Friday, February 26, 2010

Secretary of State Kemp Reminds Georgia Corporations to Renew their Annual Registrations

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp today reminded officers and registered agents of corporate entities registered in Georgia that the annual renewal period deadline is Thursday, April 1, 2009.

The Secretary of State’s Corporations Division website was redesigned so corporate entities can renew their existing corporate entities online, form new corporate entities online, and provide their email address to receive future online renewal notices and other important notices electronically. These electronic notifications will also help the Corporations Division deter corporate identity theft and fraud.

“The implementation of e-government solutions allows us to communicate more efficiently with Georgia’s businesses, will greatly reduce the time businesses spend on paperwork, and significantly reduces costs to Georgia’s taxpayers,” said Secretary Kemp.

Georgia law requires corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships to file annual renewals with the Secretary of State’s Office and pay a renewal fee of $30. Business entities that fail to renew by the deadline will be charged a $25 late filing penalty fee and risk being administratively dissolved.

Corporate entities that owe annual registration fees are encouraged to remit payment online at http://www.georgiacorporations.org/. Check and money order payments can be made by mail, or in person at the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division Office in Atlanta or the Secretary of State’s Satellite Office in Tifton. Absolutely no cash is accepted for payment of registration fees.

The following mistakes or errors can delay the processing time of annual renewals and new corporate filings submitted by mail:

Payment received without application.
Wrong form submitted with application or registration.
Incorrect fee amount submitted with application or registration.
Registered agent lists an out of state or P.O. Box address.
Information provided on the application or registration is incomplete.
No signature or improper signature on the application or registration.

Some entities may not have received notices because they have moved their location and their records have not been updated in the Corporations Division database. Managers unsure of an entity’s status should visit the Corporations Division website and search for their company by name or control number. If the status is “Active/Noncompliant” or “Active/Owes Current Year AR,” the entity likely owes Annual Registration fees.

More than 732,000 corporate entities are registered with the Corporations Division, including over 673,000 in-state and 59,000 out-of-state corporations.

For more information please contact the Corporations Division at 404-656-2817 or visit http://www.georgiacorporations.org/.

Brian Kemp was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sen. Mitch Seabaugh Champions Utilities Contractor’s Bill to a Unanimous Vote in the State Senate

State Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) championed legislation through the State Senate that will ensure utility contractors are not prohibited from bidding on projects if they do not possess a general contractor license. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 53-0.

“If we want to recover from this economic recession, we must create and laws that get Georgians back to work. Thanks to the bipartisan support from my colleagues in the Senate, Georgians will have additional job opportunities,” said Seabaugh

Under this legislation, any utility contractor holding a valid utility contractor's license is authorized to bid for and perform work on any utility system in Georgia without having to obtaining a general contractor’s license. Under the “Residential and General Contractors” bill, only those with a valid general contractor’s license could bid and work on utility systems. Seabaugh’s legislation allows electrical contractors, plumbers, conditioned air contractors, low-voltage contractors, and utility contractors to bid upon and perform work on any utility system.

The bill was originally heard in the Senate Economic Development Committee. During the hearing, members of the utilities contractors’ community voiced their support of Senate Bill 339. A representative from the Georgia Utilities Contractors Association said that municipalities often confuse the law to interpret only those with a general contractors’ license can bid for utility jobs, excluding utility contactors from getting their own work.

Sen. Mitch Seabaugh serves as Senate Majority Whip. He represents the 28th Senate District which includes Coweta and Heard counties and portions of Carroll and Troup counties. He may be reached by phone at 404.656.6446 or by e-mail at mail@mitchseabaugh.com.
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QualTex Laboratories Expands to Gwinnett County

Global healthcare service provider to create 125 jobs and invest $12M

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that QualTex Laboratories, a San Antonio, Texas-based independent blood testing lab, is expanding operations to Norcross. QualTex will invest nearly $12 million over five years and create 125 highly-skilled jobs.

