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Oklahoma is latest state to prevent local fracking bans
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma cities and counties would no longer be able to ban hydraulic fracturing or other oil and gas operations within their boundaries under a bill signed into law on Friday by Gov. Mary Fallin. Pushed hard by the oil and gas industry, but fiercely opposed by municipalities and environmental groups, the bill specifically prohibits cities or towns from banning operations such as drilling, fracking, water disposal, recovery operations or pipeline infrastructure. Fracking is the practice of high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals underground to free deposits of oil and gas, which has led to a boom in U.S. energy production. Fuel Fix
Submitted 1 years 236 days ago

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That's The Randle Report for May 29, 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.
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Volvo CEO: Plant to start hiring in 2017 (+ video)
Charleston, S.C. -- Last summer, when Volvo executives were considering South Carolina for their first American plant – a $500 million behemoth which promises to eventually employ 4,000 people – they talked with what may seem like an unlikely adviser. They visited their competitors, BMW. “You always want to avoid reinventing the wheel,” Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, said Thursday in an interview, confirming earlier reporting by The State newspaper. “If they had a good experience, that would make a big difference in our decision process. They have been there for years so they know exactly how it works in South Carolina.” The State
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Toyota effect: Developers rush to start offices in West Plano and Frisco
One of the last empty corners in Legacy business park on the Dallas North Tollway is attracting development plans. Stream Realty Partners is gearing up to build a 12-story office tower at the southwest corner of Tennyson Parkway and the tollway. The company’s Platinum Tower will be next door to a five-story building Stream is constructing. The 271,000-square-foot project is one of almost a dozen office developments in the works on the tollway in West Plano and Frisco — more than in any other area of North Texas. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Study: VW expansion to rev up jobs, revenues in Chattanooga and Tennessee
Nearly 10,000 new jobs. That's the impact Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant expansion will have on the Scenic City and the rest of Tennessee, says a new study unveiled Wednesday. The study also found that VW adds $372 million in annual income to Tennessee's economy. "There are many more good things to come," said Christian Koch, the plant's chief executive, as he talked about the new sport utility vehicle on which VW is spending $900 million to expand the factory. Hiring for some 200 of the 2,000 new VW jobs already has begun. VW is ramping up a one-of-a-kind-in-the-Southeast automotive engineering and planning center that's part of the expansion. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Texas economy took another tumble in March on volatile crude prices
Lower crude oil prices are continuing to drag down the Texas economy, according to Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index. The index fell 3.4 percentage points in March to an index reading of 101.1. In February, the index reading was 104.6. March’s reading is 29 points, or 39 percent, above the cyclical low of 72.6. The index averaged 105.1 points for all of 2014. The baseline for Comerica’s index, which looks at nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, home prices and rig counts, is 2008. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Report: Metro Atlanta unemployment rate lowest in seven years
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate for April was 5.6 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 5.9 percent in March, the Georgia Department of Labor said early Thursday. The rate is the lowest since May 2008, when it was 5.6 percent, the state agency said. The rate in April 2014 was 6.4 percent. The rate declined in April 2015 as employers added jobs and laid off fewer workers, GDoL said. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Invest Atlanta OKs bonds for NCR relocation
Atlanta’s economic development agency Thursday approved $314 million in bonds to finance the relocation of NCR Corp.’s headquarters to Midtown. The Invest Atlanta Board of Directors unanimously passed four resolutions that will cover $260 million in planned investment initially and $54 million for anticipated future growth. “We are excited that NCR is looking to call the city of Atlanta home,” Eloisa Klementich, Invest Atlanta’s managing director of business development, told board members before the vote. “This will be another Fortune 500 company for the city.” Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Maker culture blooms in Nashville
A few times a month, Tennessee native Clay Bush goes to a local junkyard to salvage seat belts, buckles and airbags from old cars. Bush uses scissors and a utility knife to cut out the used parts. He unloads them at his workshop on Eighth Avenue South before the items are washed and transformed into furniture, bags, wallets and more. Bush launched Salvage: Upholstery and Design in 2012, pulling from his background in fiber arts and fabric upholstery. He's one of hundreds of entrepreneurs contributing to Nashville's evolving maker movement. The local maker community is a growing force in the city best known for its music industry. The Tennessean
Submitted 1 years 239 days ago

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Japanese tech company Sato to bring global HQ to Fort Lauderdale
A large Japanese company has picked Fort Lauderdale as its global headquarters for its new software division, the Sun Sentinel reports. Tokyo-based Sato Holdings will invest $5 million this year and looks to employ about 200 people in three years at its new Sato Global Solutions. The division will develop and market software for hospitals, retailers and others to track items ranging from hip implants to mobile devices, the Sentinel reports. Sato employs more than 4,000 people worldwide. It considered creating an HQ in Chicago, Dallas, New York and Silicon Valley before choosing Fort Lauderdale. South Florida Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 239 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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