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Biz Roundup: Rowan County records highest employee payroll growth in North Carolina

SALISBURY — Rowan County saw the highest growth in annual employee payroll in North Carolina from 2012 to 2018, according to a recent report from the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation.

Nine counties in North Carolina experienced payroll growth of at least 100%, but Rowan was the only one to check in above 200% with a total of 246% growth. Out of the 17 industries measured, Rowan payrolls grew in 16 of them, including at least 25% growth in 15.

“This is even more evidence that business in Rowan County is booming,” Rod Crider, Rowan Economic Development Council president, said in a news release. “We’re experiencing continued job growth — especially with high-paying jobs — and don’t expect that growth to slow down any time soon.”

Rowan County also ranked ninth among suburban counties with a 17% increase in average employee count, and 10th with a 6% increase in total number of businesses.

Rowan County unemployment rate decreases slightly in August

SALISBURY — Rowan County’s unemployment rate decreased slightly from 4.6% to 4.5% from July to August, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Rowan County was not alone in seeing its jobless rates dip. Unemployment rates decreased in 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in August. The unemployment rates released by the Department of Commerce are not seasonally adjusted, meaning seasonal hiring patterns have not been factored into the equation.

Rowan County’s 4.5% unemployment rate in August was a huge decrease from August of 2020, when the county’s jobless rate was 7.2%. Rowan’s jobless rate was higher than that of its neighbors. Davie County’s August unemployment rate was 3.9%, Cabarrus was at 4%, Davidson and Stanly counties both had jobless rates of 4.1% and Iredell’s rate was 4.2%.

With 2,919 people unemployed out of a labor force of 65,580, Rowan County’s August unemployment rate ranked 55th in the state. The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan area, of which Rowan County is a part, saw an unemployment rate for August of 4.3%.

Continental Structural Plastics now under Teijin Automotive Technologies brand

SALISBURY — Continental Structural Plastics is one of five companies that have merged into a single brand now known as Teijin Automotive Technologies. 

The other four companies included in the merger are Inapal Plasticos, Benet Automotive, CSP Victall and Teijin Automotive Center Europe. The move establishes a singular organization with a global footprint and 5,400 employees.

Located at 6701 Statesville Blvd, Continental Structural Plastics last year announced a $45 million investment to expand operations at its Rowan County facility.

Teijin Automotive Technologies plans to maintain its location in Salisbury, as well as each of its other 28 manufacturing and technical centers.

“With the integration of these organizations, we can supply expertise in a wide range of materials allowing us to develop solutions that address our customers’ most difficult design challenges,” Steve Rooney, CEO of Teijin Automotive Technologies, said in a release. “Now, as Teijin Automotive Technologies, we are able to develop new materials, source them where and when they are needed, and provide the expertise that meets the world’s ever-changing mobility needs.” 

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce hosting Business After Hours at Bell Tower Green

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Business After Hours networking event at Bell Tower Green on Monday evening from 5-7 p.m.

The event is free for Rowan Chamber of Commerce members and open to non-members for a $20 fee payable at the door. Dress for the social event is business casual and participants are encouraged to bring business cards both to exchange and to enter a door prize drawing.

This Business After Hours is sponsored by Johnson Concrete Products and Stalite, who will provide snacks. New Sarum beer and Morgan Ridge Wine will be available for purchase.

More information and the registration page can be found online at www.rowanchamber.com.

Downtown Salisbury prepares for Halloween Fun Fest

SALISBURY — Downtown Salisbury will host the Halloween Fun Fest on Oct. 30 from 5-8:30 p.m. around downtown and at Bell Tower Green.

The fun starts with trick-or-treating at downtown merchants from 5-6 p.m. Entertainers will perform from 5-7 p.m. and a costume contest will be held from 6-7 p.m. After the live music concludes, The Addams Family movie will be shown from 7-8:30 p.m.

Throughout the night, jack-o’-lantern luminarias will be on display at Bell Tower Green. Those who wish to submit a jack-o’-lantern can pick up bags with supplies from the City Park Recreation Center, Salisbury City Hall, Hall Gym, Salisbury Civic Center or the Miller Recreation Teen Center during their hours of operations. The luminarias must be returned to City Hall by Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. to be displayed. 

Downtown businesses who would like to sign up for trick-or-treating must do so no later than Wednesday. Candy will be ordered at the end of the week and will only be provided for those that signed up.

More information can be found online at downtownsalisburync.com.

Kannapolis allocates $56,000 to local organizations through CDBG funding

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council approved distributing $56,000 to local organizations from its 2021-22 Community Development Block Grant fund allocation. The funds are designated for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income residents within the city. Grants were awarded to:

• Academic Learning Center – $4,000 to be used for after-school tutoring, stipends, and supplies

• Big Brother Big Sisters – $5,000 to support and grow a youth mentorship program in partnership with Kannapolis police officers

• Classroom Central – $4,000 to provide free school supplies to Kannapolis City School (KCS) teachers

• Community Free Clinic – $5,000 to be used for a health equity program targeted at vulnerable populations

• Conflict Resolution – $1,000 to support teen court and truancy programs that serve KCS

• El Puente Hispano – $5,000 to strengthen programs for Latino families within KCS

• Families First – $5,000 to start a new program focused on employment, education and childcare in English and Spanish

• Feeding Kannapolis – $4,000 be used for fresh produce for local families

• Meals on Wheels Rowan – $2,500 to provide free meals to Kannapolis seniors

• Operation Homeless – $1,500 to be used for food, transportation, utilities, and housing assistance

• Opportunity House – $5,000 to support the day shelter program that provides meals, showers, laundry, clothing, healthcare and computer access to those in need

• Prosperity Unlimited, Inc. – $5,000 for providing comprehensive housing counseling

• Raised Ministries – $4,000 to be used for a community garden

• Vision for Life – $5,000 to be used for a remote learning program

Applications for funding are reviewed by the Community Improvement Commission and city staff, who present funding recommendations to the City Council.

For more information on CBDG grants, the Community Improvement Commission or Community Development, visit kannapolisnc.gov or contact Sherry Gordon at sgordon@kannapolisnc.gov.

North Carolina recognizes October as Minority Enterprise Development Month

Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed October as Minority Enterprise Development Month to acknowledge the achievements of minority businesses, corporations and financial institutions throughout the state.

“Historically underutilized businesses are an asset to our state’s workforce and economy and play a critical role in our state’s innovation and success,” Cooper said in a statement. “This center will provide them with the tools they need to continue to grow.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2021 Small Business Profile, racial minorities make up 29.1% of workers and own 19.3% of businesses in North Carolina. North Carolina women make up 47.9% of workers and own 44.2% of businesses across the state.

“The pandemic has been challenging for all of us, but particularly for communities of color who were hit the hardest,” NC Department of Administration Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell said in a statement. “While we take this opportunity to celebrate the many achievements of our minority businesses, we also must continue providing resources to help these enterprises thrive post-pandemic.”

On Friday, the N.C. Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses opened a Minority Business Development Agency Business Center in the Research Triangle Park to help support minority enterprises. 

The center is funded with a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the MBDA program. MBDA business centers provide minority-owned firms a platform to reach global and domestic markets, enhancing growth, access to capital, contract opportunities and assistance in identifying strategic partners.

The new MBDA Business Center will be open Mondays through Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm, beginning Oct.11.

Through the end of the year, cities across the state will host educational workshops and events that commemorate the accomplishments of minority entrepreneurs. Find more information on the NC MBDA Center and other events on the NCDOA website.   

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