Nashville also joined Birmingham on the list, which was compiled by Birmingham-based Southern Living. Here's what Southern Living said about its hometown: Birmingham Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Texas Democrats make case for higher statewide minimum wage
Rep. Armando Walle has a name for the kind of money his mother made while raising five children in North Houston: misery wages. That is because Walle’s mom had to go back to work after his father walked out on their family. The best she could do, with no education and a house full of mouthes to feed, was a job at Church’s Chicken at the corner of Airline Drive and Tidwell Road, making $5.15 an hour. "That income was misery because you had to fight to either put food on the table or pay the bills or fight the landlord who was coming because you were at least 15 days late on the rent," the Democrat lawmaker from Houston told reporters at a Monday morning news conference. “There shouldn't be millions of people in Americans who have to live on misery wages.” Austin Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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SXSW retrospective: 5 most popular ABJ stories from 2017 festival
Another South by Southwest is in the books. This year's festival hard its share of memorable moments, big parties, insightful panels and opportune meetings. But it can be hard to digest the festival and its impact while the surge of attendees still pack Austin's streets. While you get back into the swing of things, here are the Austin Business Journal stories during SXSW 2017 that readers loved to click on: Austin Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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What are Atlanta’s real estate hotspots of 2017?
Cobb County residents may be concerned about rising property taxes but SunTrust Park is likely one of the main reasons home prices in Smyrna are rising. According to RE/MAX Georgia, Metro Atlanta’s real-estate market continues to make substantial gains, with home sales and prices showing no signs of slowing down. The company recently surveyed its brokers and analyzed data provided by the local Metro Atlanta First Multiple Listing Service to determine what cities will be most in demand in 2017. Based on that analysis, RE/MAX Georgia names the following cities as real estate hotspots for 2017: Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted yesterday

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Georgia-based Aflac plans $100 million venture capital fund
Columbus, Ga.-based Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) plans to raise a $100 million fund over three years to invest in early-stage companies developing products and software related to Aflac’s core business. Aflac Corporate Ventures plans to partner with technology accelerators to identify and invest in early-stage companies, helping them accelerate innovation across the insurance value chain, including digital technology that enhances the customer experience. Aflac Corporate Ventures will maintain offices in Charlotte, N.C., and in Sunnyvale, Calif., as part of a partnership agreement with a technology accelerator. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted yesterday

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Georgia ports set record for February
The Georgia Ports Authority saw its busiest February ever for total cargo, moving 2.94 million tons across all docks last month. That represents a 10 percent increase over February 2016, and second only to January's 3.01 million tons. Container tonnage was a leading factor in the growth, expanding by 14.4 percent (314,832 tons) to more than 2.5 million tons for the month. Measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), containerized trade grew by 7.7 percent to reach 330,539 TEUs. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted yesterday

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Raleigh Chamber picks Adrienne Cole to be its next president and CEO
The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce has named Adrienne Cole, executive director of the Chamber’s economic development program, to be its next president and CEO. Cole, 45, succeeds short-term CEO Tim Giulilani, who had announced in January that he would be leaving the Chamber. Giuliani had been on the job only 18 months before accepting a position with a new economic development group in his home state of Florida. His last day at the Raleigh Chamber was March 3. Triangle Business Journal
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Apple CEO defends globalization in rare speech, calls for more U.S.-China trade
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook defended globalization in a rare public speech, held at a forum in Beijing over the weekend. The speech comes as Apple faces mounting pressure from the Trump administration to produce more of its products in the U.S. “The reality is countries that are closed, that isolate themselves, it's not good for their people,” Cook said, according to Reuters. Cook’s comments on Saturday came as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced plans to invest $508 million in two new research and development centers in China. Austin Business Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Modern marvel: How Toyota poured 5 centuries of work into its Plano, Texas campus — during a labor shortage
When the first Toyota employees start moving into the auto giant’s new North American headquarters in late April, they’ll be setting up shop in a modern marvel. Yards of poured concrete that would pass 475 AT&T Stadiums end to end, 17,000 tons of reinforcing steel — the equivalent of 1,700 Dallas city buses. Acres of glass, literal tons of Texas limestone. But the most impressive part about the project isn’t the materials. It’s not the 7.75-megawatt solar power system or the interior color palette designed to reflect the indigenous Texas environment. Dallas Morning News
Submitted yesterday

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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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