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.
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.
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.
Driving past the Starbucks, I see walls enclosing half of the plant and some structural steel showing on the other half.
Starbucks is the first plant to go up inside the Augusta Corporate Park in south Augusta. Workers should be making coffee packets there in 2014.
The company is spending $172 million on the facility and will hire 140 people. The plant will be Starbucks first facility in the world to roast, package and ship soluble coffee products.
When International Paper shut down one of its three paperboard machines at the end of February, it eliminated 75 positions from its payroll.
Officials for the company say they were able to accommodate the job reduction without forced layoffs.
There were retirements and transfers to other parts of the plant. IP also offered “enhanced” voluntary severance packages.
After the downsizing, IP still has 740 workers making paperboard in south Augusta.
An Augusta company won honorable mention in a federal app challenge.
Exponent Design Works LLC won the Fuel Efficiency Innovation award of the Department of Energy’s Apps for Vehicles Challenge.
Their smartphone application, Fuel Economy Coach, teaches drivers good habits that will improve their vehicle fuel economy and save money.
The local economic index is up.
The Augusta Economic Leading Index is run by Georgia Regents University Hull College of Business. It combines local, regional and national economic data to indicate future growth or decline.
The latest index, released Monday, deals with January. The index increased 1.7 percent from December. It also happens to be up 5.4 percent from January 2012.
The business college writes that it thinks this is a solid start to the year.
Help Wanted: There are going to be 2,500 job openings in Aiken County. And there might be no one to fill them.
On Friday morning, the Economic Development Partnership released the results of a workforce study at a summit designed to correct the coming problems.
There was a silver lining in the Great Recession. It delayed retirements. Well, those retirements are coming.
There are 6,400 workers age 55 and older who will retire between now and 2017. There are only 3,900 people between the ages of 15 and 19 to replace them.