Articles

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Occupy your mind

Fine Print: I’ve studied the Occupy Raleigh movement on a daily basis since the protest began but not exactly by choice. I can see the protesters from my desk in downtown Raleigh, and it’s not a matter of my having to take the trouble to look out the window. Thanks to the placement of my desk, I have to go to the trouble not to see them.

2011-12

Wait and seethe

2011 Top Contractors: Anxious for an upturn, top contractors keep their companies stoked with whatever work there is, wherever they can find it.

2011-12

Where the heart is

Feature: Two Tar Heels injured in Iraq prove charity starts at home by building and renovating houses for disabled vets.

2011-12

Sticking to his knitting

Small Business of the Year: In the early ’90s, after six years of playing bass guitar for a rock band, Shane Cooper became obsessed with bicycle racing. He didn’t excel as a rider, so he took to coaching, and his team from Hickory went on to win several regional and state championships. He also became obsessed with socks — bike socks.

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Regional Report Triangle December 2011

“When I grew up, tobacco was something you smoked or chewed or dipped.” — Gov. Beverly Perdue at the opening of Medicago USA Inc.’s headquarters and production plant in Research Triangle Park Nov. 14.

2011-12

Rhino extends its range

Small Business of the Year Runner-up: The world turned upside down in late 2008,” says Dan Brooks, president of Rhino Assembly Corp. “All of a sudden, every manufacturer was saying, ‘They’ve cut my budget. I’m not allowed to spend at all.’” Rhino, which specializes in providing customized tools for auto and aircraft manufacturers, was losing $50,000 to $100,000 a month. To survive, Brooks says, “we knew cutbacks had to be made, but we were not willing to cut employees.” 

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Regional Report Triad December 2011

“We’ve been growing throughout the whole downturn.”— Daryl Bible, chief financial officer of Winston-Salem-based BB&T Corp., after the bank agreed to acquire BankAtlantic in November. Bible was referring to BB&T’s deposits minus CD accounts, which have fallen off since the recession started in December 2007. But its expansion has come with a price: Its 2009 acquisition of failed Colonial Bank forced it to write off millions of the bank’s nonperforming assets a year later.
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Regional Report Charlotte December 2011

“Get the heck out of that bank.”— Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin’s advice to Bank of America customers Oct. 3 after it announces it will institute a $5 monthly debit-card fee. Reason: the Durbin Amendment (named for you-know-who) to the Dodd-Frank Act, which limits “swipe fees” — what banks charge merchants for debit-card transactions — and will diminish the nearly $16 billion a year Charlotte-based BofA and others get from them. He makes his comment on the Senate floor.

 

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Regional Report Eastern December 2011

Once touted as a growth industry, the number of Tar Heel fish farms has sunk by a fourth in five years, from 200 to 150, due largely to soaring prices of corn and soybeans, the primary ingredients of fish feed. But vertical integration — controlling every aspect of production — has allowed Carolina Classics Catfish Inc. to keep revenue and profit stable.

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Regional Report Western December 2011

In October, Asheville Savings Bank converted from a mutual association owned by its members to a financial institution owned by stockholders, selling more than $55 million of shares through subscription and a community offering. 

2011-12

A dog’s life

Up Front: He came with certified pedigree bearing the seal of the American Kennel Club.

2011-11

Landing business

Feature: Tiny as most of them are, general-aviation airports have a lofty role in North Carolina’s economic development.

2011-11

Out on your own

Cover story: A software CEO evangelizes entrepreneurship, preaching to prisoners that the way to be free is to start your own business.

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Regional Report Charlotte November 2011

When Julian Clayton was a kid, the family computer was so heavy and bulky that the only place to put it was the granite countertop of a bar in the basement. Now his Salisbury-based company Crescent Construction Services LLC relies on a device that weighs less than 2 pounds.

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Regional Report Eastern November 2011

North Carolina imported $42.5 billion of goods last year. That’s a lot of shipping containers.

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Regional Report Triad November 2011

Guilford College and High Point University presidents differ over the value of debt as an asset.

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Regional Report Triangle November 2011

Clustered food systems — self-sustaining cycles of small local producers growing, packaging and selling food to local customers — are popping up around the nation. 

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Regional Report Western November 2011

Tar Heels are learning their Alcoholic Beverage Control Boards don’t always follow the letter of the law.

2011-11

Reworking it out

Capital Goods: Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly were at each other’s throats most of the past session.

2011-11

Thinking the unthinkable

Fine Print: In recent weeks I’ve found myself returning to the idea that Charlotte-based Bank of America will not survive.

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