Tag Archives: local businesses

Is this city the new belle of the American South?

They say good things come in threes, and North Carolina’s Research Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill is no exception. Raleigh is the state capital, Durham, with its healthcare, life sciences and biotech industries, is the “city of medicine,” while Chapel Hill is a university town. While they are for sure a powerful trio, there are plenty of reasons to visit just Raleigh. It’s a destination in its own right. Last year 15 million visitors came to Raleigh, despite having not a beach or mountain in sight. Go figure.

For one thing, times have changed. To say that downtown was once sleepy is polite. What was “dead” just a few years ago has morphed into a hip hub, one where folks not only hang out after work, but also on weekends. What happened? Duke Energy sold to Red Hat, Citrix moved from the suburbs to downtown and HQ Raleigh, a startup incubator, sprang up. The Warehouse District, a major piece of downtown, has been revitalized with many old red brick buildings repurposed. Investments in apartments, condos, mixed-use developments followed, as did a slew of restaurants, bars and music venues. Hoteliers haven’t missed out. The Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown Raleigh is a welcome addition, especially with its 10th & Terrace rooftop bar.

There’s no shortage of hot spots. Bon Appetit just ranked Brewery Bhavana one of the top 10 restaurants in the nation. It’s on historic Moore Square park downtown, and you could spend hours there. It’s a brewery, dim sum restaurant, flower shop and bookstore. Pick out a book and relax at the long tables and sip a brew. Whiskey Kitchen is a little bit country and a lot whiskey. Get set for some of the best fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and pea tendrils, boiled peanuts with pickled peppers, lamb burgers, shrimp rolls and more in the site of a former automotive shop. Garland, meanwhile, is a tasty mashup of Indian and Pan-Asian fusion and craft cocktails. Its whimsical setting feels more West Village than You can’t visit North Carolina without some barbecue. The Pit Authentic Barbecue has been featured on the Travel Channel and the Food Network, among others. It’s no surprise. This whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue passes the taste test for the most discerning BBQ fans. Not only do you get pork, but Texas-style brisket, barbecued turkey, fried chicken, skillet cornbread, deviled eggs, collards, mac ‘n’ cheese. Whatever you order must also include the banana pudding.

The Warehouse District is also home to CAM Raleigh (Contemporary Art Museum). There is no permanent collection, so there’s always something new.  Boxcar Bar + Arcade is where you can just plain have fun. Remember Skeeball and air hockey? Get your fill of them here, plus more than 100 arcade games, live music, draft craft beers and a full bar. Visit Videri Chocolate, the Morgan Street Food Hall & Market, as well art galleries and unique stories like Raleigh Denim

Workshop, for limited edition jeans made from start to finish in downtown Raleigh. These jeans are designed for men and women, “who love what they do and get shit done.”

Perhaps plan a trip around one of the city’s numerous fests, like the annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, featuring a weekend of concerts at the Red Hat Amphitheatre, plus several stages of free concerts around downtown. There’s also the North Carolina Whole Hog BBQ Championship including a conference, exhibits, food, drinks and street vendors. Every month there’s some kind of festival, especially in September and October.
The action doesn’t begin and end in downtown. Do venture to the North Carolina Museum of Art and Art Park, which at 164 acres is the largest museum art park in the U.S. and features larger-than-life outdoor art installations, woodlands and creeks. Drink up at dozens of breweries along the Raleigh Beer Trail. Elsewhere, there are plenty of places to bike and golf. Don’t cheat yourself. Explore neighboring towns like Cary, where you can chill out at the Five-Diamond Umstead Hotel and Spa, where pampering and pleasing is a priority.

Raleigh isn’t trying to be like any other city; it’s cool with who it is and what it’s becoming. Folks in Raleigh live by the state motto, “To be, rather than to seem.”

by: Sheryl Nance-Nash

 

Advertisements

Raleigh was ranked the best city in the state to start a business due to its labor market.

Entrepreneurs and business owners need look no further than the Tar Heel state to set up shop — North Carolina came out on top in a new study of the best states to start a business.

The study, conducted by Fit Small Business, cited the state’s labor market and taxes as driving an ideal environment for business owners. Fit Small Business, out of New York City, says it provides research to help small business owners make wiser decisions.

The researchers used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kauffman Foundation and the Small Business Administration to rank states on seven categories — access to capital, startup activity, taxes, cost-of-living, labor market, quality of life and cost of starting a business.

The study took corporate, individual income, unemployment insurance, property and sales taxes into account, ranking North Carolina 11th nationally for tax rates. At 3 percent, North Carolina’s corporate tax rate is the lowest of any state levying a corporate tax, according to the Tax Foundation, and is set to be reduced to 2.5 percent beginning in 2019 after to the North Carolina General Assembly’s latest budget.

Raleigh’s educated population and its high-quality research facilities earned it the top spot among cities statewide for starting a business. More than 40 percent of Raleigh’s population over 25 held at least a four-year degree, compared to just over one-third of Americans nationally.

The state’s startup activity also ranked highly — a category that took the rate of entrepreneurs and the survivability of business into account.

But those looking for venture capital investments and small business loans may turn their attention elsewhere. The state was ranked 34th in “access to capital.”

The cost of starting a business, based on per capita income and median commercial rent per square foot per year, fared worse for North Carolina than a majority of states as well. Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals North Carolina’s 2016 per capita income of $42,002 lags behind the national average of $49,571.

In addition to North Carolina, Utah, Texas, Indiana and Montana rounded out the top five states for starting a business.

by:, triangle business journal

USA Today names Cary’s Bond Brothers best new brewery

Several thousand new breweries opened nationwide in the last three years. Bond Brothers Beer Co. in downtown Cary is the best one of them all, according to a new poll from USA Today.

“We’re super-excited,” said Whit Baker, the brewmaster and co-owner. “ I’m so glad that people like us.”

A panel of craft beer experts picked what they said were the 20 best new breweries – defined as breweries that opened in 2014, 2015 or 2016 – so even being named to the list initially showed some insider credibility.

Then people could go online and vote for their favorite. Bond Brothers whipped up community support and beat out breweries from cities like Atlanta, Chicago and the craft beer mecca of Portland, Ore.

See the full list here.

Brothers Jay and Jeremy Bond own the brewery along with Baker and Andy Schnitzer. And although the brewery has only been open for about a year, they had years of experience homebrewing before they decided to turn their hobby into a business.

“We knew we had a good, solid product,” Jay Bond said Friday, after their win was announced. “We did years and years of (homebrewing). We had done festivals, won awards and given away lots and lots of beer over the years.”

They don’t have to give it away anymore. The brewery at 202 E. Cedar St. in downtown Cary is often crowded.  In fact, Bond said, people who show up in the next few days might find a more limited selection than usual since the brewery has been unexpectedly busy.  “We’re actually quite low on beer at the moment,” he said. “We’ve had some really good weekends lately.”

But there’s already lots of new beer brewing for a festival April 1 at the brewery, which Bond Brothers has been planning for a while. Now it’ll turn into a celebration for this new accolade, too.

There will be special beer releases and a show by Durham folk rockers The Mountain Goats. The party will last from noon to 11 p.m. and the Mountain Goats will take the stage at 5 p.m.

BY WILL DORAN, newobserver.com