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A Southern Governor Retrenches on a Big Idea
BATON ROUGE, La. — In a short address Monday on the first day of the legislative session, Gov. Bobby Jindal described why his next big plan — a plan that had been applauded by conservative pundits nationally, pitched at meetings around the state and promoted in slickly produced commercials — was crucial to Louisiana’s success. Then he announced he was shelving it. “Governor, you’re moving too fast, and we aren’t sure that your plan is the best way to do it,” Mr. Jindal said, describing what he had heard from legislators and citizens alike. “Here is my response,” he said. “O.K., I hear you.” The plan, to get rid of the state income and corporate taxes and replace the lost revenue with higher and broader sales taxes, was not dropped altogether. Mr. Jindal emphasized that he was still committed to losing the income tax, but that he would defer to the Legislature to suggest how exactly to make that work. The New York Times
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Reports says Pascagoula, Miss., No. 1 in the country in new construction job growth
PASCAGOULA, Mississippi -- Pascagoula is No. 1 in the country in the highest percentage of new construction jobs, according to a report released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. From February 2012 to February 2013, Pascagoula added 1,800 new construction jobs, an increase of 51 percent. Pascagoula was followed by El Centro, Calif. (23 percent, 300 jobs); Anchorage, Alaska (22 percent, 1,800 jobs), Fargo, N.D. (20 percent, 1,200 jobs) and Merced, Calif. (20 percent, 300 jobs). Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (13,200 jobs, 8 percent) added the most jobs. Other areas adding a large number of jobs included Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (10,700 jobs, 10 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (8,500 jobs, 8 percent) and Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (7,200 jobs, 12 percent). Construction employment increased in 158 out of 339 metropolitan areas, declined in 132 and was stagnant in 49, the report stated. Mississippi Press
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Union groups fight TN workers' comp overhaul


Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Tennessee Chamber hits UAW at VW
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry says in a letter to top Volkswagen officials that an increase in the level of unionization will make it more difficult to attract more auto suppliers to Southeast Tennessee. The business group also said in the letter to VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn that such a move will be a setback for the overall positive business climate. "We urge you not to invite the UAW into the Chattanooga plant without at least giving your employees the opportunity to vote in a secret ballot election after learning all of the relevant pros and cons of union representation," said the letter signed by Bill Ozier, the group's chairman and Catherine Glover, its president. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Mercedes-Benz details hiring process for new jobs at Alabama plant
The Mercedes-Benz auto plant in Tuscaloosa County is moving forward with its plan to fill the bulk of 1,000 new jobs tied to the addition of the C-Class sedan to its assembly lines. Ads with details about the application process began running last week in newspapers across central and western Alabama. The state's worker training agency, AIDT, will screen the applicants. Those interested in jobs are to go through AIDT's website, www.aidt.edu/jobs, to apply. Click on the link for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International production jobs. al.com
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Port of Corpus Christi to vote on lease for $750M iron plant
CORPUS CHRISTI— Port of Corpus Christi commissioners could vote Tuesday on a long-term lease with an Austrian steel-maker planning a $750 million iron processing plant on the north side of Corpus Christi Bay. The lease is a key step, together with regulatory clearance and several economic incentives under review by area governments, toward construction of the plant, expected to employ about 150 people. It will use natural gas to reduce iron ore into raw materials used in high-grade steel making. The company sought to expand its western footprint because of the market’s cheap natural gas supplies and political stability, company officials have said. Voestalpine would lease about 486 acres, including 11 acres of submerged land, for 50 years, with two 15-year extension options, according to the proposal. Plans call for the company to build a 1,060-foot dock. The property is between Portland and Ingleside in the La Quinta Trade Gateway. Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Southern Business & Development's 20th anniversary edition
Southern Business & Development magazine recently published a 42-page timeline profiling many of the most important events in economic development in the American South from 1993 to 2013. Click on the headline above to access this very entertaining timeline.
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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4,000 new hotel rooms on the way to Austin area
The Austin area is in line for more than a dozen hotels in the next two to three years, potentially putting an end to a shortage of rooms that tourism officials say has kept the city from landing many lucrative conventions in recent years. Combined, the hotels could make 4,000 or more additional rooms available for out-of-towners, also easing space crunches that occur during the Austin City Limits Music Festival, South by Southwest, Formula 1 events and University of Texas football games. The city currently has about 30,000 rooms, according to figures from the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, while nearby San Antonio, a longtime favorite of event planners, has an estimated 40,000 rooms. Austin American-Statesman
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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Texas, Florida governors team up at West Palm economic growth forum
WEST PALM BEACH — Texas Gov. Rick Perryand Florida Gov. Rick Scottbrought their tax-cutting, job-creating bromance to the stage of an international business gathering here on Monday, mixing gubernatorial trash talk with professions of mutual admiration. The Republican duo addressed economic growth for a luncheon crowd of about 400 at the Palm Beach Strategic Forum at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Moderator Leigh Gallagher, an assistant managing editor at Fortune magazine, called Florida and Texas “two stunning success stories.” Florida has added 279,500 private sector jobs since January 2011, when Scott took office. Texas has added 706,200 private jobs in that time. Palm Beach Post
Submitted 2 years 16 days ago

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New NC tax break could save small business owners thousands
The husband and wife team behind Will Johnson Building Company recently learned that they qualified for a state tax break that would save them at least $3,875.The money was a welcome surprise for owners Laurie and Will Johnson, who plowed through their savings to keep their custom home building and remodeling business in Chapel Hill afloat during the Great Recession.“Truthfully, I just said it was a gift from God,” said Laurie Johnson, who serves as secretary and treasurer of the family business. The Johnsons are among hundreds of thousands of business owners who could qualify for a state income tax deduction on their personal income tax returns. Raleigh News & Observer
Submitted 2 years 16 days 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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