Blog Topic: Business, Man

  • In the Loop: VIDEO: Athens AT&T Workers Go on Strike

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    Photo Credit: Chris Dowd

    AT&T employees formed a picket line on Prince Avenue Monday.

    Despite posting a $19.4 billion profit in 2018, AT&T is refusing to bargain with members of Communications Workers of America. The contract of AT&T technical and call center employees has expired, and now they’re on strike, asking to keep their current pay and benefits.

    More than 20,000 AT&T workers have gone on strike across the Southeast over unfair labor practices and bad faith in contract negotiations. The strike started on Saturday and includes technicians and call center employees.


  • In the Loop: Will Merger Mean More Cuts at the ABH?


    Photo Credit: Michael Rivera

    The Athens Banner-Herald could be facing more cuts if, as the Wall Street Journal reported last week, owner GateHouse Media takes over another major newspaper chain, Gannett.

    It's no secret that newspapers are in big trouble and have been for a decade, and the Columbia Journalism Review reports that a merger could buy the resulting behemoth company—which would own 265 dailies with a combined circulation of 8.7 million—a few years to figure out how to make their digital operations profitable. The best-case scenario is readers don't notice a difference.


  • In the Loop: Home Goods Company Bringing 500 Jobs to Athens

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    A rendering of the General Time development by architects McMillan Pazdan Smith.

    Wayfair, an online furniture and home goods retailer, will open an operations center in Athens that will employ more than 500 people.

    The center will occupy about 45,000 square feet out of 250,000 in General Time, a planned mixed-use development at a former clock factory off Newton Bridge Road near the Loop. The Boston-based company plans to invest $7.7 million in the facility, described in documents as a call center, over the next five years.


  • In the Loop: Three Stores Closed or Closing at Epps Bridge Centre

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    The gap where The Gap had been.

    LifeWay Christian Store in Epps Bridge Centre currently is holding a going-out-of-business sale and will be the third store in the Oconee County shopping center to close this year.

    Gap closed in January, and Kinnucan’s last month.

    The second phase of Epps Bridge Centre—across the Oconee Connector from the initial phase—has only one tenant, Hobby Lobby.

    Much speculation has centered on Costco as a tenant for that second phase, but Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said last month that Costco isn’t coming to the county any time soon.


  • Grub Notes: Newtown Has a New Bakery


    Photo Credit: Baked via Facebook.

    Baked might sound like the name of an entirely different sort of business, but this collective of three ladies, operating out of Newtown, is into croissants, not kush.

    Faith Rocchio, RaeAnne Sturgill and Crissy Dobson all say they love to bake, but each of them has a different specialty. Sturgill says she prefers "difficult things like croissants, and I'm trying my hand at baklava; mainly flaky and buttery. Faith is all about cupcakes and fresh breads. Her lavender cookies are heavenly. Crissy is doing 4-inch and 9-inch pies that I'm betting are going to be as beautiful as they are tasty."


  • In the Loop: Athens Rents Among Fastest-Growing in U.S.

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    Athens rents grew the tenth-fastest of any midsize city in the country over the past year, according to data gathered by an apartment-listing firm.

    Rents in Athens grew by 4 percent over the past 12 months, outpacing the Georgia average of 1.8 percent and the state average of 0.9 percent. That ranked No. 10 among cities with populations between 100,000–250,000.

    According to Apartment List, the median rent in February for a one-bedroom apartment was $770 a month, and $910 for a two-bedroom apartment.


  • In the Loop: Oconee County Moves to Keep Economic Development Out of the Public Eye

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    County Administrator Justin Kirouac.

    The Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night will consider transferring the county’s economic development activities to the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce.

    The action comes in the form of a memorandum of understanding that would convey $100,000 annually to the chamber and give it responsibility for providing economic development services for the county, including attracting and recruiting new businesses and industries.

    The intent of the agreement, according to Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell and County Administrator Justin Kirouac, is to circumvent the state’s open records and open meetings laws.


  • In the Loop: Bill Prohibiting House Design Regulations Passes Committee Over Oconee's Objections

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    A screenshot of Athens homebuilder Jared York testifying before the House Agriculture Committee.

    The Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives voted 6-5 Wednesday morning to pass House Bill 302 prohibiting local governments from regulating building design of one or two-family dwellings.

    The vote followed a discussion of more than an hour that was dominated by the building industry in the state, with speakers strongly favoring the bill and criticizing local regulations of residential housing.

    One of the most outspoken of those who addressed the committee was Jared York, past president of the Athens Area Home Builders Association, who singled out Clarke and Oconee counties for criticism.

    Representatives of the Georgia Municipal Association and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia spoke against the bill, as did Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist. Lilburn is in Gwinnett County.

    Oconee County Commission Chair John Daniell and Commissioner Chuck Horton attended the meeting and asked to speak, but Committee Chair Tom McCall called for a vote before they could do so.


  • Homedrone: Georgia Theatre Operator Zero Mile Partners With AEG


    Zero Mile, the Atlanta-based promotions company that books and operates Athens' Georgia Theatre, as well as the Atlanta venues Variety Playhouse and Terminal West, has announced a new partnership with AEG Presents, the entertainment division of Los Angeles-based events monolith Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG.


  • In the Loop: Piedmont Athens Regional CEO Charles Peck Is Resigning


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    Charles Peck.

    Piedmont Athens Regional CEO Charles Peck is stepping down this spring, Piedmont Healthcare announced last week.

    Peck will return Mar. 1 to Navigant Consulting, where he previously served as managing director. But he will stay on as Piedmont Athens Regional’s interim CEO until May 31.


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