From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on April 17, 2009 - 2:51pm - 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 - 8:03am - 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 - 8:21am - 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 - 12:19pm - 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 - 1:14pm - 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.

By: Tim Rausch on February 26, 2009 - 12:41pm - Add new comment

If you have phone conversation skills, there are jobs coming to take advantage of those skills.

The head of Richmond County’s economic development authority tells me that Teleperformance is asking for assistance in expanding its location in the old Waccamaw Building behind the Augusta Mall.

By: Tim Rausch on February 11, 2009 - 11:24am - Add new comment

Reaction to the master plan from its potential champions has been positive.

Implementation of the projects in the master plan relies on people and organizations in the community taking them off the drawing board and working to make them reality.
With such an emphasis on waterfront development ­– four of the nine market creation projects involve housing and parks along the canal – the Augusta Canal Authority is cited most often as a potential champion for projects, assuming a leadership role in a public-private collaboration.

By: Tim Rausch on January 16, 2009 - 1:24pm - Add new comment

The economy shorted circuited the nation’s second largest electronics retailer. Circuit City said this morning that it would ask its bankruptcy court judge to allow them to liquidate their remaining stores and shut down. The judge said yes and liquidation sales will start Saturday.


By: Tim Rausch on January 14, 2009 - 4:48pm - Add new comment

The Bass Pro Shop waiting game may be ending.

Walter Sprouse, who is Richmond County’s development director, said the concrete slab in the Village of Riverwatch that will sprout Augusta’s Bass Pro Shop will be laid within the next 60 days – basically when the weather allows it. The Development Authority of Richmond County brokered the deal that got the outdoor retailer to locate in Augusta.

By: Tim Rausch on January 8, 2009 - 4:33pm - Add new comment

Owners of stores that re-sell children’s clothes and toys can breathe a sigh of relief.

There was a worry that a new law would force most of them out of business because they would be have been required under a new federal law to test all of their clothes and toys for lead content before selling it, a costly burden.

But today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a clarification of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that exempts the sellers of used children’s products from certifying lead limits.

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