2006-02

Article Title Issue

Answering to a hirer power

Turmoil roils payrolls of companies that can’t help but feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.
2006-02

Biotech develops formula that nurtures job growth

Several times a week during much of the last year, Monica Doss answered her phone to find someone from the West Coast calling to ask about the state’s life-sciences industry. Most were California biotech veterans. About half told her they planned to move to North Carolina — whether a job was waiting or not.
2006-02

Costs leave providers with squeezy feeling

Trying to evaluate the health-care industry is like trying to explain a high blood-pressure reading: Something is wrong, but it’s hard to pinpoint the cause. One thing is certain: Rising costs and falling revenue are putting the squeeze on health-care providers.
2006-02

Factories dig niches to divert job runoff

Among North Carolina manufacturers, one topic dominates most discussions: globalization.
2006-02

High gasoline prices don't unravel travel's big year

From the coast to the mountains, North Carolina tourist attractions reported a strong 2005, despite a gasoline shortage that curtailed some travel Labor Day weekend and higher prices at the pump, which made travel more expensive.
2006-02

Increased cost of materials hammers builders' margins

Be careful what you wish for: You might get it. North Carolina contractors have been hoping for more private work for the past three years but instead had to settle for lower-margin public projects. Now private-sector work is back: Retail and multifamily residential building are booming, and even speculative office projects have begun to stir.
2006-02

Many phone users don't feel the need to be wired

When Concord-based CT Communications launched broadband Internet services that deliver information at 10 megabits per second about a year ago, executives touted the new lines as the fastest in the region. They certainly were a big improvement over 1.5-megabit digital subscriber lines, Chief Financial Officer Jim Hausman says.
2006-02

Mike Easley plays up the lottery and what else he has done — and wants to do — for economic development.

Last year, the first year of Gov. Mike Easley’s second term, the General Assembly passed a state lottery, a key plank in the platform he first ran on in 2000. What effect will it have on the Tar Heel economy when it begins later this year? That’s one of the questions Senior Editor Frank Maley posed to the Rocky Mount Democrat as 2005 came to a close. Here’s an edited transcript of his answers.
2006-02

Salad days dawn in tobacco's twilight

North Carolina’s hottest agricultural fad is spreading from one end of the state to the other, and a $54 million Dole Food processing plant to open in 2007 in Gaston County will accelerate its movement. It’s crop diversity.
2006-02

Sizzle is more a drizzle in tech's second wind

The Tar Heel electronics industry isn’t performing anywhere near the dizzying levels of the 1990s, but no one expects it to any longer. In fact, expectations are so low that many people probably don’t realize that the industry is growing. “It may appear glacially slow,” Wachovia senior economist Mark Vitner says
2006-02

Still hard to figure

As the silver type in the red bar of our logo on the cover indicates, we’ve begun the year that we’ll celebrate the magazine’s 25th anniversary. When we reach that mark this fall, we’ll have published 300 issues, several thousand stories and many millions of words. It’s a big chore putting out Business North Carolina each month, but nothing matches the sweat that goes into producing this Business Handbook issue each year.
2006-02

Storms cause insurers to seek higher ground

North Carolina was spared a direct hit from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But like Gulf Coast residents in the path of the storms, some Tar Heel insurers had a big mess to clean up afterward.
2006-02

Tar Heel ports are ready to pull out the good China

The Chinese might be hanging many North Carolina manufacturers out to dry with hard-to-beat prices, but they’re making quite a splash at the state ports in Wilmington and Morehead City. Tom Eagar, CEO of the North Carolina State Ports Authority, says most of the ports’ 44.5% increase in tonnage during the past two fiscal years came from China.
2006-02

Tar Heel shoppers find reasons to keep buying

With energy costs, personal debt and bankruptcies rising, Tar Heel shoppers could be excused for leaving their money under their mattresses this year. But Jim Smith, a finance professor at UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, thinks merchants will ring up more sales.
2006-02

Urge to merge could surge among smaller N.C. banks

After yawning their way through the first half of 2005, the state’s three biggest banks got busy buying in the second half. Even Winston-Salem-based BB&T — which had sworn off mergers in 2004 after struggling with two earlier purchases — got back in the game, pulling the trigger in December on a $623 million deal for Atlanta-based Main Street Banks, which should close in the second quarter.
2006-02