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North Carolina leapfrogs Michigan to become 9th most populous state
North Carolina just inched past Michigan to become the nation's ninth most populous state. According to new numbers by the U.S. Census Bureau, North Carolina grew by 95,047 people during the past year. "People want to live in a place where they can fulfill their potential," N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday in a prepared statement. "And for an increasing number of Americans and people throughout the world, that place is North Carolina." Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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Analysis: Site selection questions linger on potential $1.2 billion metal mill
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The strange recruitment of a potential $1.2 billion aluminum mill rolls on. American Specialty Alloys had promised to announce a site and a financing plan by the end of the year. The company sparked a lot of speculation by putting a countdown clock on its website that ended at 7 p.m. December 19. But Chief Marketing Officer George Riel said that the countdown was only to a holiday party that also doubled as a “roll out” event for “staff, partners and customers.” Riel now says the company plans to publicly name a site in the first three months of 2015. The company hopes to break ground in March and wants its first phase to begin operations by late 2016. “There’s a lot of moving parts and we’ve been very diligent and very careful about where we build,” Riel said in a telephone interview Dec. 23. The Washington Times
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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New Jersey officials pleading for Mercedes to stay
German luxury automobile maker Mercedes-Benz hasn't even publicly said it's considering moving its U.S. headquarters out of New Jersey, but some state officials are so concerned about the possibility they're campaigning publicly to try to keep the company and its 1,000 jobs where they are. The possibility of Mercedes-Benz USA, the U.S. marketing and distribution arm of Germany-based Daimler AG, moving from Montvale comes as the state is ramping up its tax incentives to bring companies in and keep those it already has. A 2013 state law includes a tax break to keep car company headquarters in their current communities. That benefit could be worth about $15 million to Mercedes on top of millions of dollars in other incentives. It also could be used by several other car companies with U.S. headquarters in the state, including BMW, whose main North American office is about 2 miles from Mercedes'. Philly.com
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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New Jersey gets creative in effort to keep Mercedes Benz headquarters
While New Jersey officials scramble behind-the-scenes to keep Mercedes-Benz from relocating its U.S. headquarters to the Southeast, a Garden State billboard owner is doing his bit with a more public plea. Marty Judge, co-owner of Judge Outdoors in New York and Waldwick has put up b illboard messages saying "Bergen County (heart) Mercedes-Benz. #PLEASESTAY" on routes 17 and 80 in Rochelle Park, according to NorthJersey.com. Mercedes U.S. headquarters are located in Montvale, which is in Bergen County. Judge said he planned to keep the billboards into the new year. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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Louisiana proclaimed 'movie capital of the world' by CBS News
Louisiana has become the "movie capital of the world" as more and more feature productions shoot in the state, according to a report Friday (Dec. 26) by CBS News. The network is the latest media outlet to take an interest in the Hollywood South scene, spurred by generous state tax credits to lure productions. The tax give-aways often spark much debate locally. CBS's story uses a mix of video taken at movie productions filming in New Orleans along with clips from Mardi Gras parades and crawfish boils. "And with potential blockbusters already in the works for 2015, it seems big movies in the Big Easy are here to stay," the report says. NOLA.com
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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New Orleans rated most expensive New Year's Eve destination, website reports
New Orleans for New Year's Eve? Hit the ATM first. The Big Easy apparently won't be so easy on the wallet. New Orleans has been rated the most expensive destination city to ring in the new year, according to Travelmag.com. The score was based on the minimum cost of a double hotel room on Dec. 31, 2014. New Orleans wasn't exactly a runaway winner. Atlantic City was a close second, followed by New York City, Miami Beach and Honolulu. Thousands of visitors are flocking to New Orleans, with many pulling double duty as they come not just to celebrate the holidays here but also to cheer on either the University of Alabama or Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This year the bowl game serves as a semi-final matchup in the newly created College Football Playoff system. NOLA.com
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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'If you want a job, come to Texas:' State holds 1 of 3 U.S. jobs added in 2014
As Hope Andrade says, if you want a job, come to Texas. Andrade is a Texas Workforce Commissioner representing employers and has tracked the state's job growth throughout the year. Though the Texas Workforce Commission only has figures through November, it announced Friday that the state has added 441,200 positions in 2014 – that's about a third of all jobs added in the U.S. "We certainly have created business-friendly policies," Andrade said about what's facilitating the job numbers. "You may have heard is that more people are coming to Texas every day and businesses are locating to Texas. We have a high quality of life and a low cost of living. Most importantly, we have the workforce." Austin Business Journal
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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2014: North Texas real estate market is one for the records
What a year for real estate — 2014 will go into the record books as a time when the Dallas-Fort Worth property market was white hot. The last time North Texas saw such a real estate boom was back in the 1980s, and most of that run-up was fueled by crooked savings-and-loan lenders and tax-dodge investors. This time, it’s pure demographics — surging population and job growth — that’s powering the property market. Construction cranes stretch from Uptown to Frisco. And the size of developments has exploded, with billion-dollar construction deals underway in several locations. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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D-FW office vacancy at lowest level in more than a decade, rents at new high
Dallas-Fort Worth office building vacancies have fallen to the lowest level in more than a decade. Just over 16 percent of the area’s office space was empty at the end of 2014, according to a new report by Cushman & Wakefield Inc. The commercial area estate firm said that expanding and relocating office tenants rented almost 5 million square feet office space this year – the highest net leasing in more than 15 years. “The real estate fundamentals are the best we have seen in decades,” said Steve Everbach, who heads Cushman & Wakefield’s D-FW office. “The supply of new office space has been very disciplined in this cycle.” Dallas Morning News
Submitted 2 years 84 days ago

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Texas wind power sets a record in 2014, but federal tax credit ends soon
Wind power broke last year's record for generation with one month left to go, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Wind power has generated 33.2 million megawatt hours of electricity through November. That's 511,068 MWh more than was generated by wind in the entire year of 2013. The turbines set a new record on Nov. 2, generating 10,301 megawatts at 10:39 a.m. That's means 90 percent of the wind capacity in ERCOT, the grid that covers 85 percent of Texas, was blowing at that moment. Austin Business Journal
Submitted 2 years 84 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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