Category: Industry

Bethesda Academy Hosts Savannah’s 2017 State of Small Business

Bethesda Academy Hosts Savannah’s 2017 State of Small Business

Savannah’s 2017 State of Small Business to be Livestreamed on Dec. 1

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Fifth Annual State of Small Business will be livestreamed Friday, Dec. 1, at noon from the campus of Bethesda Academy.

Reports will be issued by 11 area experts who will have three minutes each to present their information on measurable benchmarks relating to Savannah’s small business community. A panel of small business owners will then discuss the implications of the data.

The livestream will be broadcast from the William H. Ford, SR. Museum at Bethesda Academy. The webstreaming services are provided by Stage Front – a better plan for AV.
This presentation will only be available to the public online at

2017 State of Small Business subjects and presenters include:

> Small Business Employment Statistics
Michael Toma, Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at Armstrong State University

> Tourism
Michael Owens, CEO of Tourism Leadership Council

> Commercial Real Estate Trends
Rhett Mouchet, Associate Broker, Colliers International Savannah

> Internet Speeds and Their Effect on Business Growth
Susan Speros, CEO at Speros

> Local Growth in Construction
Peter Ghilarducci, Development Services Liaison, city of Savannah

> Film Industry in Savannah
Charles Bowen, Corporate/Entertainment Attorney at The Bowen Law Group

> Freight Shipping Trends
Lee Beckman, Georgia Ports Authority, Garden City Terminal

> Education Statistics
Catalina Garcia-Quick, Executive Director of Communities in Schools

> Small Business Access to Capital in the Savannah Region
Tony O’Reilly, President of the Small Business Assistance Corporation

> Labor Statistics
Faith Copeland-Pittman, Business Services Recruiter for the Georgia Department of Labor

> Economic Development in Chatham County
Brandt Herndon, Vice President of Business Development for the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA)

A PDF of all reports will be available on the Savannah SCORE website in mid-December.

The event is free to watch online and will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. at:

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #SmallBizSav17.

SCORE, part of the Small Business Administration (SBA), is the largest provider of free small business mentoring services and educational business programs in the United States. Since its inception in 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners successfully start and grow their businesses. SCORE now has 320 chapters nationwide with over 11,000 volunteers donating over 2 million hours of their time each year. In 2016, Savannah SCORE helped start 135 new businesses and create 329 new non-owner jobs. Because of its contributions to Savannah’s small business community, the chapter has been ranked in the top 30 SCORE chapters in the country and has been nominated as Chapter of the Year. If you are interested in speaking with a SCORE mentor about your business ideas or needs, or if you are interested in becoming a SCORE mentor, please call (912)-652-4335 or visit our website at

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.

Peacock Automotive Rebrands Collision Center

Peacock Automotive Rebrands Collision Center

(JASPER COUNTY, S.C.) Peacock Automotive has rebranded its NRAM Collision Center, just down the road from the firm’s Peacock Auto Mall, as the Peacock Collision Center.  Established in 2014, the Peacock Collision Center specializes in all types of collision repair, including frame straightening, suspension work, dent removal and glass repair. They also offer towing services.

Peacock Collision Center

Peacock Collision Center

“We recently celebrated our fifteenth anniversary and rebranded the New River Auto Mall as Peacock Auto Mall,” said Warner Peacock, president and CEO of Peacock Automotive. “The rebranding of Peacock Collision Center now associates the family name with this facility as well.”

The 36,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art collision center services an average of 250 vehicles monthly. Located at 1667 N. Okatie Highway in Ridgeland, S.C., the Peacock Collision Center employs 17 full-time employees.

The Collision Center has attained several special certifications, including Aluminum Certifications with Audi and Ford. The center is also on the Pro-First recommended program with Honda & Acura. They are certified with Infiniti, Nissan, GM and Chrysler, which includes Mopar brands, Ram, Dodge, Jeep, SRT & Fiat. The Technicians are trained on all makes and models and they are I-CAR Certified.

Peacock Collision Center accepts all major insurance carriers and has partnered with many of the major insurance companies, including USAA, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Safeco, Progressive, Hartford and more, to assist with customers’ vehicle repair requirements.

The Peacock Collision Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit the website at, call 800-483-0578 or email

Peacock Automotive owns and operates 20 automotive franchises in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida and employs more than 600 individuals. The company’s headquarters are located at the Peacock Auto Mall that covers 45 acres on U.S. 278, five miles east of Interstate 95 at Exit 8 in South Carolina. Thirteen brands are featured at the Auto Mall, including Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Genesis, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Porsche, Ram, Subaru and Volkswagen. Additionally, the company owns Savannah Volkswagen, Alfa Romeo & Fiat of Savannah and Jaguar Land Rover Columbia in Columbia, S.C. Its subsidiary, Peacock-Griffey Automotive, owns Peacock Subaru and Peacock Ford in Orlando, Fla. Peacock Automotive also owns and operates the Peacock Collision Center and the New River Wellness Institute in South Carolina. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258 or visit

Jill Jauch
Advertising and Marketing Manager

Southern Motors Acura Hosts Grand Opening for New Dealership on Chatham Parkway

Southern Motors Acura Hosts Grand Opening for New Dealership on Chatham Parkway
Public Invited to Join the Celebration Through Car Giveaway

(SAVANNAH, GA) Southern Motors Acura invites the public to join them at the grand opening of their new dealership at 102 Park of Commerce Dr. on Chatham Parkway on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As part of the celebration, one visitor will go home with a free two-year lease on a new Southern Motors Acura ILX.

