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Amid all the grim economic news the last few years, business has been quite good for dollar store retailers. The tanking economy prompted many people to give them a try.

The trend has helped Matthews-based Family Dollar's stock rise 40 percent in the last 3 years. Now, Family Dollar is trying to position itself for when the economy recovers. It has a new marketing strategy, and the company has hired a full-time ad agency for the first time in its 50-year history.

Shares of Bank of America ended up 31 cents yesterday after the bank held its annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte. Some 50 or so people chanted "Bail out the people, not the banks! Bail out the people not the banks!" on the sidewalk outside the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. A year ago, anti-big-bank bailout sentiment dominated the Bank of America annual meeting, inside and out. Roundtree EDIT.mp3

The first round of Charlotte's Quail Hollow Championship starts this morning. Just two years ago it was called the Wachovia Championship. Wells Fargo gained sponsorship rights to the PGA tournament with its acquisition of Wachovia, but it's hard to tell. After all, Wells Fargo has yet to put its name on the tournament even though it pays a sponsorship tab of about $7 million a year.

Wells Fargo was one of many banks that backed away from sports marketing last year in the wake of backlash over government bailouts. But UNC Charlotte sports marketing professor Robert Roundtree says the bank still gets some benefits from its sponsorship.

Bank of America's Lewis loses chairman's role

Apr 29, 2009

Bank of America held it's highly-anticipated annual meeting today and has just released the results of its shareholder vote. CEO Ken Lewis and all of the board's directors have been re-elected. However, shareholders narrowly voted to split the roles of CEO and Chairman of the board. WFAE's Julie Rose was at the meeting and joins us to explain. 

BofA Shareholder Votes Still Pending

Apr 29, 2009

Thousands of shareholders packed the Belk Theater uptown this morning for Bank of America's annual meeting. It lasted nearly four hours, but left nothing resolved, including the future of the bank's CEO Ken Lewis. 

Great Wolf Resort packs 'em in despite recession

Apr 13, 2009
Julie Rose / WFAE

Over the holiday weekend, rooms were sold out at a new indoor water park and hotel in Concord. Great Wolf Resorts has high hopes for its newest property, despite the recession.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke to bankers and investors in Charlotte today. The audience had high hopes of hearing new insight into the future of the troubled financial industry. On that point, they were disappointed. 

Banks defend sports marketing

Mar 25, 2009

Last year, money spent on sports marketing was estimated at $10 billion. That includes things like stadium rights and NASCAR sponsorships. Nearly 10 percent of that money came from banks and other financial services companies. But in light of bailouts and billion dollar losses, these companies are under intense scrutiny. And as a result, banks say they're walking away from money-making deals, just to avoid the controversy. No company is more prominent in the world of sports than Bank of America. Its home city of Charlotte is a perfect example. It spent $44 million on sporting event last year, including NASCAR's Bank of America 500. 

New reality in realty

Mar 17, 2009

In 2006, Charlotte's real estate market was hot. More homes were selling than ever before. For realtors, life was good. But in the past year and a half, that's changed. A once hot market has cooled significantly, and all of a sudden, what it means to be a realtor in Charlotte has changed too. 

Bank of CEO Ken Lewis from a lot of people these days. Add to the list Sydney Finkelstein. He specializes in businsess leadership at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business. Sydney Finkelstein specializes in business leadership. He wrote an article last week for Forbes magazine called Why Ken Lewis Destroyed Bank of America . Finkelstein says Lewis had a strong record until the purchase of the investment firm Merrill Lynch. In this segment, he tells WFAE's Scott Graf why that purchase changed everything.