ATLANTA – Those out of town guests who visit the Peach State have a $60.8 billion economic impact and contribute $3.1 billion in state and local tax revenue.
“With a record economic impact of $60.8 billion, Georgia’s tourism industry is a powerful economic development tool for local communities and our state as a whole,” said Gov. Nathan Deal, speaking at the annual Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the Capitol in 2018. “This impact goes well beyond direct spending by visitors, as the industry provides job opportunities for more than 450,200 Georgians, accounting for approximately 10.6 percent of the state’s non-farm workforce. As this industry continues to grow, this success reflects our state’s status as a world-class tourism destination and once again affirms that Georgia is on the minds of travelers around the globe.”
Deal also unveiled the cover of the official 2018 state travel guide, which features Georgia-native Jason Aldean, the reigning Academy of Country Music “Entertainer of the Year.” The cover photo was taken in Macon, Aldean’s hometown, at The Big House Museum where original members of The Allman Brothers Band lived and wrote some of their first songs.
“Being from Georgia is something I’m really proud of,” said Aldean. “A lot of my influences as an artist come from its musical history and it will always be a big part of who I am.”
The travel guide provides visitors with detailed information on Georgia’s tourism assets including trip ideas, attractions, accommodations and events. More than 700,000 copies will be distributed to encourage potential visitors to plan trips to enjoy authentic Georgia experiences.
“Tourism drives employment and economic growth throughout the state,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Pat Wilson. “This year’s Georgia Travel Guide highlights an abundance of unique experiences that set us apart from other destinations. From the beginning of the trip planning process, to the moment they arrive in our state, we want to provide the best experience for our visitors.”
The free guides are available at one of the state’s 12 visitor information centers, travel and trade shows, ExploreGeorgia.org and 1-800-VISIT GA. GDEcD partnered with Atlanta Magazine Custom Media, the award-winning publisher of Atlanta Magazine and Southbound Magazine, to produce the travel guide.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects. For more information, visit www.georgia.org.Read More
There is little doubt that valuing a business is often complex. In part, this complexity is due to the fact that business evaluation is subjective. The simple fact is that the value of a business is often left to the mercy of the person conducting the evaluation. Adding yet another level of complexity is the fact that the person conducting the valuation has no choice but to assume that all the information provided is, in fact, correct and accurate.
In this article, we will explore the six key issues that must be considered when determining the value of a business. As you will see, determining the value of a business involves taking in several factors.
Factor #1 – Intangible Assets
Intangible assets can make determining the value of a business quite tricky. Intellectual property ranging from patents to trademarks and copyrights can impact the value of a business. These intangible assets are notoriously difficult to value.
Factor #2 – Product Diversity
One of the truisms of valuing a business is that businesses with only one product or service are at much greater risk than a business that has multiple products or services. Product or service diversity will play a role in most valuations.
Factor #3 – ESOP Ownership
A company that is owned by its employees can present evaluators with a real challenge. Whether partially or completely owned by employees, this situation can restrict marketability and in turn impact value.
Factor #4 – Critical Supply Sources
If a business is particularly vulnerable to supply disruptions, for example, using a single supplier in order to achieve a low-cost competitive advance, then expect the evaluator to take notice. The reason is that a supply disruption could mean that a business’ competitive edge is subject to change and thus vulnerable. When supply is at risk then there could be a disruption of delivery and evaluators will notice this factor.
Factor #5 – Customer Concentration
If a company has just one or two key customers, which is often the situation with many small businesses, this can be seen as a serious problem.
Factor #6 – Company or Industry Life Cycle
A business, who by its very nature, may be reaching the end of an industry life cycle, for example, typewriter repair, will also face challenges during the evaluation process. A business that is facing obsolescence usually has bleak prospects.
There are other issues that can also impact the valuation of a company. Some factors can include out of date inventory, as well as reliance on short contracts and factors such as third-party or franchise approvals being necessary for selling a company. The list of factors that can negatively impact the value of a company are indeed long. Working with a business broker is one way to address these potential problems before placing a business up for sale.Read More
Selling your business doesn’t have to feel like online dating, but for many sellers this is exactly what it can feel like. Many sellers are left wondering, “What exactly do buyers want to see in order to buy my company?” Working with a business broker is an excellent way to take some of the mystery out of this often elusive equation. In general, there are three areas that business sellers should give particular attention to in order to make their businesses more attractive to buyers.
Area #1 – The Quality of Earnings
The bottom line, no pun intended, is that many accountants and intermediaries can be rather aggressive when it comes to adding back one-time or non-recurring expenses. Obviously, this can cause headaches for sellers. Here are a few examples of non-recurring expenses: a building undergoing foundation repairs, expenses related to meeting new government guidelines or legal fees involving a lawsuit or actually paying for a major lawsuit.
Buyers will want to emphasize that a non-recurring expense is just that, a one-time expense that will not recur, and are not in fact, a drain on the actual, real earnings of a company. The simple fact is that virtually every business has some level of non-recurring expenses each and every year; this is just the nature of business. However, by adding back these one-time expenses, an accountant or business appraiser can greatly complicate a deal as he or she is not allowing for extraordinary expenses that occur almost every year. Add-backs can work to inflate the earnings and lead to a failure to reflect the real earning power of the business.
