Business & Economy

Amazon announced Raleigh is on the list of 20 possible contenders for its HQ2.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A North Carolina town will be the site of a new Amazon distribution center that officials say will lead to hundreds of millions in investment and the creation of more than a thousand jobs.

Amazon announced Raleigh is on the list of 20 possible contenders for its HQ2.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

North Carolina will be one of the first states to start collecting sales taxes on online purchases.

File photo of a comic strip.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The Trump Administration tariffs on paper are forcing the Robesonianan newspaper to cut its 8-page Sunday color comics section. Editor Donnie Douglas wrote an editorial explaining that the cost of Canadian newsprint has become too expensive to keep printing that section.

Raleigh Union Station in downtown Raleigh. The new station opened July 10, 2018. It serves Amtrak customers.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Growth in downtown Raleigh is setting records, and it shows no indication of slowing down.

Through the first half of 2018, $274 million worth of construction projects have been completed. That's the most since 2013, and there are still six months left in the year.

Power bills are going up slightly for Duke Energy households in central and western North Carolina this week.

Income trends in North Carolina
Economic Policy Institute

In North Carolina, the average top 1 percent earner takes home more than 20 times what the average earner in the bottom 99 percent earns, according to new research published by the Economic Policy Institute.

Student, Jimmy Haddock, left, helps Quenten Lee with identifying the parts of a tractor and trailer during a check list exercise for a pre-trip inspection upcoming exam at Future Truckers of America, truck driving school on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

It’s a special day for Nobel Holmes: he’s finally getting the chance to drive. But he’s not getting behind the wheel of a car or motorcycle. Holmes is driving an 18-wheeler semi-truck for the first time.

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina farmers are among those warily watching a new trade dispute between the United States and allies in North America and Europe.

The Wild Bison truck stop, pictured here at night, is where Rao began her reporting for her novel.
Courtesy of Maya Rao / WUNC

Before 2008, western North Dakota was a faded frontier. The vast and sparsely-populated area had been steadily losing population since the Great Depression. But the discovery of the Bakken oil fields, in combination with new fracking technology, paved the way for what Maya Rao calls a modern-day gold rush.

Hogs in a large-scale farming barn.
Public Domain

North Carolina’s pork industry has been in the spotlight since a jury awarded tens of millions to 10 people living close to one Eastern North Carolina hog farm. The money was awarded as nuisance payments for noxious odors, floating fecal dust and other byproducts of large-scale farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFO’s.

Smithfield Foods promised to cut emissions.
humanesociety.org

Lawyers for the world's largest pork producer don't want jurors to hear about the finances of a company whose industrial-scale hog operations caused a stench so bad it made life miserable for its rural neighbors.

A bar graph showing available technology jobs in North Carolina each month over the past year.
North Carolina Technology Association

Information Technology jobs are still in high demand across the state, according to the latest Tech Talent Trends Alert from the North Carolina Technology Association.

Scenes from the 2017 Rural Day.
Courtesy of York Wilson Photography

More than 400 local and state officials, business leaders and economic developers will gather in Raleigh Tuesday for the second annual Rural Day.

Organized by the non-profit North Carolina Rural Center, the event will focus on promoting economic development in the state's 80 counties with a population density of less than 250 people per square mile.

Michael C. Munger speaking
Courtesy of Michael C. Munger / WUNC

In 2010 the first Uber passenger was picked up in San Francisco. The business model quickly took off, and one year later was available in New York and Chicago and then went international.

Brian Moynihan is the CEO of Bank of America, based in Charlotte
David Boraks / WFAE

With a pay package of $21.4 million, Bank of America's Brian T. Moynihan ranks as the highest paid chief executive of a public company in North Carolina.

The proposed route to complete the 540 Loop around Raleigh.
N.C. Department of Transportation

Conservation groups have sued to stop the construction of the last of the 540 loop in Wake County.

The Swedish furniture company IKEA will abandon plans to build one of its superstores in the Triangle.

IKEA had planned to open a location in Cary in 2020, but town manager Sean Stegall confirmed Wednesday the retailer will not expand to Cary Towne Center.

The states in darker blue use the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Department of Labor

Democrats in the state legislature joined labor leaders to launch an effort to raise North Carolina's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, drawing a clear battle line for the November mid-term elections.

photo of 6 people on the front steps of a house
Courtesy of Stephen Sills

The highest rent prices in the nation can be found in metropolitan areas like Manhattan or San Francisco. So why is it that Greensboro has some of the highest eviction rates in the country? Greensboro is ranked seventh on the list of the top evicting large cities in the U.S., according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. 

Visitor spending in North Carolina by year.
Visit North Carolina / N.C. Department of Commerce

North Carolina brought in a record $23.9 billion in tourism spending in last year.

Moreover, North Carolina's tourism industry supported a record 225,000 jobs in 2017.

strawberries
NC Strawberry Association

Many North Carolina farmers have opted out of the organic strawberry business, saying conventional berries are hard enough to grow.

headshot of andy fisher
Courtesy of Andy Fisher

When Andy Fisher co-founded the Community Food Security Coalition in 1994, he had a clear goal of advocating for food security. During his 17 years working in conjunction with leaders of the anti-hunger movement, he observed the systems and practices that are holding the movement back.

A federal judge has accepted a settlement that would allow those who lost power for days last summer on two North Carolina islands to divvy up more than $10 million.

City of Raleigh

A downtown Raleigh transportation hub is nearly ready to host its first passenger trains. 

The city officially dedicated Union Station in a ceremony Monday morning. The $89 million project will eventually handle commuter and passenger rail as well as buses and taxis on the west end of downtown.

photo of the airbnb website, with pictures of rooms for rent
www.airbnb.com/a/Asheville

The Asheville City Council voted to severely restrict tourist rentals in Asheville earlier this year. The new rules state that rentals that had city permits before the vote can stay in business.

A map of economically vulnerable areas in Wake County.
Wake County Economic Development

Businesses that set up shop in poor parts of Wake County could soon receive financial incentives, provided they pay employees a living wage. That means employees can meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.

Greensboro city skyline
Mark Goebel / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4UYDyX

The city of Greensboro could do more to ensure businesses owned by women and minorities get contracts with the city, according to a report presented to the city council this week.

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

Weeks ago Donald Trump announced a tariff on steel that will impact China. In response, China plans to increase tariffs on several popular American exports including pork. Veteran Winston-Salem Journal reporter Richard Craver believes both countries will pay the price. From North Carolina beer brewers to major construction companies, local business are concerned, but there may also be some winners when the smoke clears. He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the local impact of the steel tariff.

Remington's corporate headquarters in Madison, North Carolina.
Keri Brown / WFDD

One of the oldest gun manufacturers in the country has filed for bankruptcy. Remington Outdoor Company, based in Madison, North Carolina, has racked up nearly a billion dollars of debt and faced several lawsuits, including one moving through the courts related to the use of its AR-15-style weapon in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

China's tariffs on American goods could dip into North Carolina's pork exports.

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