economic development

NC Department of Commerce

For many years Caldwell and Burke counties have been on the state’s list of most economically distressed counties, but not anymore. 

The state deemed Caldwell County one of its worst off counties in 2005. The county was losing hundreds of textile and furniture jobs and things got worse. 

“February 2010 was our lowest point when our headlines read 17.6 percent unemployment,” says Deborah Murray, the director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. 

James Willamor

Nearly a year after negotiations began with the city of Charlotte, the company aiming to redevelop Bojangles Arena into an amateur sports complex is still trying to secure financing, according to a staff update to the city council’s economic development committee Friday.

The city has been in discussions with the developer, GoodSports, since last December. Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes says the city is just performing due diligence.

Tasnim Shamma

A $40 million bond proposal on Hickory’s November ballot is the subject of a public forum Thursday evening. The Hickory bond referendum came out of a project called the Inspiring Spaces' initiative. It calls for economic development projects like building a new business park, road and streetscape improvements of the city’s major roads and a river walk that develops existing areas along the city’s Lake Hickory waterfront. 

City of Charlotte

A more than $70 million amateur sports complex proposed in east Charlotte has new question marks. The Charlotte Observer has reported the developer, Goodsports, has lost its private financing and the project is on hold. The city denies the claim. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined All Things Considered Host Mark Rumsey to make sense of it.

Michael Tomsic

The company behind Bubble Wrap is popping in nearly 1,300 jobs in Charlotte. Sealed Air Corporation announced Wednesday it's moving its headquarters here from New Jersey. The Fortune 500 company could eventually get more than $41 million in state and local incentives.

South Carolina scored some notable victories this week in the competition for new jobs in the Charlotte region. Three companies announced plans to bring a combined total of at least 3,900 new jobs to York and Chester counties. Two of those expansions involve relocating jobs that are currently based in Charlotte.   John Lassiter, a former Charlotte City Council member who now chairs the North Carolina Economic Development Board, talks to WFAE's Mark Rumsey about the challenges in competing with the incentives that South Carolina can offer.

photologue_np / Flickr

The North Carolina House and Senate are finalizing significant changes to how the state recruits and retains businesses. The chambers have passed slightly different versions of a bill to privatize part of the state Commerce Department.


The city of Charlotte was recently given a bit of homework. How the city answers a series of questions will determine if neighborhoods like South Park, Uptown and Dilworth will be Google’s next fiber-hoods. So what could Google Fiber in Charlotte mean for consumers and businesses alike?  

Michael Tomsic

The private board that Governor Pat McCrory wants to take control of recruiting and retaining businesses in North Carolina met for the first time Wednesday. But there’s not too much that board can do until the state legislature gives it more authority.

Commerce Department

The North Carolina Commerce Department is in the process of changing the way it recruits and retains businesses. It's privatizing parts of the public model it currently uses, and it announced Tuesday who the interim CEO of the new, private side will be. But much about the new model is still up in the air, including whether state lawmakers will approve it.