Area #2 – Buyers Want to See Sustainability of Earnings
It is only understandable that any new owner will be concerned that the business in question will have sustainable earnings after the purchase. No one wants to buy a business only to see it fail due to a lack of earnings a short time later or buy a business that is at the height of its earnings or buy a business whose earnings are the result of a one-time contract. Sellers can expect that buyers will carefully examine whether or not a business will grow in the same rate, or a faster rate, than it has in the past.
Area #3 – Buyers Will Verify Information
Finally, sellers can expect that buyers will want to verify that all information provided is accurate. No buyer wants an unexpected surprise after they have purchased a business. Sellers should expect buyers to dig deep in an effort to ensure that there are no skeletons hiding in the closet. Whether its potential litigation issues or potential product returns or a range of other potential issues, you can be certain that serious buyers will carefully evaluate your business and verify all the information you’ve provided.
By stepping back and putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer, you can go a long way towards helping ensure that the deal is finalized. Further, working with an experienced business broker is another way to help ensure that you anticipate what a buyer will want to see well in advance.Read More
Georgia’s breakfast table just got a lot sweeter, with cheaper, fresher blueberries.
U.S. Department of Agriculture has cleared the Port of Savannah to serve as a new entry port for Chilean blueberries, according to a news release posted Jan. 16, 2018 by the Georgia Ports Authority.
Previously, the imported berries could only enter the U.S. through one of three regions: South Florida, Philadelphia/New York, and LA/Long Beach.
“Because Savannah is hundreds of miles closer to major Southeastern markets such as Atlanta, landing chilled cargo at Garden City Terminal means fruit reaches consumers faster, cheaper and fresher, with total transit time reduced by three to seven days,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch.
Blueberries from Chile are now handled in a controlled environment by PortFresh Logistics, located seven miles from Interstate 95 and 15 miles from GPA’s Garden City Terminal.
“For importers, shipping product to a port that is closer to the consumer market creates a more efficient supply chain and reduces overall cost,” said PortFresh CEO Brian Kastick. “In fact, customers can reduce transit costs by $1,700 per truck when they use the Port of Savannah.”
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 370,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.
GPA is working with the USDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to increase the number of commodities and countries that can use Savannah as a port of entry. Blueberries are the latest addition to an expanding portfolio at the Port of Savannah, which now includes imported mangos, citrus, grapes, avocados, bananas, apples and pears.
“Savannah already has an established outbound refrigerated market serving exports of domestic products such as pecans, poultry and other proteins,” said Chris Logan, GPA senior director of Trade Development for beneficial cargo owner sales. “Loaded inbound refrigerated boxes represent an expansion opportunity, because they reduce repositioning costs, and deliver savings to our ocean carriers, importers and exporters. Perishables are a key and growing market segment for the GPA.”
Lynch said the GPA has invested steadily in refrigerated container racks, in keeping with an overall philosophy of maintaining infrastructure at least 20 percent above current demand.
The GPA’s FY2018 budget calls for the addition of five refrigerated container racks (for a total of 109), which will add 120 container slots. Once the addition is completed, the new total for rack slots will be 2,616. Counting 716 chassis plug-ins, Savannah’s total capacity will be 3,332 containers at a time.
The Port of Savannah offers on-terminal inspection offices for U.S. Customs & Border Protection and the Department of Agriculture, speeding the inspection process for chilled cargo. Inspection at local facilities can also be arranged, Logan said.Read More
When it comes to selling a family-owned business there are no shortage of complicating factors, but one in particular pops up quite often. This article contains a true story about a popular family business that was built up from the ground up only to later meet a very sad ending. While this is just one story, there are countless similar situations all across the country.
Once upon a time, there was a family-owned pizza dough company that had millions in sales. They sold their pizza dough to a range of businesses including restaurants and supermarkets. The founder had five children and split the business equally amongst them. Complicating matters was the fact that the children didn’t feel compelled to work in the family business. As a result, they turned the operation of the business over to two members of the third generation.
Once the founder’s children reached retirement age, they decided that they wanted to sell. So, they hired a business broker. The business broker began the search for an appropriate buyer, however, there was little interest. After considerable effort, the business broker found a successful businessman who offered to buy the pizza dough business for 50% of the sales, which was a good price. The business broker took the offer to the five owners and that is when the problems began.
A huge family argument was unleashed and the business broker was cut out of the loop. Later the offer was turned down flat and worst of all there was no counter-proposal, no attempt to negotiate price, terms, conditions or anything else. In short, the offer was finished and done. In the end, the business broker had lost several months of hard work.
Wondering what had happened, the business broker learned that two of the third-generation members who had been operating the business didn’t want to sell out of fear of losing their jobs. Over two decades later, the business has experienced almost no growth and is essentially breaking even. The owners, now in their 70s will likely never receive anything for their equity.
What you have just read is a true story, although the specific business type has been changed. This story serves to outline the problems that can arise when it comes time to sell a family business, especially if there is no agreement in place. Passing on this deal meant that the five children lost a considerable amount of money; this would have of course been money that could have made their retirement much more pleasant.
The story is both tragic and cautionary, in that this great business built from scratch by its founder was, in the end, left to flounder.
There is a moral to this story. Family-owned businesses need to have strict guidelines in place concerning issues such as salaries, benefits, what happens when one member wants to cash out and more. Such issues should be worked out with professionals, such as business brokers, years in advance.Read More