Matt Kempner

Business columnist

Matt Kempner is the AJC’s sometimes irreverent business columnist, who enjoys finding  the twists behind our adventures with business, money and careers. Prior to his latest assignment, he wrote a regular column on intriguing entrepreneurs and reported on technology and energy. His career has included serving as a business editor and public editor as well as lots of reporting gigs, from business investigations to politics, government and the environment.  You can follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mattkempnercolumnist or on Twitter: @Mattkempner 

Latest from Matt Kempner

Amazon headquarters reports have Atlanta on the outside looking in
 Metro Atlanta’s hopes for landing Amazon’s second headquarters apparently have dimmed dramatically as news reports focus on company discussions with other cities. Months have passed since Amazon executives had discussions with Georgia officials about metro Atlanta’s bid to land the online giant’s proposed HQ2 project...

Posted: 6 days ago

Metro Atlanta’s hopes for landing Amazon’s second headquarters apparently have dimmed dramatically as news reports focus on company discussions with other cities. Months have passed since Amazon executives had discussions with Georgia officials about metro Atlanta’s bid to land the online giant’s proposed HQ2 project...
DIGGING DEEPER: Georgia Power electricity rates rising
 It used to be that millions of Georgians got a bargain on their monthly electric bills, paying Georgia Power residential rates that were nearly 10 percent lower than the national average. But in the last decade most of that advantage has slipped away. The average rate residential customers pay the state’s largest utility has risen faster...

Posted: 12 days ago

It used to be that millions of Georgians got a bargain on their monthly electric bills, paying Georgia Power residential rates that were nearly 10 percent lower than the national average. But in the last decade most of that advantage has slipped away. The average rate residential customers pay the state’s largest utility has risen faster...
Seattle company backed by Google picks Atlanta for hundreds of jobs
 A Seattle-based company backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says it has picked Atlanta for its second big office, but the project isn’t Amazon’s hotly pursued second headquarters. Convoy, which also landed funding from Google, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and others, is hoping to shake up the nation’s trucking industry...

Posted: 18 days ago

A Seattle-based company backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says it has picked Atlanta for its second big office, but the project isn’t Amazon’s hotly pursued second headquarters. Convoy, which also landed funding from Google, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and others, is hoping to shake up the nation’s trucking industry...
OSHA court case shows limits on safety inspections
 More employers could be emboldened to block federal workplace safety inspections after a court ruling involving a Georgia chicken plant where an inspector investigating a worker injury was told to put a box over her head to avoid seeing other hazards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors responded to an accident in which...

Posted: 20 days ago

More employers could be emboldened to block federal workplace safety inspections after a court ruling involving a Georgia chicken plant where an inspector investigating a worker injury was told to put a box over her head to avoid seeing other hazards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors responded to an accident in which...
Phipps Plaza breaks ground on luxury remodel, seeks tax break
 Crews in hard hats are about to make Atlanta’s fanciest mall less mall-like. The $300 million remake for Phipps Plaza in Buckhead will include plenty of upscale additions, with one important exception: No new retail stores. In fact, the mall is dropping from three anchor department stores to two, with the recent closing of Belk. Phipps&rsquo...

Posted: 24 days ago

Crews in hard hats are about to make Atlanta’s fanciest mall less mall-like. The $300 million remake for Phipps Plaza in Buckhead will include plenty of upscale additions, with one important exception: No new retail stores. In fact, the mall is dropping from three anchor department stores to two, with the recent closing of Belk. Phipps&rsquo...
Kmart plans to close its last Georgia stores
 A big national retailer is closing its last stores in Georgia, where it once reportedly considered moving its headquarters. Kmart, which in years past had dozens of stores in the state, is shutting the only two Georgia stores the chain lists online. One is in Peachtree City. The other is in Covington. A company spokesman wasn’t immediately...

Posted: 27 days ago

A big national retailer is closing its last stores in Georgia, where it once reportedly considered moving its headquarters. Kmart, which in years past had dozens of stores in the state, is shutting the only two Georgia stores the chain lists online. One is in Peachtree City. The other is in Covington. A company spokesman wasn’t immediately...
Sears bankruptcy: In metro Atlanta, few stores remain 
 Sears, once the mightiest of American retailers, was an endangered species in metro Atlanta even before it filed for bankruptcy protection Monday. Even before waves of recent closures in the region, it had receded in the minds of shoppers, retail observers say. “Sears has been irrelevant for a number of years,” said Ken Bernhardt...

Posted: 27 days ago

Sears, once the mightiest of American retailers, was an endangered species in metro Atlanta even before it filed for bankruptcy protection Monday. Even before waves of recent closures in the region, it had receded in the minds of shoppers, retail observers say. “Sears has been irrelevant for a number of years,” said Ken Bernhardt...
Sudden fires: Center seeks recall of 2.9 million Kia, Hyundai vehicles
 A consumer watchdog group is calling for Kia and Hyundai to recall nearly three million vehicles, including some made in Georgia, over persistent concerns about sudden fires. The push Friday by the Center for Auto Safety goes beyond its earlier request for a broader federal investigation into the fires. “The number and severity...

Posted: 30 days ago

A consumer watchdog group is calling for Kia and Hyundai to recall nearly three million vehicles, including some made in Georgia, over persistent concerns about sudden fires. The push Friday by the Center for Auto Safety goes beyond its earlier request for a broader federal investigation into the fires. “The number and severity...
Hurricane Michael: Atlantans face a reckoning at the beach
 Metro Atlantans are only gradually digesting just how brutally Hurricane Michael treated the Gulf Coast region they have flocked to, invested in, vacationed at, partied with and cherished for generations. It wasn’t pleasant. Paradise took a beating. Patty Baker-McElroy and her husband bought a townhome in Mexico Beach two summers...

11:55 PM Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018

Metro Atlantans are only gradually digesting just how brutally Hurricane Michael treated the Gulf Coast region they have flocked to, invested in, vacationed at, partied with and cherished for generations. It wasn’t pleasant. Paradise took a beating. Patty Baker-McElroy and her husband bought a townhome in Mexico Beach two summers...
Sudden fires in Kia, Hyundai vehicles spark worry
 Kadarius Reid was returning to his Jonesboro home after work in July when the 2014 Kia Sorento he was driving began to shake. Reid pulled to the side of I-20. Within moments there was smoke, a loud “kaboom” and the car was engulfed in flames. “He was in shock,” Reid’s wife, Danielle, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

10:22 PM Thursday, Oct. 04, 2018

Kadarius Reid was returning to his Jonesboro home after work in July when the 2014 Kia Sorento he was driving began to shake. Reid pulled to the side of I-20. Within moments there was smoke, a loud “kaboom” and the car was engulfed in flames. “He was in shock,” Reid’s wife, Danielle, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...
CONTINUING COVERAGE: After wrangling over Georgia nuclear plant, cost concerns remain


Not many people can name the plant that their electricity comes from. But in Jefferson, at a gathering sponsored by Jackson EMC, plenty of customers were familiar with the trials and tribulations of expanding Plant Vogtle.
Among the people who gather annually for chicken dinners, gospel music and raffle drawings put on by the electric cooperative...

8:45 PM Friday, Sep. 28, 2018

Not many people can name the plant that their electricity comes from. But in Jefferson, at a gathering sponsored by Jackson EMC, plenty of customers were familiar with the trials and tribulations of expanding Plant Vogtle. Among the people who gather annually for chicken dinners, gospel music and raffle drawings put on by the electric cooperative...