From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Starbucks is the deal of the year

The economic development deal of the year for Augusta was named a deal of the year by the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

 

Starbucks earned the “hats off to you” honor from the state association.

 

Augusta got the award in the large community division. The association also handed out honors for regional development projects and smaller communities.

 

Starbucks is spending $172 million to build a plant in the Augusta Corporate Park. They announced the project in March and broke ground in July and should be making coffee packets in 2014.

 

“Starbucks will provide quality manufacturing jobs, will be an environmentally friendly building, and is the perfect company for the first location in our industrial park,” said Augusta Economic Development Authority Chairman Henry Ingram.

 

The plant will be Starbucks first facility in the world to roast, package and ship soluble coffee products. And they’ll hire 140 people.

 

GEDA gave a regional award to Oconee and Clarke counties for Caterpillar.

 

The association has only been handing out awards on landing big deals for the last five years. This is the first for the Augusta Economic Development Authority.

 

50 YEARS: The man who is essentially the father of First Bank of Georgia was honored by the Community Bankers Association of Georgia for 50 years of service.

 

Pat Blanchard is vice chairman of the bank. He was president and chief executive of parent company Georgia-Carolina Bancshares during its formative first 10 years.

 

“Our state is very fortunate to have community bankers in the industry such as Pat who have provided this much-needed service to their local communities,” said Carolyn Brown, president of the bankers association.

 

Blanchard was in the first class of the CSRA Business Hall of Fame in 2003. The breadth of his accomplishments in business and banking are too deep to properly quantify here.

 

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