From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on November 17, 2014 - 9:01am - Add new comment

WifeSaver cut its teeth on small- volume, neighborhood-based restaurants. That worked in the 1970s and ’80s.

 

WifeSaver President Chris Cunningham has spent a few years sending the local fried chicken chain in a new direction: remodeled restaurants with drive-throughs, larger dining rooms and locations in higher-volume traffic areas.

 

The WifeSaver on Mike Padgett Highway at Lumpkin Road quietly closed this month, Cunningham said, because its owner-operator retired. (Rick Whitehead had been there 36 years and retired at age 65.)

 

By: Tim Rausch on November 6, 2014 - 9:53am - Add new comment

There is a social media backlash afoot about shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

 

They are saying no to “Black Thursday” and want support for the retailers that aren’t opening on Thanksgiving. (I thought we were calling Thanksgiving shopping Brown Thursday or Gray Thursday.)

 

By: Tim Rausch on October 31, 2014 - 11:43am - Add new comment

What happens to old vending machines? Some of them will end up in Graniteville upon retirement.

 

Pepsi Bottling Ventures, the largest privately held Pepsi-Cola bottler in North America, has an agreement with Recleim in Graniteville to dispose of old vending machines, fountain drink units and other Pepsi parts.

 

Recleim will transport retired equipment from Pepsi Bottling Ventures’ central distribution center in Winston-Salem, N.C., to its recycling facility in Graniteville – along with a “certificate of destruction.”

 

By: Tim Rausch on October 17, 2014 - 9:41am - Add new comment

The gamesmanship over the starting times for Christmas shopping has started. We can see by walking through stores that the holiday decorations are already stocked, and now the announcements of opening times for Thanksgiving are coming.

 

Macy’s said it will open two hours earlier than last year. So “Black Friday” at Macy’s will actually begin at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

 

There will be more announcements in the coming weeks as chain stores jockey to beat each other to your first holiday dollar.

 

By: Tim Rausch on October 1, 2014 - 11:06am - Add new comment

Aiken is going to help out Hercules. Well, it’s more like HERCULES – Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System.

 

BAE Systems has been awarded a $153.6 million contract from the Army to convert 53 of the A1-configured M88 recovery vehicles to the A2 configuration, known as HERCULES. BAE will be doing some of that work in Aiken and in York, Pa.

 

The Army’s fleet of Armored Brigade Combat Team vehicles is getting heavier, making it increasingly important that the recovery fleet is upgraded to support them.

 

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.

 

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