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Business

sun power rising

solar

New law could put solar within reach of many

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Athens architect Lori Bork Newcomer says nine out of every 10 clients consider installing solar panels on the sustainable homes she designs. Almost none end up actually doing it.

The show stopper is the upfront cost — which can be $15,000-$25,000 — and the long payback period, Newcomer said.

“For a lot of them, it is just out of reach.”

Solar advocates say that could change this year if Georgia legislators pass a bill giving consumers, small businesses and schools more ways to go solar.

moving expenses

atlanta

Cross-metro company moves come at a cost

Atlanta’s pitch to convince payments processor Worldpay US to move into the city from Sandy Springs included a $1.5 million grant.

Gwinnett County lost major operations of top financial services companies Fiserv and NCR, which announced moves aided in part by incentives packages from neighboring communities. Perhaps the best-known relocation of late — the Atlanta Braves to Cobb — came with the pledge of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer aid over three decades.

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Retiree anxiety

pension
Brant Sanderlin

How UPS gains from law eroding pension protection

When Sandra Presley’s husband died four years ago, the couple’s retirement income from decades of working for trucking companies dropped by over half.

Now, the 72-year-old Forest Park woman fears her $634-a-month pension from working at Yellow Freight could shrink another 30 percent.

The reason: Congress tacked an eleventh-hour amendment onto last month’s federal spending bill that allows some struggling pension funds, including hers, to cut retiree benefits by 30 percent to 60 percent.

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Corporate ladder

skyline

NEWSMAKERS

People moving up and around in the metro Atlanta business community:

Kim Beasley has joined A.G. Rhodes Health and Rehab as the director of volunteer services and community engagement.

The Westminster Schools has named Tim Downes, director of athletics and recreation at Emory University, as the school’s next athletic director.

Betty Temple has been named anaging partner of Womble Carlyle.

Auction action

Rooms

Glenridge Hall furnishings, art to be auctioned

Furniture, tapestries and other fine art from the historic Sandy Springs mansion known as Glenridge Hall are scheduled to be auctioned in March, a New Orleans auction company said Wednesday. New Orleans Auction Galleries said furnishings and other rare antiques from the property will be sold March 21-22. The historic mansion, built in 1929, is on a 70-plus acre tract that was listed for sale last year.

secrets of success

success
Matt Kempner/AJC

Fayette entrepreneur finds fast lane on Web

Andy Powell launched a successful little business when he was 14. And for much of his life he worried he’d never be able to top it.

As an adult he wanted to launch a real business. But life got busy. He and his wife were expecting a baby. At such a time, could he quit his day job for a dream?

Yup. Powell, now 30 and living in Fayetteville, founded two new businesses.


fueling confidence

Gas prices lift consumers' mood
Ben Gray

Gas dips below $2, lifting consumer mood

The lowest gas prices in years are pushing consumer confidence to new highs. Like a lot of positive economic indicators these days, however, they come with some caveats.

The average price per gallon in Georgia was $1.998 on Friday, according to AAA, and this week marked the first time below the $2 barrier statewide since May 2009. Prices often rise in the spring and summer, and the government projects a nationwide average of $2.

the job hunt

hiring
GETTY IMAGES

Georgia’s unemployment rate drops to 6.9%

Georgia’s unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in December from 7.2 percent in November, as holiday hiring kicked into overdrive, the state labor department said Thursday. “This was the first time in eight years that we’ve had job growth in December,” state labor commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. Holiday hiring is usually done by then.

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