BiS: - Business news for the creative coast.

Katie Martin

Business Reporter - 912-652-0314 - Email me

London visitor connection drawing tourists

Visit Savannah’s partnership with London-based VVV Global Marketing, which created the first international sales office for Visit Savannah is going quite smashing.

Tourism Leadership Council rolls out Savannah tour guide certification program

The Tourism Leadership Council — after months of working with local experts and historians — has unveiled a new tour guide certification program to fill the void after the city of Savannah revised its Tour Service for Hire Ordinance at the beginning of this year, eliminating the required test.

Summit lauds small business growth

Small business in the Savannah area grew almost 4 percent last year with 587 jobs added in various sectors including retail and wholesale trade, educational services and professional services. “Small businesses are continuing to do very well,” said Michael Toma, economist and chairman of Armstrong State University’s Center for Regional Analysis.

Katie Martin/Savannah Morning News - Savannah attorney Charles Bowen gives an update on the local film and production industry Wednesday during The State of Small Business event. Total economic impact from productions hit a record high in 2015, bringing in more than $125 million to the city and surrounding area.

Carver State Bank still going strong after 89 years, president says at BiS luncheon

“I grew up in an environment that had an enormous appreciation for the value of education and training as well as community involvement, so we’ve tried to incorporate those values into the culture and routine operation strategy of Carver State Bank,” James said Wednesday at the quarterly Business in Savannah luncheon at the Savannah Morning News.

Savannah Morning News Publisher Michael Traynor welcomes Bob James, president of Carver State Bank, to speak at the BiS Luncheon Series on Wednesday. (Carl Elmore/For the Savannah Morning News) …

Savannah area home sales hit record

Area home sales for March hit a six-year high with 547 homes sold in Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties last month, according to data released by Savannah Multi-list Corp.

4 lots cut from Johnny Harris development

ARS Ventures LLC, the firm behind the commercial redevelopment of the property that includes the Johnny Harris restaurant on Victory Drive, has dissolved contracts with home owners along the southern part of Dixie Avenue, the Savannah Morning News has learned.

Commission chairman stresses communication, planning at annual Tourism Leadership luncheon

Planning, partnerships and willingness to adapt to change are a few of the things Al Scott, chairman of the Chatham County Commission, has focused on since being elected three years ago.

Official stresses how local film production will benefit Savannah’s economy

Savannah is no stranger to the big screen, but with some of the best state and local production incentives in the country, the film industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years and there’s no sign of its slowing down.

Savannahian's invention will help logging trucks, forestry industry

A few key words come to mind when talking technology and now, thanks to Savannah entrepreneur Dean McCraw, you can add timber and logging to that list.

Dean McCraw, center, explains how to use an increment borer to a group of forestry camp students. McCraw, a certified forester and arborist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, has developed a mobile app to increase efficiency of both log trucks and mills. (Photo courtesy of Dean McCraw)

Nordic holds ribbon cutting for Pooler expansion

Nordic Logistics and Warehousing officially opened its new cold storage and blast-freezing facility in Pooler with a ribbon-cutting Friday.

Don Schoenl, center, President and CEO of Nordic, cuts the ribbon during a ceremony that marked the doubling the size of the cold storage facility in Pooler.

Board approves revised hotel lighting fixtures

The Savannah Historic Review Board and the Homewood Suites reached a compromise Wednesday on the hotel’s rooftop lighting, which was installed last year without board approval.

Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News - The Homewood Suites hotel on the East end of River street has been under review by the Savannah Historic District Board of Review for the installation of unapproved lights which have been deemed as not visually compatible with the rest of the city.

4 firms compete for new hotel on Hutchinson Island

Four major firms have submitted bids to develop a convention hotel on Hutchinson Island, according to Sherrie Spinks, general manager of the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, who gave an update on the request for qualifications to the trade center authority on Wednesday.

Four major firms have bid to develop a convention hotel on Hutchinson Island, according to the trade center authority board. Submittals for the 300- to 500-room convention hotel will be reviewed in the next week. (Savannah Morning News file photo)

Distillery on tap for fall opening

Plans for Ghost Coast Distillery — Savannah’s first since before the prohibition era — are moving along on schedule, according to Tony Bagnulo, head of marketing and sales for the company.

Rendering created by Felder & Associates - Rendering of Ghost Coast Distillery at 641 Indian Street, which is being designed by Felder & Associates. The distillery, which will produce vodka and whiskey, is on track for a fall opening.

Mobile app aims to streamline environmentally friendly building projects

Working on a building project and need to quickly and efficiently make sure your materials are LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified? There’s an app for that.

Green Badger’s online platform, which was developed by a Savannah resident, aims to streamline and automate the construction process for environmentally friendly building projects. (Photo courtesy of Green Badger)

Men responsible for Visit Savannah celebrate tourism after 40 years

For some, turning 40 is met with a feeling of dread, but for Visit Savannah and the men who helped get the organization — known in its early days as the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau — started in 1976, this milestone marks a huge reason to celebrate all things Savannah.   

Joe Marinelli, left, greets Dick Estus, Ansley Williams, David Young and Ted Kleisner to the Visit Savannah offices. (Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News)

Eastside complex OK'd by board

Plans presented at Tuesday’s Metropolitan Planning Commission meeting for a 70-unit apartment complex on Savannah’s eastside were met with strong resistance from members of the community, who raised issues of on-street parking and the building’s overall design, which they believe to be out of character with the surrounding neighborhoods.

This rendering shows the apartment complex proposed for 1020 East Broad St. Area residents spoke in opposition to the development at Tuesday's Metropolitan Planning Commission meeting, raising concerns of parking and the general design of the building, which they didn’t feel is compatible with the adjacent Victorian and Eastside neighborhoods.(Rendering by Lynch Associates Architects)

Coastal Concierge Association provides skills, training for local tourism workers

Pointing Savannah’s millions of tourists in the right direction for the best food, tours and entertainment can be a challenge, but that’s the everyday task at hand for dozens of tourism concierges in the hostess city.

Daniel Gleason, concierge at the Hyatt Regency and member of the Coastal Concierge Association, helps Jennifer Yoxthimer of Albany, N.Y., plan her day during a recent trip to Savannah. (Katie Martin/Savannah Morning News)

Dawson Architects announce merger

Savannah’s Dawson Architects and Charleston-based architecture firm, LS3P Associates Ltd., have announced a merger, effective Friday.

Neil Dawson of Dawson Architects at work in his office overlooking Franklin Square. The firm has announced a merger with Charleston-based LS3P Associates. Dawson will become LS3P principal and leader of the Savannah office. (Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News file photo)

Creative Coast chief resigns, effective immediately

Bea Wray, executive director of the Creative Coast, announced her resignation Tuesday, effective immediately.

Wray made the choice to step down so she could pursue other projects, according to a press release sent Tuesday afternoon.


Boot camp bolsters business ideas from concept to launch

There might not be any drill sergeants or mandatory pushups, but the results from Savannah Start-Up Bootcamp are still poised to be life-changing for a group of 10 Savannah entrepreneurs who have been enrolled in the program since February.

A group of Savannah entrepreneurs discuss their ideas during a ATDC Savannah workshop on Tuesday. The group has spent weeks learning the building blocks of creating a successful business and will be pitch their company to a panel of judges on April 12 during Savannah Start-Up Day. (Katie Martin/Savannah Morning News)