Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration are expected to drive up the cost of rebuilding the Carolinas after flooding from Hurricane Florence. Tariffs on materials such as lumber, steel and aluminum have driven up construction costs, and tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports such as countertops, furniture and gypsum will be imposed next week.
The best way to jump start your business day.
Subscribe to the Daily Digest and get all of the latest business news from all around North Carolina straight to your inbox… for free!
Davidson County Community College named Darrin Hartness as president. He replaces Mary Rittling, who is retiring in December after 15 years. Hartness previously served as superintendent of the public school systems in Davie County and Mount Airy.
Memento Mori, a Durham-based boutique hotel brand that does business as Rhea Hospitality, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company is known for The Mayton Inn in downtown Cary and Durham’s The King’s Daughters Inn. The owners site road construction in downtown Cary as the cause for their financial struggles. The company lists $10 million to $50 million in assets and $10 million to $50 million in liabilities.
Culp Inc., a High Point-based mattress fabrics, bedding and upholstery fabrics manufacturer, named Robert Culp IV as chief operating officer. Culp, who previously served as president of Culp Home Fashions, is the son of company founder Robert Culp III.
Charlotte-based Joerns Healthcare LLC named David Johnson CEO. Johnson replaces Trey Sutter, who had worked as interim CEO since Mark Ludwig left the company in June 2017. Johnson previously served as COO of U.S. Acute Care Solutions, an Ohio-based company that provides physician-owned acute care.
British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline plans to cut 100 jobs at its Research Triangle Park location. The company, which is cutting 650 jobs nationwide, is laying off RTP field vice president, district sales director/manager, sales professional, administrative assistants, field business managers, finance and IT personnel, and other managerial, technical and support roles. GlaxoSmithKline employs 100,000 in more than 150 countries.
Product Quest Management LLC plans to lay off 296 employees between Nov. 5 and Nov. 19. The company, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month due to high costs of improving poor conditions at its Kannapolis facility, is closing two of its locations in Kannapolis and Concord. Employees impacted include manufacturing, operations, quality, finance, administration and sales.
Wells Fargo, the San Francisco-based bank with a large Charlotte presence, plans to cut up to 26,500 jobs over three years as a result of the growing popularity of online banking. CEO Tim Sloan says cuts will come through layoffs and attrition. The bank currently employs about 265,000 workers, including more than 25,000 in the Charlotte region.
Construction-machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. will expand its Sanford operations, adding 40 jobs over two years and investing $15 million. The company will receive $500,000 from the city to renovate an existing building on Boone Trail Road. The grant is contingent on the company adding the jobs with an average annual wage of at least $39,092, which is the county’s average.
Site-selection publication Area Development magazine ranked North Carolina No. 6 in its annual list of “Top States for Doing Business.” Georgia ranked No. 1 for the fifth year in a row. North Carolina also ranked No. 8 in the list of “Overall Cost of Doing Business.”
Charlotte-based Allen Tate, one of the state’s biggest real-estate agencies with 1,500 agents in the Carolinas, is merging with the much bigger Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna. The partnership makes the two companies the top residential real-estate firm in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and the Carolinas. Officials say the deal won’t result in layoffs or consolidations.
Shares of Raleigh-based software company Red Hat Inc. fell nearly 7% Thursday after the company reported second-quarter revenue that was lower than Wall Street expectations. Red Hat reported quarterly revenue of $823 million, lower than analysts’ projections of $828 million. CFO Eric Shander says software subscription renewals dropped, competition from other companies revved up and the company recently lost business with the U.S. Army.
Charlotte-based industrial manufacturer NN Inc. raised $216 million in a secondary offering. The proceeds will be used to pay off debt. NN recently moved its headquarters from Johnson City, Tenn. The company makes metal and plastic components for auto, aerospace, life-sciences and other industries.
Raleigh-based drone company PrecisionHawk Inc. acquired two inspection delivery service companies: HAZON Inc. and InspecTools Inc. InspecTools CEO Paul Bingaman and HAZON CEO David Culler will join PrecisionHawk’s executive team. PrecisionHawk raised $75 million from 18 investors earlier this year.
A federal judge temporarily blocked a law Thursday that made it illegal for farms and unions to negotiate settlements involving union contracts and for farm workers to directly transfer part of their paychecks for union dues. The N.C. Farm Bureau was a major supporter of the law. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, North Carolina’s only union for farm workers, says more than 90% of N.C. farm workers are Hispanic and need a union to fight for better treatment.
