BiS: - Business news for the creative coast.

Katie Martin

Business Reporter - 912-652-0314 - Email me

BiS Retail business of the year: Yia Yia's Kitchen

If you spend more than five minutes talking to Stathy Stathopoulos, you’ll quickly realize his passion for bringing something new to the Savannah community runs deeper than the authentic imported Greek olives, feta cheese and pastries he sells at Yia Yia’s Kitchen on Habersham Street.

BiS Business advocate of the year: Charles Bowen

As a kid, Charles Bowen was drawn to movies such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Inherit the Wind” and although the Savannah lawyer admits he didn’t know he would practice law later in life, it seems as if the thought was never far from his mind.

Steve Bisson/ Savannah Morning News file photo - Charles Bowen with The Bowen Law Group was named Business Advocate of the Year by the Savannah Morning News and Business in Savannah.

Shedding light on Savannah history: Artist uses historic antique pine to create one of a kind lamps

Savannah’s historic homes feature some of the most beautiful ornate woodwork in the South on the walls and under your feet in the historic hardwood floors. Now one local artist is bringing that history to everyday people with just the flick of a switch.

Photos courtesy of Omar El-Khalidi- The lumber for this lamp crafted by Omar El-Khalidi originated from an 1804 structure in a saw mill located on the North River in McIntosh County. Based on the ring count and age of building, the age of the lumber is between 300 to 400 years old.

Friedman's Fine Art relocating from downtown to midtown Savannah

A downtown fixture since 1902, Friedman’s Fine Art, will soon be closing their shop at the corner of State and Whitaker Streets and re-locating to a shopping center in midtown Savannah.

Photo special to the Savannah Morning News- Julian Weitz, owner of Friedman’s Fine Art at State and Whitaker Streets, stands in front of the framing wall at the downtown shop.

City and new distillery: kindred spirits

Savannah has long been known for its spirits — both haunted and distilled — and two friends are working to bring more of the latter to the Hostess City with the founding of Ghost Coast Distillery.

Courtesy of Ghost Coast Distillery

New hotels, multiple building restorations fill final Historic Review Board meeting of 2015

In its last meeting of the year Wednesday, which lasted more than six hours, the Historic Review Board signed off on a number of major projects in downtown Savannah, including height and mass of two new hotels.

Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Above, a photo submitted to the Historic Review Board by Gunn Meyerhoff Shay architects of a model of a new hotel on East Bay Street. The board on Wednesday granted height and mass approval for the project.

Small Business Chamber of Savannah unveils new logo

The Small Business Chamber of Savannah unveiled a new logo during their annual holiday breakfast on Tuesday.

LeAndrea Mikell/For the Savannah Morning News- Members of the Small Business Chamber of Savannah attend the organization's annual holiday breakfast on Tuesday. Along with a raffle to support Union Mission the group also unveiled a new logo.

Teamwork, humble approach keeps Savannah architecture firm on top

If you’ve ever viewed the original artwork on display at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art or grabbed a bite at The Public Kitchen and Bar, you owe a bit of thanks to architect Neil Dawson and his team at Dawson Architects.

Photos by Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News- Neil Dawson of Dawson Architects at work in his office overlooking Franklin Square.

Shopping local for Small Business Saturday

Between your Black Friday doorbusters and Cyber Monday steals, take some time today to consider shopping — and eating — with the little guy around the corner during Small Business Saturday.

Shoppers scope out Black Friday deals at Tanger Outlets Savannah

“Black Friday shopping has always been a tradition,” Hardy said, adding that she thought she could get better deals at the outlets rather than the mall, especially on a Coach handbag. 

Photos by Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News Above, Black Friday shoppers line up in front of stores at Tanger Outlets as they wait for them to open Thursday evening. Below, Stephanie Hardy looks for a good deal at Coach during the start of Black Friday on Thursday afternoon.

Savannah stores gearing up for Black Friday

There was a time when Black Friday shopping meant waking up early and being at your favorite store by 6 a.m., but in recent years most big-box chains have opened their doors on Thanksgiving, giving shoppers extra time to take advantage of low prices and knock out their holiday shopping.

Savannah Hispanic chamber wraps up successful first year

It’s been a year since Alfonso Ribot and a small group of entrepreneurs decided it was time to break down barriers and help lead the way for the Hispanic business community in the Savannah area by forming the area’s first Hispanic-focused business chamber.

Photo special to the Savannah Morning News- Alfonso Ribot, president of the Metropolitan Savannah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a chamber event. The chamber celebrated its first anniversary Saturday night with an awards gala.

Downtown readies for H&M

Downtown Savannah just got a little bigger with the completion of the new 32,000-square-foot building at 240 West Broughton St. this week, the soon-to-be home of Swedish retailer H&M.

Photos by Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News- The exterior of 240 West Broughton St., which will be home to H&M in 2016.

Expedia manager touts hospitality industry tips

More and more people are turning to their computer or mobile device when planning a trip instead of picking up a telephone, and chances are you’re one of them.

Photo special to the Savannah Morning News Nick Kaczar, associate market manager for Expedia, speaks at the monthly Tourism Leadership Council meeting on Thursday.

Broughton Street building ready for Swedish retailer H&M

Six flights of escalators, 300 tons of steel and 32,000 square feet: Those are just a few of the things that make up the expansive new building at 240 West Broughton Street that will soon be home to Swedish retailer H&M.

Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News - The exterior of 240 West Broughton Street which will be home to H&M in 2016.

Savannah area home sales continue to climb

Home sales in Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties continued their winning streak in October, breaking 500 for the eighth month in a row, and the market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Visit Savannah opens first international office in London

You may soon be hearing more of those charming British and Irish accents among Savannah’s 13 million annual visitors thanks to a newly formed partnership between Visit Savannah and London-based VVV Global Marketing.

Photo special to the Savannah Morning News - Jo Piani, head of the new London-based Visit Savannah Office, reads the historical marker outside of the Flannery O'Connor childhood home. Piani will be marketing Savannah, Tybee Island and surrounding areas as a must-visit dentation for U.K. travelers.

Savannah Music Festival exec talks economic impact, audience connection during luncheon

Since Rob Gibson took the reins as the executive and artistic director for the Savannah Music Festival in 2002, there have been a number of changes to the popular event, including the name, which used to be “Savannah on Stage.”

Katie Martin/Savannah Morning News - Rob Gibson, Executive and Artistic Director for the Savannah Music Festival talks about the festivals annual economic impact on Savannah during the Savannah Downtown Business Association's monthly luncheon at the Charles H. Morris Center on Wednesday.

Film official shares advice on growing small businesses through film and television industry

The Georgia film and television industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years, pumping almost $4 billion into the economy thanks to Georgia’s generous tax credits and other film incentives.

Brittney Lohmiller/Savannah Morning News William Hammargren is the new film services director for the city of Savannah. Hammargren hopes to bring in more small budget movies and film production to the area and grow its crew base.

Exotics exclusive veterinary office opens in Pooler

Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Georgia, located in Pooler and led by husband and wife team Will and Dr. Stacey Wilkinson claims to be the only veterinary hospital on the Georgia coast that specializes exclusively in the care of exotic pets such as birds, reptiles, fish and small mammals.

Photos by Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News- Will Wilkinson holds Bubble the rabbit as his wife, Dr. Stacey Wilkinson, puts a new splint on the broken leg at the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Georgia, located in Pooler.