Written by Lou Phelps Sunday, 12 February 2012 22:51
Feb 13 – Business Buzzzzzzzz
Hats off to the Effingham Chamber of Commerce which offered creative help to its members, inviting them to send their Valentine's Day special offers to the Chamber this month for them to send out the information using their email list to members and the media.
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Savannah has been selected by Where to Retire, the only magazine in America geared toward helping people with retirement relocation decisions, as a top retirement destination and will be profiled in the March/April issue, in a feature story “8 Terrific Towns for History Lovers.”
“Most of the fighting during the Civil War took place across the Dixie, where you’ll also find some of the nation’s best retirement towns, including Savannah. Each town offers a unique perspective of the Civil War and ample opportunities for history buffs to share their knowledge as volunteers or continue their own studies of the war,” said the editor. Each year, 700,000 Americans relocate to new towns to retire. Generally, relocating retirees are healthier, better educated and more affluent than those who choose to not relocate.
Also featured were Vicksburg, MS; Fayetteville, AR; Chattanooga, TN; Savannah, GA; Charleston, SC; Lexington, VA; Fredericksburg, VA; and Hagerstown, MD.
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Monterey Mills, one of the nation’s premier suppliers of knitted pile fabrics, has announced a press conference on March 6 at the Savannah School of Art and Design to distribute the 2011 design-a-throw awards. Sponsored by Monterey Mills’ Denali Home Collection and Designathrow.com, over one hundred students from across the country participated in a unique opportunity to design a throw to be added to Denali’s 2012 collection. Although 7 schools participated, a number of winners were from the Savannah College of Art & Design. “Our goal was to utilize the talents of students to develop new designs into the line. We were not only overwhelmed by the response from numerous design schools that participated but were also amazed at the level of creativity,” states Daniel Sinykin,
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ThincSavannah unveiled a new affinity partner program last week. ThincSavannah is Savannah’s first co-working and collaborative office environment located in Savannah’s downtown historic district. They also showcased the newly renovated 2,500 square feet of additional co-working office space on the third floor of the existing building at 35 Barnard Street. The company’s founding partner is Ashley Bowersox.
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Seacrest Partners will sponsor a ‘Race for Preservation 10K/5K on Saturday, Feb 25, in support of the work of Historic Savannah Foundation, Savannah’s leading preservation organization committed to preserving and protecting Savannah's heritage through advocacy, education and community involvement. The race will start at 8 a.m. in Forsyth Park at the band shell. You can register at www.myHSF.org online.
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Savannah Tech’s GOAL (Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership) finaalists were announced last week. Savannah Technical College has chosen four outstanding students as finalists for the annual Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL).
GOAL honors excellence in academics and leadership statewide among Georgia’s technical college students. Chosen as finalists of the 23 nominated students were Kristen Galipeault, Dental Hygiene, Dr. Suzanne Edenfield; Kathryn Hoyt, Dental Assisting; Christopher McLendon, Automotive Technology; and Rami Thompson, Marketing Management, George Erwin
At a luncheon on Feb. 9, the students were joined by their families and their nominating instructors as well as 2012 GOAL judges. The winner, Kathryn Hoyt, received a $500 scholarship and a dedicated parking space for the year and will represent Savannah Technical College at the regional competition to be held February 23, 2012 at the Tifton Campus of Moultrie Technical College. All 26 college winners will gather in Atlanta in May for the selection of the 2012 GOAL student to represent the Technical College System of Georgia as a student ambassador.
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The Parker Companies keeps growing, opening a new state-of-the-art 4,000 sq ft. convenience store in Bluffton last week at 1286 Fording Island Road just east of Tanger Outlet Center 1 on Hwy. 278. Parker’s now operates four locations in Beaufort County, with future plans to open convenience stores on Hilton Head Island and in Beaufort.
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Published by Savannah Business Journal.®All Copyrights Reserved ©2012. www.savannahbusinessjournal.com®
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 01:07 Written by Lou Phelps Friday, 06 January 2012 15:51
McDonalds Franchisee Nina Gombles Continues Savannah Investment While Protecting Employees
By Lou Phelps, SBJ Staff
Jan 16, 2012 - For Nina Gombels, owner of six of the Savannah area’s most successful McDonald’s franchises, the decision to tear down her restaurant at Waters Ave. and Eisenhower Dr. was significant.
She bought the store from her Dad back in 2004, who has now passed way – he had been a 37-year McDonald’s franchisee, from whom she learned the business.
”It’s really significant for us…and it’s a tremendous investment,” she explained, talking about the decision to level the Waters Avenue location. “It was really something to see it gone yesterday.” She also is losing three months-worth of sales, while increasing her payroll at other stores.
She has managed to retain all of her employees from the Waters Avenue location during the shutdown. “We transferred them to other locations; we maintained them and we found what would be the most convenient locations within our organization for them,” based on where they lived, Gombels explained. “We worked to insure that they could maintain their positions. No people were laid off.”
The new Waters Avenue store will seat 91 customers inside, feature an inside toddler’s play area – eliminating the outside playground – and maintain the same number of parking spaces. Both an updated design and the double service lanes will be the most significant changes. The old store actually had more parking spaces than were called for by local zoning, based on their prior seating capacity, so no additional parking needed to be included.
The success of her woman-owned company over the past decade has allowed her to pay off the Water’s Avenue investment, and tear it down to bring in the updated generation of McDonald’s design. It’s one of several major investments she has made.
Gombels converted her Derenne Ave. McDonalds to two lanes last May, and converted her store at Ogeechee Rd. and Berwick back in 2007. At Derenne, they have achieved significant improvements in customer service, speed of delivery of food, and an increase in customer volume. There has, however, been some conversion of in-store customers to drive-through, but overall sales are up. With the Waters Ave. store closed, they are also seeing increased sales at Derenne Ave, as well.
Besides running clean stores, with a high level of customer service, Nina emphasizes that the changes in the McDonald’s menu have also had a very positive impact on her company, including the McCafe coffee line, the smoothies, lemonades and healthier food choices such as oatmeal cereal for breakfast - a healthier morning alternative.
And the changes to the children’s Happy Meal by the McDonalds corporation has also been very positive for her local sales. “Every Happy Meal now provides French fries and apples. It used to be one or the other. The price for a Happy Meal went up, at the most by 10 cents. We reduced the size of the French fries just a little bit,” as well, she explains.
The Water’s Avenue location will be back up no later than March 29, though perhaps a week or so earlier, based on her contractor’s estimates.Nina Gombel’s McDonalds franchise company, NTG Enterprises, Inc. is located at 2809 Roger Lacey Ave in Savannah.