Originally created 11/30/03

Business briefs




OWNER: Privately held; controlled by the family of president and CEO Gary Heiman

PRODUCT: Sheets, blankets, draperies and other textile products for the health care, hospitality and institutional industries

LOCAL OPERATIONS: The company's King Mill at 1701 Goodrich St., produces cotton fabrics and yarns used to make institutional bedding and linens

LOCAL EMPLOYEES: 250 (approximate)

SALES: $400 million (corporate)

HISTORY: The business was founded in 1940 as a small linen distributorship in the apartment of Charles Heiman, an immigrant who escaped from Nazi Germany's Dachau concentration camp.

The company quickly grew as a supplier of hospital sheets and blankets during the post-war years and created its first international manufacturing operation in Israel during the 1970s. Standard now sells to 32 countries.

In 2001, Standard Textile took over operation of Augusta's King Mill several weeks after its financially troubled owner, Spartan International, abruptly closed the 120-year-old facility.

RECENT NEWS: Earlier this month the company donated several hundred sheets, towels and blankets to the Salvation Army camp outside of Malibu, Calif., to help volunteers fighting fires in the San Bernardino mountains.


Product face lift

The adage, "If it's not broken, don't fix it," doesn't always apply to product producers, especially in today's dynamic marketplace. Many products could benefit from new packaging, new features or a promotional campaign to stimulate stagnant sales.

The Service Corps of Retired Executives, a nonprofit volunteer business counseling organization known as SCORE, can help small manufacturers modify their product lines.

To find out more about customer service, call the Augusta SCORE office at 793-9998 from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday to make an appointment.


Sum of its parts

One of Augusta's biggest businesses is owned by a conglomerate that started as a synthetic textile producer and parachute manufacturer.

The Augusta company is golf vehicle maker E-Z-Go. The conglomerate is Textron Inc., founded in 1923 by pioneer businessman Royal Little as the Special Yarns Corp.

Mr. Little diversified the company during the 1950s and '60s by convincing shareholders to acquire more than three dozen companies, including E-Z-Go in 1960. Today, the $10.6 billion Textron also makes Jacobsen turf maintenance vehicles, Bell helicopters and Cessna aircraft.

BIZ 101

Free spending

Discretionary income is defined by economists as what a consumer has left to spend after purchasing physical necessities such as food, clothing, shelter and the payment of taxes.

Marketers of non-necessity goods must compete for discretionary dollars by appealing to a consumer's psychological needs. When the economy weakens, goods normally purchased with discretionary income are the first to show reduced sales volumes.


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