In the guest chair:
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects.
- McDonald’s launch of Breakfast All Day is working. The world’s biggest burger chain reported a whopping 5.7% jump in U.S. same-store sales during the fourth quarter thanks to the launch of all-day breakfast in October.
- Amazon is now offering full refunds on any hoverboards sold on the site, including in the U.S. and Canada. The refunds are a response to the rash of fires and falls that have plagued the popular two-wheeled balance boards.
- Speaking of groovy new tech that IS working…nearly 300,000 drones have been registered with the government since the FAA started requiring owners to sign up last month.
- Guess who suffers the most From GE’s headquarters move from Connecticut to Boston? The move of nearly 800 employees, when taking incentives into account, will not be a material cost to the company. But Connecticut will soon lose significant revenue because of the move… not to mention the prestige of being home to one of the world’s largest companies. But the politicians who did not approve tax credits won’t be the ones to suffer from the move. It will be the small businesses in Fairfield and the surrounding communities that served GE directly or saw business from the 800 employees who will be leaving the area. Some believe that there are as many as 65,000 employed by Connecticut businesses who will be affected by the move. Puts the tax credits and incentives in a different light, no?
- Gwinnett County officials will apply for seven state grants totaling $12.38 million to buy and replace buses and to upgrade and build transit facilities. Commissioners voted last week to apply for the State Road and Tollway Authority GO! Transit Capital Program grants to buy 28 replacement buses, five new buses, and to make improvements at four existing transit facilities and build two new facilities in the county, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has reclaimed some bragging rights this week… we are once again officially home to the nation’s busiest airport as ranked by number of flights in 2015. We already held the title of busiest airport as ranked by number of passengers – but were edged out by Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in 2014 for the number of flights title. Back off Chicago. We got this.
- Yesterday, the Metro Atlanta Chamber announced 35 first-round winners in its first ever export challenge. The challenge is a grant program designed to encourage businesses to begin exporting their wares or expand their current exports. Nearly 70 small and medium-sized companies applied for grants of up to $5,000 in this first round. Winners of this round will be invited back for the second round of competition where they’ll be in the running for a $20,000 first prize, $10,000 second prize and $5,000 for third.
- Is Atlanta a good setting for a TV series? Apparently not for HBO. The network is not moving forward with a comedy series called “Brothers in Atlanta,” according to Deadline.com. Whatever HBO… as we told you yesterday FX is moving forward with it’s show called titled Atlanta.
- Legislation we told you about last week to legalize pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in Georgia got a skeptical reception Monday during a state Senate hearing. Several members of the Senate questioned whether horse racing could really create the 5,000 jobs or generate the $500 million a year in economic impact projected by the bill’s supporters. Representatives of religious organizations also spoke out against the bill during Monday’s hearing.
- Remember the preacher who wanted to raise money for $65 million from his followers for a private jet last year? Well now a state senator has introduced a proposal to dedicate part of Old National Highway as Creflo Dollar Highway. Seriously?
For other events and appearances: check out Dana’s event calendar: http://danabarrett.com/events/.