August 2015

Erskine's web

More than 20 years after leaving his investment bank, Erskine Bowles still influences dozens of former colleagues in the finance industry.

Bowles Hollowell

Premier position

As hospitals face pressure to trim costs while serving more patients, Susan DeVore preps her purchasing group to make the process hum.

Premier

Lumber thrills

Fair Bluff thinks slicker marketing of its tasty watermelons can sweeten long-term prospects for the small river town.

TownSquare

Tough climb

Economic-development prospects for North Carolina's mountain region face steeper odds as the state shifts its industry-recruitment strategy.

Western NC

Latest Blog Posts

Charlotte snags corporate HQ from Louisiana

By David Mildenberg - Aug 25, 2015 - 2:00:00 pm

Albemarle Corporation, a Louisiana-based chemical manufacturer with a market value of $4.9 billion, is moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Baton Rouge, La. The deal will add 120 new jobs by 2016 for Charlotte, which is becoming a magnet for corporate headquarters. Pay will average more than $160,000 annually.

BNC Bancorp Buys Charleston, S.C.-area bank

By David Mildenberg - Aug 14, 2015 - 5:25:00 pm

BNC Bancorp of High Point buys its second Charleston, S.C.-area bank in the past year, offering $95.5 million for Southcoast Community Bank. It continues the aggressive expansion approach of BNC CEO Rick Callicutt.

Special Reports and Publications

Energy Round Table: Powering change

N.C. companies tackle energy-industry issues including developing storage, neutralizing waste and integrating renewables.

Top 75 Public Companies

Investors show an appetite for companies on our list of the Top 75 publicly traded based in North Carolina.

Business and Education Round Table

NC must invest in science and technology education to build a stronger, more capable workforce.

2015 Financial 100

NC banks and credit unions report big profit gains after working through most recession-era troubled loans.

Cash crop

From biotechnology to education, NC's agricultural leaders seek ways to keep the industry strong.

Daily Digest

Smithfield ditching Murphy-Brown name

(Sampson Independent)

Smithfield Foods Inc., the Chinese-owned pork producer with a long history in North Carolina, is renaming its Murphy-Brown unit Smithfield Hog Production Division. Smithfield is centralizing operations to put its 48,000 employees under the same brand name. Former state Sen. Wendell Murphy sold his Murphy Family Farms Inc. to Smithfield in 2000, then served as a company director for many years. The company was acquired by China-based Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. for $7.1 billion in 2013.

Here's a history of Smithfield Foods:  http://hamptonroads.com/2013/05/timeline-history-smithfield-foods

Small towns fear Belk buyout could lead to store closures

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Residents across North Carolina worry Belk's new owners may eventually decide to shutter stores in smaller towns, where often it's the only full-service department store. Charlotte-based Belk announced last week it is being sold to Sycamore Partners, a New York-based private-equity firm, for $3 billion. Company officials say no major changes are planned.
Related: The Street: Belk buyout is 'a steal' for Sycamore Partners

Group says BofA shareholders should split CEO, chairman roles

(The Charlotte Observer)

CtW Investment Group said Friday that Bank of America shareholders should vote against bylaw changes that allowed CEO Brian Moynihan to become chairman. CtW is an advocate for union-affiliated pension funds. The Charlotte-based bank is holding a special meeting Sept. 22 for shareholders to vote on the issue.

Western NC sees more international tourists

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville business owners are noticing an uptick in the number of international tourists. About 1.2 million international travelers visited the state in 2013, the latest year statistics are available, but tourism officials expect a significant increase in 2014 and 2015.

Scott Ralls prepares to step down as leader of NC community colleges

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Scott Ralls says state lawmakers need to recognize the community-college system's impact in North Carolina and get back on track when it comes to economic development. Ralls, who is stepping down as president of the 58-school system Sept. 1, signed an agreement last week with 22 private colleges to make it easier for community-college students who earn associate degrees to receive credit for general education courses when transferring to the private schools.

Budget deadline extended to Sept. 18

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State lawmakers have moved the budget deadline to Sept. 18, the third extension this year. Key education issues include funding for teacher assistants and driver education. Aside from the budget agreement, legislators have yet to tackle Medicaid reform, transportation and infrastructure bonds and business incentives.

State employees to receive one-time bonuses

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Teachers and other state employees will receive $750 bonuses this year under a compromise reached between the two legislative chambers. House leaders had pushed for an increase in base pay that would carry over into next year. Lawmakers continue to work out other details of the proposed $21.7 billion state budget.

Budget talks to extend into September; Johnston County awaits jobs announcement

(WRAL.com)

Gov. Pat McCrory will be in Johnston County this afternoon, where he is expected to make a major jobs announcement. Meanwhile, state lawmakers still haven't reached a budget agreement and plan to introduce their third temporary spending measure this year, which would keep the government operating through Sept. 15.

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BNC Pulse

Poll: Sales tax schism Do you support a Senate budget proposal that would give sales tax revenue to counties based on population, rather than where goods and services are purchased?  Yes  No

N.C. Family Business of the Year Winners

Schiffman's Jeweler's, K&W Cafeterias, Rose Chauffeured Transportation and Carolina Management Team have been recognized by the Wake Forest University Family Business Center and Business North Carolina with the 2014 North Carolina Family Business of the Year Awards.