Business

Business
5:41 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Google A Go? Charlotte Waits For News On Google Fiber

Credit Google

Google has announced it will hold a press conference in Charlotte Tuesday afternoon.

So, what’s the big deal?

WFAE’s Tom Bullock is here to explain.

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Local News
12:23 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Family Dollar Shareholders Approve Takeover By Dollar Tree

Credit JeepersMedia / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Great Recession hobbled the U.S. economy and crushed many businesses, but some companies thrived, including the so-called "dollar" stores.

Shoppers flocked to them because you could buy a lot with not much money. And as the economy rebounds, people are still going to some. But one chain, Family Dollar, hasn't kept pace with its competitors.

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Local News
9:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Family Dollar Becomes Part Of Dollar Tree

Credit Jennifer Lang / WFAE

Family Dollar will become part of Virginia-based Dollar Tree. The company’s shareholders this morning approved the $8.5 billion deal. The vote ends a months-long struggle for control of Matthews-based Family Dollar.

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Local News
9:47 am
Thu January 22, 2015

US Secretary Of Commerce Talks Jobs And Trade In Charlotte

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
Credit Courtesy of the US Department of Commerce

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce made a stop in Charlotte Wednesday. She answered questions from business leaders and students at a symposium in uptown. It was an event sponsored by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Before she took the stage she sat down to talk with WFAE’s Tom Bullock.

Local News
11:08 am
Thu January 15, 2015

What's The Panama Canal Have To Do With Charlotte? Mint Museum Explains

Jon Stuhlman gives a tour of the Panama Canal exhibit at the Mint Museum Uptown.
Credit Michael Tomsic

Art, the Panama Canal and the Charlotte economy intersected at the Mint Museum Uptown on Wednesday night. The museum’s exhibit featuring paintings of the canal’s construction 100 years ago served as a backdrop for a discussion of Charlotte’s role in the global shipping industry – and how that role is growing.

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Local News
7:21 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Chiquita And Charlotte: A Whirlwind Romance

Chiquita's headquarters are housed in the NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte.
Credit Duncan McFadyen

It was billed as a once in a decade opportunity, the chance to lure an international brand to relocate their worldwide headquarters to Charlotte. The pursuit was costly and controversial.

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Local News
7:03 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Economic Development Board Leader Discusses Chiquita's Decision

Chiquita's decision to leave Charlotte has been big news in state government – and rightly so.  After all, the state put up much of the roughly $22 million incentives package that convinced Chiquita to move from Cincinnati to Charlotte a few years ago, although most of those incentives have not been paid to the company.  

WFAE's Mark Rumsey discussed Chiquita's decision - and the state's use of incentives - with John Lassiter, a former Charlotte City Council member who now chairs the state's Economic Development Board.  


Local News
6:36 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

The Status Of Chiquita's Incentive Dollars

Credit Julie Rose

Earlier today the 320 or so employees of Chiquita received an email which began “Dear Associate, We now embark on Chiquita’s next chapter.”

That’s how Chiquita told its workforce the company’s Uptown headquarters will be closed. This just three years after the company received an incentive package potentially worth more than $20 million to come to Charlotte and keep its worldwide headquarters here for 11 years. Now there are questions as to how much incentive money – and in what form the company has received. Tom Bullock joins All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey for the latest on this story.


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Local News
5:42 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Reactions To Chiquita's Departure

Credit Jeremy Brooks https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

WFAE's Duncan McFadyen reports on the mixed reactions to Wednesday’s news that Chiquita plans to close its corporate headquarters in Charlotte.


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Developing
11:19 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Chiquita Closing Charlotte Headquarters

Chiquita's headquarters are located in the NASCAR Plaza Office Tower in uptown Charlotte.
Credit Duncan McFadyen

Fruit company Chiquita has announced it will close its Charlotte headquarters in the next 18 months. Chiquita employs more than 300 at that headquarters. The closure comes less than three years after state, city, and county officials lured the company from Cincinnati with a $22 million package of economic incentives in 2011. Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James is a critic of those incentives. He says today’s news shows why they’re a bad strategy.

"What kind of loyalty do you get? I don't want to sound crass, but, no one falls in love with a hooker. And in essence Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, they've been hooking themselves out to these companies," said James. 

So far, the city and county have paid about $1 million. County manager Dena Diorio says Chiquita has agreed to return that money. The company also received $5 million up front for relocation expenses —no word if that will come back, too. (see note below) Chiquita has not said where it will relocate to. The company, Charlotte mayor Dan Clodfelter, and the county manager have all declined further interviews.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio sent an email this morning to all county commissioners announcing the closure.

Correction: The final incentives agreement does not mention a $5 million upfront payment. While the payment was described as "upfront" money when the council initially approved the deal, the city says - and contracts with Chiquita show - any payment was going to be spread over three years and tied to the number of people employed. The city says this is the $1 million paid from city and county funds, and Chiquita has agreed to repay it.

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