Saturday, May 24, 2008

BB&T Relocates Insurance Office to New Facility in Fayetteville

BB&T has relocated an insurance center to 350 Brandywine Blvd., Suite 200, Fayetteville. The office was previously located at 8455 Hwy. 85, Suite 100, Riverdale.

BB&T Reese Insurance, which is part of BB&T Insurance Services, is a full-service insurance center has been offering auto, home, life and business insurance to the community and regionally since 1974.

“We are excited to bring our products and services – and more importantly – the BB&T way of doing business to Fayetteville,” said Agency Manager Gary Laggis. “Our approach is to provide highly attentive, customized service for each client and their unique needs”

BB&T Reese Insurance will hold a ribbon-cutting for the new location on May 29.

BB&T Insurance Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Branch Banking and Trust Company Founded in 1922. It operates 85 agencies in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and Kentucky.

With $136.4 billion in assets, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) is the nation’s 14th largest financial holding company. It operates nearly 1,500 financial centers in 11 states and Washington, D.C. More information about the company is available at

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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sales Tax Holidays Set for July 31st-August 3rd and October 2nd-5th

Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed HB 948, the sales and use tax bill, which continues the annual “back to school” sales tax holiday as well as the annual energy efficient products sales tax holiday. This year, with the signing of SB 342, water efficient products with the WaterSense designation will also be eligible for the energy efficient products sales tax holiday.

“Sales tax holidays continue to provide Georgians with much needed relief when purchasing everyday household items, back to school supplies and, this year, water efficient products,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Past experience shows that retail stores will also benefit from an increase in sales, helping local economies to prosper.”

During the annual “back to school” sales tax holiday, Georgia shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase certain clothing items, computers and computer accessories tax-free. The “back to school” sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m., Thursday, July 31st and continues until midnight Sunday, August 3rd.

“This legislation offers Georgians the opportunity to save needed dollars on items ranging from school supplies to energy efficient products,” said Rep. Lynn Smith. “I am pleased that we can continue this tradition.”

Georgia’s fourth annual ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m., Thursday, October 2nd and continues until midnight on October 5th. During this period, products with the ENERGY STAR designation will be exempt from the state sales and use tax. WaterSense products will be eligible for the tax free sales tax holiday during this period.

WaterSense will help consumers identify water-efficient products and programs. The WaterSense label will indicate that these products and programs meet water efficiency and performance criteria. WaterSense labeled products will perform well, help save money and encourage innovation in manufacturing. For additional information on WaterSense, please visit

The sales tax exemption is intended only for individuals and their personal use. It does not apply to purchases made for resale, purchases by businesses, items leased or rented, or items sold at sports facilities, theme parks, restaurants, public lodging establishments and airports.
For more information on this legislation, please visit

Secretary of State Handel Applauds Governor Perdue for Signing HB 1104

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and Representative Katie Dempsey joined Governor Sonny Perdue as he signed House Bill 1104, a bill to strengthen Georgia’s Charitable Solicitations Act.

“This legislation provides common sense changes that will help better protect Georgia citizens from fraud, ease administrative burdens on charities, and does more to stop dishonest solicitors from operating in our state,” Secretary Handel said.

House Bill 1104 will increase the transparency of financial arrangements between a charity and its paid solicitor and require paid solicitors to inform the person being solicited that the contract disclosing the financial arrangements between the paid solicitor and the charity is available from the Georgia Secretary of State.

The legislation ensures that the Secretary of State has jurisdiction over charitable solicitors acting on behalf of a charity located in Georgia which is soliciting contributions from outside the state, over solicitation originating in Georgia, and over out-of-state charities soliciting Georgia citizens.

HB 1104 was introduced by Representative Katie Dempsey and passed the House chamber 148-1. Senator Judson Hill of Marietta carried the bill in the Senate. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0.

Karen Handel was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2007. The Secretary of State's office offers important services to our citizens and our business community. 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.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

SBA Honors Top Lenders of 7(a), 504, and Export Loans; Inner City Lenders, at National Small Business Week

The U.S. Small Business Administration today recognized the performance and support to small business of the top SBA lenders in the nation. Six banks, including BB&T in Atlanta, and two small business finance corporations were honored for their outstanding achievements in helping small business with their financing needs.

Export Lender of the Year Award went to BB&T in Atlanta. Mark Edwards, President SBA Group at BB&T, accepted the award on behalf of the bank. The bank office is at 5901-C Peachtree Dunwoody Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30328, (770) 901-3284

The awards are part of the celebration of National Small Business Week 2008, an annual event sponsored and hosted by the SBA to honor the nation’s top small entrepreneurs, lenders and other advocates of small business. Criteria for the lender awards include loan volume as well as demonstrated commitment to small business and community development by recipients. This year, National Small Business Week runs from April 21 – 25 with events in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

“As small business goes, so goes the economy, and one vital component of small business success is the ability to secure financing,” said SBA Administrator Steve Preston. “These lending institutions we recognize today have shown outstanding leadership in their commitment to and support of small businesses in their communities. We are proud of our partnership, and pleased to present them with these well-deserved awards.”

The eight lending institutions come from Arizona, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas and Utah, and were honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration during an event at The Westin New York at Times Square in New York City, as part of the celebration of National Small Business Week 2008.

National Small Business Week also honors State Small Business Persons of the Year from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

The awards to lenders were presented by SBA Administrator Steve Preston at an event sponsored by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. The 7(a) Loan Lender of the Year was split into two sub-categories: Large lender for banks with an SBA loan portfolio of $100 million plus, and small lender for a portfolio of less than $100 million.

A new category of lender award was added this year to recognize banks that have excelled in their lending to inner city businesses. The Inner City Leadership Award for largest loan volume to inner city businesses went to Wells Fargo of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pacific City Bank of Los Angeles, California, won the Inner City Leadership Award for highest percentage of inner city loans to SBA portfolio.

The other honorees are:

7(a) Lender of the Year Award
Large 7(a) Loan Lender of the Year – Ms. Min Jung Kim, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nara Bank and Nara Bancorp, 3731 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1000, Los Angeles, California 90010, (213) 427-6350.

Small 7(a) Lender of the Year – Tim Romano, President, First National Bank of Arizona, National Association, 17600 N Perimeter Dr., Scottsdale, Arizona, 85255, 480-458-3031.

504 Lender of the Year Award
Large 504 Lender of the Year – Steve Suite, Chief Administrative Officer, Mountain West Small Business Finance, 2595 East 3300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, (801) 412-3772.

Small 504 Lender of the Year – Maria Gooch-Smith, Executive Director, South Eastern
Economic Development Corporation, 80 Dean Street, Taunton, Massachusetts 02780

Award to Domestic Bank doing the most domestic loans to exporters - Larry Conley,
Senior Vice President, JP Morgan Chase Bank, 811 Rusk Street, 18th Floor, Houston, TX 77002, (713) 483-1043.

Leadership in Inner City Lending Awards – Tom Burke, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo, 1455 West Lake Street, Suite 306, N9388-030, Minneapolis, MN 55408, 612-667-2753.

Jung Chan Chang, President & Chief Executive Officer, Pacific City Bank, 3701 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 402, Los Angeles, CA 90010, (213) 210-2010.

For additional information on Small Business Week 2008, including a full schedule of events and information on all award winners, visit