Saturday, September 24, 2022


The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.


Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.


The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Climate Change, Extreme Temps Affect NC Black-Owned Small Businesses


Monday, July 18, 2022   

A new Pew Research poll finds Americans are split on how to tackle climate change. In North Carolina, small Black-owned businesses say they're struggling with how to cope with extreme weather events, and they need help and resources - fast.

As Executive Director of the North Carolina Business Council, Vicki Lee Parker-High said she's seen more small businesses forced to close or temporarily suspend operations as a result of flooding, extreme heat, blackouts or severe storms.

She said losses and damages can cost owners tens of thousands of dollars.

"One in five North Carolina businesses - so, small businesses - have either laid off employees due to extreme weather events," said Parker-High. "So, that's about 21% of our companies that have been affected that way."

Parker-High said more research is needed to help these business owners better estimate financial risks and hedge their bets as seasons become increasingly unpredictable.

Jessica Rice Hawkins owns AIMHigh, a personal training gym in Henderson. She said extreme temperatures have strained her budget, and adds it's been a challenge to keep her building at a temperature comfortable for workouts during both winter and summer.

"So, I have these extremely high utility bills," said Rice Hawkins. "And now, you're faced with this choice of 'I cannot raise my prices because of where I am' - that's going to run me out of business. And then, I have to pay for the extremely high cost of utilities to operate the business."

According to Parker-High, abnormal weather patterns are increasingly affecting how small companies operate, and have triggered job cuts nationwide.

"So, a lot of these cuts are happening and occurring right in plain sight," said Parker-High. "But they're not being adequately accounted for, and adjusted for the risk that our businesses are being exposed to."

Seventy-one percent of Americans now say their community has experienced some form of extreme weather in past year - from flooding to lengthy heat waves, wildfires, droughts and water shortages, or rising seas that have eroded shorelines, according to the Pew survey.

Disclosure: North Carolina Business Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, Environment, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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