Best of 2012

LMI: Manufacturer of Year

A reputation for quality and reliability in an industry that demands adherence to the strictest of standards has propelled LMI Aerospace Inc.

Entrepreneurial Business of the Year: Wet Willie's rides simple and sound philosophies to success

David Stachel wanted to "open a daiquiri bar on the beach," and he visited Savannah in October 1989 to talk to a business acquaintance of his brother, local psychologist Bill Dickinson, into partnering with him.

Education Partner of Year: JCB

At a time when many recent high school graduates are still searching for jobs, Jacob Lindsey has his future all mapped out.

Comeback Business of the Year: The Coastal Bank shrugs off banking crisis, focused on growth again

Tom Wiley knowingly took on an improvement project in assuming The Coastal Bank's leadership in 2007. He anticipated adding on, not fixing up, however.

WTC Savannah: Business Advocate of Year

When the Savannah Economic Development Authority board voted in the fall of 2011 to pursue a World Trade Center affiliation for Savannah, it wasn't without its skeptics.

Best of 2012: Business in Savannah in 2012: A tale of a port and other things

This week, we’re going to break away from our usual format in BiS. Instead of a cover story on a local business or issue and profiles of a Savannah executive and a business, we’re going to offer a summary of some of the business stories that have been making news during 2012.

Best of 2012: Georgia ports fluorish in 2012; big dig on the way

For the Georgia Ports Authority, the best piece of news for 2012 came in October when U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy signed off on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

Best of 2012: Gulfstream strong in 2012, poised for more

  Gulfstream Aerospace’s two newest products, the large-cabin, mid-range G280 and the ultra high-speed, ultra-long-range flagship G650, won certification from the Federal Aviation Administration during 2012, and Gulfstream continued to be a key piece of corporate parent General Dynamics’ pr...

Best of 2012: SEDA turns to Chamber exec

When Steve Weathers resigned abruptly in September after two years as president of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the SEDA board didn't have to look far to find a new leader.

Best of 2012: Savannah's community banks recovering

Third-quarter earnings statements filed by Savannah's community bankers indicate the volume of troubled loans finally is decreasing. Delinquent loans, or those at least 90 days past due, fell 21 percent between Sept.

Best of 2012: Metro Savannah economy on the rise

A healthy increase in economic activity for the second quarter in a row has prompted local economist Michael Toma to forecast continued improvement for the Savannah metro area through the middle of 2013.

Best of 2012: Home sales end 2012 strong

Home sales jumped 31 percent this November versus November 2011 in Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties, according to Savannah Multi-List Corp. statistics. November typically marks the start of a housing market slowdown as the holidays approach.

Best of 2012: Savannah Bank sold to S.C. firm

South Carolina Bank & Trust will acquire Savannah Bancorp and its subsidiaries, Bryan Bank & Trust and Minis and Co., in a $67 million deal announced Aug. 8. The transaction will boost South Carolina Bank & Trust's asset size to more than $5 billion.

Best of 2012: Savannah's Memorial Health back in the black

Memorial Health, mother corporation for Memorial University Medical Center, last year finished in the black for the first time since 2006, posting a $29.1 million turnaround from the previous year.

Best of 2012: Local chapter of 100 Black Men recognized

The 100 Black Men of Savannah's Collegiate 100 Chapter of Armstrong Atlantic State University has been named the 100 Black Men of America Inc. 2012 Collegiate 100 Chapter of the Year.

Best of 2012: Nordic breaks ground on cold-storage warehouse

Nordic breaks ground on warehouse One of the country's largest cold storage warehouse companies is moving into the Savannah area.

Best of 2012: Citi Trends changes leadership

Citi Trends, the Savannah-based clothing retailer, altered its executive leadership team in 2012.

Best of 2012: Real estate firms merge

Cora Bett Thomas and fellow broker Austin Hill announced early in 2012 they are merging their firms to form Cora Bett Thomas Austin Hill & Associates, Realtors.

Best of 2012: Local developer buys Abercorn Common

Local real estate investor David Garfunkel has bought Abercorn Common, the environmentally friendly strip mall at Abercorn Street and White Bluff Road, for $24.2 million.

Best of 2012: Leopold wins Opportunity Award

Savannah's Stratton Leopold - filmmaker, community champion and ice cream entrepreneur - was honored at the ninth annual Opportunity Award Gala on Dec. 7 at Savannah Technical College.

Best of 2012: Meddin Studio plans move to bigger quarters

Savannah's gone from film location to film destination since entrepreneurs Nick Gant and Jon Foster opened their soundstage and digital media production services business 32 months ago.

Best of 2012: Morris Publishing to pay off debt

AUGUSTA - Morris Publishing Group LLC, parent company of the Savannah Morning News and, announced it is calling for redemption of all of its public debt. The company announced it has deposited funds to pay off these notes on Aug. 10.

Best of 2012: Dollar Tree expansion exceeds estimates

Dollar Tree, one of the first major retailers to invest in an innovative warehouse distribution facility in Crossroads Business Park more than a dozen years ago, has completed a major expansion, with added investment and jobs significantly exceeding original projections. When the project was announc...

Best of 2012: Clary's on Habersham closes

Clary's Cafe on Habersham Street closed its doors for the final time on Aug. 16. After 14 years at the location, the decision to close wasn't easy, said Patricia Jan Wilson, who bought both the Habersham and downtown Clary's locations in 2003.

Best of 2012: 'Dream team' joins local Realtor

Lori Judge expanded her downtown real estate brokerage office space earlier this year with an eye toward becoming a bigger player in commercial real estate.

Best of 2012: Blick Art Materials opens on Broughton

Blick Art Materials, a national chain of art supply stores, has opened its 38th retail location at 318 E. Broughton St.

Best of 2012: Fiat dealership opens in Savannah

Fiat of Savannah opened this year in the former Saturn dealership space on Abercorn Street across from Savannah Mall. "We're pretty excited considering the early sales," said Will Elsay, the new dealership's general manager.

Best of 2012: Kohl's holds ribbon cutting for Savannah store

After starting with an informal opening on Sept. 23, Kohl's department stores held a ribbon-cutting and grand-opening celebration on Sept. 26 for the Wisconsin-based chain's new store on Abercorn Street, south of the White Bluff Road interchange.

Best of 2012: Whitaker Labs Georgia family business of year

Whitaker Laboratory, the multigenerational family business founded 42 years ago by Joe Whitaker, has been named the 2012 Georgia Family Business of the year by the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University, making it just the second Savannah business in 20 years to be selected for th...

Best of 2012: Byrd Cookies find home in City Market

Byrd Cookie Company's long downtown hiatus is over. The Savannah institution has opened a retail store in City Market, 85 years after founder Benjamin T. Byrd moved the business out of the historic district with his family's relocation to Sandfly.

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