Archive for January, 2011

Two new owner-investors buy into Atlanta Dream

Atlanta Dream owner Kathy Betty will announce Tuesday that she will be joined by two new owners who are investing a total of $1 million in the WNBA team.

The new owner-investors are Mary Brock, a philanthropist and wife of Coca-Cola Enterprises chief John Brock, and Kelly Loeffler, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications at Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange.

Betty told the AJC she will go from being the sole owner to managing partner of the all-female ownership group.

In looking for investors, Betty said, “I focused on what would take the Dream and professional sports for women to the next level.” Brock and Loeffler “are about the mission and the vision of the Atlanta Dream — inspiring young girls to play sports,” she said.

That mission can get undermined by the financial realities of pro women’s sports. When Betty bought the team 15 months ago, it was losing about $3 million. But during her first year as owner, aided by a team that made it to …

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Power Breakfast: Criminal charges for power exec fuel transparency push, storm response, muni bonds

Criminal charges involving the head of Marietta-based Cobb EMC are fueling a new push to change state law on electric co-ops in Georgia, AJC reporter Margaret Newkirk writes.

Advocacy groups Common Cause and Georgia Watch say Georgia’s 42 co-ops, which serve about 4 million customers statewide and nearly 1 million in suburban Atlanta, aren’t as transparent as they should be, Newkirk reports.

They’re pushing a package of changes they say will clarify that Georgia law allows co-op customers — who are also co-op owners — to view co-op books and records, Newkirk writes.

They say the Jan. 5 criminal charges against Cobb EMC head Dwight Brown drive home the need for member access to information: “The situation in Cobb is a classic example of the fact that certain EMCS are operating in a somewhat inbred manner,” said Jim Kulstad, a spokesman for Common Cause.

Also in the AJC:

Continue reading Power Breakfast: Criminal charges for power exec fuel transparency push, storm response, muni bonds »

How much has the storm cost you?

How much money have you lost because of the storm?

If you’re a worker, have you been stuck at home, suffering financially as a result? While some office workers can work from home, many cannot. And most factory and service workers can’t either.

If you’re a business owner, what has been the cost to your operation? Are you covered by insurance for any of it?

Continue reading How much has the storm cost you? »

Credit and debt questions will be taken next week

You will be able to ask your credit and debt questions next week, too.

The storm has many people preoccupied with other things. So, next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you’ll be able to pose questions on your financial situation to the experts.

Then, during the following week, credit counselors from CredAbility, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, will answer many of them on this blog. Stay tuned and be careful out there!

Continue reading Credit and debt questions will be taken next week »

What’s your price to give up your airline seat?

Everyone has a price. What’s yours to give up your seat on an overbooked Delta flight?

Delta is turning its voluntary bumping system into an auction that starts online with travelers’ bids, AJC reporter Kelly Yamanouchi writes.

If a flight is overbooked, travelers checking in at an airport kiosk or online see a screen asking them if they’d like to submit a bid for the value of a travel voucher as an exchange for getting bumped, Yamanouchi reports. Customers enter a dollar amount. Delta makes clear that it accepts lower bids first.

Delta previously asked for volunteers by offering a specific amount in vouchers — say, $200, Yamanouchi writes.

What do you think of this new idea? Will you participate? What’s your price?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading What’s your price to give up your airline seat? »

Power Breakfast: Metro logistics industry battered by storm, new governor, foreclosures, U.S. debt, GM

Atlanta prides itself on its logistics industry. But the storm left behind a patchwork truck-train distribution system, empty store shelves and a bruised logistics system that lost time, money and prestige, AJC reporters Dan Chapman and Arielle Kass write.

By Wednesday’s end, the interstates in and around Atlanta had cleared and most truckers went cautiously on their way delivering groceries, chemicals, clothing and more to Orlando, Raleigh and Knoxville, and beyond, the reproters write.

But trucking company executives said it’ll be days, possibly next week, before long-delayed deliveries are made. Millions of dollars in perishable goods, unpaid wages and canceled contracts were lost, the reporters found.

“Atlanta really is the transportation hub for the Southeast [because of] the confluence of the interstate system, the rail yards and even the pipelines,” said Ed Crowell, president of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association. “Georgia’s economy will suffer millions and …

Continue reading Power Breakfast: Metro logistics industry battered by storm, new governor, foreclosures, U.S. debt, GM »

Has the storm forced you to work from home?

Have you been working from home over the last few days, like many metro Atlantans?

How has it been going? Getting a lot accomplished — more, less or the same than if you were at the office?

Has your company made any special accommodations? Or is it something you’ve done many times before?

If this is new to you, and you like it, do you think you can convince your company to consider it for more than just a crisis?

Any recommendations for making it better?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading Has the storm forced you to work from home? »

Have a credit or debt question?

It’s that time of year. The holidays are over and the bills are starting to arrive — that is if the mail carriers can deliver them over all the ice.

If the treacherous roads have kept you from work yet another day, you might have some extra time to do go over your finances.

Did you overspend for Christmas? Have you made a new year’s resolution to get your financial house in order and want some help?

If you have a credit or debt question — including one that affects your mortgage or a possible foreclosure — please ask it below.

Experts from CredAbility, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps consumers deal with debt, will answer many of them starting next week. Thanks.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading Have a credit or debt question? »

Power Breakfast: Storm costing businesses millions, working at home, MySpace vs. Facebook, Home Depot

Two pillars of Atlanta’s economy – hospitality and logistics – were hit hard by this week’s storm, and, while both will recover, the icy blast will likely cost the region millions of dollars, AJC reporters Dan Chapman and Leon Stafford write.

Small businesses, which comprise the bulk of the region’s revenue and jobs, also suffered gravely. Restaurateurs and shop owners from Decatur to Dahlonega shuttered doors, shoveled ice and tallied lost receipts, the reporters write.

Atlanta’s post-recession economy, with its stubborn 10.3 percent unemployment rate, can ill afford any setback. It can also do without yet another blemish on its national reputation. The snowstorm adds to the bad national press Atlanta has already received for traffic, water and educational woes, the reporters write.

“In 11 years it’s the first time we’ve had to close,” said Kelly Seo, who owns a food mart on the square in Decatur. “For me, it’s a disaster. We’ll lose a whole week’s worth of …

Continue reading Power Breakfast: Storm costing businesses millions, working at home, MySpace vs. Facebook, Home Depot »

Do you have a credit or debt question?

It’s that time of year. The holidays are over and the bills are starting to arrive — that is if the letter carriers can deliver them through all this ice and snow.

If the storm has kept you from getting to work again today, you might have extra time to do some financial planning.

Did you overspend for Christmas? Have you made a new year’s resolution to get your financial house in order and want some help?

If you have a credit or debt question, including one that affects your mortgage or a possible foreclosure, please ask it below.

Experts from CredAbility, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps consumers deal with debt, will answer many of them starting next week. Thanks.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading Do you have a credit or debt question? »