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Latest from Matt Kempner

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Kempner: Amazon, thanks for sort of picking Atlanta, but …
 Amazon, it’s not that we’re ungrateful for Atlanta being one of your Top 20 choices for your second headquarters and 50,000 delicious jobs. We’ll hold off celebrating or feeling like we’ve gotten some kind of affirmation until we figure out if you just like us a good bit or really love us. Yes, we do think we...

Posted: a minute ago

Amazon, it’s not that we’re ungrateful for Atlanta being one of your Top 20 choices for your second headquarters and 50,000 delicious jobs. We’ll hold off celebrating or feeling like we’ve gotten some kind of affirmation until we figure out if you just like us a good bit or really love us. Yes, we do think we...
Kempner: Gwinnett Place’s first manager staggered by mall’s decline
 Bill Gullion told me he helped throw a party for 3,000 people the night before the opening of Gwinnett Place mall, where he was the first general manager. Doormen wore tuxedos and white gloves, according to a news story at the time. The governor and Miss Georgia attended the ribbon cutting the next day, but there wasn’t enough parking...

Posted: a day ago

Bill Gullion told me he helped throw a party for 3,000 people the night before the opening of Gwinnett Place mall, where he was the first general manager. Doormen wore tuxedos and white gloves, according to a news story at the time. The governor and Miss Georgia attended the ribbon cutting the next day, but there wasn’t enough parking...
Visa to cut signature requirement for more credit card purchases
 More shoppers and diners will be able to skip signing for Visa credit card purchases.  Visa announced Friday that starting in April it will no longer require signatures at merchants in the U.S. and Canada, as long as they are set up to take cards with EMV chips. Mastercard, American Express and Discover already announced plans...

Posted: 6 days ago

More shoppers and diners will be able to skip signing for Visa credit card purchases.  Visa announced Friday that starting in April it will no longer require signatures at merchants in the U.S. and Canada, as long as they are set up to take cards with EMV chips. Mastercard, American Express and Discover already announced plans...
Kempner: Close counts in horseshoes and, maybe, UGA football
 Maybe the university affiliated with the Georgia Bulldogs won something after all from the college football championship game, no matter what the stupid scoreboard said. Some economics professors say winning lots of games in a big college sport and landing on a national stage can goose up university admissions applications, improve the quality...

Posted: 7 days ago

Maybe the university affiliated with the Georgia Bulldogs won something after all from the college football championship game, no matter what the stupid scoreboard said. Some economics professors say winning lots of games in a big college sport and landing on a national stage can goose up university admissions applications, improve the quality...
Kempner: Body unnoticed in Atlanta area mall for weeks? A mall fades
 The body of a deceased 19-year-old Lawrenceville woman may have been decomposing unnoticed for two weeks in a back room beside the food court of a Gwinnett mall during the height of what should have been the Christmas shopping rush. The news is a personal tragedy. It’s also might seem shocking, just feet from public space in what&rsquo...

Posted: 8 days ago

The body of a deceased 19-year-old Lawrenceville woman may have been decomposing unnoticed for two weeks in a back room beside the food court of a Gwinnett mall during the height of what should have been the Christmas shopping rush. The news is a personal tragedy. It’s also might seem shocking, just feet from public space in what&rsquo...
Kempner: These Georgians found a way to profit from championship game
 Who will make money on the national college football championship game? Certainly, a bunch of out-of-town companies that work closely with playoff organizers and then often farm out business to subcontractors and subcontractors of subcontractors. But some Georgia entrepreneurs have snagged financial nuggets from the game, too. Like the owner...

Posted: 10 days ago

Who will make money on the national college football championship game? Certainly, a bunch of out-of-town companies that work closely with playoff organizers and then often farm out business to subcontractors and subcontractors of subcontractors. But some Georgia entrepreneurs have snagged financial nuggets from the game, too. Like the owner...
Kempner: Some green is missing from the Georgia-Alabama championship
 It looks like the neighborhood college football championship game between Georgia and Alabama won’t be nearly as juicy for the state’s economy as it could have been. Too bad Monday’s national championship doesn’t involve two out-of-town teams we absolutely don’t care about. Of course, that wouldn’t...