Benson officials say their town’s water treatment system discharged an estimated 300,000 gallons of sewage into Driving Branch in the Neuse River Basin after overflowing with rain from Hurricane Florence. The spill took place from Sept. 13 to Sept. 18. The Benson Wastewater Treatment Plant was overwhelmed with 4 million gallons of water that entered the system during peak rainfall, more than twice the amount it is permitted to handle.
Superior Court Judge Marvin Pope upheld a Buncombe County board decision to prohibit developers Michael Posey and RAB Builders from starting construction on a proposed 214-unit Asheville apartment complex project. Several board members said the project didn’t meet county standards for issuing a conditional use permit and failed to prove the project wouldn’t be harmful to the neighborhood.
Indigo Agriculture, a Boston agricultural technology company with an expanding Durham facility, raised $250 million to support a new online grain sales platform called MarketPlace. The company’s total financing now exceeds $650 million. About 15 of Indigo’s 350 employees work in Research Triangle Park space, where it is adding 24,000 square feet of greenhouses, labs and offices. Work is to be completed by November..
Durham-based BioCryst Pharmaceuticals was awarded $3.5 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases to support clinical trials for a drug to treat yellow fever. The new funding brings development contract funding to a total of $43 million. Galidesivir, the drug being tested, showed benefits against viruses such as Ebola, yellow fever and Zika during animal trials.
WalkMe, a San Franciso software company with expanding offices in Raleigh, raised $40 million. The company, which was founded in 2011, has raised a total of $207.5 million. WalkMe employs 660 in its seven offices around the world and has 65 employees in Raleigh with plans to grow to 80 by the end of the year.
Former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn was approached by Wells Fargo directors to replace CEO Tim Sloan, the New York Post reported. Cohn stepped down as President Trump’s top economic adviser in March. Cohn denied the report and a Wells Fargo spokeswoman said Sloan has the board’s full support.
Husqvarna Group, a Swedish outdoor equipment manufacturer with its North American headquarters in Charlotte, is closing its McRae, Ga. plant as it restructures its underperforming Consumer Brands Division. The plant, which employs about 1,000-full-time workers, will be shuttered in the second quarter of 2019. Husqvarna employs about 500 people in Charlotte.
Money magazine, which releases an annual list of best places to live in America, ranked Cary No. 5 in this year’s list. The magazine bases the list on factors such as economic growth, affordability and quality of life. Chapel Hill, the only other N.C. city to make the list, ranked No. 33.
Family Dollar will close its Matthews headquarters by fall 2019, eliminating about 200 jobs. Another 700 workers will be given the opportunity to relocate to its consolidated headquarters in Chesapeake, Va. The discount retailer was acquired by Virginia-based Dollar Tree in 2015 for $9 billion.
NV5 Global acquired Cary-based Calyx Engineers + Consultants for $36 million. Calyx, formerly Mulkey Engineers and Consultants, employs 225 and is owned by 21 employees, including former CEO Jill Heath, who will remain a division president. Hollywood, Fla.-based NV5 had 2017 revenue of $333 million.
Flooding from Hurricane Florence has killed 5,500 pigs and 3.4 million chickens and turkey, with the numbers still rising, according to the N.C. Department Agriculture and Consumer Services. About 1.8 million birds and 2,800 hogs died during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. North Carolina is one of the nation’s biggest livestock producers, with 819 million birds and 9.3 million hogs.
Charlotte-based insurance broker American Wholesale Insurance Holding Co. raised $6.7 million in a private-equity offering. The firm, which operates as AmWINS Group, raised $10.1 million in July in a private-equity offering. AmWINS, founded in 1998, has more than 4,200 employees in 30 states and 12 countries.
Alamance County commissioners have approved another $262,000 in incentives for Belgium-based baker Lotus Bakeries if the company decides to expand its Mebane facility. Lotus, known for its Biscoff cookies served by airlines, expects to open a plant in Mebane in mid-2019. Original plans called for a $55 million investment and the creation of 60 jobs; the company is considering increasing its investment to $72.7 million. The county previously approved $2.9 million in incentives for the company.
Principled Technologies, a marketing and testing firm based in Durham, acquired Colorado-based technology research and analysis company Demartek. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The combined companies have just under 100 employees.
Clinical-research organization Clinipace Worldwide Inc. raised $5.7 million in a private-equity offering from 13 investors. The company previously raised $3 million in November 2017. The contract-research organization founded in 2003 offers its services in nearly 40 countries.
