September 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.


Lumber thrills

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


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

Durham's Scioderm acquired for $229M

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

New Jersey-based Amicus Therapeutics could pay up to $947 million for the Durham startup if Scioderm's experimental treatment for a rare skin disorder is approved by the FDA. Zorblisa is a skin cream used to treat Epidermolysis bullosa, which causes blistering rashes and affects 30,000 to 40,000 people.

Charlotte's AT&T Plaza sells for $45.5M

(The Charlotte Observer)

Stream Realty Partners paid $45.5 million for the 360,000-square-foot AT&T building in downtown Charlotte and is planning extensive renovations, including a new facade, new lobbies and new retail space. AT&T is relocating employees to offices off West Tyvola Road.
Related: Charlotte's office vacancy rate down to 13.5%

Dispute over Yadkinville hospital closure could head to trial

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A lawsuit over the closing of Yadkin Valley Community Hospital could go to trial next June. The county claims the hospital's operator, HMC/CAH Consolidated, and its parent company breached their contract by abruptly closing the 20-bed hospital on May 22 (Statewide, July).

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:

Senate deal would keep driver's ed, teacher assistants

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Budget negotiators for the state Senate say they will keep funding for teacher assistants and driver's education if the House will make other concessions in the education portion of the budget. Programs likely to be cut from the House proposal include a $12 million Internet connectivity initiative and bonuses for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate teachers whose students score well on tests.

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.

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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.