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Each week, WFAE's "Morning Edition" hosts get a rundown of the biggest business and development stories from The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

Charlotte area companies make prestigious business list

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Brooks Sandwich House
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Inc. Magazine is out with its Inc. 5000, an annual list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing private businesses in the nation. And almost 50 companies on the list are in the Charlotte area, though, most are names you probably won’t recognize. That’s according to the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter. For more, WFAE's Marshall Terry talks to the Ledger’s Tony Mecia.

Marshall Terry: We will get to that list of businesses in just a moment. First, I have to bring up that Brooks Sandwich House in NoDa will be closed tomorrow because Saturday Night Live will be in town filming there. Any idea what they’ll be poking fun at?

Tony Mecia: I mean, they usually hold these things pretty close to the vest until they're released. Marshall, the manager of Brooks Sandwich House, did tell The Observer it will be a group of comedians on roller skates that illuminates anything. I think the mystery deepens. It's also been reported that it's part of a movie, not exactly an SNL skit, but a longer feature for a movie. So that's, I think, all that we know.

Terry: When I first heard about this, my mind went to that 70s skit in the diner where everyone is ordering cheeseburgers and they don’t really have anything else on the menu. Remember that one?

Mecia: Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, burger. Cheeseburger. Yeah. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know if they make reference to that nowadays. That's one of the oldest gets. But yes, that's a good thought.

Terry: Alright Tony I want to get back to the Inc. Magazine list. Just how big of a deal is it to get named on this list?

Mecia: Well, it's very important to these companies. I think it gives them some marketing talking points to tell potential customers about and to post on social media, that sort of thing. And, it is sort of an honor. I mean, and, you know, as Americans, a lot of times we're captivated by these entrepreneurial stories of people, you know, starting up companies and really just taking off.

You know, so these are very fast growing companies like the one in Charlotte that has grown the fastest, came in at No. 109 on the list named Hoodsly. They have about 26 employees in Lincoln County and they build ventilation hoods for kitchen ranges. So stuff you wouldn't necessarily always think of. I don't know how many people have heard of Hoodsly, but, you know, its revenues increased by about 40 times between 2018 and 2021.

Terry: Any other business on the list that stood out to you?

Mecia: Well, again, as you mentioned, we haven't really heard of a lot of these businesses because they're so small, fast-growing, but usually not a whole lot of employees. But, you know, very, very much surging revenues. You know, at 248, you had a company called Carewell, which is an online retailer of home health care products. And at 428, you had one called PetScreening, which helps housing providers digitally manage pets and assisting of animals. So there are all kinds of stuff you haven't really heard of and a lot of us haven't heard of. But, you know, there are companies in our midst that are doing pretty well.

Terry: Ok, let’s move on to Charlotte’s Unified Development Ordinance, which City Council passed this week. It sets new rules for guiding future growth, including allowing duplexes and triplexes to go in areas previously only zoned for single-family homes. Some residents are frustrated though it does not include any regulations for Airbnbs. What are they upset about exactly?

Mecia: Well, Marshall, you might recall that the discussion over short-term rentals and rules on short-term rentals was one of the most discussed things in the earlier versions of the Unified Development Ordinance. A lot of residents had been complaining about Airbnbs short-term rentals in their neighborhoods, that they were being used as party houses where people would rent these houses and then, you know, invite several dozen people to come over and drink beer, park all over the street, leave a bunch of plastic cups all over the place.

A lot of residents don't like that in their neighborhood, but the city decided to strip those out of the Unified Development Ordinance after a court ruling earlier this year. But the city still has some power to regulate short-term rentals and Airbnb, and we're seeing other cities do that. Asheville is doing that. Wilmington. So some residents would like to see some regulations on short-term rentals.

Terry: And is the city planning to do anything about Airbnb regulations?

Mecia: Well, it sounds as though they might revisit that, but not as a part of the UDO. This court ruling really limited the power of cities to require permits, which is one of the things that Charlotte was proposing. But it does allow other types of regulations.

The city could choose to ban short-term rentals in various zoning districts if it wanted to, but it has chosen not to do that. And it sounds like some of the parties are continuing. You know, we had a piece in the Ledger this week looking at it, looking at a particular. Property in Elizabeth that had been the site of repeated parties. There have also been complaints in Wesley Heights, parts of east Charlotte. So it's really something happening all over the place.


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Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.