Supporting Charlotte’s minority-owned small businesses

A study released this week by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute sheds light on the unique challenges minority-owned small businesses face and how the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community can better support these enterprises, which are key to community well-being and wealth-building. Defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees, small businesses comprise 99.9% of all businesses. Small […]

The racial wealth gap: Business ownership & entrepreneurship

We recognize the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are connected to the same systemic and institutional racism that created and sustains the racial wealth gap. We recognize that addressing racial violence and the racial wealth gap is dependent on systemic and structural solutions rather than the individual solutions that have placed […]

The changing economic development landscape

“Regionalism” has become something of a public policy bromide these days — an unwritten assumption that informs the planning, economic and growth decisions that supersede any one political jurisdiction. But what is easy to say can be hard to do. For the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection project, a two-year effort to understand the distinct ways Charlotte […]

Innovation study finds venture capital, research dollars lag

Although existing entrepreneurial companies in Charlotte are seeing substantial revenue and job growth, an in-depth study of the state of entrepreneurship in Charlotte finds the area dramatically lags benchmark cities in inventions, venture capital and research dollars. The study, the Charlotte Entrepreneurial Growth Report (CEGR), was commissioned by the Charlotte Regional Fund for Entrepreneurship and […]

Hitting the bottle: Do drink sales shape where growth goes?

For years subdivisions have been filling acres of farmland in Union County. Yet developers there are looking longingly at missed opportunities for restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores. Unincorporated Union County is dry. That means no public sale of beer or wine. No liquor stores. No liquor-by-the-drink. “I know there is interest in an upscale […]

N.C. tax plans: The details

Below are more specific details about the differing tax-restructuring proposals from two N.C. senators. Neither proposal is likely to be adopted exactly as presented, because amendments and changes are likely as the measures move through will the N.C. General Assembly. Clodfelter proposal Details of the tax plan, Senate Bill 394, proposed by N.C. Sen. Dan […]

N.C. tax reforms: 1921, 1933 and maybe 2013

The Revenue Act of 1921 put the Tar Heel State on a then-new path by replacing its old and failing state property tax with the modern income tax. In the Emergency Revenue Act of 1933, as incomes and tax revenue sank into the depths of the Great Depression, state policymakers established the retail sales tax […]

N.C. unemployment benefits take a dramatic hit

The unemployment insurance reform bill, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed in February, cuts benefits to the jobless in two ways. It reduces the amount of weekly benefits for some of the state’s unemployed and the total number of weeks that benefits are paid. The way these benefit changes are structured will cause additional federal cuts […]

Advanced manufacturing: Economic lifeline?

“In 1965, if you had a good back and a good alarm clock, you could make a good living in Milwaukee,” Mayor Tom Barrett told a recent Raleigh conference, because of the strength, at the time, of that city’s manufacturing sector. Although rural Stanly County is very different, that Milwaukee attitude was also the prevailing […]

Gaston, once a manufacturing sector powerhouse, now lags Union

Local perceptions may not have caught up with the new reality in the Charlotte region’s manufacturing economy. Even before the recession began in 2007, declines in the textile and furniture industries were changing the structure of local employment. As the downturn continued, counties that depended less on textile and furniture manufacturing lost fewer jobs. The […]