“As a vital contributor to the healthcare industry, QualTex’s expansion to Georgia helps to enhance the state’s competitiveness and growing reputation as the crossroads of global health,” said Governor Perdue. “With the creation of a significant amount of highly-skilled jobs, this expansion bodes well for Georgia and Gwinnett County.”

Established as an independent affiliate of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center in 2007, QualTex has quickly grown into a worldwide provider of blood testing solutions. It is the largest independent testing lab in the United States for blood and plasma products, providing infectious disease testing services to blood banks and plasma center customers worldwide. QualTex is recognized nationally and globally for the quality of its services and research.

“We are excited to join the metro Atlanta business and healthcare community,” said Dr. Norman D. Kalmin, CEO of South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and CEO-designate of QualTex. “QualTex tests more than seven million donations of life-saving blood, tissue, and plasma therapies each year, and we are growing rapidly due to an increased demand for our services.”

The QualTex Norcross facility will screen whole blood and plasma donations. Once fully operational, the lab expects to test more than eight million biological samples, doubling its current operations. QualTex also plans to house a data center on site at its new facility.

“We expect to hire highly-trained, expert clinical laboratory scientists, certified lab technicians, quality specialists, materials management personnel and general management personnel,” Kalmin said. “We chose metro Atlanta because it’s a leading medical commercial center in the Southeast, where we know we can find a quality workforce, and it helps us serve our growth and customers along the Eastern seaboard. It’s a logical choice.”

In addition to Georgia’s pro-business climate, QualTex selected the metropolitan Atlanta area from among competing sites due in part to the access to highly-skilled labor for this industry, and the competitive advantages provided by the city’s convenient access to the lab’s East Coast clients.

“Gwinnett sits at the heart of the Innovation Crescent – Georgia’s hub for life science and medical device business, research and workforce development – making QualTex’s decision to relocate to our Metro Atlanta community quite simple,” said Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister. “We welcome them to our region and look forward to growing together.”

“Georgia’s low-cost of doing business, talent pool and access to market are the key ingredients for successfully developing and growing the bioscience market in metro Atlanta,” said Hans Gant, senior vice president of economic development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “QualTex is a great addition to our bioscience community, and is directly in line with the Chamber’s New Economy Task Force and Bioscience Leadership Council initiatives to recruit niche markets.”

About QualTex Laboratories
QualTex, an affiliate of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center in San Antonio, Texas, is the largest, independent non-profit testing laboratory in the United States for blood and plasma products. Prior to becoming a separate business entity, QualTex Laboratories existed as a strong business model with more than 35 years of testing experience as the testing laboratory services at South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. The laboratory has been ISO certified for more than 14 years and is currently ISO 9001:2008 compliant. The headquarters for Qualtex Laboratories is located in San Antonio, Texas.

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Mayo Clinic named one of FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for Seventh Consecutive Year

FORTUNE announced recently that Mayo Clinic has been ranked 55 on the 13th annual "100 Best Companies to Work For®" list. The full list and related stories appear in the Feb. 8 issue of FORTUNE, available on newsstands Jan. 25, and now at CNNMoney.com.

Hank Gilman, deputy managing editor of FORTUNE, says, "The most important considerations for this year's list were hiring and the ways in which companies are helping their employees weather the recession. All 100 companies on our list are currently hiring, many of them aggressively, leading to more than 96,000 open job positions expected in the next year."

John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, attributes this honor to all Mayo Clinic employees. "The spirit of collaborative service that we all benefit from reflects the people who choose to be here, who bring integrity and compassion to their work every day," says Dr. Noseworthy. "The past year has been a challenging one, but staff rose to that challenge. Their ideas, their energy and their teamwork made a significant difference in Mayo's performance."

Shirley Weis, chief administrative officer, adds, "Our patients constantly tell us they think Mayo Clinic employees are the best, and we agree wholeheartedly. They are Mayo Clinic."

