A Closer Look
11:13 am
Fri July 3, 2015

Study Co-Author: More Black Women Seek Leadership Roles At Work

Tai Green, co-author of the study ''Black Women Ready to Lead,'' talks about her research on black women pursuing powerful corporate positions in the U.S.
Credit Courtesy of the Center for Talent Innovation

One of the challenges that people face today in the business world is climbing the corporate ladder.  

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4:10 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Largest Southern Co. Subsidiary Enters Rooftop Solar Market

The largest Southern Co. subsidiary is starting to sell and install solar panels on residential rooftops.

Georgia Power says it will provide interested customers information on whether solar panels are viable for their homes.

Afterward, customers can buy the equipment and installation services from a Georgia Power company or make the purchase through an independent firm.

It's the first time a Southern Co. subsidiary has entered the residential solar market.

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1:35 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Mayor Reed Visits Cuba To Make Atlanta A 'Business Gateway'

A man purchases mangoes from a local vendor in Havana. Mayor Reed says he wants Atlanta to become a business gateway for Cuba. Photos from an earlier trip to Cuba with Atlanta academics in April 2015, organized by the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.
Courtesy of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Councilman Kwanza Hall and Atlanta business leaders are in Cuba this week.  

They're on a mission to make Atlanta a "business gateway" for Cuba.    

Mayor Reed has said Atlanta doesn't have the baggage that Florida does with its history and large Cuban-American community, which mostly opposes normalizing relations with Cuba. 

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A Closer Look
6:01 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Study Shows Same-Sex Marriage May Boost Ga. Economy

Rujira Roongruang prepares wedding cake for Robin Tyler and Diane Olson's wedding. According to M.V. Lee Badgett, that Georgia's economy will be boosted by nearly $80 million.
Credit Bilerico Project / Project

After last week's ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage, some supporters have rushed to the altar to announce their wedding vows to their same-sex partners.

The possibility of an increase in marriage has some analysts seeing big boosts to the state economy. A 2014 study released by the Williams Institute of UCLA estimated that Georgia will see an increase in revenue and job opportunities from the legalization of same-sex marriage. 

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1:12 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Georgia No Longer Ranks No. 1 For Business, CNBC Says

Georgia’s best category in CNBC's annual Top States for Business was infrastructure, which included having the world’s busiest airport, home to its top private employer, Delta Airlines.
Credit John Bazemore / AP Photo, File

After a year at the top, Georgia can no longer claim to be the best state in the U.S. for business. 

On Wednesday, CNBC bestowed the honor on Minnesota in its annual "Top States for Business" rankings. The state moved up from its previous sixth-place showing.  

In crowning Georgia No.1 in 2014, CNBC praised the state for being home to “the nation’s best workforce and the top infrastructure.”

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12:53 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Atlanta Vying For More Federal Funds To Extend Streetcar Line

The city of Atlanta is vying for a federal grant to help it extend its streetcar route to the BeltLine.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

The city of Atlanta is applying for a $29.3 million federal TIGER 7 grant to extend the Atlanta Streetcar to the BeltLine. Although Atlanta will be facing tough competition for those federal dollars, city leaders believe they have a good case.

The city has been pretty successful in getting funding from the Obama administration. It received $47 million for the first phase of the Atlanta Streetcar, which started operating Dec. 31.

Now the city hopes it will succeed again.

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12:00 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Ride-Hailing Apps Get Kids Around Town When Parents Are Busy

This product image provided by Shuddle shows screens from ShuddleMe, an app that lets eight- to 16-year-old kids who need to get to school, a sporting event or a social activity book a ride themselves within an hour of when the service is needed. Before this, parents had to arrange for the car, and do so at least a day in advance.
Credit Shuddle / Associated Press

A ride-hailing service that caters to youngsters is allowing them to book their own rides when mom and dad are too busy to drive.

Shuddle is one of a number of new companies that provide rides to eight- to 16-year-old children who need to get to school, a sporting event or a social activity. On Tuesday it's introducing ShuddleMe, an app that lets the kids book the ride themselves within an hour of when the service is needed.

Before this, parents had to arrange for the car, and do so at least a day in advance. ShuddleMe still requires parental approval.

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11:05 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Wal-Mart Removing Confederate Flag Items From Stores, Online

Wal-Mart says it is removing any items from its store shelves and website that feature the Confederate flag.
Credit Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Wal-Mart says it is removing any items from its store shelves and website that feature the Confederate flag.

