By: Tim Rausch on May 19, 2009 - 9:08am - Add new comment

From Wednesday through the end of the month, folks that visit the new Queensborough National Bank & Trust branch on Walton Way Extension may get a surprise when they use the ATM there.

The bank randomly put in some bigger bills into the machine.

So when you’re trying to withdraw a $10, you might see a $20 pop out.
It is all part of their grand opening celebration. The building at 3617 Walton Way Ext. is Queensborough’s 22nd branch office.

By: Tim Rausch on May 14, 2009 - 8:38am - Add new comment

We don’t have an Olympics coming to town, we have a science Olympiad tournament.
Its going to give Augusta a good tourism bump five weeks after the biggest tourist draw to the city, the Masters Tournament.

What does more than 3,500 people mean? $1.7 million in spending, says the convention and tourism bureau.

Most of the “academic track meet” for the high school and middle school scientists will be at Augusta State University, but that’s going to spill out into businesses across the city core.

By: Tim Rausch on May 6, 2009 - 1:40pm - Add new comment

Students of the Scuttlebiz know that numbers can be made to say anything. So there’s your grain of salt warning for the latest quarterly home value report from the real estate Web site that is making its way across the nation’s business pages.

Zillow reported this morning that the downturn in home prices has left 20 percent of the nation’s homeowners owing more on the mortgage than the house is worth – the jargon term is negative equity.

By: Tim Rausch on April 24, 2009 - 3:52pm - Add new comment

The furlough idea has taken hold at E-Z-Go. Tell your employees they’re taking a week off without pay, and you shave 1.9 percent of your payroll costs.

(For you math fans, one week is 1.9 percent of the year.)

E-Z-Go is requiring its salaried staff – about 35 percent of its workers – to do this three times this year, once a quarter.

By: Tim Rausch on April 21, 2009 - 7:46pm - Add new comment

Raising Cane's is seeminly razing the restaurant.

The chicken restaurant chain has two locations in Augusta: 2849 Washington Road and 407 Furys Ferry Road. Both are closed. 

I drove past the one on Furys Ferry to see a sign on the door saying it is permanently closed. I think they mean it. There's a dumpster out front and a semi trailer.

The company does thank us for our patronage for these last few years.

Why? Waiting to hear that answer. The whole corporation isn't going under, the Dallas-based chain opened a new store today in Columbus, Ohio.

By: Tim Rausch on April 17, 2009 - 3:51pm - Add new comment

The scuttlebutt into the official scuttler is that the Masters Tournament economy was not down as much as had been feared before the tournament. Several people who know people in the hospitality industry have said similar things to me this week.

It seems that when golf enthusiasts saw reports that the “unofficially purchased” tickets were on sale, they made a last-minute decision to come to Augusta.

A certain downtown hotel was close to the number of people that stayed there last year, too, I’m told.

By: Tim Rausch on April 8, 2009 - 9:03am - Add new comment

SubAir got bigger since we last checked in with the company during Masters week last year. The Graniteville company makes machines that make it easier for golf course superintendents to control turf growing conditions – think giant underground hair dryer.

In August, they started adding onto their building. And now they’re starting to ship products made through that expansion. It has a new metal fabrication division.
Call it insourcing.

By: Tim Rausch on March 27, 2009 - 9:21am - Add new comment

The used-car chain CarMax is still apparently maxed out despite recently opening a new store in Virginia.

Their Augusta store is done at 130 Mason McKnight Jr. Parkway near Interstate 20. Built. Signs up. Just missing the cars and the sales staff.

When I saw their announcement about opening a new store in Woodbridge, Va., I thought an announcement for Augusta’s grand opening would soon follow. Nope.

By: Tim Rausch on March 23, 2009 - 1:19pm - Add new comment

Watching  the stock market start to gain ground again prompted  the question of whether this is  the first indication of the  turnaround that economists were predicting  would start in the middle of this year and revising  to say will happen  toward the end of the year.



By: Tim Rausch on March 13, 2009 - 2:14pm - Add new comment

The stock market has  people sucking their thumbs in the fetal position on their bedroom floors, but a lot of companies whose stock values are dropping are still making profits. The profits aren’t  as high as they once were, but there is still a profit.
Take Procter & Gamble. Its stock price was at a high of $73.57 per share. Now it is trading in the neighborhood of $44.

The company isn’t tanking, though. In the last three months of 2008, it turned out quarterly earnings of $5 billion, up from the $3.2 billion it had in the last three months of 2007.

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