Business Briefs

Aug. 20, 2013 @ 06:57 PM

Durham chamber to attempt Guinness record

DURHAM – The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce is shooting for a world record.

The chamber is looking to capture the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest networking event with an event called “The Big” that will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 26.

The event will be held on the plaza of the Durham Centre building downtown at 300 W. Main St. The event is free and is open to the public. 

“It’s not just about setting a new world record,” said Casey Steinbacher, the chamber’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We understand the value of referral marketing and feel that it is the chamber’s role to help facilitate that. Being the world record holder would be an added bonus.”

According to a news release from the chamber, the current record stands at 357 and is held by KCSourceLink in Kansas City, Mo. It was set on Nov. 12 of last year.

There will be networking opportunities and an expo for chamber members, along with food vendors. A deck party follows, with entertainment provided by The Art of Cool Project.

The event is free and open to the public. For information or to register, go to the website www.durhamchamber.org/thebig or call 919-328-8700.

Cheminova adds RTP office space

RALEIGH -- Cheminova, a Denmark-based global crop protection products company, is expanding its footprint in the Research Triangle Park.

Jones Lang LaSalle announced that the company has signed a lease for a 13,631-square-foot space at One Park Drive. The company previously occupied about 9,000 square feet on the first floor of the same building.

That’s according to a news release from Jones Lang LaSalle, a professional services and investment management firm that negotiated the lease for Cheminova.

Cheminova has about 800 employees in Denmark as well as subsidiaries in 23 companies, according to its website. In total, it employs more than 2,100.

Sequenom cutting 75 workers

SAN DIEGO – California-based Sequenom is cutting 75 workers in a restructuring as part of a cost-cutting effort.

The majority of affected employees were notified Monday. All affected employees are expected to be notified no later than Friday.

Sequenom expects to provide severance payment, to continue medical and dental insurance benefits under COBRA, and to provide outplacement services.

The company released a Down syndrome test more than a year ago for pregnant mothers at-risk for carrying a fetus with Down syndrome, or trisomy 21. The company’s MaterniT21 PLUS also detects trisomy 18 and 13.

Commercial operations began at a site in the Research Triangle Park in June where a company subsidiary is processing the blood test. It’s ramping up hiring this year, according to a statement. The company has a long-term plan to process a growing portion of test volumes in North Carolina.

“There has been no impact on the employees or operations at our RTP location,” the statement state. “We expect volumes processed in our … lab in RTP to grow this year.”

Tax credits awarded to support NC affordable housing

RALEGIH – Forty-one apartment construction projects in the state, including one in Durham, have been awarded federal tax credits and other financing to support affordable housing.

The loans and state tax credits are designed to make affordable apartments possible in rural counties where incomes are low and to reduce the rents in urban counties, according to a news release.

The total development investment is estimated at $330 million that will result from the tax credits, loans and bond authority that were approved by the N.C. Federal Tax Reform Allocation Committee and the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, according to the release.

The awards will help produce 2,678 privately owned affordable apartments. Seventy-four percent of those will be fore families, 683 units will be for elderly residents and at least 249 apartments will be for people with disabilities.

The Vermilion apartment project in Durham is on the list of recipients.