New Home for Transportation Impact
Transportation Impact moved into new digs at 8921 Crew Drive in Emerald Isle this summer. Co-Founders Travis Burt and Keith Byrd gave local officials a tour of the company’s future home at earlier this year and welcomed them back in July for a Business After Hours event through the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce.
The 13,000 square foot, three-story building, features views of both the sound and the ocean. Other planned features include an outdoor leisure area with cornhole boards and horseshoes along with a roof top terrace to enjoy the views.
The first two floors house offices, while the third houses the restaurant Caribsea.
“This has been our dream since we began in the back of the surf shop,” said co-founder Keith Byrd, referencing the storage closet of a local surf shop from which the company operated during its infancy. “We used to drive over the Emerald Isle bridge and talk about how amazing it would be to have a state-of-the-art building on the island where we could grow and continue to be successful. After eight years of hard work, here we are.”
Transportation Impact, a three-time Inc. 5000 honoree, is a supply chain spend-management firm headquartered in Emerald Isle. Founded in 2008, the company offers a portfolio of supply chain services and technologies that help large companies reduce the costs associated with small package and freight shipping.
Ferry Takes Helm at Cherry Point
A new commander took the helm of the Marine Corps’ largest air station during a change of command ceremony on the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point parade field. Col. Chris Pappas, III relinquished command to Col. Todd W. Ferry during the formal affair.
Ferry comes to MCAS Cherry Point after serving as the J-5 Mission Support
Division chief and as the J-5 director of staff, United States Africa Command, since 2013. From 2010 to 2012 he was the commanding officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164, MCAS Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Ferry arrived as Cherry Point prepared to celebrate 75 years of service in Eastern North Carolina on Aug. 18, 2015.
Established on Aug. 18, 1941, Cherry Point has grown into one of the best all-weather jet bases in the world, occupying approximately 29,000 acres. The air station commander is
responsible for the primary air station complex in Havelock, as well as multiple outlying landing fields and bombing ranges in Carteret and Craven counties. His responsibility stretches even further with Cherry Point’s air traffic control services that cover more than 9,000 square miles of airspace for military, civil and commercial air traffic in the region.
Pappas, MCAS Cherry Point’s commanding officer since August 2013, has successfully managed the air station through multiple challenges brought on by ever-evolving Dept. of Defense-wide fiscal constraints, always with a focus on the future of Cherry Point and its ongoing role in support of the 2d MAW.
During FY 2015, Cherry Point’s overall economic impact was $2.01 billion. It employs1,962 Carteret County residents, along with 4,016 Craven County residents, 115 from Pamlico and 113 from Jones.
State Ends Year Strong
North Carolina ended the fiscal year with strong revenue growth, according to the state governor’s office, meaning business tax rates will be lower in 2017.
Tax revenue collections were $21.3 billion, more than $300 million above the threshold for triggering a reduction in the state’s business tax rate from 4 percent to 3 percent beginning Jan. 1, 2017. This will be less than half the 6.9 percent rate paid by North Carolina businesses in 2013, the governor’s office said in a news release.
“Even in an environment of historic tax cuts saving taxpayers more than $4.4 billion over five years, state revenues continue to grow due to our tremendous job growth, economic expansion and responsible fiscal management,” North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said.
North Carolina’s business tax rate will now be the lowest in the nation among states with a business income tax. The next lowest state business income tax rate is 4.31 percent in North Dakota.
In addition to reducing the business income tax rate in 2017, North Carolina will also reduce the personal income tax rate in 2017 from 5.75 percent to 5.499 percent.
State Ports Show Boost in Volume
Continuing a recent trend of growth, the NC State Ports Authority enjoyed a banner year in fiscal 2015 with an 18 percent increase in containerized cargo volumes year-over-year. By container volume growth percentage, North Carolina’s Ports are among the fastest growing on the East Coast.
In addition, the authority is moving forward with a $100 million investment in infrastructure improvements. With new cranes, an enhanced berth, a wider turning basin and further expansion on the way, North Carolina’s Ports will improve upon its operational efficiencies to keep cargo moving and congestion at bay at the Port of Wilmington.
“The Authority has ample capacity to support cargo volumes today and into the future,” Chief Commercial Officer Greg Fennell said. “With an ideal location, significant investment, modern facilities, and our lack of congestion we stand ready to help our customers succeed.”
Extensive growth can also be seen on the general cargo side at North Carolina’s Port of Morehead City. Total tonnage is up 19 percent year-over-year through February 2016 due to an influx of new accounts, including imported grains.
North Carolina’s Ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, plus inland terminals in Charlotte and in Greensboro, link the state’s consumers, businesses and industry to world markets, and serve as magnets to attract new business and industry while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. Port activities contribute statewide to 76,000 jobs and $700 million each year in state and local tax revenues.
Emerald Isle ‘Best Beach Bargain’
Emerald Isle and Sunset Beach were given a nod this summer from RealtyTrac, a leading source for comprehensive housing data, in its special report ranking the best bargain beach towns for summer 2016 based on median home prices, average summer temperatures, air quality and density of registered criminal offenders.
For the report RealtyTrac analyzed more than 1,400 cities in coastal counties as defined by the US Census Bureau. The list was narrowed all the way down to the top ranking bargain beach town in each of the 15 states with a city matching the final criteria for a bargain beach town
Beer Marketing Conference Set for Asheville
The first-ever Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference will take place March 28-30, 2017 in Asheville. Beer and tourism industry leaders from throughout North America and beyond will gather for three days of education, discussion and networking.
Asheville and North Carolina are natural hosts for this conference. The city is known for its beer scene, with more breweries per capita than any other US city, according to ExploreAsheville. The city has its own brewers association, the Asheville Brewers Alliance, with 36 brewery members. Additionally, three national craft beer players (Sierra Nevada Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewing and New Belgium Brewing) have all established major facilities in the area.
Moreover, on a state level there is strong support for the local beer industry in general and beer tourism in particular.
“The craft beer industry is an important driver of economic development in North Carolina. Home to more than 170 breweries, more than any other state in the south, the industry supports 10,000 jobs statewide and has an annual economic impact of $1.2 billion to our state,” explained Christopher Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, which oversees tourism marketing for the state.
“Hosting the first-ever Beer Tourism & Marketing Conference here in our state allows us to showcase what makes North Carolina a major destination for not only beer tourism, but also craft breweries looking to expand or relocate on the East Coast,” continued Chung.
Nationwide, beer marketing and beer tourism have become increasingly critical to the craft beer industry. With craft beer having grown 12.8 percent by volume in 2015 on top of 18 percent growth in 2014, according to the Brewers Association trade group, craft breweries have often simply sold out their production with little marketing. However, with over 4,400 breweries now in the United States, both retail shelf space and tap room visitors are harder to come by.
“The Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference provides factual, concrete advice for breweries looking to improve their marketing and for all beer and tourism industry players to improve their beer tourism offerings,” said conference organizer Allan Wright, president of Zephyr Conferences.
“Beer tourism is booming but also becoming more critical as tap room sales provide much higher margins to breweries while beer tourists fill beds and restaurant seats in areas successful attracting visitors.”