Business

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UNSPLASH

More than 300,000 unemployment claims have been filed in North Carolina since mid-March and nearly all them are related to the coronavirus.    

Where The Jobs Are

Apr 1, 2020
surgery
Courtesy of National Cancer Institute

The job losses are staggering: About 3.3 million people filed for jobless claims nationally last week, including about 100,000 in North Carolina. And more could be on the way.

Hearing that information, it can be easy to think that pretty much every business in town is either laying people off or putting expansions on hold. The effect of this crisis is rippling through just about every sector of the economy.

Joe O'Connor / WFAE

Mecklenburg County's "stay at home" order goes into effect Thursday morning. That means more businesses will be feeling the pain. Under the order, only businesses that provide what are considered "essential" services can still operate. That includes, among other things, doctor's offices, pharmacies, grocery stores and banks. It also allows restaurants to continue providing takeout and delivery.

Ten Tryon will break ground this spring on North Tryon Street between 9th and 10th streets.
Armada Hoffler Properties

The long-planned Ten Tryon mixed-use project on North Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte was supposed to break ground this spring. But the developers now say the 15-story tower - with a Publix grocery store -  is on hold because of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

Ron Raeford waited for to see if any customers would come in Saturday morning at his Davidson barbershop.
David Boraks / WFAE

Barbershops and hair salons have been hit hard by the coronavirus downturn and social distancing. Ron Raeford owns Raeford's Barbershop on Main Street in Davidson, where traffic really slowed down last week. On Saturday mornings, there's usually a bunch of men waiting when the doors open. This weekend, the chairs were empty. 

Owner Brian Helfrich and retail director Dora Callahan of Summit Coffee in Davidson are opening a new location in an old drive-through bank.
David Boraks / WFAE

Many restaurants and bars in North Carolina have closed since the governor banned inside dining Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic. But a popular coffee shop in Davidson is doing the opposite - opening a new location.

TPSDAVE / PIXABAY

Bars and restaurants across the Carolinas face a lot of uncertainty after the governors in both states ordered them to close in-house dining and offer only takeout and delivery. 

Entrance to the Ingersoll Rand campus in Davidson.
Google Street View

Layoffs have begun in Davidson after a merger and spin-off that split big industrial employer Ingersoll Rand into two companies.

NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

One of Charlotte’s largest employers, Bank of America, has announced several measures aimed at preventing the spread of the new coronavirus. In a companywide email this week, the bank said its increasing what it called “deep cleanings” at its offices, limiting international travel, and directing employees who could have been exposed to the virus to work from home.

With Ingersoll Rand's breakup, signage is changing at the corporate campus in Davidson.
Trane Technologies

One of the Charlotte area's largest industrial employers has split up, in a complex merger and spinoff completed over the weekend. Ingersoll Rand had 1,800 employees at its U.S. headquarters in Davidson before the deals closed.  It's not yet clear how employment will be affected. 

GOOGLE STREET VIEW

One of Charlotte’s airports is closing. OK, you’re probably saying right now, "Wait, Charlotte has more than one airport?" It does. Wilgrove Airport off Albemarle Road near I-485 in east Charlotte opened in the late 1960s and has been home to the city’s only flight school as well as being a hangout for recreational pilots. It’s closing this spring to make way for development.

Wells Fargo To Pay $3B To Resolve Probes Into Fake Accounts

Feb 21, 2020
Wells Fargo
Erin Keever / WFAE

Wells Fargo agreed Friday to pay $3 billion to settle criminal and civil investigations into a long-running practice whereby company employees opened millions of unauthorized bank accounts in order to meet unrealistic sales goals.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention / CDC.gov

Coronavirus not only has people around the world worried, but also businesses – including some here in the Charlotte area. Companies like and Lowe’s and Honeywell get some of their products and materials from China, where the virus has led to the deaths of about 2,000 people and caused major disruptions. 

Town of Matthews / Facebook

There’s a new nightlife hotspot in Mecklenburg County that may surprise you: Matthews. 

What used to be a sleepy suburb is transforming itself into a destination for those looking to avoid uptown or South End. And now there are plans to turn an old warehouse in downtown Matthews into restaurants, offices and shops. 

American Airlines has 90 percent of the flights at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
David Boraks / WFAE

After four years of fighting and strike threats, American Airlines and the union representing its mechanics last week reached an agreement on a new labor deal. The union calls the raises that range between 4% and 18%, signing bonuses, job security and other benefits under the agreement “the richest in the industry.”'

