Ken Shean has formed a new company, Ken Shean Associates, which is associated with ADS of Atlanta and PPA of Durham, N.C. The company will have 15 office contract lines covering North and South Carolina, Georgia and eastern Tennessee. The office is at 3512 Preston Trail, Martinez, GA 30907, (706) 863-4915 or fax (706) 650-0348.
James Wertz, M.S.E.E., P.E., has opened a branch office of Safety Design Analysis in Augusta. Safety Design Analysis, an engineering consulting company based in Columbia, specializes in accident investigation and prevention. Mr. Wertz is an electrical engineer who specializes in electricity-related fires and accidents. He can be reached at 1508 Ridge Dale Road, Hephzibah, GA 30815, or by phone at (706) 796-8685.
The Augusta Commission's Housing and Neighborhood Development Department will accept applications for its Economic Development Loan Fund Program between March 1 and April 30.
The loan requests can range from $5,000 to $25,000. These loan funds are available to assist potential and existing business owners with retention, expansion and creation of private-sector employment opportunities in Augusta-Richmond County.
Applications are available at the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department office, One 10th St., suite 430, Augusta. Interested people also can contact Gladys Evans at the department office, or call her at (706) 821-1797.
A Signs Now franchise store, owned by Rob and Debbie White of the Waynesboro Signs Now franchise, has opened at 3240 Peach Orchard Road, Aarbour Crossing Shopping Center. All Signs Now stores are independently owned businesses with global connections and access to a network of vendors researched and developed by Signs Now Corp.
Papa Johns Pizza and WJBF have announced their Scholars Program, a scholarship program for local high school seniors. Ten scholarships totaling $10,000 will be given for college tuition. Each $1,000 scholarship lasts for one year and they will be distributed among most high schools in Augusta, North Augusta and the Aiken are. Applications are available at all Papa John's Pizza locations and are due by March 20.
Vice president Al Gore and administrator Aida Alvarez of the U.S. Small Business Administration announced a major lending assistance and marketing campaign directed at African Americans interested in starting or expanding their own small businesses. The initiative is part of a coordinated SBA campaign to increase loan assistance to minority entrepreneurs in under-served communities nationwide.
Ms. Alvarez said the SBA will work closely on the new initiative with the agency's traditional partners, the network of 7,000 banks and other private lenders who offer SBA-guaranteed loans.
This will be the SBA's second major outreach effort. An SBA initiative to increase lending and assistance to Hispanic-owned businesses began last October, and outreach efforts to other minority groups are expected later this year.
ACCESS, a new program sponsored by the Greater Augusta Ad Club, recently got a behind-the-scenes look at the National Science Center's Fort Discovery. ACCESS, whose participants tour different businesses on the second Monday of each month, is open to Ad Club members, students and the public. For tour information, call Carleen Birnes, 9803) 642-8303.
BellSouth Small Business Services, a division of BellSouth Telecommunications Inc., will sell its BellSouth.net Internet service through Office Depot stores in the nine-state BellSouth service region. This will be the first time BellSouth has made its Internet service software available in this retail channel.
The Biz Briefs column is a free public service listing of The Augusta Chronicle. Information, typewritten, about businesses and organizations should be received no later than noon Tuesday. Please send items to The Augusta Chronicle, Biz Briefs, Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta GA 30903; bring them by the News Building at 725 Broad St. in Augusta; or send a fax to (706) 722-7403. Include a contact name and telephone number.