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Biz Roundup: Upcoming event designed to help local manufacturers coming in February

SALISBURY — A program designed to strengthen local supply chains by connecting manufacturers across the Charlotte region is coming to Rowan County early next year.

The inaugural event, called STREAM 2021, will be a two-day virtual trade show held on Feb. 16-17. The intent is to move to an in-person format in 2022.

The event is a collaboration between the Rowan Economic Development Commission, the Economic Development Partners of NC and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, as well as other economic development entities.

The goal of STREAM 2021 is to connect manufacturers within the greater Charlotte region and to enhance the efficiency of industry operations by accessing critical components and raw materials. By identifying local suppliers, manufacturers can reduce costs related to shipping and logistics, gain better quality control of raw materials and inputs, and identify contingency suppliers.

Companies from the 16 counties in North and South Carolina that make up the greater Charlotte region are invited to attend and encouraged to register for the event. To be eligible, manufacturers must be classified with a NAICS code between 31-33. Additional companies outside of 31-33 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Exhibitors will be provided a virtual page which can include logos, links, information on the company, videos, documents and the opportunity to arrange meetings with potential suppliers and customers. The cost to be an exhibitor is $325. Registration is now open.

More information about the event can be found at stream2021.pathable.co.

Rowan EDC hires new administrative services manager

SALISBURY — The Rowan Economic Development Commission has hired Joanie Michael as administrative services manager.

Michael, who most recently worked for the accounting firm Sharrard, McGee and Co. in Greensboro, will support the EDC and its staff in day-to-day operations of the office. She will oversee human resources, manage relationships with office-related vendors and will support the financial functions of the organization.

“We are thrilled to have Joanie on board, she’ll bring a wealth of experience and new perspective to our economic growth efforts,” Rod Crider, president of the Rowan EDC, said in a news release. “Joanie’s demonstrated organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills will serve us well as we carry out the bold new plans of the Forward Rowan campaign.”

Michael earned degrees in business administration and leadership at Mount Olive College. Besides  public accounting, she has worked as a community service representative in the medical and education industries.

“I am excited to be joining a dynamic and successful organization where I can serve the community where I live,” Michael said in a news release. “I am looking forward to contributing to the economic growth and vitality of Rowan County.” 

Some Duke Energy Progress customers to see slight savings in monthly bill

Some Duke Energy Progress customers in North Carolina will see more than $4 in savings on their monthly energy bills this month.

The total monthly impact for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will be a decrease of $4.59 — from $116.87 to $112.28. 

The lower rates are a result of annual adjustments for costs related to fuel used to generate electricity at power plants.The annual adjustments also reflect compliance with the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard, cost recovery under the Joint Agency Asset Rider and implementation of the competitive procurement of renewable energy statute.

Overall, energy costs will decrease 3.9% for residential customers, 3.6% for commercial customers and 2.3% for industrial customers.

Duke said rates will also adjust slightly in January to incorporate costs associated with the implementation of energy efficiency and demand-side management programs.

Duke Energy Progress serves about 1.4 million customers in central and eastern North Carolina and in the Asheville region.

For customers who may need assistance in paying their power bill due to illness or lost wages, Duke Energy offers an extended payment arrangement. More information can be found about that resource and others at duke-energy.com.

 

Duke Energy electric vehicle charging pilot program approved in NC

The North Carolina Utilities Commission last week approved an electric vehicle pilot program for Duke Energy in North Carolina.

“This pilot will support electric vehicle adoption in North Carolina, which can drive economic and environmental benefits in the state. It also allows Duke Energy to move forward to expand access to charging infrastructure that will benefit all customers,” Lang Reynolds, director of electrification strategy for Duke Energy, said in a news release.

Duke’s original plan proposed in April 2019 was for $76 million, but the plan given the green light by the North Carolina Utilities Commission will be a scaled-back version with an estimated budget of $25 million.

