“The Black’s Tire Service decision to expand its operations in rural North Carolina speaks to the power of the state’s workforce, strong economy and great quality of life,” said Governor Cooper. “Businesses that were started in North Carolina see the advantages of continuing to invest here, and Columbus County is ready to share in this company’s continued growth.”
Black’s Tire Service, Inc. is a family-owned and operated company that has been distributing tires and servicing vehicles in North Carolina since 1929. The expansion will add 60,000 square feet to the company’s largest distribution center. Within its three divisions, the company serves customers domestically and internationally. Located in Whiteville, BTS Tire & Wheel Distributors is the wholesale division that supplies tires and tire products to automotive repair businesses, tire stores and car dealerships. This unit also fulfills online orders from across the nation. Black’s Tire and Auto Service is the retail arm of the company that provides tire and auto services through its 46 retail stores in North Carolina and South Carolina. In Clarkton, North Carolina, Carolina Retread manufacturers retread commercial tires that are received through Black’s Tire retail stores.
“2019 marks the 90th anniversary of our company, which started right here in Columbus County,” said Rick Benton, II, Vice President of Black’s Tire Service. “We’ve grown over the years, and today our current warehouse provides inventory for 46 retail locations and more than 4,000 wholesale customers. We have approximately 175,000 tires ready for distribution at any given time. This expansion project will essentially double our warehouse, allowing us to continue to serve our customers, stay competitive, and create much needed job opportunities for new BTS team members throughout southeastern North Carolina. BTS began locally, has grown locally, and is very proud to expand locally right here in Columbus County.”
“It’s evident that North Carolina has a great business climate when a company continues to succeed in the same state for 90 years,” said Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “This expansion will allow Black’s Tire Service’s to continue operating as an industry leader and community partner in Columbus County for many years to come.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC) were instrumental in supporting the company’s decision to expand in Columbus County.
Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but the average annual wage will be $32,481. The average annual wage in Columbus County is $33,817.
A performance-based grant of $75,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Black’s Tire Service expansion in Columbus County. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
“Our community has seen the growth of Black’s Tire Service firsthand,” said N.C. Senator Danny Earl Britt, Jr. “With more jobs and a $2 million investment, this expansion is great news for Columbus County.”
“We are excited that Black’s Tire Service is expanding here in Columbus County,” said N.C. Representative Carson Smith. “Our skilled workforce stands ready to support their growth.”
In addition to North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Columbus County, Columbus County Economic Development Commission and City of Whiteville.