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Leaders point to signs of Charleston, W.Va.'s recovery
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston city leaders say a recent surge in business and occupation tax collections is evidence the city's economy is bouncing back. Mayor Danny Jones said the $400,000 in additional tax collections over the past three months also would help cut the city's burgeoning pension liabilities. Charleston closed the books on the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year at the end of September. City finance director Joe Estep said business and occupation tax collections beat expectations by about 4.7 percent during the July to September quarter. Charleston Daily Mail
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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Shale gas a game changer for U.S. energy economy
Huge new shale gas discoveries are a game changer for energy in the U.S., potentially reshaping the electricity and transportation industries, according to officials at the Governor's Conference on Energy. And though federal regulations are a burden on the U.S. energy industry, don't count coal out as a globally important power source, speakers at the conference in Richmond said Wednesday. "It looks like we have a couple of hundred years' natural gas supply liberated by the fracking process," said Robert P. Powers, executive vice president and chief operating officer of American Electric Power. "Who knew we were entering an era of energy abundance?" said Karen A. Harbert, president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy. Richmond Times-Dispatch
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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U.S. and China Increase Shale Gas Business Ties
China and the United States may have trade disputes over green technologies. But they will still be collaborating in the shale gas arena. China needs foreign technology and capital to get at its vast shale gas reserves -- fuel that it desperately needs to feed its energy appetite at 12 percent growth a year. If it is able to access its plethora of recoverable shale gas, it would then become far more reliable, independent and, perhaps cleaner. “We remain positive that China’s domestic shale gas will be a major boost to supply growth, producing approximately 150 billion cubic meters per annum by 2030,” says Gavin Thompson, head of Asia Pacific gas research for the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. EnergyBiz.com
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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President Obama revokes sale of four wind farms to Chinese nationals
The Obama administration ordered companies controlled by Chinese national to divest themselves of four Oregon wind projects acquired earlier this year, deeming them too close to restricted airspace near a naval training facility. In an executive order dated Sept. 28, Obama ordered Ralls Corporation, a company owned by Chinese nationals, to divest its interest in the wind farms it purchased earlier this year near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility in Boardman, Ore. Ralls is affiliated with Chinese turbine manufacturer Sany. “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Ralls Corporation … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” the presidential order states. EnergyBiz.com
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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Texas: Executive Accused of Illegal Exports to Russia
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Houston electronics executive with illegally exporting microelectronics to Russian military and intelligence agencies, as part of a sophisticated network aimed at supplying American high-tech goods for use in Russian weapons systems. The authorities said the items supplied by the executive, Alexander Fishenko, and 10 other people included microprocessors and memory chips that can be used in radar and surveillance systems and detonation triggers. The export of such material is regulated by the federal government for national security reasons, but prosecutors alleged Mr. Fishenko — and several employees of his Houston company, Arc Electronics Inc. — falsified federal export documents and concealed the nature of their work, telling American suppliers that they were not exporters but traffic-light manufacturers. Since 2002, Arc Electronics shipped $50 million worth of microelectronics and other technologies to Russia, with the main port of export being John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, prosecutors said. The New York Times
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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Evolve becomes Memphis' fastest-growing bank — by branching nationwide
First State Bank of Parkin has left its roots as an Arkansas farmtown lender and branched nationwide, becoming the fastest-growing bank based in metropolitan Memphis. Owned now by a Memphis firm, it has opened 31 loan offices as far away as California and focused on small-business and mortgage lending. It also has a new name: Evolve Bank & Trust. While lending by the majority of banks in Memphis and America remains slack, Evolve's loan volume has bulged to $253 million from $18 million in just a few years. Memphis Commercial Appeal
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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Yogurt plant to expand in Centerville, Tenn., add 64 jobs
CENTERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A food processing plant in Middle Tennessee is expanding and will hire 64 more workers. State officials announced Wednesday that AGRANA Fruit US will put about $10 million into construction at its plant in Centerville. Company president Bob Prendes said the demand for yogurt has seen explosive growth in recent years and the Centerville plant has played a key role in AGRANA Fruit US' success. Knoxville New-Sentinel
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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U.S. Office Vacancy Rate Falls to Almost Three-Year Low
U.S. office vacancies dropped to their lowest level in almost three years as demand from energy and technology companies combined with a dearth of construction to overshadow cuts by government employers, Reis Inc. (REIS) said. A total of 17.1 percent of the country’s office space sat empty as of Sept. 30, down from 17.4 percent a year earlier and 17.2 percent in the second quarter, the New York-based real estate research firm said today. Vacancies were the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2009, when the rate was 17 percent. Bloomberg
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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Construction jobs lagging in nearly half of U.S. metro areas
Employment in the construction industry has fallen during the last year in nearly half of the nation’s job markets. A new report shows 164 of 337 metropolitan statistical areas posted declines in the number of construction jobs from August 2011 to August 2012. The report from the Associated General Contractors of America was based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Business First
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

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Duke Energy provides update on merger integration
Duke Energy Corporation has finished integrating several large departments with those of recent merger partner Progress Energy, the Charlotte-based utility said Wednesday in a regulatory filing. The two companies began integrating their corporate superstructures on July 2, when they closed the merger, and Duke (NYSE:DUKE) is on track to have all employees in their post-merger positions by the end of the month, CEO Jim Rogers wrote in a letter to the North Carolina Utilities Commission. The company’s information technology, nuclear and energy-supply functions are all fully staffed, Rogers wrote. Triangle Business Journal
Submitted 2 years 18 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 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

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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