The announcement by the world's biggest retailer Monday comes as the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, have reignited the debate over the flag's symbolism. The white suspect in the shooting, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos holding the banner.

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8:35 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Brazilian Information Technology Company Expanding In Ga.

A Brazilian information technology company is planning to expand its office in Atlanta and create hundreds of jobs.

Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement Wednesday that São Paulo, Brazil-based Stefanini is looking to create 400 new jobs by the end of 2016.

Officials say the company has operated in Georgia for 10 years and is one of the largest IT employers in the area.

Officials say the company has more than 600 clients in industries including financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications and more.

A Closer Look
5:21 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Ga. Hoping General Electric Will Call State Its Home

Several Georgia leaders are hoping the state will win in GE's potential search for a new headquarters location.
Credit Chuck Miller / Miller

General Electric Co. has set up a committee to explore moving its corporate headquarters out of Connecticut, following the legislature's decision to increase taxes on the state's major businesses.  Georgia leaders quickly expressed interesting in having GE relocate to the Peach State – to join the growing number Fortune 500 companies calling Georgia their home each year.

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3:40 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Sage To Add 400 Jobs At New Headquarters In Midtown Atlanta

Mark Scheipe is Sage North America's chief financial officer. He announced Friday morning that the company will add 400 jobs at its new headquarters in midtown Atlanta.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

A United Kingdom-based software company, Sage, said it’s moving its North American headquarters from Lawrenceville to midtown Atlanta.

Sage also said it's adding 400 jobs, mostly in sales and marketing, and building a 75,000-square-foot innovation center at Atlantic Station.

“As a global technology company, we clearly looked at the San Francisco Bay area, Boston, Austin, etc.," said Mark Scheipe, Sage North America's chief financial officer.

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A Closer Look
3:35 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

CEO: Fiscal Health of Southern Regional Hospital ‘Dire’

Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale is working to keep its doors open. The hospital's CEO says ''We're a strong community hospital,'' but ''We are struggling.''
Credit google earth

Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale is on the edge of financial disaster.

The hospital recently announced plans to cut 80 jobs and now the hospital’s CEO, Kim Ryan, has confirmed the facility is in danger of closing its doors, if it doesn’t receive more financial help.

Ryan said during an interview on “A Closer Look” that Southern Regional, which is managed by Emory Healthcare, needs $6 million in capital by the first week of July just for starters.

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12:05 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Cobb County Airport To Add International Arrivals

Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field will open an $800,000 customs facility on June 25.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

Cobb County’s airport will soon offer international arrivals for small planes and corporate jets. Later this month, an $800,000 customs facility will open at McCollum Field.

The 2,900-square-foot structure includes waiting and inspection areas, a holding cell and an interview room.

Karl Von Hagel is the airport’s manager. He says adding customs will help businesses in Cobb County.

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8:50 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Information Security Company Moving Headquarters To Atlanta

An information security company is planning to move its international headquarters to the metro Atlanta area.

Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement that Courion is planning to move its international headquarters to Roswell and create more than 100 new jobs over the next two years.

Officials say Courion provides identity protection, analytics, intelligence services and more to a customer base of more than 600 organizations around the world.

12:34 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Atlanta's New Planning Commissioner Should Be Allowed To Plan

Tim Keane of Charleston, South Carolina, will be Atlanta's new commissioner of planning and community development. This April 23, 2015, photo shows a horse-drawn carriage moving through the historic district in Charleston, South Carolina.
Credit Bruce Smith / Associated Press

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced May 28 that he has selected Tim Keane of Charleston, South Carolina, as his new commissioner of planning and community development. The city has been without a permanent commissioner since last September, when James Shelby abruptly resigned. Atlanta has an opportunity with the selection of Keane, who still must be approved by the City Council.

Few American cities are as endearing as Charleston, South Carolina.

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5:03 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

King Of Pops Finds Sweet Sales On Atlanta’s Streets

King of Pops co-founder and CEO Steven Carse sitting on one of his vending carts. His business has grown from one vending cart on one street corner to many carts and many sites.
Credit Courtesy of Jason Travis

The Atlanta-based fruit pop cart vendor King of Pops is turning into a profitable venture for the Carse family. The popsicle maker is seeing a sweet sales growth.

Co-founder and CEO Steven Carse first thought of the idea for the business while on a trip to Central America with his two brothers. They fell in love with paletas –a style of Latin-American ice pop – during their travels.

