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Gov. Mary Fallin signs Oklahoma wind energy bill
A major property tax exemption for new wind developers will end on Jan. 1, 2017, under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Mary Fallin. The exemption allows wind developers to avoid paying property taxes for five years. It has proven costly for the state at a time when Oklahoma is facing funding shortfalls. Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, said his Senate Bill 498 could save the state $500 million over the next 10 years. Exemptions by wind developers made up half of the $64 million in claims in 2013, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Newsok.com
Submitted 6 hours ago

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St. Pete company expands HQ location, to create 4,500 jobs nationally
SalesMakers is expanding its downtown St. Petersburg headquarters space and plans to add 4,500 jobs in the U.S., 100 of those locally. Most of the new jobs will be in the recruiting, human resources, payroll and IT departments, according to a statement. In addition, the company has secured an additional 8,600 square feet of space to accommodate its growth. Located in Plaza Tower at 111 2nd Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg, SalesMakers has taken up the entire 15th floor over the past five years, according to a company representative. Tampa Bay Business Journal
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Lockheed considers 300-employee expansion in Titusville, Fla. 
SalesMakers is expanding its downtown St. Petersburg headquarters space and plans to add 4,500 jobs in the U.S., 100 of those locally. Most of the new jobs will be in the recruiting, human resources, payroll and IT departments, according to a statement. In addition, the company has secured an additional 8,600 square feet of space to accommodate its growth. Located in Plaza Tower at 111 2nd Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg, SalesMakers has taken up the entire 15th floor over the past five years, according to a company representative. Tampa Bay Business Journal
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Navy base terminal, Charleston port’s key to competition, moves ahead
A new terminal designed to help the Port of Charleston stay competitive in an era of bigger cargo ships moved forward Wednesday when the State Ports Authority’s board approved more than $2.2 million in contracts for preliminary work on the project. The planned container terminal on the old Navy base in North Charleston will cost about $700 million, and its first phase is scheduled for completion in 2019. That is about the same time a separate $509 million project to deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet from 45 feet is supposed to be finished. “We need both of those things to come online at the same time,” Jim Newsome, the SPA’s president and CEO, said earlier this month. Post and Courier
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Boeing plane pond feature in North Charleston might have air travelers doing double-take
Passengers on flights approaching Charleston International might be surprised by what they see when they glance out their windows during an approach to landing — another airplane staring right back at them. Boeing South Carolina is carving out a much-larger-than-lifesize airplane feature at a stormwater retention pond it is building along Michaux Parkway at the planemaker’s North Charleston campus next to the airport. The 1.5-acre land feature — no word on whether it’s modeled after the 787 Dreamliners made nearby — extends into a 20-acre pond along Michaux Parkway. The pond itself is about the size of 15 football fields and can hold about the same amount of water as 100 Olympic-size swimming pools. Post and Courier
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Ybor City 'is where millennials want to be,' Ashley Furniture CEO says
The CEO of Ashley Furniture Industries said he knew right away that Centro Ybor was "the perfect location" for his company's U.S. e-commerce headquarters. Todd Wanek said Thursday that he considered San Francisco and New York City before deciding on Tampa's Ybor City. His company has a distribution center in Brandon, where some e-commerce employees have been working since last year. "This is where millennials want to be," Wanek said. "They want to be in urban environments where there’s a lot going on, whether it’s restaurants or bars or other activities." Tampa Bay Business Journal
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Ashley Furniture picks Tampa's Centro Ybor for its U.S. e-commerce headquarters
TAMPA — Ybor City is well known for its late-night entertainment. But in recent years it's started to move beyond that, attracting hotels and tech firms. The latest — and most prominent — business to put down roots there is Ashley Furniture, which announced Thursday that its subsidiary, Ashcomm LLC, will build its e-commerce headquarters in the historic neighborhood. "We find ourselves coming full circle for the next chapter of not just this project, but of Ybor City," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at a news conference. Ashley, which has a distribution center in Brandon, considered locations in six states before settling on the Centro Ybor shopping center in Ybor City. Tampa Bay Times
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Target could get more than $1M for Suffolk, Va. expansion
RICHMOND--Target Corp. stands to receive more than $1 million in public money for a planned expansion of its distribution center in Suffolk. The $50 million project was announced in late April. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership provided the grant numbers this week. In addition to $400,000 from the Suffolk Economic Development Authority, Target is in line for two state incentives, for which it must create a minimum of 168 jobs. Virginian-Pilot
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Toyota plant program in W.Va. trains, pays aspiring employees still in school 
A relatively new education-to-work program is helping Toyota Corp. and other manufacturers around the country fill critical skilled worker positions while also giving students a chance to work an earn money while attending school. In 2012, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia partnered with Bridgemont Community and Technical College (now called BridgeValley) to create a two-year Advanced Manufacturing Technician program that would prepare students for careers in a modern manufacturing environment. The curriculum involves spending two days a week in the classroom learning technical skills and fundamentals and three days a week on the job in the plant learning manufacturing processes firsthand while earning a paycheck. Charleston Daily Mail
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Tennessee’s jobless rate falls to lowest in 7 years
Tennessee’s unemployment rate in April fell to its lowest level in seven years, state officials announced Thursday. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the preliminary jobless rate dropped to 6 percent in April from March’s revised rate of 6.3 percent. It’s the lowest figure in Tennessee since early 2008. Total nonfarm employment increased by 6,400 jobs from March to April. In the past year, nonfarm employment has increased 47,000 jobs in Tennessee. The national jobless rate, meanwhile, stood at 5.4 percent in April, down from 5.5 percent in March. The Tennessean
Submitted 7 hours ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Urban areas have all kinds of assets that are easy to spot. They have the population, so the labor shed is not usually an issue. Urban areas are also connected by better roads, rail and air service and many have river and deep water ports. Usually Internet access and other forms of communication are more efficient in urban areas. And you have a larger array of quality of life options to choose from, such as the cultural assets found in metropolitan areas.
 

 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     
After I finished the cover story for this issue, I read an interesting article by economist Paul Krugman, the op-ed columnist for the New York Times, titled, "Partying like it’s 1995." Generally I side with Krugman, even though I am a journalist, not an economist. Occasionally, though, I read some of his stuff and ask myself, "What planet did Krugman come from?" Like when he predicted a shift of automotive assembly to Canada after Toyota announced a new plant in Woodstock, Ontario in 2005 because of "free healthcare," among other benefits. That Toyota deal was the last major automotive assembly plant announced in Canada and I predict it will be the very last one for the Canadians.
 
 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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