The Lenoir restaurant was gutted and outfitted with more booths, free wi-fi, two flat-screen televisions, large display menu boards and high-tech soda machines – so-called “freestyle” Coke machines – that offer customers potentially more than 125 flavoring options for soft drinks. There also is a new outdoor patio out front and all-new kitchen equipment behind the scenes.
A sluggish grain and housing market joined with a dry spell in part of the county to give some Caldwell County farmers a few problems this year.
The owners of Babb’s Jewelry on Morganton Boulevard have been in the jewelry business for a long time. But as soon as their store runs out of inventory, they’re calling it quits — mostly.
Caldwell County will spend up to $110,000 on incentives for three companies expanding their operations over the next two years.
The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved Monday night paying $2,000 for each new full-time job created by Associated Hardwoods, Timber Wolf Forest Products and Dafco Inc. The incentives are to be paid only after the jobs are created.
There are more people working than in any month since October 2008, according to the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of people reported with jobs was more than 36,400 in October 2014, compared to a little more than 35,100 in October 2008.
Local economic development officials called 2014 a “year of achievement” during a breakfast ceremony Tuesday.
Caldwell County approved terms Monday night with the City of Lenoir that reduce how much water the county is required to buy from the city annually.
The county also set public hearings on offering businesses a total of $110,000 in incentives to produce up to 55 new jobs.
A Caldwell County governing board approved issuing $9 million in industrial development revenue bonds Monday to help Woodgrain Millwork Inc. pay for expansion at its facility on Complex Street Lenoir.
Caldwell County no longer ranks among North Carolina’s most economically distressed counties, according to the official designations given by the N.C. Department of Commerce. But by the economic measures used to set the rankings, Caldwell is the most economically distressed county to lose that designation.
The Carmike Westgate Twin theater on Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir closed for good Friday, according to employees who were there packing boxes and loading them into trucks.
Handmade mugs, beauty products, jewelry, pottery, wine and more lined the lobby of the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center on Thursday for the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce’s "Shop Local – A Christmas Sampler."
In downtown Lenoir Saturday afternoon, arts, crafts and paintings mixed with lagers, pale ales and porters in the bright sun, drawing a crowd to taste and see what regional artisans produce.
Heritage Home Group plans to move 255 furniture jobs from a plant in Long View to Lenoir by the end of the year.
Two years after announcing plans to begin manufacturing wood moulding products in Lenoir, Woodgrain Millworks Inc. is a little more than halfway to the goal it set of hiring 170 people within five years, officials said Wednesday. The company, a primary supplier to Home Depot, currently employs about 90 people.
Caldwell County has been accepted into Foreign Trade Zone 57. The federal designation can allow companies to export goods duty-free, which makes the products more competitive, and importers have a choice of paying duties (U.S. taxes) either on raw materials imported or on the finished products only when they enter U.S. commerce. That means that raw materials can be imported, used in manufacturing and the finished goods exported without paying duties.
Early voting totals for Caldwell County were just slightly less than the mid-term election in 2010, but officials still say it’s a good turnout.
“We were rather pleased” with the turnout, said Sandy Rich, director of the Caldwell County Board of Elections. “It looks like everybody wanted to come out and voice their opinion.”
The local unemployment rate for September was 6.8 percent, down nearly a full percentage point from August’s 7.7 percent. The last time Caldwell’s monthly unemployment rate was below 7 percent was in April 2008.
Recruiting new jobs, businesses and development and keeping young people from moving away were the driving topics of discussion at a community meeting sponsored by the City of Lenoir Tuesday night at Smith Memorial United Methodist Church.
It wasn’t difficult to tell which company had taken up residence at the J. E. Broyhill Civic Center on Tuesday. The place was filled with bright blue, green, yellow and red accents, statues of little green “Androids,” free food and massages, and the latest in technology products.
Dr. Torre Hinnant is a family physician, but once she has left the doctor’s office, she doesn’t head home to unwind, she heads to her yoga studio in downtown Lenoir, In Light Yoga and Wellness.
In Light opened early this month on Main Street in the former home of Carolina Mist Winery. Hinnant has transformed the space from a cluttered retail shop to a wide open room with high ceilings and plenty of room to stretch out on a yoga mat.
Furniture officials from Lenoir say they saw good things during the past week at the fall High Point Market. The largest furniture trade show in the world, the High Point Market runs twice a year for a week at a time. Thursday was the last day of the fall market.
Each day, Randy Dellinger’s plant on Virgina Street in Lenoir churns out about 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel, ready to be pumped into any diesel engine.
But Dellinger’s diesel isn’t made from fossilized carbon. It’s made from soybean and canola oil, and poultry and pork fat. It’s biodiesel, and Dellinger’s company is Foothills Bio-Energies.
The criteria for the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year Award include attributes like staying power, growth, commitment to community and responding to adversity.
During the coming weeks, a group of workforce development leaders will be surveying Caldwell County businesses to see where and how the state's workforce development system can be improved.