Recent News

Small Business Optimism Drops Below Index Average in December

January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined 5.5 points in December to 95.9, falling below the average Index value since 1973 of 98. Nine of the 10 Index components declined and only one improved. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined 24 points to a net negative 16%.…

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Brunswick County real estate market sets sales record in 2020, exceeding $2 billion

January 15, 2021

Brunswick County’s residential real estate market set a new record in 2020 with $2,157,449,018 in total sales volume, up 51.3% compared to 2019. Monthly numbers also hit record highs in December, with increases in homes sold and total sales volume. “2020 was full of unknowns and uncertainty, but Brunswick County’s real estate market did more…

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Duke Energy establishes relationship with Optus Bank to support minority-owned businesses

January 14, 2021

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Duke Energy announced today it has deposited $5 million into Optus Bank, a Black-owned bank based in South Carolina, furthering the company’s support for diverse and minority-owned businesses, individuals and low income communities. The transaction was completed at the end of 2020. One of approximately 20 banks designated as Black or African…

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State lawmakers gear up for busy 2021-22 session with COVID-19 in focus

January 14, 2021

By David Bass, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — COVID-19 and the ongoing fallout from the pandemic will likely dominate the 2021-22 session of the General Assembly. On tap for lawmakers is crafting a new budget for the biennium plus drawing new legislative and congressional maps for the next decade based on fresh census data. A divided…

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Dosher Appoints Linda Conner as Patient Accounts Manager

January 13, 2021

SOUTHPORT – Dosher Memorial Hospital has hired Linda Conner to assume the role of Patient Accounts Manager.  Ms. Conner, a Virginia Native, has worked in healthcare for the majority of her career and was the Manager of Patient Financial Services and Patient Access for Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital prior to joining Dosher. “We have tremendous…

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N.C. Small Businesses Say Financial Assistance, Easier Access to Pandemic Relief Sources Needed

January 13, 2021

New survey reports concerns as COVID-19 continues to impact the state Raleigh, N.C. – Most North Carolina small businesses remain open but have seen revenues decline in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to results from a new survey of North Carolina small businesses released today by the Department of Commerce. The report also shows more…

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General Assembly will deal with pandemic, budget, redistricting, and more, Locke experts say

January 13, 2021

by Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal News Service Lawmakers are returning to Raleigh, and they have a loaded agenda.  The legislative session begins Wednesday, Jan. 13, when lawmakers will deal with the pandemic, pass a budget, complete redistricting, and tackle needed reforms. Republicans remain in control of both chambers, but they lack the numbers to override…

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Wilmington Lawyers Devlin Horton and Nick Mendez Establish Personal Injury Practice

January 13, 2021

Wilmington, NC — Wilmington attorneys Devlin Horton and Nick Mendez have established Horton & Mendez, PLLC, a Wilmington law practice focused on personal injury and wrongful death. Having worked together for a large firm representing insurance companies, the partners bring valuable insight to their clients’ cases, with critical understanding as to how insurance companies investigate, evaluate…

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North Carolina Ports Partners with the Scoular Company to Expand Agricultural Opportunities

January 12, 2021

Wilmington, N.C. – The North Carolina State Ports Authority is excited to announce it is expanding capabilities to better support the North Carolina agriculture industry through a partnership with Scoular. North Carolina Ports on Tuesday received approval from the North Carolina Council of State for a land lease to develop an agricultural transload facility on the…

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Carolinas AGC Announces CAGC Foundation Board of Trustees

January 12, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C., — Carolinas AGC (CAGC) is pleased to announce that the 2020 CAGC Foundation Board of Trustees will extend its service throughout 2021. The CAGC Foundation Board is made up of the following members: Chair: Meghan McPhail-Ketterman, Contract Construction, Inc. Treasurer: Tana Lee, Richland One School District CAGC Chair: Casey Schwager, Sloan Construction Company Secretary/President & CEO: Dave Simpson, CAE, Carolinas AGC Trustee: Traci Strickland, HardHat Workforce…

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ECS Announces Chief Operating Officer Appointment

January 12, 2021

Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) is pleased to announce Leo J. Titus, Jr., PE, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the ECS Group of Companies effective as of January 1, 2021. A member of the ECS team since 1997, Mr. Titus holds more than 30 years of experience in geotechnical and construction materials engineering, special…

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Andre Minor Named Dosher Chief of Staff

January 12, 2021

SOUTHPORT – Andre Minor, MD has been elected Dosher Memorial Hospital’s Chief of Medical Staff for 2021-2022.  Dr. Minor, who is an internal medicine physician with Dosher primary care practice Dosher Medical – North Howe in Southport, has practiced medicine in Southport for over 30 years.  Dr. Minor was chosen by physicians and other medical…

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Business Advice & Expertise

Tough Love for the Entrepreneurs Can Hack the Complacent Startup Ecosystem

March 12, 2021

The startup ecosystem is a living and growing organism that most cities are trying to add to their modern economic development strategy for job creation. The startup ecosystem is typically a very positive kumbaya environment. There are lots of smiles around town while people with rose colored glasses are selling more commercial and residential real…

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How Changes in Purchasing Decisions Could Affect Your Business

March 11, 2021

Yesterday I was a last-minute speaker for a business group, filling in for a planned speaker who was under the weather. I had to put on my thinking cap and come up with an interesting topic with little time to spare. Given that we are now at the one-year anniversary of COVID-19’s initial impacts on…

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Owned Media: Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in a Basket Controlled by Someone Else

March 5, 2021

When I first entered the public relations profession shortly after college, we typically heard about two types of media: earned media and paid media. Thanks to technology-driven changes, social media and owned media have become increasingly prevalent communication tools in recent years. Paid media refers to tools such as traditional advertising and direct mail. While…

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Opinion & Commentary

OPINION: Conspiracy Theories Damage Democracy

May 3, 2021

by John Hood  RALEIGH — For weeks after the ballots were counted, supporters of the defeated presidential candidate insisted the election had been stolen. Some alleged a shadowy conspiracy to rig vote-counting machines, throwing out just enough legal votes and manufacturing just enough illegal ones to decide the outcome. I heard these conspiracy theories many…

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OPINION: Resist the Temptation to Coerce

April 29, 2021

by John Hood RALEIGH — The problem with freedom is that other people may do things that trouble, annoy, or even anger you. In a free society, you have no authority to stop them. Strictly speaking, that’s not a problem. It’s a solution. Throughout most of human history, much suffering has derived from a lack…

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OPINION: Nationalizing Politics Was a Mistake

April 21, 2021

by John Hood RALEIGH — If Californians want to make their government the monopoly payer of all medical bills, why should North Carolinians be able to tell them they can’t? In a federal republic populated by 330 million people spread across some 3.5 million square miles of sprawling territory, we should be asking precisely this…

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