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Mercedes Moving Headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta

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GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press
KATHLEEN FOODY, Associated Press

German luxury automobile maker Mercedes-Benz said Tuesday that it’s moving its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta, in part to be closer to its manufacturing facility in Alabama.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said the company accepted an incentive package from the state but said he couldn’t discuss the details yet. The Fulton County Development Authority met briefly Tuesday to discuss its own incentive package for Mercedes’ estimated $93 million facility but provided no details.

The decision comes after weeks of lobbying — some of it public — by New Jersey officials who sought to keep the company in Montvale, at a campus that’s about a five-minute drive from BMW’s North American headquarters.

About 1,000 jobs are to be moved starting in July. The company said it will move first to a temporary facility in Atlanta before moving into a new space in about two years. Deal and Georgia economic development officials would not discuss the location Mercedes is pursuing in metro Atlanta. Mercedes said it would announce more details later this month

Mercedes-Benz USA President and CEO Stephen Cannon said in a statement that the company will benefit by being closer to its growing base of customers in the Southeast as well as its port in Brunswick, Georgia, and its manufacturing facility in Alabama.

Cannon praised New Jersey and the company said some operational areas will remain in Montvale and Robbinsville

“The state has worked tirelessly with us as we evaluated our options,” he said in a statement. “Ultimately, though, it became apparent that to achieve the sustained, profitable growth and efficiencies we require for the decades ahead, our headquarters would have to be located elsewhere.”

He also said the quality of life, schools and cultural options in Atlanta were reasons to move there.

Other recent Georgia projects in the automotive industry include the construction of a new U.S. headquarters for Porsche near Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Kia’s first U.S. manufacturing facility about 75 miles southwest of Atlanta. Executives have cited access to the world’s busiest airport for employee travel and to the state’s ports for shipping.

Deal credited the state’s access to that infrastructure and an insistence on cooperation between economic development, utility and education officials for the results.

Deal said the most memorable portion of the state’s pursuit was being told that the automaker was seriously considering Georgia for its U.S. headquarters. Deal said Mercedes-Benz approached Georgia officials several months ago.

“The prestige associated with that name is exciting to me,” Deal said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had a series of meetings and calls with Cannon to try to keep the company in New Jersey, said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the governor.

“In each conversation Mercedes USA made one thing very clear about its decision to leave: The cost of doing business and the tax environment is just too high here to be competitive with a state like Georgia,” he said.

That reinforces Christie’s “repeated calls to lower taxes and change the business climate,” Drewniak said.

New Jersey promised more than $2 billion in future tax breaks to companies moving to or remaining in the state, more than it promised from 1996 through 2009 combined, and could have offered Mercedes-Benz up to $15 million to stay just from one incentive aimed at car companies’ U.S. headquarters.

Under New Jersey’s incentives last year, Subaru of America agreed to stay in New Jersey, and the Philadelphia 76ers announced plans to move their offices and practice facility to Camden, New Jersey, while continuing to play in Philadelphia, a short drive away.

But the state has lost some major businesses to the South: Car rental giant The Hertz Corp. is moving to Estero, Florida, with the help of $85 million in tax breaks, and Bubble Wrap maker Sealed Air Corp. is moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, with the aid of $35 million in breaks.

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Mulvihill reported from Haddonfield, New Jersey, and Foody reported from Atlanta.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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West Oakland Black Woman Owned Food Collective, “The Black Culinary Collective (BCC)”

“We are doing our part to change the narrative of excellence being categorized as an exception for black makers.

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   A group of Black women who own food businesses are rising from the devastation of the pandemic by sharing a commercial kitchen in West Oakland.

     The Black Culinary Collective (BCC) is led by Chef Reign Free, owner of Red Door Catering, which opened in 2006. 

    Red Door Catering has a 5,000-square-foot kitchen space.  During the pandemic Free’s catering business fell and her business was damaged during the protests.  

     Free also knew other Black chefs who didn’t have the money to rent commercial kitchen space during the pandemic.  

      And so, she applied to and received $50,000 from the Oakland Black Business Fund, which, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, is “an organization that aims to address Black entrepreneurs’ historical lack of access to capital, to help members join the collective rent-free.”

     The collective currently has four members (Teas With Meaning, Baby Bean Pie, Pound Business, and Final Sauce) and is looking for six more.  The members will share the kitchen, sell their goods to the public on-site, and collaborate on projects.  Members will also receive consultations, mentoring and advice on their food businesses.

     BCC hopes to open in August and will be located at 2925 Adeline St. Free continues to raise funds to help collective members have up to a year in the collective rent-free. 

     “It’s important for the people who work in the food and beverage industry to not only know how to cook, but to understand the history and the cultural significance of those that came before us,” Free told the Oakland Post. “We are doing our part to change the narrative of excellence being categorized as an exception for black makers. 

     “The companies that are a part of the collective have established the discipline that allows them to see their vision with clarity and purpose; having a beautiful space that supports learning, collaboration, and service allows us to continue to scale in ways that will positively affect the next generation. The more we share our gifts and talents within our community, the more our communities will thrive.”

 

     For more information, go to BlackCulinaryCollective.com

The San Francisco Chronicle, Mercury News, and Oaklandside.org were sources for this report.

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Good Day Cafe

Good Day Cafe is a black-owned business located in Vallejo,Ca

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 Good Day Cafe is a Black-owned cafe  located at 304 Georgia St. in Vallejo. Their hours are from 7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Good Day Cafe serves Southern-style breakfast and lunch meals. They offer online orders, dine in, and delivery. Visit their website to learn more information https://gooddaycafevallejo.com/ and follow their instagram @gooddaycafevallejo

 

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Bay Area

Rush bowls

The perfect blend of all-natural fruits and veggies topped with delightfully crunchy, organic granola, a drizzle of honey, and your choice of fresh fruits and toppers.

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Rush bowls are the perfect blend of all-natural fruits and veggies topped with delightfully crunchy, organic granola, a drizzle of honey, and your choice of fresh fruits and toppers. Packed with nutrients and fully customizable, Rush bowls offer healthy, delicious alternatives to standard fast-casual fare. Rush bowls is open Mondays-Fridays from 10am-6pm at 350 17th Street, Oakland,CA 94619. Available for indoor dining, and delivery through GRUBHUBhttps://rushbowls.com/oakland

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