Business & Economy

Aquaculture along the coast of North Carolina is a growing business.  The oyster industry in particular was looking at a banner season this spring before things came to a stop with the pandemic. 

Unpaid Bills Drive NC Families To Financial Brink

Jul 27, 2020
Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash Creative Commons

As many as 1 million families in North Carolina have fallen behind on their electric, water and sewage bills, threatening residents and their cities with severe financial hardship unless federal lawmakers act to approve more emergency aid.

Electric meter
Kevin Harber, via Creative Commons / https://bit.ly/30ykzck

The North Carolina Utilities Commission says nearly 1.5 million customers in the state have been delinquent in payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Utilities Commission says the unpaid bills amount to nearly $260 million.

Headshot of McCoy.
Courtesy of Jesse Hamilton McCoy II

There were not many other poor students in his class at law school. Jesse Hamilton McCoy II knew that most of the laws he learned about were not written or enforced by working class Black people. 

Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina's jobless rate declined dramatically in June, the state announced on Friday, as restaurants, hotels and retailers bounced back since Gov. Roy Cooper's COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

Alan Levine / Creative Commons https://pxhere.com/en/photo/216327

North Carolina's highest court has temporarily blocked a judge's ruling that allowed dozens of North Carolina's bowling alleys to reopen by overturning a portion of Gov. Roy Cooper's COVID-19 executive order keeping them closed.

Ben Finley / AP Photo

When Hurricane Dorian pounded the wisp of earth that is Ocracoke Island, a wall of Atlantic seawater flooded Bob Chestnut’s home, surf shop and four vehicles.

NC Department of Commerce

In 2013, North Carolina’s legislature voted to cut unemployment benefits, shortening the number of eligibility weeks and capping the amount of funds workers could draw. 

A laundry basket sits on a coffee table.
Sean Freese/Creative Commons

For months, families have been quarantining together during the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has forced parents and partners to rethink everything, from division of household chores and childcare duties to work-from-home needs and whether or not a job that cannot be performed remotely is even worth keeping, if childcare is unavailable or unaffordable. 

In this Dec. 5, 2008 file photo, a rack with forms to assist the unemployed and job seekers is seen at a New York State Department of Labor career center in Albany, N.Y.
Mike Groll / AP, File

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Aunt Jemima syrup bottles
Mike Mozart

As the country reckons with the systemic racism upon which it is built, major companies are making statements of their own. Some address inequities and enumerate actionable steps to combat racism. 

an eviction notice on a front door
Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons/http://bit.ly/2HmJ9nV

A statewide moratorium on evictions in North Carolina expires this Sunday, unless Governor Roy Cooper extends it.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said on Monday he'll announce early next week whether businesses still shuttered because of COVID-19 will be allowed to reopen.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

  Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are planning to vote this week on a measure that would allow President Donald Trump to speak in front of a packed Republican National Convention without some of the restrictions officials have required elsewhere to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Courtesy of Jessica Yinka Thomas

Jessica Yinka Thomas grew up in both the United States and West Africa. Her father, a Nigerian economics professor, and her mother, an American computer scientist, raised their four kids between Miami, Nigeria, Senegal and eventually Maryland to get them ready for college in the states.

PxHere / Public Domain

 North Carolina legislators are wading into Gov. Roy Cooper's business reopening decisions, as the state Senate voted Thursday to let bars serve customers again despite his recent executive order keeping them closed due to COVID-19.

Stylist Mike Wood trims the hair of Vina Vinluan on Saturday at Salon2eleven in Carrboro, NC. Amidst COVID-19, Salon2eleven is offering customers the option of hair styling services indoors or outdoors. As the state of North Carolina transitions from the
Kate Medley / For WUNC

A lot of people across North Carolina were out and about over the Memorial Day weekend as more state restrictions on where you can go and what you can do have been lifted. And while restaurants are filling up again – to 50% capacity anyway – personal grooming also seems to top people's to-do list.

Christine Rucker-Putnam

Strikes and labor organizing are on the rise as essential workers grapple with safety concerns while on the job. Meatpacking plants, city sanitation and healthcare are some of the industries where workers are striking or organizing.

A tattoo and piercing shop on Hillsborough Street is closed during the coronavirus pandemic in Raleigh, N.C. on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

North Carolina's unemployment rate ballooned to just over 12% in April as the state dealt with a coronavirus-related economic slowdown, state officials said Friday.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

Gov. Roy Cooper is letting North Carolina restaurants, barber shops and salons welcome patrons inside starting this holiday weekend, reporting on Wednesday that the state's COVID-19 trends remain largely stable.

Forrest Mason Media

North Carolina is known for its barbecue and its bustling food scene. But the state’s restaurants and bars have grown quiet and empty over the last few months. Some eateries have been able to offer takeout, delivery or curbside pickup — but not all dishes work well in a box. 

 

Keri Brown / WFDD

  The Tyson Foods Plant in Wilkes County is closing temporarily. This is the second time in a week the facility has shut its doors after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

Major the Bull wears a protective facemark in the downtown plaza in Durham, N.C. Friday, March 27, 2020.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

A North Carolina city is keeping a stay-at-home order in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic in effect indefinitely, the mayor announced Friday.

A large yellow house with black shutters and a tree in the foreground.
Courtesy of Monica Edwards/Morehead Manor

In Durham, small businesses have been the backbone of downtown revitalization. But since COVID-19 forced the closures of most non-essential businesses in mid-March, brick-and-mortar shop owners have struggled to stay afloat. 
 

A view of Glenwood South, a normally bustling part of downtown Raleigh, almost completely empty due to COVID-19.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

As Governor Roy Cooper begins easing restrictions on some businesses starting Friday, local retail stores are taking precautions to open safely.

Some stores are limiting the number of people allowed inside or offering shopping by appointment for customers with health risks.

Lighthouse
Courtesy of Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

Three counties on North Carolina's tourist-reliant Outer Banks announced plans Wednesday to lift coronavirus-related visitor restrictions, although they warned of the need to continue to practice social distancing amid the ongoing pandemic.

Courtesy of Jenni Lawson

North Carolina’s coastal counties draw millions of visitors each year with their scenic shorelines and festive events. Tourism is the primary economic driver in beach communities like Corolla, in Currituck County, but the coronavirus will prevent hotels, restaurants, vacation rentals and events from operating at full capacity this summer. 

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The nation’s meat supply was declared ‘critical infrastructure’ by the White House Tuesday. The order detailed that ‘the closure of a single large beef processing facility can result in the loss of over 10 million individual servings of beef in a single day.’ 

David Boraks / WFAE

People in Gaston County are debating the need for a continued statewide stay-at-home order as some county leaders say they'll support any businesses that want to reopen. Gov. Roy Cooper says reopening too early could cost lives. 

Wall crouched on the street wearing a mask surrounded by protestors.
The News & Observer Staff

As death tolls rise, new testing information surfaces and doctors race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, breaking news is not in short supply. 
 

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