Tue, May 28, 2024

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Consumer Stories

A familiar building in the CSRA re-opens

The sign welcoming visitors to the Piedmont Augusta Summerville Hospital says it all. The hospital has re-opened for in-patient care and emergency services. It had been providing only outpatient care. It also serves as the health science campus of Augusta Technical College. Nic Wood, Administrator of the hospital, told ABD many in the Augusta community kept telling them that they missed the hospital. Wood understood the connection people felt for the hospital. The Thomson native was born there when it was still known as St. Joseph Hospital. “So, we said,

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Consumer Stories

Air show returns to Augusta airport this weekend

The skies over Augusta will soon be filled with military teams and civilian aviators demonstrating their abilities. The second Annual Augusta Air Show will be held at Augusta Regional Airport on May 25 and 26. “It’s great that we’re coming back for a second year. We look forward to putting on another great show for the Augusta area folk,” Chris Dirato, Director of Public Relations for Augusta Air Show told ABD. “We’ll have a combination of military, as well as civilian performers. So, as I like to say, we have

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B2B Stories

Kemp signs legislation targeting workforce and education

Ga. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has signed more than half a dozen bills dealing with workforce development that were passed during the 2024 session of the Georgia Legislature. One of the bills, House Bill 982, requires the State Workforce Development Board to create a high-demand career list. The goal is to make sure the state is creating programs and educational opportunities to fill the most critically needed jobs. “Every job creator who calls Georgia home and every prospective company looking to expand tells me that, along with our business-friendly environment

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B2B Stories

Augusta Airport celebrates multi-million $ improvements

Elected and business leaders from across metro Augusta recently celebrated the completion of the terminal building expansion at Augusta Regional Airport. The project includes reconfiguring Gates 3 and 4 which adds about 2,000 square feet of usable space to the east end of the terminal. Herbert Judon, Jr., Executive Director of the airport, said, although the amount of additional space is relatively small, it is very valuable and marks an important jump forward for the airport. “When the building was built back in 2008, the airline fleets were a little

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B2B Stories

The building blocks to starting a business

When someone wants to start their own business, the first step is the idea. The next step is often “Now what?” The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Third Thursday session set out to answer that question. Called “From Concept to Conquest,” it brought together three experts. Michael Newton with Make Start Ups at theClubhou.se, Andrew Garnett from the Greater Aiken Chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), and Shelby Carl, representing the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC) each shared their expertise. As his organization’s name

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B2B Stories

Augusta University President delivers final State of the University address

To paraphrase the university’s slogan, “It was an address like no other.” Dr. Brooks Keel, in a speech marked by humor and poignancy, summed up the past year and then turned to the future. Keel hit all the high points of the past 12 months, beginning with increased budget allocations from the General Assembly for FY25, after a reduction a year earlier. “So, here’s an increase in our FY 25 allocation, just over $10 million in revenue earnings of $13.8 million of new money,” he said, adding that increased enrollment

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B2B Stories

USCA gets financial boost to help cyber students

USCA has received money from a veteran-owned cybersecurity firm that will fund scholarships for students seeking a career in cybersecurity and computer science. SteelGate, LLC, a Virginia-based company with an office in Augusta, has donated $25,000 to USCA. The SteelGate Cyber Scholarships will be used to provide $1,000 scholarships to high school students in the Aiken-Augusta area. “We contacted about 15 to 18 high schools in the region. And there’s a competitive scholarship for each school, one to two scholarships,” Dr. Scott McKay, Dean of Sciences and Engineering, explained for

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Consumer Stories

Big donation from Columbia County merchants supports children in need

The most vulnerable infants at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia (CHOG) in Augusta are benefitting from the 4th Annual Spring Fair in Columbia County, thanks to the fair’s sponsors. The Merchants Association of Columbia County (MACC), a non-profit organization made up of active and retired business owners, presented the hospital with a check for $180,000. “We just want the community to recognize there are needs in our community, and there are associations in the community that want to help. Especially children in need,” said Carol Garner, MACC Charity Committee Chairperson

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B2B Stories

Simon Says: Labor market changes since Covid 19

Last week, I reported that employment in the Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area has surpassed pre-COVID levels, but what about other labor market indicators? Unemployment in February 2020 was 3.8% and it is currently 3.6%. Unemployment spiked to 10.8% in April 2020, but fell rapidly and has been below 4% since June 2021. The labor force (those employed and unemployed) was 270,353 in February 2020. It fluctuated a lot over the next 12 months before settling into a narrow band either side of 264,000. Although employment has recovered, and unemployment is

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B2B Stories

Final words on 2024 Georgia legislative session

The 2024 session of the Georgia Legislature is in the history book. Gov. Brian Kemp has finished signing or vetoing legislation passed during the session and the postmortems are underway. The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce held its annual post-legislative breakfast on May 9. The keynote speaker was one of the leaders of the Georgia Legislature, House Speaker Jon Burns. Burns touched on some of what he sees as the most important bills passed during the session, most of which the governor has signed. He started with the legislature’s consistency

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