Posted: 12 days ago

It looks like the neighborhood college football championship game between Georgia and Alabama won’t be nearly as juicy for the state’s economy as it could have been. Too bad Monday’s national championship doesn’t involve two out-of-town teams we absolutely don’t care about. Of course, that wouldn’t...
Kempner: Christmas ‘cookies’ Georgia Power will be eating for decades
 Some people think about cutting weight at this time of the year. Not Georgia Power. The most influential company in Georgia just got a fresh batch of its own special recipe for Christmas cookies. With your help, it expects to be chewing on them for decades to come. Georgia Power ordered the sweets from its favorite present givers...

Posted: 15 days ago

Some people think about cutting weight at this time of the year. Not Georgia Power. The most influential company in Georgia just got a fresh batch of its own special recipe for Christmas cookies. With your help, it expects to be chewing on them for decades to come. Georgia Power ordered the sweets from its favorite present givers...
Goodbye signatures? Credit card firms make big change
 Don’t take this too hard: Your autograph isn’t worth what it once was. American Express, Mastercard and Discover have each announced that, starting in April, they will no longer require signatures on any U.S. and Canadian credit card purchases.(Actually, American Express is making the change for all its transactions...

Posted: 21 days ago

Don’t take this too hard: Your autograph isn’t worth what it once was. American Express, Mastercard and Discover have each announced that, starting in April, they will no longer require signatures on any U.S. and Canadian credit card purchases.(Actually, American Express is making the change for all its transactions...
Kempner: Goodbye, signatures? Credit card firms make big change
 UPDATED Don’t take this too hard: your autograph isn’t worth what it once was. American Express, Mastercard and Discover have each announced that, starting in April, they will no longer require signatures on any North American credit card purchases. (Actually, American Express is making the change for all its transactions...

Posted: 22 days ago

UPDATED Don’t take this too hard: your autograph isn’t worth what it once was. American Express, Mastercard and Discover have each announced that, starting in April, they will no longer require signatures on any North American credit card purchases. (Actually, American Express is making the change for all its transactions...
Kempner: Georgia underdogs confront power, get smacked 
 Steven Prenovitz, who once successfully nagged me into digging through more than 1,000 pages of state records, can be irritating when he’s pursuing what he considers a grand cause. But he’s been called worse. “You are an abomination to this process,” Stan Wise, the chairman of an elected body of Georgia regulators...

Posted: 28 days ago

Steven Prenovitz, who once successfully nagged me into digging through more than 1,000 pages of state records, can be irritating when he’s pursuing what he considers a grand cause. But he’s been called worse. “You are an abomination to this process,” Stan Wise, the chairman of an elected body of Georgia regulators...
Kempner: Atlanta airport power outage has us looking for better backup
 Um, really?  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the most important links in the nation’s commercial air system.  It’s the world’s busiest airport and the biggest economic development gem for Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia. Officials are in the midst of trying to woo Amazon...

3:03 AM Monday, Dec. 18, 2017

Um, really?  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the most important links in the nation’s commercial air system.  It’s the world’s busiest airport and the biggest economic development gem for Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia. Officials are in the midst of trying to woo Amazon...
Kempner: Arby’s eats Buffalo wings? Why the chicken wing war is on
 It used to be that chicken wings didn’t do much good, even when still attached to chickens. Now, it’s the priciest part of our most important bird in Georgia. That’s kind of crazy if you think about it. A wimpy wing with the bone still in costs more than boneless breast meat? But restaurants and grocers have figured it out...

5:01 AM Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

It used to be that chicken wings didn’t do much good, even when still attached to chickens. Now, it’s the priciest part of our most important bird in Georgia. That’s kind of crazy if you think about it. A wimpy wing with the bone still in costs more than boneless breast meat? But restaurants and grocers have figured it out...
Kempner: Get rich quick? A Georgia bitcoin CEO’s advice on wacky money
 We are in the throes of another get-rich-quick frenzy that surely will make some people rich and others chumps. Fans of bitcoin contend that it will revolutionize the world of digital currency, taking the place of old-world stuff like dollar bills as a way to pay and be paid. But, at the moment, bitcoin is getting more attention because ...

