SC business notebook, August 30

August 29, 2013 

S.C. Chamber presents manufacturing awards

The S.C. Chamber of Commerce presented its 2013 Manufacturer of the Year awards this week. Graniteville Specialty Fabrics took honors in the small business category. The more than 65-year-old company makes products such as custom coated marine fabrics, tents and awnings. Winning in medium-sized business category was Cox Industries of Orangeburg, a manufacturer and distributor of treated outdoor wood products, such as decks and fences, since 1954. Michelin North America in Greenville won in the large business category. South Carolina is home to eight of the company’s plants and is the largest manufacturing employer in South Carolina. The awards program recognizes companies that strive for manufacturing excellence, have a positive economic impact, remain committed to work force development and are outstanding community stewards, the chamber said.

DUER expanding, moving to Beaufort

Start-up manufacturer DUER High Performance Composites is expanding and moving from Hardeeville to Beaufort, officials said this week. The business is expected to invest more than $1 million in the community and bring three dozen additional jobs, they said. The husband-and-wife team of Chris and Tauri Duer, who live in Bluffton, started the company last August. It creates parts such as resin-infused carbon fiber, which is used for boats. The company, which employs 12, expects to expand to a staff of 47 in the next five years. Wages will be above the state average of about $16 per hour, officials said.

Banks enjoy record quarter

U.S. banks earned more from April through June than during any quarter on record, aided by a steep drop in losses from bad loans. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says the banking industry earned $42.2 billion in the second quarter, up 23 percent from the second quarter of 2012. About 54 percent of U.S. banks reported improved earnings from a year earlier.

Judge weighs airline’s emergence from bankruptcy

A federal judge is indicating that he is leaning toward approving American Airlines’ emergence from bankruptcy protection but wanted more time to reflect. Judge Sean H. Lane said from the bench Thursday that he is “finding the arguments in favor of confirmation fairly persuasive.” He could sign off on American’s restructuring plan at the next hearing on Sept. 12 or in a written decision prior. Such a decision would leave one obstacle – an antitrust government lawsuit – to a proposed merger with US Airways.

Fusion sedans now made in America

For the first time, Ford is making its Fusion sedan in the U.S. The company’s Flat Rock, Mich., plant began making the Fusion on Thursday and will produce 350,000 of them a year. Ford Motor Co. had been making around 250,000 Fusions each year at its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. But that wasn’t keeping up with demand for the hot-selling midsize sedan, which was revamped last year.

The (Hilton Head) Island Packet and The Associated Press contributed.

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