From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on July 27, 2013 - 8:39am - Add new comment

Though home sales fell nationally in June, they were up in Augusta.


Real estate agents sold 589 homes, the highest total for June since 2006.


We’ve been hearing other tales that signal the beginning of a housing recovery, such as multiple bids on homes and people paying closer to full asking price for desirable houses. The June results are just one more indicator.


When you add up the whole half year, agents have sold 2,804 homes in the area.


By: Tim Rausch on July 19, 2013 - 8:36am - Add new comment

Big-number time.


Every year, the economists at the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia release the economic impact of each university. So now we know the impact of Georgia Health Sciences and Augusta State universities, now Georgia Regents University, on the economy last year was $1.8 billion. They were also responsible for 19,192 jobs.


This is up $780 million from 2011, when the two universities reported a combined impact of $1.02 billion.


We’ll get the consolidated university numbers next year.

By: Tim Rausch on July 10, 2013 - 8:15am - Add new comment

An article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek suggests DSM is considering a move to get out of making caprolactam, which is done here in Augusta.


Bloomberg in November wrote about DSM looking for partners in the chemical sales business, but now is reporting through unnamed sources that the company is trying to sell off the production business, too.


Caprolactam? It is the building block of carpet and is also used in car parts. Royal DSM, which is based in Amsterdam, makes caprolactam in Holland, China and Augusta.


By: Tim Rausch on July 5, 2013 - 4:22am - Add new comment

Three days after Father’s Day, I became a father for the fourth time. This time my wife and I had a daughter. She’s cute as a button and will be ruling her three brothers before we know it. So my two-week paternity leave is over, and I’m back in the business editor’s chair.


HONORABLE MENTION: Augusta’s Starbucks plant was an honorable mention in Site Selection magazine when it ranked the top economic development deals in North America.


By: Tim Rausch on June 6, 2013 - 11:28am - Add new comment

Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial Corp. is redesigning a portion of downtown Knoxville.


The Augusta-based firm unveiled plans on Tuesday for 23 acres of waterfront property where a hospital once stood. The site will have 300 luxury Class A apartment units overlooking the Tennessee River, 225 student housing suites, a 150 room waterfront hotel and 40,000 square feet of retail and office space.


By: Tim Rausch on May 30, 2013 - 8:36am - Add new comment

If you shop at Reid’s or Harveys, the new owner of those grocery chains claims they are going to stay independent and not much will change.

 Behind the scenes, the owner will switch from Food Lion to Bi-Lo. Reid’s is located in Aiken County. There’s a Harveys in Burke County.

 On Memorial Day, Bi-Lo Holdings announced that it would buy those chains (along with Sweetbay, which you’ll find in Florida) for $265 million in cash – no extreme couponing involved – from Delhaize Group, which is the parent company for Food Lion.

By: Tim Rausch on May 24, 2013 - 8:14am - Add new comment

The unemployment rate for Augusta follows the same pattern every year.


By: Tim Rausch on May 17, 2013 - 8:11am - Add new comment

Alli seems to be back in the good graces of the accounting department at GlaxoSmithKline.


The weight-loss drug, which is made in Aiken, was a drag on Glaxo’s books last year because of supply chain problems.


There was a three-month manufacturing freeze because Swiss drug company Roche could not provide the active ingredient – orlisat – because of quality problems in a different South Carolina facility. As supplies of Alli dwindled, Glaxo said it didn’t sell a single pill to pharmacies or retailers for three months.


By: Tim Rausch on May 10, 2013 - 9:20am - Add new comment

Metro-area foreclosures were way down for April.

According to RealtyTrac, which publishes foreclosure numbers for states and metro areas, there were 133 foreclosure filings in April. That’s down from 269 in April 2012. Yes, a 50 percent drop.

By: Tim Rausch on May 3, 2013 - 9:18am - Add new comment

Construction employment increased in 152 out of 339 metropolitan areas between March 2012 and March 2013.

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