December 2013 Features

  • Valdosta Chamber Announces Southwest Georgia Bank’s Sponsorship of Annual Business Plan Competition

    December 18, 2013

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and Southwest Georgia Bank (SGB) have just announced SGB’s commitment to sponsoring the Chamber’s annual business plan competition for the next three years, from 2014 through 2016. SGB will be providing a total of $30,000 in start-up capital over the course of the sponsorship for the competition winners to come, an investment aimed at quickly stimulating economic growth in the community.

  • Henderson & Godbee, LLP: Planning Year-End Tax Moves in an Uncertain World

    December 17, 2013

    Tax planning has never been tougher. In order to make moves at the end of the year to minimize your tax exposure, you need some idea of what the tax rules will be in the year ahead. But with an improving yet fragile economy, growing budget concerns and political gridlock in Washington, it's difficult to know what to expect in terms of tax-rule changes.

  • Stacy Bush on Charitable Giving as Part of Estate Planning

    December 16, 2013

    Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy cannot only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the amount of taxes your estate may owe when you die.

  • Poll: Georgians Concerned About Effects of Obamacare

    December 13, 2013

    Healthcare Georgia Foundation today released the results of a statewide public opinion poll to gauge how Georgians perceive the cost and quality of their healthcare. According to the poll, Georgians rate the quality of healthcare in the state a modest 7.26/10, with ten being excellent and one being poor. Georgians were also surveyed about their perceptions about what the government is doing about healthcare today.

  • Economic Forecast: Georgia’s Economy Will Rise More than the National Average Next Year

    December 12, 2013

    Buoyed by rising home prices, smart economic policies and new jobs, Georgia's economy will rise more than the national average next year. That was the message delivered by Charles B. Knapp, interim dean of the Terry College of Business and president emeritus of the University of Georgia, at the Georgia Economic Outlook luncheon held Dec. 11 in Atlanta.

  • SGMC Foundation & Kohl’s Announce 2014 Program for Kids

    December 11, 2013

    Kohl's Department Stores, through the Kohl's Cares® cause merchandise program, has donated $33,204 to the SGMC Foundation. The donations were collected from Kohl’s stores located in the Valdosta area. Kohl’s has gifted more than $208,000 to SGMC’s Foundation since 2007.

  • Don’t Let That Business Plan Collect Dust on a Shelf

    December 10, 2013

    Small business owners rank creating a business plan right up there with writing the dreaded high school term paper, college thesis, and bar exam rolled into one, says Tim Berry.

  • Lawmakers To Consider State Level Healthcare Reforms

    December 09, 2013

    With the holiday season upon us, the thoughts of most will turn away from politics and on to things that actually matter. And yet, when the presents have been opened and the calendar turns to 2014, there will be less than 2 weeks before the start of Georgia’s General Assembly session. Thus, while most of us are celebrating and spending time with loved ones, some have already been preparing for what will likely be a short and speedy session of making laws.

  • Doug Robinson on “Making Your List and Checking it Twice”

    December 06, 2013

    As your humble monthly contributor, I would like to suggest a great Christmas or holiday gift that would be very relevant and appreciated by your salespeople, customer service reps, or technicians/installers. For ten years, while facilitating workshops and training classes for sales and customer service reps and sales managers, I repeatedly heard many of the participants encourage me to put my thoughts on paper and publish a book. After hearing this mantra regularly for several years, I decided to go for it, and listed, “write a book” on my bucket list.

  • Many Americans Leaving Unused Vacation Days on the Table

    December 04, 2013, released the results of the 2013 Vacation Deprivation study, an annual analysis of vacation habits among 8,535 employed adults across 24 countries and five continents. Americans are now treating vacations as a luxury rather than a right: Over the past year, typical Americans could have taken 14 days of vacation and took 10, leaving four days on the table, twice as many as the year prior.

  • HeritageBank of the South Thrives in Challenged Banking Industry

    December 03, 2013

    Where other banks see challenges, Heritage Financial Group sees opportunities. As interest rates ticked up in 2013 and mortgage-refinancing volumes dropped, big banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo have cut hundreds of jobs in their mortgage units. HeritageBank of the South, a subsidiary of Heritage Financial Group, is hiring.

  • Georgia-Filmed Productions Generate $3.3B in FY13

    December 02, 2013

    The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), announced today that Georgia-lensed feature films and television productions generated an economic impact of $3.3 billion in the state during FY13.