These are the programs that are a part of the plan:

  • Duke Energy is set to install, own and operate a total of 160 public Level 2 charging stations at public destinations to encourage electric vehicle adoption. The company will collect utilization and other load characteristics to understand potential grid and utility impacts.
  • Duke Energy will install, own and operate 40 publicly accessible direct current fast charging stations throughout the state.
  • It will install, own and operate up to 80 Level 2 charging stations for residents of multifamily dwellings — providing easy access to electric vehicle charging for non-homeowners throughout the state.
  • It will help replace 30 older, diesel school buses with zero-emission school buses in public school transportation systems. The funding will be up to $215,000 per bus on a first-come, first-served basis to school districts.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission instructed Duke Energy to create a stakeholder process to craft other programs to catalyze future electric vehicle adoption in the state.

 

Data shows impact of PPP for North Carolinians

The Small Business Administration recently released Paycheck Protection Program loan-level data that includes names, addresses, loan amount received and the lender for each borrower.

The release came as a result of a Nov. 5 federal court ruling.

“Banks played no role in the decision to release this information,” North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) President and CEO Peter Gwaltney said in a news release. “The information on PPP loans was released by the SBA in response to a federal court order.”

Since the launch of the PPP earlier this year, the SBA has reported that 121,917 North Carolina small businesses have received $12.4 billion in PPP funding. The SBA has also found that 1.2 million North Carolina jobs have been supported by the program and 80% of the total small business payroll in the state has been covered by loans from the program. Nationally, more than five million PPP loans totaling $525 billion have been made to support 51 million jobs.

“North Carolina banks have done remarkable work throughout this pandemic. They have committed significant resources and manpower to support their customers and their communities,” Gwaltney said. “Our banks are strong and are committed to helping their customers and communities through the remainder of this pandemic.”

WBTV continues to be most watched local station according to Nielsen

WBTV was once again the most watched local station sign-on to sign-off among adults in the Carolinas in November, a title it has held or shared for the past five months, per Nielsen research data.

The CBS affiliate also dominated the 25 to 54 year old demographic in afternoon and early evening newscasts, spurred by growth at the 6 p.m. newscast.

“This is a result of hard work and focus,” WBTV Vice President and General Manager Scott Dempsey said in a news release. “We set a goal to grow at 6pm and through the tremendous efforts of our news team, particularly with our On Your Side Investigations and extended Election coverage, we’re seeing the payoff.”

The Nielsen data showed that WBTV News grew 10% over October and 5% over November 2019 to take the top spot among 25-54 year olds. WBTV News also was most watched at noon, 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m.

QC Morning, WBTV’s 9 a.m. show, grew by 13% over November 2019 to earn a share of the top spot. QC@3, launched in November of last year, shot up by 40% to take the top spot at 3 p.m. in the 25-54 age demographic.

Ratings in the Charlotte television market, the 23rd largest in the country, are measured monthly by Nielsen Ratings. The December ratings period will start on Dec. 3 and will be measured through the 30.

North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association receives grant from EDA

The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association announced that is has secured a $172,115 grant from the Economic Development Administration.

The grant funds will be used for in-house positions at NCRLA to provide technical support, resources and assistance directly to restaurants and hotels and their employees that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

“We are proud to receive this funding in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and grateful to the many senators and members of congress from the North Carolina delegation who supported our application,” Lynn Minges, president and CEO of NCRLA, said in a news release. “These funds are critical as we help our state’s restaurants and hotels navigate the extreme challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially devastating for restaurants and hotels and those they employ. Many suffered from immediate economic losses beginning in the spring which have been and sustained and unrelenting.
NCRLA said that it is committed to helping facilitate the recovery of the hospitality industry by helping its members adapt, adjust and recover while also reimagining the industry going forward.
The grant’s full description reads:
“This EDA investment supports the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association with providing focused technical assistance directly to hospitality businesses across the state of North Carolina that were adversely impacted by COVID-19. The technical assistance will include support for restaurants navigating changing supply chains, web and marketing support and recommendations and support to identify loans and operational and regulatory issues that are posing challenges to companies looking to fully reopen. Once implemented, the project will strengthen the regional economy and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 27, 2020, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”

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