Former Charlotte financial adviser Jim Heafner is facing a new lawsuit. Nine investors who collectively lost hundreds of thousands of dollars through Heafner say they chose him based on his regular appearances on local TV and radio during what appeared to be regular news programming. In reality, those appearances were advertisements Heafner paid for himself.   

John Strumpf
Justin Ruckman / Flickr / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Federal regulators have slapped former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf with a $17.5 million fine for his role in the bank's sales practices scandal. 

Ten Tryon will break ground this spring on North Tryon Street between 9th and 10th streets.
Armada Hoffler Properties

A long-planned mixed-use building on North Tryon Street uptown is scheduled to break ground this spring, with a Publix grocery store on the ground floor.  The 15-story tower to be called Ten Tryon will be on a 1.5-acre vacant lot at North Tryon and 9th streets. 

confetti hearts wall
@aestheticsofjoy / Instagram

Architects in Charlotte are increasingly being asked to do something new: Design buildings with features that would look good in Instagram posts. The push seems to be coming from building owners and marketers who want the free publicity that can come with social media buzz. But the request is rubbing some architects the wrong way.

Vaping360 / CC BY 2.0

There's a lot of young tobacco and vape users who are angry right now. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration began to immediately enforce a ban on the sale of tobacco to anyone under 21 on Dec. 20, the same day that President Trump signed legislation raising the minimum age of purchase. 

WFAE

Revenues and profits at Bank of America fell during the fourth quarter amid a sharp drop in interest rates at the end of the year. But CEO Brian Moynihan said the bank continues to grow, as it added loans, deposits and employees during 2019. 

Wells Fargo sign at a bank branch
Flickr / Mike Mozart

Wells Fargo's new CEO says the bank needs to cut costs and continue to address legal problems that have dogged the company for years.  Charlie Scharf, who started in October, spoke as the company reported a decline in profits during the fourth quarter.

Epicentre
Chris Ballance / Flickr

Charlotte’s Epicentre, with its bars and nightclubs, was once a center of nightlife in the city. But following a pair of deadly shootings last year, some business owners in the uptown complex say they’ve seen a drop in customers. 

One symptom of Charlotte's growth is an increased demand on hospitals. The state has approved 76 additional beds in Mecklenburg County to accommodate that growth, and Atrium and Novant are vying for them. It's up to the state to decide which hospitals get them. This week, regulators heard from doctors and county residents on the subject. In this week's BizWorthy, Tony Mecia of the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter joins us to break this down and talk about this week's other business news -- including soccer.

The Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Coolcaesar / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

RALEIGH — Microsoft Corp. plans to further expand its North Carolina workforce with 500 new jobs in the Raleigh-Durham area announced on Tuesday, less than two months after the software and cloud-computing giant unveiled additional positions for Charlotte.

buildings on East Blvd. in Charlotte
Google Maps

A huge swath of homes in Dilworth is being sold to a medical affiliated company. The Charlotte Ledger business newsletter reports the homes, about two dozen, all are in an area adjacent to Atrium where the hospital already owns 25 homes. Atrium earlier this year announced plans to expand its presence in the neighborhood. 

bb&t and suntrust
Wikimedia Commons

The $66 billion merger between Winston-Salem’s BB&T and Atlanta’s SunTrust is set to be finalized this week.  The new bank, to be called Truist, will be headquartered in the Hearst Tower in uptown Charlotte. 

For more on what happens next with the merger and other business news "Morning Edition" host Marshall Terry is joined by Tony Mecia of the Charlotte Ledger business newsletter for our segment BizWorthy. 

Charlotte Observer
COURTESY OF NATE RYAN

Last week the Charlotte Observer’s parent company, McClatchy, announced it will stop printing Saturday editions at all of its papers next year. The California-based company, which also owns the Raleigh News & Observer and the Rock Hill Herald, is about $700 million in debt. 

The Loop at SouthPark Mall
City of Charlotte

Charlotte’s SouthPark Mall and the area around it will look very different in a few years.  There are plans to add a three-mile greenway encircling the mall and a park, along with more offices, apartments, and restaurants. Some of the development gets underway at the end of the month.  

The uptown Charlotte skyline is seen Nov. 2, 2019, from Bland Street in Charlotte's South End neighborhood.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

More big change is in the works for Charlotte’s South End. Two companies announced last week they’re building a 23-story office tower. Lowe’s is also building an office tower for 2,000 tech workers.

It’s a shift for the neighborhood that for the past several years has been marked by the rise of countless apartment complexes.

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