From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on September 26, 2014 - 12:33pm - Add new comment

Not everyone has a grand nest egg sitting around for retirement, so Social Security is going to be the primary income for many Americans.


Will Rogers, an Ameriprise adviser in Evans, sees some common mistakes when it comes to Social Security benefits.


People draw too early.


Or they don’t take advantage of the scenario that allows them to draw spousal benefits – a double-dip scenario.


“And they will not plan their income to keep their Social Security tax free, or reduce the taxes on it,” Rogers said.


By: Tim Rausch on September 18, 2014 - 9:26am - Add new comment

An Augusta credit union picked the third anniversary of a branch-destroying fire to start building its replacement.


Augusta VAH Federal Credit Union lost its branch on Augusta West Parkway on Sept. 23, 2011. So it picked Tuesday (Sept. 23) to break ground on a 6,000 square foot branch.


The fire destroyed everything except the bank vault.


It will take about six months to complete the building at 1267 Augusta West Parkway, said Dana Johnson, marketing manager.


By: Tim Rausch on September 11, 2014 - 7:12am - Add new comment

The engine of the American economy, small business, is a little more optimistic, but it’s still pretty glum. The National Federation of Independent Businesses released its latest owner survey, and it scored a 96.1.


So business owners went from gloomy to a little less gloomy.


By: Tim Rausch on September 6, 2014 - 8:49am - Add new comment

Three Augusta businesses were bursting at the seams to such an extent over three years that they joined the list of the fastest-growing firms in the nation.


All three made the Inc. 5000, Inc. magazine’s annual ranking of private companies based on percentage growth over a three-year span.


By: Tim Rausch on August 29, 2014 - 2:50pm - Add new comment

People are beginning to like their bank branches again.


The American Bankers Association hires a marketing firm to survey people on their banking habits. No surprise that the Internet is still the most preferred way for people to do bank business.


But after some decline, the good ole bank branch had a rebound – 21 percent, up from 18 percent last year.


By: Tim Rausch on August 23, 2014 - 2:34pm - Add new comment

Home flipping is back in fashion.


The practice, although making for interesting “reality” television shows, was maligned as part of the housing crisis that preceded the financial crisis and recession.


Springtime figures say flipping is really big in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Miami. Thousands of homes in those cities are being bought by investors to be sold for a profit.


By: Tim Rausch on August 15, 2014 - 12:14pm - Add new comment

There’s been press on the fact that the number of jobs lost from the Great Recession have been recovered. Now there is some data on the jobs that came back – and they don’t pay as well as the jobs that vanished.


The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been analyzing wage gaps for other recessions and released a report about the last one.


The average wage of the 8.7 million jobs lost in the Great Recession was $61,637. The average of all the jobs that were re-gained is $47,171.


By: Tim Rausch on August 1, 2014 - 8:57pm - Add new comment

Huntsman said in its earnings report the other day that it is still waiting for the European Union to sign off on its acquisition of Rockwood’s pigment division.


So, as the Rockwood pigment plant continues to go up near the airport, it still belongs to them until the ownership changes hands after all the red tape.


The U.S. has already said it is OK with the buyout.


Huntsman officials believe the hurdle in Europe will be crossed sometime in the third quarter, which has August and September remaining.


By: Tim Rausch on July 25, 2014 - 7:54am - Add new comment

Synchronicity will make back-to-school a little easier this year.


In years past, Georgia held its sales tax holiday weekend later in August, usually a few days (or several days) after school started around here, which is like getting your 6 a.m. wake-up alarm at 8 a.m. Not exactly useful.


By: Tim Rausch on July 18, 2014 - 9:51am - Add new comment

Community banks are disappearing, and regulation might be the reason small Main Street Bank wants to be bought up by Big City Corporate Tower Bank.


That’s what an Augusta bank executive told Congress on Tuesday.


Dan Blanton, the chief executive for Georgia Bank and Trust, spoke to the U.S. House subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit on behalf of the American Bankers Association. He is the national group’s vice chairman.


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