The new outlet, with a 32,000-square-foot showroom, will offer new and used car sales and customer service while Southern Motors’ current location, which has been on Broughton Street for 88 years, will continue to provide service for downtown customers.

“We are thrilled with this expansive new building and footprint, which will allow us to grow and support our community,” said Ross Kaminsky, Southern Motors co-owner general manager. “And our customers can expect the same great service they are used to from one of the oldest family run dealerships in the area.”

The new showroom was designed by Lynch Associate Architects; JTVS Builders served as the general contractor.

Founded in 1929 by Julius Kaminsky, Southern Motors is a third-generation family owned and operated business.

The Kaminsky family believes in their city and feels it is important to show support through numerous charities and investments.

As part of that effort, a percentage of every car sold at Southern Motors benefits Hospice Savannah’s Camp Aloha. Weekend Camp Aloha is for children ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a loved one within the previous 24 months. The annual camp provides structured activities and plays to help the children realize they are not alone in their grief.

To enter the contest for a new Acura, submit a photo of your current ride to by Monday, Nov. 13, at 11:59 p.m.
Finalists will be personally invited to attend the grand opening.

For more information on the grand opening celebration, visit

Southern Motors Automotive Group was created in 1929 by Julius Kaminsky and is still thriving more than 88 years later. Their franchises now include Honda, Acura, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram. Southern Motors Acura is a premier retailer of new and used Acura vehicles. The dealership’s original location was 402 E. Broughton St. in Savannah, Ga., but has recently moved to a brand new dealership at 102 Park of Commerce Dr. Savannah, GA 31405. Southern Motors Acura has a strong and committed sales staff with many years of experience in satisfying customers’ needs. Their mission is to provide the highest quality sales and service, the most competitive price and a total “family” experience with the goal of earning customers for life. The business has won numerous awards, including being voted Best of Savannah for five consecutive years. For more information, call (912) 232-3333 or visit

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Commercial Construction: Workload Rising, Workforce Declining. Inspiring Young Americans to Choose a Career in Commercial Construction

Commercial Construction: Workload Rising, Workforce Declining. Inspiring Young Americans to Choose a Career in Commercial Construction
By Chris Tilton

Chris Tilton

Chris Tilton, Dewitt Tilton Group, a Commercial Construction Company

There’s been a lot of talk recently about how automation may soon replace people in the workforce in areas from transportation to financial sectors and others. Some academic counselors are even advising students not to pursue certain fields of study once thought to be sure bets for good future employment because a job may not be waiting for them when they get out of school.

One exception is the commercial construction industry.

Although it has benefited from many advancements in robotics, the commercial construction industry still needs skilled tradespeople to fill positions now and into the future. They include, among others, carpenters and concrete mixers, crew leaders and office managers with an immediate and ongoing need for qualified workers from entry level to management.

But the industry workforce is not growing as it should, so its leaders must do a better job of inspiring young people to seek careers in commercial construction.

Since the end of the 2008 recession, the workload has been steadily rising, but the workforce has failed to keep pace with qualified applicants needed for mid-level management positions and skilled labor jobs.

A recent study by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 73 percent of construction firms in the U.S. plan to expand their payrolls this year to meet project demands, but those surveyed also expressed concerns about the availability of qualified workers to fill those positions.

Europe is experiencing similar issues. According to a recent report in the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph, the construction industry will create nearly 200,000 new jobs over the next five years as demand for new homes fuels a boom in the sector.

So why is there such a large gap in the construction workforce? There are a number of reasons. Those who are in the profession are getting older and many mid-level professionals left during the recession to pursue other careers. Our industry must do more to retain the workers we have and lure back those who left, such as offering incentives like project completion bonuses.

But the big problem is that too few young people are pursuing construction jobs out of high school or college. That’s partly because the construction sector has an image problem and millennials tend to view the industry as old fashioned and not very dynamic. They also want security and variety in their careers and want to be challenged and valued.

So the construction industry has work to do to convince millennials of the value of working in construction. In reality, it has something for virtually everyone, from project management to 3D design and modeling, historic preservation, masonry, carpentry and more.

If we want to attract graduate-level talent from our colleges and universities, we need to change perceptions of our industry. As an example, a study by the National Association of Home Builders found that only three percent of young adults were interested in construction trades, citing the physical demands of difficult work as deterrents.

They also generally underestimated the financial benefits of a career in the construction trades. While it’s only one piece of the total employment package, competitive compensation is important. Normally, base salary is determined by the scope of the employee’s responsibilities, qualifications and years of experience. Construction workers earn an average salary of $31,910 per year. The average salary for a construction manager is $73,087 per year. Most companies offer a variety of programs that expand upon your benefits and compensation package too, and this information needs to be shared with our young workforce.

We should work closely with academic and technical colleges, as well as high schools, to provide information about the benefits of a career in commercial construction and its promising future. We should also offer more internships and apprenticeships that encourage young people to try construction and gain work experience while they learn a skill. By working with educators, we can help them define and streamline their programs to better focus on developing skill sets that are critically needed in the commercial construction industry.

Chris Tilton is the co-founder of the Dewitt Tilton Group, a Savannah area commercial construction company. For more information or to contact Tilton, call 912.777.3404 or email