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Freeport LNG plans to start construction in October
Houston-based Freeport LNG Development LP has new investors, and its CEO plans to start construction in October on its massive liquefied natural gas export project. Freeport LNG Chairman and CEO Michael Smith said he believes the company will receive federal approval "within the next 30 days" from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to commence construction. Financially, Global Infrastructure Partners' second private equity fund will acquire a 25 percent interest in the project for $850 million, which Smith noted puts the overall valuation at a healthy $3.4 billion, of which he has a 57.5 percent stake, he said. GIP is based out of New York and Connecticut. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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Officials break ground on $250 million Scarlet Pearl Casino in D'Iberville, Miss.
D'IBERVILLE, Mississippi -- D'Iberville Mayor Quave says the tax revenues generated from a casino will allow the city to give raises to police, fire and city employees, as well as pay for much-needed sewer and drainage projects. Officials broke ground Tuesday for the $250 million Scarlet Pearl Casino. The Scarlet Pearl is set to open on New Year's Eve 2015. It will become the 13th casino in South Mississippi. George Toth, CEO of the developer, Land Holdings I, said the work will bring 500 construction jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs. The resort will have 300 hotel rooms, restaurants, retail, and conference and entertainment space plus two premium miniature golf courses. Mississippi Press
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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Mexican partnership means more jobs in Dyersburg, Tenn.
Dot Foods is forming a joint venture redistribution company with Mexico-based RJ Alimentos that will be known as RD Amerimex. The joint venture will allow Dot Foods to create more jobs at its Dyersburg distribution center, which is set to open this fall. While Dot Foods hasn’t put a number on how many additional jobs the joint venture will create, the company plans to employ 115 people in Dyersburg, and is currently looking for 40 drivers and 50 warehouse personnel. “On the local level, our employees are ready for this challenge,” Tim Loyd, general manager of Dot Foods in Dyersburg said. “We are recruiting more warehouse personnel and drivers not just for this new venture, but also to prepare for our initial start-up in Dyersburg.” Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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Dallas Fed chief calls for further economic action
Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, on Wednesday called for further action after the central bank ends its economic stimulus program this fall. In a speech at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he suggested the Fed start reducing its reinvestments from maturing securities in October and gradually start raising interest rates in early 2015 or sooner, depending on the economy. “I think it would send a signal to the market ... it would be an optimistic move,” Fisher said in a phone interview from California. U.S. employment and inflation are reaching Fed forecasts faster than expected, which may leave the central bank at risk of damaging the economy if it acts too slowly, Fisher said. “We are at risk of doing what the Fed has too often done: overstaying our welcome by staying too loose too long,” he said in prepared remarks. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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Fed reports modest economic expansion for South region
In the past six weeks, economic activity expanded modestly in the South, and the outlook remained positive as most businesses anticipate higher growth in the near term. That’s according to the Federal Reserve System’s latest beige book, which was released on Wednesday. It is based on interviews with businesses and other contacts in the Fed’s Sixth District, which includes Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Here are a few highlights from the report: Birmingham Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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See how Team Mobile closed out the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow
HAMPSHIRE, England – Mobile area officials spent their final day at the 2014 Farnoborough International Airshow in elite company. Airbus Group's Lawrence Stein hosted several members of Team Mobile on a tour of the planemaker's latest innovations, including a closer look at the company's electric plane. Airbus presented an E-Fan prototype during the global aerospace showcase and announced plans to produce both a two- and four-seat version via a new subsidiary, VoltAir, at a new factory at Bordeaux's Merignac airport in France. An item posted on the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce blog chronicling the delegation's experiences at Farnborough cited chamber President Bill Sisson characterizing much of the Airbus technology witnessed during Wednesday's tour and that discussed as in development as focused on fuel efficiency and alternative power sources. AL.com
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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Metro Atlanta in consideration for massive Under Armour distribution hub
Metro Atlanta is a finalist to land a massive distribution center for sports apparel brand Under Armour Inc., one of several retail companies scouting the Southeast's largest logistics hub for new projects. Atlanta is one of three metro regions across the South, including Nashville, Tenn. and Greenville, S.C., that Under Armour is considering, according to industrial real estate executives familiar with the roughly 2-million-square-foot project. Atlanta Business Chronicle and sister publications Baltimore Business Journa l, Memphis Business Journal, and Nashville Business Journal also confirmed Under Armour's interest in the Southeast. Atlanta is a frontrunner because it's the Southeast’s strongest logistics hub, with the world’s busiest airport. It’s also close to one of the East Coast’s largest ports and offers a well-connected rail and interstate network. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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S.C. I-77 Alliance looking for executive director
A newish economic-development agency in South Carolina is advertising for an executive director. The S.C. I-77 Alliance was recreated last year as an industry-seeking effort among York, Chester and Fairfield counties. It aims to appeal to new and relocating business and industry that may want to be located along the interstate, south of Charlotte. Britt Blackwell, a Rock Hill optometrist who is chairman of York County Council, also serves as chairman of the I-77 Alliance. He told the Columbia Regional Business Report that three recent eco-devo announcements in York and Chester counties created a “tremendous momentum” in the northern area of South Carolina. Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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Record revenue for Jacksonville-based CSX, as long hauls move from highways to rails
Executives at CSX are optimistic that a growing economy will continue add more freight for the railroad. Tuesday, it announced a record revenue of $3.2 billion during the second quarter, 8 percent over the second quarter of 2013. Net earnings were $529 million, or 53 cents a share, for the quarter, up from $521 million and 51 cents a share for the same period last year. After the earnings were announced, the Jacksonville-based company’s stock bounced a bit Wednesday. It opened at $30.85, down from Tuesday’s close of $31.15, ranged as high as $31.30 and as low as $30.60 before closing at $31.18. “It’s always hard to predict what the stock will do,” said Fredrik Eliasson, executive vice president and chief financial officer. Florida Times-Union
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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Vanguard Furniture to open facility in Carroll County, Va.
The upholstery maker Vanguard Furniture plans to open a manufacturing operation in Carroll County that will create more than 200 jobs. The facility will be North Carolina-based Vanguard’s first production operation in Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday. Vanguard plans to invest $550,000 in the project. The plant will produce household furniture upholstery and will be located in the Carroll County Industrial Park. Family-owned Vanguard Furniture employs 500 people at five manufacturing buildings in Conover, N.C., and at a 40,000-square-foot showroom in High Point, N.C. Richmond Times-Dispatch
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

 

 

 

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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