1:15 PM Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

We are in the throes of another get-rich-quick frenzy that surely will make some people rich and others chumps. Fans of bitcoin contend that it will revolutionize the world of digital currency, taking the place of old-world stuff like dollar bills as a way to pay and be paid. But, at the moment, bitcoin is getting more attention because ...
Kempner: A $5.2 billion reason Georgia politicians should listen now
 This one should be hard for Georgia Power to squirm out of. Unless elected state leaders willfully close their ears, as they’ve done in the past. Experts for the state just filed written testimony that amounts to 140 pages of incriminations against Georgia Power and its contractor over the nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle. The experts&rsquo...

5:01 AM Thursday, Dec. 07, 2017

This one should be hard for Georgia Power to squirm out of. Unless elected state leaders willfully close their ears, as they’ve done in the past. Experts for the state just filed written testimony that amounts to 140 pages of incriminations against Georgia Power and its contractor over the nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle. The experts&rsquo...
Georgia football tickets for 2018? D.C. might change true price
 UGA football tickets should be a hot seller for 2018, what with the Georgia Bulldogs’ run at an SEC championship title. But the true cost for season tickets could be going up for reasons beyond the team’s winning ways. Minimum donation levels and prices haven’t been set yet for what it will cost to get access to Georgia...

3:15 PM Friday, Dec. 01, 2017

UGA football tickets should be a hot seller for 2018, what with the Georgia Bulldogs’ run at an SEC championship title. But the true cost for season tickets could be going up for reasons beyond the team’s winning ways. Minimum donation levels and prices haven’t been set yet for what it will cost to get access to Georgia...
Kempner: It’s not a new toothpaste. Georgia city adopts a brand name
 A city is not a brand of toothpaste. But there are times when it gets treated like one. Leaders and residents of a new Georgia city on the south side of metro Atlanta spent weeks coming up with a new name for their community of nearly 90,000 people. It was an exercise in Branding 101, with a clear feeling that money and business might be...

5:01 AM Friday, Dec. 01, 2017

A city is not a brand of toothpaste. But there are times when it gets treated like one. Leaders and residents of a new Georgia city on the south side of metro Atlanta spent weeks coming up with a new name for their community of nearly 90,000 people. It was an exercise in Branding 101, with a clear feeling that money and business might be...
Kempner: About those UGA football tickets you didn’t know you paid for
 I’m betting you didn’t realize this, but you helped strangers buy some really great season tickets to Georgia football, Duke basketball and Ohio State Buckeyes games. Hopefully you won’t have to do it again next year. I’m a big fan of college sports. But I don’t expect the federal government and taxpayers to...

3:12 PM Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

I’m betting you didn’t realize this, but you helped strangers buy some really great season tickets to Georgia football, Duke basketball and Ohio State Buckeyes games. Hopefully you won’t have to do it again next year. I’m a big fan of college sports. But I don’t expect the federal government and taxpayers to...
Kempner: Confessions on the laziest, most-popular Christmas gift idea
 Year after year, we return to the holiday season and ponder what special gifts would bring joy to friends and loved ones. And, once again, most Americans somehow arrive at the same answer: a plastic card. Or, increasingly, a digital equivalent of one. Gift cards are pretty much the easiest, fastest gift to give on the face of the Earth. (I...

5:05 PM Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

Year after year, we return to the holiday season and ponder what special gifts would bring joy to friends and loved ones. And, once again, most Americans somehow arrive at the same answer: a plastic card. Or, increasingly, a digital equivalent of one. Gift cards are pretty much the easiest, fastest gift to give on the face of the Earth. (I...
Kempner: Arthur Blank only cautiously bets on soccer fans in Gwinnett
 Atlanta United proved that a shockingly large number of metro Atlantans are willing — anxious even — to pay good money to go wild at pro soccer games. But a top official for owner Arthur Blank is toning down expectations as they press their luck and dig deeper into the world’s most popular sport. The organization, which...

5:44 PM Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Atlanta United proved that a shockingly large number of metro Atlantans are willing — anxious even — to pay good money to go wild at pro soccer games. But a top official for owner Arthur Blank is toning down expectations as they press their luck and dig deeper into the world’s most popular sport. The organization, which...
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