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A Closer Look
4:41 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Fortune 500 Has No Female CEO From Georgia – Yet

Veritiv’s Mary Laschinger would be the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company in Georgia.

Few people have even heard of the company Veritiv. But by next year, it will become one of Atlanta’s best-known companies. That’s because it will have the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company based in Georgia.

When the company eventually is included on the Fortune 500 list in 2016, it likely will be ranked near No. 300 – thanks to its sales of about $9.3 billion a year.

Veritiv formed last July through a merger of Unisource and a division of International Paper – xpedx.  The company held its first annual meeting this Wednesday. 

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A Closer Look
2:24 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Ga. Tech Group Helps Spur Start-Up Development In Atlanta

The winners of the 2015 TAG Business Launch competition from left to right: Chris Hart, David Hartnett, Allyson Eman, Tino Mantella, Cory Hewett, Evan Jarecki and Amanda Hendley.
Credit Courtesy of Tech Association of Georgia

The Technology Association of Georgia, or TAG, sponsored a recent business tech start-up competition to help connect investors with new enterprises.

TAG is a leading technology industry association. The group’s president and CEO, Tino Mantella, says TAG is the “largest tech trade association in the nation.”

TAG is “dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of the state’s technology industry,” according to the organization’s Facebook page.

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2:43 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Decatur Dog Owners Save Area Near Dog Park From Development

For the last few months, residents have spoken out against any development on the half-acre plot of land adjacent to the Oakhurst Dog Park in Decatur.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

Dog owners in Decatur have won out for now.

Decatur city commissioners voted last night to reject a plan to redevelop a half-acre lot that includes part of the Oakhurst Dog Park.

Jay Weaver, president of Weaver Capital Partners, wanted to buy the land from the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and build two homes there.

Weaver says he understands why fans of the dog park were so passionate, but believes he was treated unfairly.

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A Closer Look
2:03 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Georgia Vineyards Pop The Cork On Booming Wine Sales

Crane Creek Vineyards is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, just three miles north of the quaint college town of Young Harris and a two hour drive from Atlanta.
Credit Crane Creek Vineyards

Georgia’s wine business is booming, creating jobs and millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue.

It’s quite an accomplishment when you consider there were just a handful of vineyards in the state in 1995. But with steady growth over the past two decades, Georgia now boasts more than 40.

Grape grower and winemaker Eric Seifarth is the president of Crane Creek Vineyards, which is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia.

Seifarth is also a member of the Winegrowers Association of Georgia.

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A Closer Look
6:51 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Ga. Loses To SC In High-Stakes Bidding War For Volvo Plant

Volvo picked South Carolina over Georgia and other states for the Swedish carmaker's first American manufacturing facility in a deal valued at $500 million.

Georgia lost out on its bid to host the first U.S. auto plant by Swedish carmaker Volvo.

Gov. Nathan Deal lobbied hard to bring the $500 million facility to Georgia, but South Carolina beat out the state for the plant, which is expected to produce 100,000 vehicles in its first year.

Volvo has not said why it picked South Carolina over the other states vying for the plant. South Carolina already has a BMW and Mercedes-Benz factory.

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A Closer Look
6:35 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Georgia's Craft Beer Industry Brewing Up Big Bucks

If you haven’t grabbed a craft brew this week, you’ve still got time.
Credit Courtesy of Sweetwater Brewery

If you haven’t grabbed a craft brew this week, you’ve still got time. The Brewers Association is celebrating American Craft Brew Week.

In Georgia, the industry is hopping. Craft beer had an impact of almost $700 million on the state’s economy in 2012.

The Brewer’s Association, an industry group that promotes and protects small and independent American brewers, ranks Georgia 24th in the country in the number of craft breweries in the state.

And the numbers are still on the rise, despite complaints from brewers about laws that limit the amount of beer they can sell.

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A Closer Look
3:05 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Atlanta Entrepreneurs Summit Offers Networking, Inspiration

Rodney Sampson, founder and CEO of Atlanta-based Opportunity Ecosystem, talked on ''A Closer Look'' about his business and the Black Enterprise Business Summit.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The 20th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit kicked off in Atlanta Wednesday.

The three-day event brings together the nation’s top African-American entrepreneurs, executives, and business owners for an opportunity at networking, learning, and inspiration.

