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Record businesses growth, avian bird flu focus of April Council of State meeting

Gov. Roy Cooper and Council of State members at a monthly COS meeting. Feb. 2022
CJ file photo

RALEIGH — New business growth in North Carolina shows no signs of stopping according to Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. “Nothing has slowed down. In fact, it has accelerated,” she said at the Tuesday, April 4 Council of State meeting. A new record was set for the first quarter of this year with nearly 47,000 new businesses being created from Jan. to March, compared to last year’s record of 45,000 in that same quarter.

“What’s even more staggering is, two years ago during that same period, our new business creations were 26,000,” Marshall said. “That’s more than 80% growth in two years. We are registering 700 new businesses a day.” She said March 2022 was the third-highest month ever for new business creation with their agency, at 17,263, just short of the record months of May and June last year.

“We are surveying these new business owners and they are seeing new opportunities to put money in their pockets and jobs in their communities,” Marshall summed up. “These are not folks who lost jobs and have nowhere else to turn. This is overall a boost to our state and local economies.”

She said the easiest way for people to file an annual report is to go online to their website, https://www.sosnc.gov/.  Reports are due by April 18.

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Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler said they are currently dealing with three cases of High Path Avian Influenza that have been found in commercial turkey operations in Johnston County.

“We have been preparing for an outbreak like this for quite some time,” he said. Like any emergency, the size and scope of this crisis will determine how well we handle it. It does appear to be ramping up at this point in time.” Although it’s a very fluid situation, Troxler said he is confident that their emergency programs division and vet division are well prepared to handle it. “We have a great partnership with all our integrators in the state and USDA and we hope it ends quickly,” he said.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell reported that bank tellers and others have notified his agency of teenagers coming into banks posing as landlords with checks worth tens of thousands of dollars from the HOPE Program. The HOPE Program was administered by the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency, which was created by the General Assembly to provide rent and utility assistance to low-income renters from COVID relief funding, who are experiencing financial hardship due to pandemic policies, protecting them against utility disconnections and evictions. Folwell thanked bank officials for their keen intuition, realizing that the teens don’t have bank accounts.

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