Business

Business news and information from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

Michael Tomsic

Racing executives say NASCAR is in its best shape since the recession as the sport enters its new season. NASCAR leaders made their case in uptown Charlotte on Tuesday as part of an annual media event.

Bank of America is reporting higher fourth quarter profits than the same period a year ago. The bank says its  profit was $3.01 billion, or 28 cents per share, for the three month period ending in December. That’s nearly 10 percent higher than the same period a year earlier. The results beat analysts’ expectations of 27 cents a share on average. Bank of America says the increased earnings were spurred by lower expenses and continued improvement in its consumer banking division. The bank’s revenue in the quarter was $19.53 billion compared with $18.73 billion the year before.

BlueCross BlueShield is apologizing to customers frustrated by bank account overdrafts and long waits on the phone last week. The problems affected a small percentage of customers in the individual market.

The individual market consists of people who buy insurance directly from an insurance company or on the Obamacare exchanges. BlueCross BlueShield caused about 3,200 of those customers to overdraw their bank accounts.

Howard Levine To Step Down As Family Dollar CEO

Jan 8, 2016
T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer File Photo

Charlotte Observer

Howard Levine is stepping down as chief executive officer of Matthews-based Family Dollar on Jan. 15, the company announced Friday.

Levine’s departure follows Virginia-based Dollar Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar last summer. At the time, the company had said Levine would remain with the company for two years to assist with the integration, reporting to Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser.

cognizant.com

We’re going to revisit an incentives deal from a year ago that raised some eyebrows in North Carolina. The state gave generous tax breaks to help convince a company to open a new office in Charlotte. That’s pretty standard. The head-scratching part is the nature of that company’s business: shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

FTC OKs Duke's Acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas

Dec 22, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission has given its OK to Duke Energy's planned acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas, the companies said Tuesday.  

The recently-named CEO of a planned mental health care program in Charlotte has resigned, after about one month on the job. The HopeWay Foundation says Daniel Brown stepped down December 10 to return to his previous employer, Albemarle-based behavioral health care provider Monarch. 

In a statement, Brown cited “family considerations” for his decision. HopeWay co-founder Bill Blue says the organization is resuming its search for a CEO.    

Mark Rumsey

In the Charlotte region, the words airport and Charlotte Douglas International, usually go together. It might surprise you to know that North Carolina’s 5th-busiest airport is located just about 20 miles away – in Concord. Before Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012, the City of Concord promoted Concord Regional Airport as the “fastest gateway to Charlotte” for  private and charter flights bringing convention attendees to town.

Over the past two years, Concord’s airport has been carving out a new niche in the Charlotte region’s air travel business. 

Nick de la Canal / WFAE News


This year is shaping up to be a good one for America’s Christmas tree farmers. A report published this week by the American Christmas Tree Association estimates nearly 22.6 million Christmas trees will be bought, strapped to a car roof, brought home, and decorated this holiday season. That’s a million more trees than were sold in 2011, and it’s welcome relief for the Christmas tree industry, which is still recovering from the recession.

Courtesy of Duke Energy

Duke Energy plans to add two more solar energy projects to its North Carolina power network next year, as it works to meet state requirements for clean electricity.

The company is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission for permission to take over two projects already in development -  a 60-megawatt solar farm in Monroe and a 15.4-megawatt facility in Mocksville, in Davie County.

If approved, construction on both would start in March and be done by the end of 2016. 

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