S.C. ranks high in business climate
South Carolina made two Top 10 lists released this month by Site Selection magazine. The state came in ninth for Top Business Climate for 2012; North Carolina took top honors in that category. The rankings were based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives. The executives ranked South Carolina fifth for business climate. The rankings also took into account such factors as tax burden, infrastructure, work force, ease of permitting and incentives.
Honda adding ATV line, 65 jobs at Timmonsvile
TIMMONSVILLE Honda is moving production of its two-seat all-terrain vehicles from a plant in Mexico to its Timmonsville facility, adding 65 new jobs. The company made the announcement Thursday at the same time they celebrated making 2.5 million all-terrain vehicles at the South Carolina plant. The new line of two-seat vehicles should be in place next summer. Honda is investing an additional $27 million in the Timmonsville plant, which opened in 1998 and has exclusively made ATVs. Honda says the market for all-terrain vehicles that seat more than one person is growing in the U.S. Honda says the Mexican plant will be converted to making ATVs to serve the expanding market for those vehicles in that country.
Small business owners remain wary
NEW YORK Small business owners borrowed less during September, a sign that they’re still not confident enough to invest heavily in their businesses. According to a survey released Thursday by PayNet, a research firm that tracks loans to small business, lending fell 14 percent after rising slightly in July and August. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending index fell to 94.1 in September from a revised 108.9 in August. The index, which is based on new commercial loans and leases granted to small businesses, was unchanged from October 2011. PayNet’s report came the same day that the payroll service firm ADP reported that small businesses hired at a cautious pace in October. Numerous recent surveys and economic reports have shown that business owners are being very conservative because of uncertainty about their sales, the economy and the presidential election.
Fields in line to eventually run Ford
DETROIT Ford’s leaders have watched Mark Fields, a brash Harvard MBA, turn the company’s North American business into a profit machine. Now the CEO job is his to lose. Fields, who has spent seven years as head of Ford’s Americas division, will become chief operating officer on Dec. 1. He will report to CEO Alan Mulally, 67, who said Thursday that he plans to remain CEO at least through 2014. Fields, 51, will lead day-to-day operations and head up the company’s weekly business reviews with senior leadership. All of the company’s business units will report to him. The announcement puts to rest – for now – the swirl of speculation about Ford’s succession plans. The sunny, charismatic Mulally will lead the company’s long-term strategy and mentor the new leadership team.
The Associated Press contributed.