BiS: BusinessInSavannah.com - Business news for the creative coast.

Mary Carr Mayle

Senior Business Reporter - 912-652-0324 - Email me

Savannah-based Citi Trends reports 4Q, full-year results

Savannah-based Citi Trends Inc. on Friday reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales of $185.5 million, an increase of 5.4 percent over the same quarter last year.

De-bugging: It’s not the sexiest part of CBP’s job, but it saves country millions each year

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a wide-ranging role at our port. In addition to being tasked with securing the country from terrorists and their weapons, the agency must also facilitate legitimate trade and travel.

Trade Center board agrees to pursue state authority status

A bill designed to change the governance of the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center from a local authority to a state authority stalled in the Georgia Senate earlier this week amid confusion about whether local officials — including the trade center’s board — had been appraised of the measure.

State tax break bill designed to lure yacht repair, create jobs

A bill expected to reach the Senate floor for a vote on Friday could be the deciding factor in whether or not Savannah becomes a major East Coast hub for the repair and refitting of mega yachts, an industry that one study indicates could have an annual economic impact of $144 million to Chatham County alone.

Colonial Group plans to upgrade its shipyard on Lathrop Avenue into the Savannah Yacht Center, a repair and refit facility capable of handling some of the largest yachts in the world. (photo courtesy Colonial Group)

Savannah Tech, France exchange program promises sweet experience

Last fall, five students from Savannah Technical College’s award-winning Culinary Institute traveled to France to study and work at the Academy of Toulouse. On Monday, the partnership came full circle when STC welcomed a group from Toulouse to Savannah.

Students, instructors and special guests taking part in the pastry and baking arts culinary exchange between Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute and the Academy of Toulouse in France gathered for lunch Monday. (Photo by Stephen Morton for STC)

Study: Hurricane Matthew dealt economy hit, but not knockout

Hurricane Matthew’s visit to the Coastal Empire last October put a sizeable dent in the regional economy for the fourth quarter but didn’t completely derail it, according to Armstrong State University’s latest Coastal Empire Economic Monitor, which analyzes data and identifies trends affecting the regional economy.

Bill to change Trade Center governance quietly passes House

A bill designed to “reconstitute” the governance of the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center and move it from a local entity to a state authority passed the Georgia House on Friday with little opposition from local officials — possibly because most of them knew nothing about it.

Seasoned ILA veteran, community leader Tim Mackey takes reins of Local 1414

Mention Tim Mackey’s name to almost any longtime Savannahian and the most likely description you’ll get is “community leader.”

SEDA awards engineering contract on new manufacturing park

The Savannah Economic Development Authority on Tuesday awarded the engineering contract for its new, 685-acre manufacturing park on Old River Road in west Chatham County to Savannah firms Thomas & Hutton and Hussey Gay Bell, approving an initial expenditure of $35,000 for Phase I of the project.

IKEA’s growth means more jobs for Savannah distribution center

Popular Scandinavian furniture retailer IKEA continues to expand its presence in the U.S. Southeast - a plan that bodes well for the Savannah area, even though its poplation isn’t large enough to support a store of its own.

First Chatham Bank posts better 2016

In a letter to shareholders this month, First Chatham Bank interim CEO Kenneth Farrell said the bank continued to improve its profitability and reduce non-performing assets in 2016.

IKEA’s growth means more jobs for Savannah distribution center

Popular Scandinavian furniture retailer IKEA continues to expand its presence in the U.S. Southeast — a plan that bodes well for the Savannah area, even if its population isn’t large enough to to have its own store.

This photo taken June 3, 2015, shows an IKEA store in Miami. (Associated Press)

PortSide: GPA marks busiest January on record

In a month that’s usually slower than most, the Georgia Ports Authority continued to move forward on all cylinders in January, recording double-digit growth across all business sectors, including a 26-percent increase in total tonnage.

The 10,000-plus TEU vessel MOL Benefactor is worked at GPA’s Garden City Terminal in July. Since then, the port has welcomed more than 30 megaships traveling through the newly expanded Panama Canal. (Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton)

LMI Aerospace merges with Sonaca Group; no change expected in company’s Savannah presence

Gulfstream supplier LMI Aerospace Inc., once a significant manufacturing presence in Savannah, announced last week that it has entered into a merger agreement to be acquired by Sonaca Group, a global aerostructures company headquartered in Gosselies, Belgium.

J. Truitt Eavenson takes reins of Georgia Power in Savannah

If the name of Georgia Power’s new vice president for the Coastal Region sounds familiar, it could be because he’s been here before.

International importer to invest $2 million, create 100-plus jobs in Sylvania

ELK Group International, a premier designer and importer of indoor and outdoor residential and commercial lighting fixtures and home decor, will create more than 100 jobs and invest $2 million in a distribution center in Screven County, the Georgia Department of Economic Development has announced.

An aerial view of the former Sylvania Yarn Systems building that is being renovated for ELK Group International in Screven County. (Photo courtesy Screven County Economic Development Authority)

New CCDS chief no stranger to agency that serves disabled

The board of the Coastal Center for Developmental Services didn’t have to look far when executive director Kathy Thomson announced she was retiring after 40 years.

PortSide: Georgia Ports, IKEA to preview electric trucks

The Georgia Ports Authority was going green long before it was cool — or required. So it only makes sense that the GPA — winner of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 Clean Air Excellence award for its innovative programs converting diesel cranes to electric power — would welcome the opportunity to preview electric trucks for on-terminal use.

Starting next week, Los Angeles-based BYD America will bring its all-electric terminal tractor to Savannah for GPA and IKEA to test out. (Photo courtesy BYD)

World Trade Center Savannah celebrates regional effort in 2016

Licensed just a little more than 5 years ago, World Trade Center Savannah has already distinguished itself among the 300-plus WTC associations across the globe for its world-class services in helping area companies expand internationally as well as selling the region to foreign companies looking to invest.

Georgia Power exec moves, leaves community legacy

After nearly nine years at the helm of Georgia Power’s Coastal Region, Cathy Hill has taken on new responsibilities in Atlanta as vice president of the company’s statewide Land Department.