Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Atlanta: A tech hub to watch

Moderated by Rick Badie

Techie.com, a web magazine, recently named Atlanta one of the top 10 emerging tech hubs in 2014. Today, the magazine’s editor-in-chief explains why our region’s techie culture is considered one of the nation’s most innovative and creative. Meanwhile, an executive with AT&T Mobility writes about the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s new Mobility Task Force.

Atlanta: A tech hub to watch

By Dan Blacharski

The South is getting a lot of attention this year from tech entrepreneurs, and Atlanta is leading the charge for the New South.

Although there are plenty of companies like AT&T, Dell SecureWorks and First Data in Atlanta, the city is also home to more than 150 mobile tech-related startups and one of the most exciting small-business entrepreneurship communities in the country. Atlanta is 12th in the nation for number of tech start-ups. There have been several new co-working communities, start-up incubators and funding organizations working together to develop and …

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Georgia2Georgia

Moderated by Rick Badie

What if Georgia companies did more business with each other? That’s the purpose of the state chamber’s Georgia2Georgia initiative. A chamber executive writes that its 2014 campaign goal is to get participants to do 2 percent more business with other area companies. Meanwhile, the head of a local company that specializes in agricultural machinery notes the global importance of modernizing Africa’s farm economy.

Think “Georgia first”

By Ernest Greer

Imagine the impact if Georgia companies did more business with each other — if we all thought “Georgia first” when purchasing goods or services. That’s the goal of Georgia2Georgia, an initiative recently announced by the Georgia Chamber.

Its purpose is as simple as its name: To encourage the idea of doing more business with the companies that create jobs, contribute to our tax base and support communities statewide.

Why is this so important? Because stronger companies lead to stronger communities. Stronger …

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The Affordable Care Act: Can Millenials Afford It?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Millenials accounted for a substantial swath of President Barack Obama’s re-election results. So how do they feel about the president’s Affordable Care Act? Like they’ve been sold a bill of goods, writes the president of a conservative nonprofit who cites sticker shock as the reason why. Meanwhile, two other authors tackle U.S. health care: One says Obamacare provides young people medical options they never had, while the other author criticizes veterans’ care. To comment, go to: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/

Obamacare picks our pockets

By Evan Feinberg

President Barack Obama has a problem with millennials. We brought the votes and the noise in 2012, but the honeymoon may be officially over.

Young Americans were once the most enthusiastic supporters of the Affordable Care Act. Now, they’re the law’s most ardent foes. A recent poll shows 57 percent of people between 18 and 29 disapprove of this law; only 13 percent of my generation “definitely” …

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Financial literacy

Moderated by Rick Badie

It’s a new year — time, perhaps, for a financial resolution or two. Today, executives for two nonprofit organizations write about the need to achieve and manage personal finances. And a client of a national credit score improvement program offered at Ebenezer Baptist Church shares her success story. To comment, go to: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/

Financial literacy a must for all

By John Hope Bryant

With 40 million unbanked and underbanked people across the nation, America reflects a tale of two nations: the haves and have-nots. In Atlanta, that disparity is particularly acute.

You have the most promising city for African-American entrepreneurship and small-business ownership in the nation. You also have areas such as Vine City which, according to the FDIC, is the fifth-most unbanked area in America. Given that 47 percent of all employers now pull a credit report, one could argue the question now is not whether you have a public record, but …

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Savannah harbor deepening

The U.S. House of Representatives cleared an obstacle to deepening the Savannah harbor with passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. It removes a spending cap on the dredging project. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah praises the “pro-job, pro-America” legislation, while a coastal environmentalist deems it a “major setback.” To comment, go to: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/

Project squanders millions

By David Kyler

In the interest of taxpayers and full disclosure, some important considerations need to be brought to light regarding the recent approval of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Contrary to Rep. Jack Kingston’s praise for cutting “bureaucratic red tape” and expediting projects, the bill will result in billions in tax dollars squandered on projects of dubious benefit. Moreover, by eliminating important environmental evaluation requirements and spending controls, still more waste at …

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Transaction Alley

Moderated by Rick Badie

Call us “transaction alley.” Every time you swipe a credit card, you’re contributing to a leading industry in our region. Today, an industry executive writes that 70 percent of the nation’s credit card purchases are processed in Georgia. Also, the Gwinnett Chamber president touts that county’s growing economic ties with South Korea and an upcoming business trip to East Asia.

