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State unemployment rate rises sharply

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday the state's unemployment rate rose to 5.2 percent in January, up 0.6 percent from 4.6 percent in December. The January increase brings the rise over the past two months to a full percentage point.

March 10, 2008 | From staff reports | Business

Smith: Take a tip from Sgt. Joe Friday — get the facts about your customers

In the 1950s and 1960s, one of the more successful television programs was "Dragnet." Even today, television stations that feature yesteryear reruns often show this police drama of Sgt. Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon solving crimes.

March 07, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Kitchen Inspections

The following are among the food service establishments inspected from Jan. 29- Feb. 7 by the Hall County Environmental Health Department. New rules and regulations for food service began on Dec. 1, 2007. Food service establishments will now be given a letter grade that coincides with a percentile: "A" (90-100), "B" (80-89), "C" (70-79), "U" 69 and below. Inspections (frequency of) a food service establishment will be conducted based on risk categorization. The risk type shall be determined by the menu items served, the food preparation processed performed, and the previous food safety history in the food service establishment.

March 06, 2008 | | Business

Pruning woody plants now helps them grow later

Late winter is the time to prune many woody landscape plants. Pruning during the dormant season allows you to better see branch structure and encourages a flush of vigorous new growth in spring. By waiting until the coldest winter weather has passed, you minimize damage to tissue around pruning cuts.

March 05, 2008 | | Business

Newsmakers in business

The Times wants to know about promotions, new management hires and other personnel news in your business. We'll publish the information each Sunday on the Business page. Send information, including a photograph and contact information, to Harris Blackwood at You also may use regular mail at Newsmakers, The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503.

March 05, 2008 | From staff reports | Business

A bunch of rising stars

A private child care center in Gainesville has become one of the first in Northeast Georgia to be named a Center of Distinction by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning's "Bright from the Start" program.

March 05, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Business

Chamber seeks nominations for Leadership Hall

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for the 2008-09 class of Leadership Hall.

March 04, 2008 | From staff reports | Business

CVB brings theater visitors to Gainesville

The Gainesville Theatre Alliance has joined with the Gainesville-Hall County Convention and Visitors Bureau to create a special overnight package for performances of "A Flea in Her Ear," which runs through tonight.

March 04, 2008 | From staff reports | Business

Lake Lanier Islands board OKs loan moves for better roads, new wastewater treatment plant

The Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority gave formal approval Thursday to a financing package for a state loan for a new wastewater treatment plant and a bank loan for road improvements.

March 03, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Business

Skaggs: Horses are a growing part of Ag sector

If you spend any time driving across Northeast Georgia, you will notice how the 'landscape' has changed. What was once primarily farm land has changed to primarily neighborhoods and homes on small acreages.

March 03, 2008 | Billy Skaggs | Business

Delta a major player in local economy

Economic development leaders in Northeast Georgia say Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and, particularly, Delta Air lines, is a major factor in a company's decision to locate in the area.

Kit Dunlap, president of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, said that domestic businesses like the ease of one-stop service to numerous destinations in the U.S., while international companies appreciate the ability to fly directly from Atlanta to many of the world's capitals.

March 03, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Business

Forsyth may get ‘the’ mall

A massive development in Forsyth County that could include 1.4 million square feet of retail space, generate $12 million in annual sales tax revenue and create 7,900 jobs cleared one hurdle this week.

The five-member Forsyth County planning board agreed 3-1 Tuesday night to recommend approval to the commission of an overlay district for the 164-acre site along Ga. 400 between Union Hill and McFarland roads.

March 01, 2008 | BY JULIE ARRINGTON | Business

Smith: Well-written plan serves as business road map, helps with financing

A story was once told about a pharaoh who wished to build a temple for himself. As the slaves were milling around waiting to begin construction, one said to another, "Do we have any blueprints for this project? Or are we supposed to just fly by the seat of our chariot?"

March 01, 2008 | J.C. Smith | Business

Let’s make a deal

For consumers, next weekend's Home Expo at the Georgia Mountain Center could represent an opportunity to take advantage of a buyer's market.

February 28, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Business

Newsmakers in business

Gardner named trustee of hospital association

February 28, 2008 | From staff reports | Business

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