FORTUNE included some Mayo Clinic employee efforts in a short "Creative recession solutions" feature about what the Best 100 companies have done to operate more efficiently during the recession.

To pick the 100 Best Companies, FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of the Institute's Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random number of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to employees' attitudes about management's credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The other one-third of the scoring is based on the company's responses to the Institute's Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefits, and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication and diversity.

FORTUNE is a global leader in business journalism with a worldwide circulation of more than 1 million and a readership of nearly 5 million. Its major franchises include the FORTUNE 500 and the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. FORTUNE Live Media extends the brand's mission into live events, hosting a wide range of annual conferences, including FORTUNE's Most Powerful Women and the FORTUNE Global Forum. FORTUNE publishes English-language editions in Europe and Asia, and local-language editions in China and South Korea. FORTUNE magazine's online home is CNNMoney.com, the most visited and utilized business destination Web site.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

SBA Home-based Business Workshop Being Held on April 12th in Atlanta

A free SBA workshop on starting a home-based business will be held from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on April 12 at the agency’s Georgia District Office. The District Office is located downtown in Peachtree Center at 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 1900-Harris Tower, Atlanta, GA 30303.
The two-hour workshop will provide information on the required laws and regulations dealing with a home-based business. General information will cover start-up considerations, legal entities, marketing, business insurance & finance, access to capital, and SBA programs and services.

The workshop instructor will be Shannon Anderson, President of Firmus Consulting.
Pre-registration is required for the workshop. To register online, go to www.sba.gov/ga and cursor down to Spotlight-Public Training and Seminars-Register Now! Select seminar date from the drop down list. Complete relevant information and click “Register.” A registration form can also be faxed to 404/331-0101, Attention: Dorothy Fletcher.

SBA’s participation in this workshop is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any person or entity. All SBA programs, services and cosponsored activities are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Please contact Dorothy Fletcher at 404-331-0100, ext. 305 or via email at Dorothy.Fletcher@sba.gov.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mayor Reed Discusses Business Development, Job Growth with U.S. Sec. of Commerce Gary Locke and Prominent Atlanta Business Leaders

Mayor Kasim Reed hosted United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and more than two dozen Atlanta business leaders Friday at City Hall for a roundtable discussion on economic development opportunities and ways to improve Atlanta’s position as a market for international trade and commerce.

Mayor Reed and Secretary Locke discussed how city government can partner with federal agencies to help small businesses thrive in Atlanta. Job creation is a major focus of both Mayor Reed’s administration and the administration of President Barack Obama.

“Getting our citizens back to work is one of my top priorities as Mayor. Equally, it is vital to nurture our city and state relationships at the federal level to enable us to compete for available dollars. And the meeting we held today was a necessary step towards that goal,” said Mayor Kasim Reed.
Mayor Reed, Secretary Locke and the business leaders also discussed other issues of economic importance to the City and plans for the fourth Americas Competitiveness Forum on November 14-16, 2010, co-hosted by the City of Atlanta and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As a hub of private enterprise and an engine of growth for our region, the City of Atlanta is uniquely positioned to host ACF 2010. The forum’s outcomes help formulate public policies that expand opportunities for entrepreneurs and foster job creation in Atlanta and the State of Georgia. The 2010 ACF is expected to attract more than 1,000 leaders from 34 nations, including Presidents and Vice Presidents, US Cabinet members, government ministers, business executives, academics, as well as representatives from the region’s Competitiveness Councils, trade organizations, non-governmental organizations and international representatives.

Earlier in the day, the two leaders viewed a special collection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s papers at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University Center in honor of Black History Month.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Montreal-Based Global Transportation Company Opens Facility in Macon

Bombardier Aerospace to create 180 jobs and invest $2 million

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Bombardier Aerospace, a leading global transportation company based in Montreal, Canada, will open a facility in Macon in Bibb County. The maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operation will service Bombardier CRJ100/200/700/900 aircraft at the Macon Airport, creating an additional 180 jobs over the next year and representing a two million dollar investment. Bombardier will operate the facility formerly owned by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA).

