Recent News

North Carolina’s Southeast Welcomes Barnhill, SynTerra as Investors

December 4, 2020

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. — Two leading business names are making significant commitments to regional economic development as North Carolina’s Southeast welcomes Barnhill Contracting and SynTerra Corporation to its roster of private investors. The addition of the two companies brings technical expertise, seasoned leadership and financial resources to the organization’s mission of attracting new jobs and businesses to Southeastern North Carolina.   “Since the very beginnings of our organization more than 25 years ago, partnerships have been the fuel driving our results,” said NC’s Southeast Chairman Jeff Etheridge. “We’re proud to add Barnhill Contracting and SynTerra Corporation — two storied North Carolina…

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Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® raises nearly $60,000 to provide bicycles, tricycles and scooters for Brunswick County Children in need

December 4, 2020

SHALLOTTE, N.C. – The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS®’ 2020 Holiday Giving fundraiser, previously known as Bucks 4 Bikes, reeled in $59,252, nearly $15,000 more than 2019. The fundraiser, which is held in partnership with Brunswick Family Assistance, collects donations from BCAR members and other Brunswick County residents and businesses to provide bicycles, tricycles and scooters to less fortunate children in Brunswick County. “This year’s Holiday Giving fundraiser surpassed all expectations,” said Cynthia Walsh, BCAR CEO, “2020 has been a whirlwind, and there is no better way to end the year than by putting smiles on the faces of 500…

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Carolina Journal politics week in review, Nov. 30-Dec. 4

December 4, 2020

by Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal News Service Each week, staff at Carolina Journal looks back at the week in N.C. politics and chooses several interesting, relevant stories you may have missed. School COVID testing: North Carolina is launching a program to help public schools test symptomatic students and staff. The state will provide free tests to public schools who apply to join a new pilot program. The state will receive 3.1 million tests from the federal government by the end of December, State Department of Health and Human Services leaders said during the State Board of Education meeting Thursday, Dec.…

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Over Half of Small Businesses Looking to Hire, Having Difficulty Finding Workers

December 4, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Small businesses reported a historically high level of job openings in November, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Overall, 53% reported hiring or trying to hire in November, down 2 points from the previous month. A seasonally adjusted net 21% of owners are planning to create new jobs in the next 3 months, up 3 points from October. “Small businesses are doing their best to end the year on a good note, but the economic recovery remains uneven with some industries near full recovery and others still struggling,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Finding qualified workers for open positions…

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NC Homeowners Alliance Opposes Insurance Rate Increase

December 3, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. — Through the NC Rate Bureau, North Carolina’s insurance companies have collectively proposed a 25 percent increase on property insurance premiums. On December 10 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey will hold a virtual public hearing on this issue.   “The NC Homeowners Alliance opposes the insurance companies’ outrageous efforts to raise rates by 25 percent for property insurance,” said Wendy Harris, North Carolina Homeowners Alliance Chair. “In the middle of a pandemic when many families are struggling, the insurance companies do not need billions more from consumers. We are opposing any increase in property insurance rates at this critical time for North Carolinians.”  Wendy…

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Duke Energy Progress says customers will see bills go down in December

December 3, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. — Duke Energy Progress customers in North Carolina will see more than $4 in savings on their monthly energy bills beginning in December due to the combined impact of annual rate adjustments. Overall, energy costs will decrease 3.9% for residential customers, 3.6% for commercial customers and 2.3% for industrial customers. The total monthly impact for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month will be a decrease of $4.59 – from $116.87 to $112.28. The lower rates, as approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, are a result of annual adjustments for costs related to fuel used to generate electricity at power plants. These annual…

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Holly Childs named new CEO of Wilmington Downtown, Inc.

December 3, 2020

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (WDI) recently announced that Holly Childs has been appointed as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Her first official day with WDI will be January 4, 2021. Childs has 15 years of public sector economic development leadership roles in cities such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and metro Phoenix, as well as nine years of experience in private commercial real estate development.  According to a press release, her capabilities include “extensive work in unifying diverse groups toward shared economic development goals, serving as a matchmaker between the private sector and public sector to develop…

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Local unemployment rates down in October

December 3, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties in October. In southeastern North Carolina, Brunswick County’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.7% in September to 7% in October, while Bladen County’s rate dropped from 6.7% to 6.1%, Columbus County’s rate dropped from 7.9% to 7.2%, and unemployment in New Hanover County decreased from 6.4% to 5.6%. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 10.5 percent while Watauga County had the lowest at 4.1 percent. All 15 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Among the metro areas, Fayetteville…

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N.C. Commerce releases 2021 tier rankings

December 2, 2020

The North Carolina Department of Commerce released the county tier designations for 2021 today.  The designations, which are mandated by state law, play a role in several programs that assist in economic development. The 2021 rankings comply with the methodology prescribed by the North Carolina General Assembly in General Statute §143B-437.08, which identifies four economic factors to be compiled and calculated by N.C. Commerce and then used to analyze and rank each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.  Each county is then assigned its tier designation ranking from one to three. Tier 1 counties are generally the most economically distressed and…

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Wilmington Chamber of Commerce receives grant from The Duke Energy Foundation for talent

December 2, 2020

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce team, through the Cape Fear Future Foundation, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to support implementation of talent and workforce development programs that will address the most pressing skills gaps in our community.  “A skilled and ready workforce is vital to our local economy. We’re proud to support the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s dedicated efforts to better position our region for recovery from these challenging times,” said John Elliott, Director of Government and Community Relations at Duke Energy. While many industries have been negatively impacted by COVID-19,…

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