Comedian, media personality and entrepreneur Steve Harvey, journalist Roland Martin, HGTV host and real estate agency CEO Egypt Sherrod, NFL Hall of Fame inductee and ESPN anchor Cris Carter are just a few of  the successful business people expected at the summit.  

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A Closer Look
6:56 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

How New Trade Partnership Could Impact Georgia Businesses

President Obama is pushing for fast-track status for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between 12 nations that could affect up to 40 percent of U.S. business.
Credit Stephen B. Morton / AP Photo, File

President Barack Obama visited the headquarters of Nike in Oregon last week to raise support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as the TPP.

The TPP is a trade agreement that is under negotiation by twelve countries, including the United States, Japan and Mexico, and it could affect up to 40 percent of U.S trade.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a bill this week that would grant the president the right to speed up the negotiating process. But both parties are split on the TPP and a lot of politicking still needs to play out.

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6:27 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Georgia Companies Could Profit From Florida Flag Bill

Florida's bill says government agencies in the Sunshine State can only buy Florida's state flag and American flags made in the USA.
Credit eric lynch /

Georgia flag makers could benefit from a bill recently passed by the Florida legislature. The bill says government agencies in the Sunshine State can only buy Florida's state flag and American flags made in the USA.

Steve Erlich owns a company called U.S. Flag maker in Marietta and could benefit from Florida’s push for patriotism. Erlich says even though only a small part of his business is with government agencies, he’ll likely see his sales increase.

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5:50 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Mercedes CEO: Tax Incentives Not Critical In Relocation

Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon says the tax incentives were not a big factor when choosing which city to build its new headquarters in.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon says tax breaks were not critical to the company’s decision to move to metro Atlanta.

"If you make a 50-year decision, tax incentives mean almost nothing," Cannon says. "You spread a few million dollars of incentives across 50 years, it has zero impact on the business case." 

At an event at the Atlanta Press Club on Thursday, Steve Cannon says the region's quality of life and close-knit business community were the primary reasons.

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11:53 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Executives Prepare For Potential Cyberattacks On Energy Industry

During the first cyberattack simulation, executives, law enforcement officers and IT professionals worked to respond quickly to a water plant explosion.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Department of Homeland Security says more than half of all cyberattacks in 2013 targeted the energy industry.

On Tuesday, more than 100 executives and law enforcement officials went through a series of mock cyberattacks at Kennesaw State University’s Marietta campus.

In the first portrayal: a couple of military veterans buy explosives on eBay. They used the explosives to bomb a fictional water plant in Cobb County. 

Cybersecurity professionals and executives have one hour to come up with a response.

Utility companies are popular targets. 

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1:26 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

DaVita Settles Atlanta Whistleblower Lawsuit For $495M

The 2011 lawsuit involves claims that DaVita tossed out medicine, but then billed Medicaid and Medicare for the drugs.
Credit Charles W. Jones / WABE

DaVita HealthCare Partners, Inc. ─ a dialysis provider with nearly 2,200 U.S. locations ─ will pay $495 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit.

The 2011 lawsuit involves claims that the Denver-based company tossed out medicine, but then billed Medicaid and Medicare for the drugs.

Dr. Alon Vainer and nurse Daniel Barbir, both DaVita employees in Atlanta, filed the suit. They could share in more than $130 million of the settlement.

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A Closer Look
10:49 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Atlanta's Clock Ticking To Make Peace For Nobel Peace Summit

Atlanta was selected to host the 2015 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates ─ a prestigious gathering of all the individuals and organizations who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Credit Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Atlanta has until May 9 to make peace for a peace summit set to take place this November.

The international body that selects cities to host the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates met in Rome over the weekend and issued a statement. All the parties in Atlanta must come together within one week, or the summit will be awarded to another city.

Atlanta was selected to host the 2015 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates ─ a prestigious gathering of all the individuals and organizations who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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2:26 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Chooses Gensler For New Georgia Headquarters

Mercedes-Benz USA announced Gensler will design its new headquarters in Sandy Springs. It is expected to be complete by 2018.
Credit Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz USA has chosen an architecture firm, Gensler, for its new headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Based in San Francisco, it has 46 offices around the world, including one in Atlanta.

Gensler designed the Shanghai Tower ─ the second tallest building in the world ─ and corporate offices for Facebook, Coca-Cola and General Electric. 

Mercedez-Benz USA says it selected Gensler from a dozen global design firms, "for its creative building concept, which seamlessly integrates functionality and the beautiful surrounding landscape."

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