“As Georgia continues to pursue excellence in the aerospace sector, the relocation of Bombardier to the state is a great step in that direction,” said Governor Perdue. “I join with the Macon community and the Middle Georgia region in welcoming yet another aerospace industry leader to the state.”

The facility will be operated by Bombardier Customer Services, and will complement the two Bombardier-owned commercial aircraft service centers in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Tucson, Arizona.

“The investment in the Macon service center, as well as the new one at Schiphol, is evidence of Bombardier’s ongoing commitment to improve the maintenance support we offer our customers,” said James Hoblyn, president, Bombardier Customer Services & Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft, “and the 10-year contract with ASA is a testament to the quality we provide throughout our service centers.”

Georgia ranks eighth among U.S. states for aviation industry employment, with more than 80,000 employees in more than 500 operations statewide. The state also has a ready pool of workers for the aerospace industry, thanks in part to FAA-certified degrees at its technical colleges and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s graduate aerospace engineering program, ranked second in the nation.

The Bombardier Macon operation joins a list of other industry-leading companies that successfully do business in Georgia.

“We have worked hard to maintain and expand industry in the Macon-Bibb County Community, and are therefore very pleased to have Bombardier conduct its operations here in conjunction with ASA,” said Cliffard Whitby, chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority. “This success reflects the quality of our skilled laborers and the cooperation and collaboration among community leaders. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
The legendary CRJ100/200 aircraft, first of the CRJ Series family of regional airliners, was launched in March 1989. As of January 31, 2010, Bombardier had delivered 1,587 CRJ Series aircraft. CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 operators in 38 countries.

About Bombardier Aerospace

A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, were $19.7 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at www.bombardier.com.

Bombardier and CRJ100/200/700/900 aircraft are either registered or unregistered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.
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Blytheco Executives Serve on Sage Product Councils

Leading Sage business partner Blytheco, LLC is pleased to announce the participation of several of its key executives on Sage’s Product Advisory Councils (PACs).

Sage Product Advisory Councils were recently expanded to offer Sage business partners the opportunity to provide the company guidance on product design, future releases, and customer experience. Blytheco representatives have served on Sage Business Partner Advisory Councils (BPACs) since inception. Business Partner and Product Advisory Councils provide guidance to Sage on programs and policies in order to influence the business strategy of their respective product groups.

CEO Stephen Blythe sits on the current Sage BPAC. PACs will exist for each major product line. Blytheco Vice President of Consulting Tim Baker will serve on the MAS 500 PAC; Executive Vice President Nicholas Hoad will serve on the MAS 90-200 PAC. Donna Baeza, Director of HR and HRMS Sales Support, serves on the Abra PAC; Phil Sim, Vice President of CRM, serves on the CRM Solutions PAC.

“We are honored that Sage has selected to so many Blytheco executives to serve on Sage BPACs and PACs,” said Stephen Blythe. “Having a direct line to Sage management is a win for our customers; it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Sage and our commitment to the ongoing improvement of the products we offer.”

“For Sage’s PACs, it is important for us to have participants who are product experts, but who also have an astute understanding of our industry and our customers,” said Laurie Schultz, General Manager, Mid-Market ERP Solutions at Sage. “Blytheco executives bring just the kind of experience and knowledge that will make these Councils an important resource for Sage.”