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners plans to break ground on its $38 million community recreation center on Oct. 16. Harper General Contractors will be the construction manager, and Chad Roberson with Clark Nexsen is the architect. Construction is expected to be completed by March 2020.
Officials from Duke Energy say it may take multiple weeks to restore power in parts of southeastern North Carolina because of the heavy flooding. More than 1,500 Duke employees are in the area working on the problem.
The N.C. Pork Council said one small hog lagoon breached and four others flooded due to heavy rainfall this last week. Seven other lagoons are at capacity. Overall, the pork industry trade association does not believe the storm has caused significant damage at the state’s 3,000 lagoons. North Carolina is the second-largest pork producing state, mostly concentrated in the storm-plagued southeast section.
Charlotte-based technology consulting firm Levvel named Chris Hart chief executive officer. Hart replaces John Espey, who served in the role for five years. Hart, who co-founded the company with Espey, previously served as chief technology officer.
Winston-Salem building products provider Cook & Boardman Group is investing seven figures in a larger corporate office. Construction of the 15,585-square-foot-building in Salem Creek Business Park started in August and is expected to be completed in November. The company plans to grow from 35 employees to 75 by 2025.
Cary-based health care training firm Relias acquired the health division of OnCourse, a Brookfield, Wisc.-based company. Relias CEO Jim Triandiflou says the acquisition will bring about 50 to 100 jobs to Cary. The deal requires approval from federal regulators. Relias is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said construction can start again on the $6.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The federal agency had issued an order to suspend the project Aug. 10 after an appeal court voided permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. Once completed, the pipeline will pump natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia and North Carolina.
Philadelphia-based food service provider Aramark Corp. is selling Healthcare Technologies of Charlotte to Indianapolis-based Trimedx for $300 million. Aramark is focusing on food, facilities and uniforms. Healthcare Technologies helps manage clinical equipment at more than 500 hospitals and clinics. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2018.
The Horton Hotel, the only planned downtown boutique hotel in Boone, is scheduled to open Jan. 1. Reservations can now be made for dates in 2019.
At least 17 people have been confirmed dead as Florence continues across North Carolina. The storm is anticipated to travel up through West Virginia and Ohio. Wilmington remains virtually cutoff from the rest of the state by rising flood waters, and officials are working to airlift food and water to the city.
Several North Carolina colleges are closed on Monday due to the continuing impact of Hurricane Florence. Appalachian State University, East Carolina University and Fayetteville State University are among those planning to suspend classes Monday and Tuesday. The hardest-hit campus, UNC Wilmington, is closed indefinitely, officials said.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and UNC Health Care, among other health care providers, are offering free services to members impacted by Tropical Storm Florence. Blue Cross is allowing members to delay paying premiums for 30 days through Oct. 13. UNC Health Care waived fees for virtual care services through Sunday night.
A power outage at the Southside Waterwater Treatment Plant, just south of Wilmington, and the failure of two backup generators caused about 5.25 million gallons of partially treated waste water to spill into the Cape Fear River on Friday. The water had undergone normal treatments except the second clarifier and disinfectant.
An undetermined amount of coal ash from the landfill at Duke Energy’s Sutton Power Plant was released into Sutton Lake due to rains from Tropical Storm Florence. Officials at Duke Energy believe only a small amount of coal ash leaked, and none of the ash escaped from any of Duke’s inactive coal-ash points at the site. The plant is five miles north of downtown Wilmington.
High Point pharmaceutical manufacturer Cambrex High Point Inc. is asking city council to appprove incentives that would attract 78 jobs with an average annual wage of $78,438. The company is considering a $30 million investment in its High Point facilities, and is asking for $428,400 in incentives. Cambrex has about 80 employees in High Point.
Durham-based drug development company Icagen Inc. raised $7.25 million, bringing its 2018 total to $20.75 million. The company raised only $3.5 million in 2017.
As Hurricane Florence nears the coast with top sustained winds of 90 mph, it has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. At 7 a.m., the storm was moving west at about 6 mph and about to make landfall near Wrightsville Beach, according to the National Hurricane Center.
More than 306,000 residents and businesses had lost power as of 5 a.m. on Friday due to Hurricane Florence. There were around 96,000 outages in Carteret, Craven, Pamlico, Onslow and New Hanover counties; 8,241 in Wake; 1,557 in Chatham; 728 in Durham; and 920 in Orange County.