Transaction Alley

By Tony Catalfano

Americans will spend nearly $640 billion this holiday season. More than 37 percent of purchases will be made with credit cards. Seventy percent of consumers plan to give gift cards, bringing gift card spending to nearly $30 billion. Astonishingly, 70 percent of each credit swipe is processed in Georgia, and gift cards are mostly powered by local companies.

The Financial Transaction Processing (FTP) industry provides the infrastructure for, and processing of, financial transactions that take place every time a debit card is used for groceries, …

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Medical malpratice reform

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today’s issue: medical malpractice tort reform. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus supports a compensation system that would take claims out of civil courts and wants the Legislature to adopt it. Meanwhile, William E. Silver, president of the Medical Association of Georgia, says such a system would prove even more costly to the health care profession.

Reform medical malpractice

By Bernie Marcus

President Barack Obama is scrambling to keep promises he made to Americans when he sold us the Affordable Care Act. But what happened to his pledge to reform the medical malpractice system?

Our current liability system drives costs far higher and denies compensation to patients harmed by doctors. It’s expensive and unfair, and the new law ignores the issue completely.

Reforming the way this nation compensates injured patients affects everyone. By not addressing the issue, Obamacare will cost Americans dearly — particularly doctors and patients — while …

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The Equity Atlas

Moderated by Rick Badie

This year, Georgia moved from fourth to first place in a trade publication’s ranking of states with the best business climate. Today, the commissioner of an economic development agency explains why. Meanwhile, the founder of a non-profit challenges leaders to address the region’s economic inequities.

Georgia’s superb business climate

By Chris Carr

When Gov. Nathan Deal took office in January 2011, he made a promise to the people of Georgia that he wouldn’t stop until Georgia was the No. 1 place in the country to do business.

He kept that promise.

Earlier this month, Gov. Deal announced that Georgia is the No. 1 place for business in the United States, according to Site Selection magazine’s annual rankings of states based on their attractiveness to corporate facility investors.  Not only is this trade publication ranking a testament to the governor’s dedication to improving our state’s business climate, but it also speaks to the commitment from our …

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Braves – still a city brand?

Moderated by Rick Badie

The Atlanta Braves have announced plans to build a new stadium in Cobb County and begin play there in 2017. At that point, Turner Field, also known as “The Ted,” is to be demolished. Today, we discuss the economic impact the move may have on the city as well as nearby neighborhoods like the Pittsburgh community.

Braves remain a city brand

By William Pate

As a lifelong Atlanta resident and Braves fan, I share the disappointment of many with the Braves’ decision to move to Cobb County. It is difficult to imagine the team leaving a historic part of town where Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth, where the Braves won their first World Series in Atlanta, and where Atlanta hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Centennial Olympic Games.

Emotionally, this move is very hard to accept.

But it is equally important to keep this announcement in perspective. Atlanta is not losing its baseball franchise. The team is simply moving ten 10 miles up the road. That …

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The tale of two Georgias

Moderated by Rick Badie

When it comes to the economy, it’s been said that there are two Georgias: the vibrancy of metro Atlanta, then the rest of the state — specifically, rural counties dependent on agriculture and an occasional factory. Today, a College of Charleston assistant professor highlights socioeconomic factors that plague our state, while an executive for a nonprofit writes about depressed regions across the South.

Rural decline concerns us all

By Tammy Ingram

Atlanta may be the largest city in the Deep South, but every Georgian knows that Atlanta — or ‘lanter, as I thought it was called while growing up in South Georgia — is hardly representative of the state, much less the entire region. The metro area is home to more than half the state’s population and most of its best-paying jobs. But if you want an accurate snapshot of the rest of the state, you’ll have to crop out metro Atlanta.

That snapshot isn’t pretty. Rural counties have the highest unemployment rates, …

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