About Blytheco, LLC

Serving the business community since 1980, Blytheco offers business management software and consulting services to the mid-market. Blytheco represents Sage solutions including MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500, BusinessWorks, X3, SalesLogix, SageCRM, Abra HRMS and MIP Nonprofit business solutions. Blytheco is consistently named Sage Software’s ERP Partner of the Year. With 130 employees across the U.S. in sixteen states, Blytheco works with over 5,000 clients in many industries to help companies meet their business goals with award-winning software products, customized solutions, and the highest quality consulting in the industry. For more information, please visit www.blytheco.com.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Women for Hire Career Expo March 23

The Women For Hire Career Expo will be held Tuesday, March 23, 2010, from 10AM to 2 PM at Cobb Galleria (free admission). Meet face-to-face with more than 50 top employers with great jobs at Atlanta's most popular, high caliber recruiting event for professional women. Register in advance for an exclusive early morning seminar with Women For Hire CEO Tory Johnson and Good Morning America's Workplace Contributor to get a jump-start on your job search success! Business attire and resumes required. Free resume critiquing throughout the day. Learn more details at www.womenforhire.com or by calling 212-580-6100.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Huddle House Lowers Franchise Fee to $5k; Eliminates Royalties for New Restaurants for First Five Months

/PRNewswire/ -- In this economy, franchise brands have been forced to think "outside-the-box" for franchise development strategies. Under the leadership of newly-hired Chief Development Officer, Thomas Flaherty, Huddle House has lowered its franchise fee for new development signed in 2010 to just $5k, with no royalties due for restaurants opening under the program for the first five months of operation.

"This program allows existing and new Huddle House franchisees the opportunity to develop with a lower cost of entry. Also, the savings in paying no royalty for the first five months provides fuel for new restaurants to advertise more heavily during the initial stages," Flaherty said. "This model also encourages multi-unit development."

"Many good investments are made during a down economy," said Huddle House CEO, Phil Greifeld. "And our incentive program provides a great investment benefit to both existing and new franchisees."

Flaherty noted that Huddle House is looking to attract experienced operators for new development in target markets.

When Flaherty was recruited by Huddle House, he was charged with creating momentum for the brand, to which he is no stranger. His extensive franchising experience includes personally negotiating and signing over 1,400 new Papa John's units in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. During his tenure with Papa John's, the company grew from approximately 1,500 units to over 3,400.

"The Huddle House team has done a tremendous job throughout its 45-year history in developing and growing the brand," Flaherty said. "The exciting thing is that there is still a great deal of growth potential... and we have a lot of new and exciting things happening right now!"

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Digital Communications Expert Jill Foster Shares Her Expertise on the SCORE Women’s Success Blog in February

SCORE, America’s small business mentors, announces that social media expert Jill Foster of Washington, D.C., appears as a SCORE guest blogger in February. Visit the SCORE Women’s Success Blog at http://womensblog.score.org. Or, view her posts through the SCORE Web site, www.score.org.

Jill Foster teaches communications through social media tools and community engagement in the Washington, D.C. area. In 2006, she started DC Media Makers, along with other social tech enthusiasts, to promote digital literacy. She was named by Forbes magazine as one of 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter.

In 2008, Foster covered events at the Democratic National Convention as a blogger using mobile media, with her work featured in national and international publications. In 2009, her co-produced mobile media project won the Apps for Democracy Social Citizen Award.

As a founding editor of Women Grow Business, Foster’s projects have started conversation about entrepreneurship and digital technology in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post. The Washingtonian named her as a Top 100 Tech Titan for community building and business mentorship.

The SCORE Women’s Success Blog also features six women SCORE leaders who offer their insights, advice and fresh takes on issues facing women entrepreneurs across America. They include:
Julie Brander, management and manufacturing expert with New Haven SCORE
Peg Corwin, sales and marketing expert with Chicago SCORE
Peggy Duncan, productivity expert with Atlanta SCORE
Vernita Naylor, project management and branding expert with Fort Worth SCORE
Betty Otte, franchise expert with Orange County SCORE in Calif.
Christine Banning, vice president of marketing and communications with the SCORE Association in Washington, D.C.
SCORE won the prestigious 2009 Interactive Media Award (IMA) for Outstanding Achievement for the SCORE Women’s Success Blog.

Since 1964, SCORE, America’s small business mentors, has helped more than 8.5 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 12,400 volunteer business counselors in 364 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE on the Web at www.score.org and www.score.org/women.
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