Business briefs

Firm to bring 212 jobs to Blackville


NK Newlook, a manufacturer of store fixtures and retail interiors, said Wednesday it will locate a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Barnwell County, S.C.

The $5 million investment is expected to generate 212 new jobs.

The Miami-based company will locate the facility in a building previously occupied by Allied Air in Blackville.

The South Carolina Department of Commerce provided a $200,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to the company, and the company was approved for training funds.

The company will begin hiring in November.

Textron’s earnings beat expectations

Textron Inc.’s third-quarter profit came in well ahead of Wall Street’s expectations, helped by cost-cutting and some recovery in demand for corporate jets.

The world’s largest maker of business aircraft said Wednesday net earnings came to $142 million, or 47 cents per share in the quarter, reversing a net loss of $48 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier that reflected high charges to restructure its finance arm.

For the industrial segment, which includes Augusta-based E-Z-Go, revenues increased $55 million, primarily because of the impact of foreign exchange and higher volumes. Segment profit was flat with last year’s third quarter, the company reported.

Costco sign-up begins Friday

Costco opens in Augusta on Nov. 16, but customers will be able to purchase memberships as early as Friday, according to the company.

The Alexander Drive entrance to the wholesale store will be open starting Friday, and customers can drive up to the Tire Center and purchase memberships starting at $50 a year.

Customers who join before January will receive a Costco cash card. Executive members will receive a $20 cash card, and gold star members will receive a $10 card.

To become a Costco member, either sign up in person at the Alexander Drive store or go to

U.S. housing starts surge in September

WASHINGTON — U.S. housing starts surged in September at their fastest annual pace in 17 months on a big increase in groundbreaking for multi-family units, while permits for future construction fell.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday housing starts increased 15.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 658,000 units. That blew away analysts’ forecasts of an increase to a 590,000-unit rate.

Housing starts for buildings with two or more units rose 51.3 percent to a 233,000-unit rate. Single-family home construction increased 1.7 percent to a 425,000-unit pace.

In other news

URBAN OUTFITTERS has removed the word “Navajo” from product names on its website in the wake of criticism from the Navajo Nation government, bloggers and others, who viewed the usage as disrespectful and a trademark violation.As recently as last week, the trendy clothing chain used “Navajo” in more than 20 product names online, including jackets, earrings and sneakers.

– From staff and wire reports