From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Augusta economy enriched by exports

Augusta ships out $2.7 billion in exports, and exports are becoming a bigger slice of the metro area’s economic pie.

 

The number is from 2012 (because 2013 isn’t done yet) and makes Augusta 88th if you line up all the metro areas in the nation.

 

The significant number in a Brookings Institution report is that Augusta has had a 6.5 percent annualized growth rate in its exports since 2009. Strong export performance over the past several years has played a central role in the ongoing economic recovery in the U.S., particularly in the largest metro areas.

 

Of all the stuff that the metro area churns out, $300 million in base chemicals leaves here to go to another country. It is Augusta’s top export category.

 

About $206 million in paper goods were exported from Augusta in 2012, $86 million in fabricated metal, $84 million in pesticides, and $83 million in resins and synthetic rubber.

 

TWEETING: Just can’t tweet enough.

  • Club Car says it will unveil a new model Carryall utility vehicle in January. 
  • Halloween City opens on Bobby Jones Expressway in Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club shopping center. 
  • Texas chemical company buys Rockwood pigment unit and its unfinished Augusta plant. 
  • State reports there were 800 more jobs in Augusta in August, many of them in government and education. 
  • Layoff indicator, initial claims for unemployment, lower in August in Augusta metro area. Down 47 percent from July. 
  • Urban Outfitters adding staff to new Augusta call center.

 

NEW OWNERS: One of Augusta’s third-party retirement plan administration firms was acquired by an Atlanta company.

 

Qualified Plan Admin­istrators Inc., 306 Sixth St., is now part of Swerdlin & Co., an independent actuarial and employee benefits consulting firm. QPA’s staffers will now join the 70-employee Atlanta company, which also has an office near Boston. (It bought a Boston company in 2011.)

 

QPA’s president, Karen Dixon-Burroughs, will now serve as Swerdlin’s vice president of Defined Contribution Services.

 

Swerdlin has clients in 38 states. QPA’s business was to design and administer retirement plans – 401(k) – and profit sharing in 18 states.

 

NEW HOSPICE IN AIKEN: Gigantic health care company CareSouth Health System opened a hospice in Aiken this week. The office is at 410 University Parkway, Suite 2000. It will serve patients in surrounding counties.

 

CareSouth, headquartered in Augusta, oversees billions of dollars of assets, owning Medicare-certified home-health agencies in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

 

CareSouth’s first hospice office, CareSouth Hospice of Augusta, opened in 2012.

 

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