Sampson County plant will convert turkey waste into energy

November 16, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A $25 million plant under construction in Sampson County will turn 55,000 tons of turkey waste into industrial steam for energy. The 165,000-square-foot Prestage AgEnergy plant is expected to open by the first quarter of 2016.

Wilmington cold-storage facility to open in April

November 16, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Despite weather-related construction delays, a cold storage facility at Port of Wilmington should be open by mid-April. The 100,000-square-foot facility, which will house seafood, poultry, vegetables and other foods waiting to be exported, will be operated by a subsidiary of real-estate development group USA Investco.

Butterball adding 250 jobs in Hoke County

November 12, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Garner-based Butterball plans to add 250 jobs at its turkey processing plant in Raeford in 2016. The nation's largest producer of turkey products said last year it would create 367 jobs over three years at the plant, which was previously occupied by House of Raeford; the company now expects to reach the 500-employee mark next year.

Wilmington rail project could be too costly

November 12, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The costs of restoring an abandoned rail line near Wilmington could outweigh the benefits, according to a cost analysis of the proposed project. Rebuilding the line between Castle Hayne and Wallace would generate an estimated $6 million to $22 million over 30 years, while project costs could reach $124 million.

NC Ports post record profit in 2014-15

November 11, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The N.C. State Ports Authority reported revenue of $43.8 million for fiscal 2014-15, a 10% increase over the previous year according to a state audit. Profit reached a record $6.7 million. Spokesman Cliff Pyron said the increase was a result of "record-breaking" volumes in container and bulk cargo traffic.

Sanderson Farms begins hiring in Robeson County

November 11, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Sanderson Farms began a three-day job fair Tuesday in Lumberton. The Mississippi-based poultry processor is looking to fill 100 manager, supervisor and other positions for a plant in St. Pauls that will eventually employ 1,100 people.

Belhaven still working to reopen rural hospital

November 9, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal has made significant progress in his efforts to reopen Pungo Hospital, a small, rural hospital in eastern N.C. that was acquired by Greenville-based Vidant Health in 2011 then shut down last year. If he succeeds, keeping it open could be an even greater challenge.

Coal-ash removal underway at Wilmington power plant

November 6, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Duke Energy has begun removing coal ash from its retired Sutton Plant in New Hanover County. Two million tons of the ash will be trucked to a former Clay mine in Chatham County; the remaining 5.2 million tons will be buried in a landfill on the site of the Sutton Plant.
More on Duke Energy: International troubles depress Duke Energy earnings

GE Hitachi names new CEO after megadeal

November 3, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

General Electric completed its purchase of France-based Alstom's power business on Monday, resulting in the shuffling of several key executives. Jay Wileman becomes president and CEO of Wilmington-based GE Hitachi, where he was previously chief operating officer. GE Hitachi's former CEO Caroline Reda will move to Atlanta to lead GE's power services business for North America.

Novant ends partnership with Kinston hospital

October 30, 2015

(Kinston Free Press)

Lenoir Memorial Hospital and Winston-Salem-based Novant Health will terminate a management agreement that began in the spring. It is unclear if the 261-bed hospital will pursue another affiliation or partnership to help it deal with declining revenue.

New Hanover tourism sets new record

October 29, 2015

(Port City Daily)

New Hanover County reported a 6.33% increase in tourism spending in the 2014-15 fiscal year. It marks the first time the county, which includes Wilmington and Wrightsville, Carolina and Kure beaches, passed $500 million in tourism spending.

Wilmington businesses, politicians at odds over Export-Import Bank

October 28, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Some Wilmington-area business leaders worry about the impact on the local economy if Congress fails to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank. U.S. Reps. David Rouzer and Walter Jones say the bank is costly to taxpayers and does little to help the majority of businesses.

NC ready to compete for film projects

October 27, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

With funding restored to the state's film grant program, North Carolina could attract shorter television series and small films, says Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission. Big-budget films and long-running TV series will probably go to states that offer larger incentive packages, such as Georgia. North Carolina's grant program is capped at $30 million per year.

Foreclosure sale of Wilmington mall is postponed

October 23, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The foreclosure sale of Wilmington's Independence Mall has been postponed. Originally scheduled for Thursday, the public auction has been rescheduled for Nov. 23. The mall's owner, Centro Independence, defaulted on a $110 million loan.

Roberts launches two startup groups in Wilmington

October 22, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Jim Roberts has launched two Wilmington-based initiatives to support entrepreneurs. The Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington will provide support to the startup community through sponsorships with area businesses. Wilmington Angels for Local Entrepreneurs is an investor network.

Novant partners with Carteret Health Care

October 20, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Novant Health entered a shared-services agreement with the 135-bed Carteret Health Care in Morehead City. The partnership will help the smaller hospital cut supply costs and assist with information technology and strategies to improve performance.

Pender County seafood processor exceeds hiring goals

October 19, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Open for only eight months, Acme Smoked Fish employs 141 workers at its 100,000-square-foot Pender County plant and could continue to grow. The New York-based company vowed to create 120 jobs when it announced plans for the $25 million plant in 2013.

Wilmington film fest expands with startup conference

October 19, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington's Cucalorus Film Festival, held Nov. 11-15, will debut a business conference focused on entrepreneurs. Key presenters announced Friday include Galen Buckwalter, founding chief science officer of eHarmony, and Chris Heivly, co-founder of MapQuest.

Pitt Community College breaks ground on STEM center

October 16, 2015

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Pitt Community College hopes a new $16 million, 75,000-square-foot science and technology training center will help attract employers to the area. The school held a groundbreaking for the new STEM center on Thursday.
Also: Pitt CC breaks ground for $16M science/tech center

Wilmington's Live Oak Bank nation's No. 2 SBA lender

October 13, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wells Fargo remains the nation's top SBA lender, with loans totaling nearly $2 trillion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Wilmington's Live Oak Bank was second, will 966 loans totaling about $1.15 trillion, according to a report released Monday by the federal Small Business Administration.