From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on January 11, 2014 - 10:13am - Add new comment

Interesting that really cold can set power records just like really hot.


Record cold temperatures across South Carolina helped SCE&G to hit a record for electricity consumption.


On Jan. 7, consumers used 101,118 megawatt hours of electricity over 24 hours. The previous high mark of 98,785 megawatt hours was set Aug. 10, 2007. It was more than 100 degrees outside that day.


South Carolina Electric & Gas has 675,000 customers setting those records.


By: Tim Rausch on January 3, 2014 - 10:09am - Add new comment

Augusta Regional Airport measures airline performance based on completed flights and on-time departures.


As Southwest Airlines hit the news this week on the surprise that it has lost a step on reliability, I took a look at the airlines serving Augusta.


In November, Delta, Atlantic Southeast and US Airways were all excellent on completed flights. US Airways seemed to struggle with on-time departures in November, 74 percent, as did ASA at 85 percent. Delta was nearly perfect.


By: Tim Rausch on December 16, 2013 - 3:09pm - Add new comment

Pretty soon, you won’t be able to turn around without seeing an end-of-the-year wrap-up of the things that happened in 2013.


Well, in the spirit of starting the shopping season early, I’ve decided to start the year in review early.


RECORD PROFITS: Both of the publicly traded local banks set records for quarterly profits – and then broke the record at least once – during the year.


By: Tim Rausch on December 6, 2013 - 1:59pm - Add new comment

Did the doors burst open?


Did starting the holiday shopping season early with near-weekly door-busters all through November make a dent? The International Council of Shopping Centers reported U.S. chain-store sales posted a gain of 2.1 percent in November compared to last November.


By: Tim Rausch on December 1, 2013 - 1:55pm - Add new comment

Necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, the invention is to avoid the necessity of filling out work accident forms.


There is a Savannah River Remediation manager who received a patent for a safety invention to combat falls.


Patricia Allen is the environmental, safety, health and QA and CA director for SRR. Her invention resembles a pair of rubber overshoes, but they don’t provide traction on wet surfaces, they emulate the slippery surface. Why? To train employees how to walk on slippery surfaces.


By: Tim Rausch on November 22, 2013 - 9:50am - Add new comment

Did you feel richer in 2012?


Statistically, the federal government says you were.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the personal incomes for metropolitan areas on Thursday. The per capita personal income for the Augusta metro area is $35,949, a 2 percent increase over 2011.


It ranks Augusta 257 among metro areas. It puts our region in between Eugene, Ore., and Fayetteville, Ark.


No. 1? Well, that’s Midland, Texas, where the income per person calculates out to be $83,049.


By: Tim Rausch on November 15, 2013 - 3:22pm - Add new comment

As most stock indexes are trading at their half-year high and seemingly setting records every day, it is worth noting that several of the stocks of local interest that we follow in the Sunday business section are also trading close to their high points.


There are a dozen of them hovering around their 52-week-highs.


Kimberly-Clark was trading high even before Thursday’s announcement that it was going to spin off its health-care business as its own company.


The stock closed Thursday at $109.71 per share, which is the high.

By: Tim Rausch on November 10, 2013 - 12:20pm - Add new comment

Augusta’s best North American trade partner is Toronto.


The bilateral trade between the two cities is about $134 million a year, according to a think-tank analysis.


The next-best trading partner is Mexico City, at $79 million of trade back and forth, followed by Montreal at $77 million.


The commodities that Augusta exports the most to either Mexico or Canada are chemicals and plastics. Wood products – no surprise there – and machinery and tools are the other commodities in demand here or there.


By: Tim Rausch on October 31, 2013 - 12:38pm - Add new comment

Small business borrowing in Richmond and Columbia counties was higher this year.


The U.S Small Business Administration backed $22.5 million in loans to 35 client businesses in the two counties during the SBA’s fiscal year 2013, which just ended in September.


In fiscal year 2012, the SBA backed $19.7 million in business lending in the two counties – 37 different project loans – for capital to start or expand businesses.


By: Tim Rausch on October 25, 2013 - 8:48am - Add new comment

If you happen to be watching business news on TV on Nov. 13, be on the lookout for an Augustan ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.


Kessel Stelling, the chief executive officer for Synovus bank, gets the honor of ringing the bell to close trading at the NYSE at 4 p.m. (Or you can see it at


Stelling’s appearance has a lot to do with the regional bank, headquartered in Columbus, Ga., turning 125 years old this month.


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