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May 2015 Published monthly Business Intelligence for the Golden Crescent: Lake Norman • Cabarrus • University City


The new CMS superintendent addressed business leaders Page 4

Small Business Toolbox

Advice for entrepreneurs, owners Page 10-11


By John Rehkop Local golf course operators are looking to create a new, more sustainable model for daily fee golf in the area after a confluence of factors left them in the rough. Golf clubs such as Birkdale and Skybrook in Huntersville were the crown jewels of daily fee golf when they came online in the late 1990s to early 2000s. With services and conditions that rivaled private clubs, they represented a new era in public golf. They were part of a golf bonanza, a surge in course development that paralleled baby boomer retirements, a robust economy and what some call “the Tiger ef-

BT People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 News-e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

percent from its peak in 2002, to about 23 million players last year. It found that in 2013 alone, the game lost 1.1 million players. One of the more troubling national statistics is the decline in the core oncea-week golfer. The number of people who play 25 times a year or more fell to 4.6 million in 2010 from 6.9 million in 2000, a loss of about a third, based on one industry report. Both public and private clubs, rocked by this market correction, are now trying to regain their footing. They are hoping for better days ahead against the backdrop of fewer golfers and fewer rounds be-

Scott Knox at Verdict Ridge

See GOLF Page 8

From credit cards to SBA-backed loans, lending is up By Katie Piccirillo Sherman When Howard Kaplan bought the Lake Norman Sea Tow franchise in 2006 he made a small down-payment, while the seller financed the rest. Other entrepreneurs use back-pocket financing for start-ups, others use credit cards to smooth out the ebbs Howard Kaplan

Time for a time out on I-77 Page 26

fect.” Between 1990 and 2003, developers built more than 3,000 new golf courses in the United States. Only 14 new courses were built in 2014, while 157 closed their doors according to the National Golf Foundation. Last year marked the eighth straight year that more courses closed than opened. Declining interest of this magnitude was once nearly inconceivable in a business defined by decades of slow, steady growth. According to a 2014 report from Pellucid, a consulting company that specializes in the business of golf, the number of U.S. golfers has dropped 24

and flows of business. The National Small Business Association says about a third of small businesses have used credit card financing in the past 12 months to meet their capital needs. With more and more online offers, including companies like Kabbage and LendingTree, small businesses have more choices. Online lenders offer a quick turnaround and accurate, online accessibility with the most accurate credit score algorithms. More busi-

nesses use bank loans and the earnings of the business. “A lot of times, people are proud of the fact that they have no debt,” Kaplan said. “But, any business school professor will tell you most firms are valued higher if there’s debt on the books. This debt makes a company more valuable because a portion of the interest of the debt is tax refundable.” But, seller financing is just one of many ways to fund your small business dreams.

Lynn Douthett, district director of the Small Business Administration said lending is up 25 percent compared. “And, if that’s happening in the SBA, it’s happening on the conventional side, as well.” In fact, compared to March 2014, there’s been a 22 percent increase in the number of loans and a 20 percent increase in volume in Mecklenburg County. So, how should small busiSee BUSINESS LENDING Page 14


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16650 Cobbleview Lane in Huntersville for $1.3 million

RECORDS Transactions Cabarrus 16 Mecklenburg 19 Mooresville 20 Foreclosures Cabarrus 20


Mecklenburg 21 Mooresville 21 Corporations Cabarrus 22 Mecklenburg 22 Mooresville 23


The governor’s plan for new highway bonds doesn’t sit well with some Page 2

Will golfing get out of the rough in 2015?



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Business Today - May 2015  

Business Today - May 2015