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Aug. 8 - U.S. Department of Labor Seeks Public Comment on Changes To Family and Medical Leave Act Forms

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

August 8, 2019 - The U.S. Department of Labor has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a 60-day period for public comment on proposed revisions to optional use forms that the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provides for public use in the administration of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The revisions will make the forms easier to understand for employers, leave administrators, healthcare providers, and employees seeking leave. The revisions will increase compliance with the law, improve customer service, and improve the administration of the law. WHD drafted the revisions with input from the public in letters, interviews, and public meetings.

Improved enforcement provides a more level playing field for employers and ensures workers receive the protections the law provides.

“Workers succeed when they know they don’t have to choose between taking care of themselves or a loved one, and keeping a job,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl M. Stanton. “Proposing these changes to improve compliance under the Family and Medical Leave Act is a win for workers and employers. It’s an important step forward to meet the needs of the rapidly changing 21st century economy.”

The changes will reduce the time it takes a health care provider to provide information, and help leave administrators review and communicate information to employees more directly and clearly, reducing violations.

WHD provides a wide variety of educational compliance assistance tools that explain the law’s requirements on its FMLA webpage.

More information about the proposed changes is available at the Federal Register. The Department encourages any interested members of the public to submit comments about the proposed changes electronically at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2019, to be considered.

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July 24 - Thrillist Names Zunzi's One of the Best Sandwich Shops in America

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

July 24, 2019 - Thrillist, a national online media website covering food, drink, travel and entertainment, has named Zunzi's one of the best sandwich shops in America.

Thrillist selected 33 winners throughout the United States, describing this prestigious list of  shops as those that represent the best of American sandwiching, from old-school delis to high-end counters, trend-setting international flavor ambassadors, and everything in between. 

Click here to read the full article.

PEOPLE Magazine also recently teamed up with online restaurant guide The Infatuation, and selected the Conquistador, Zunzi’s uniquely South African inspired sandwich, as the “Best Sandwich in Georgia.”

Zunzi's first opened its doors in 2005 in Savannah, GA with the sole purpose of filling the tummies of college students at the Savannah College of Art & Design with home cooked meals. Since then, Zunzi's South African inspired menu has won the hearts of not only SCAD students, but locals and tourists visiting Savannah. By popular demand, Zunzi's expanded to Atlanta, GA and opened its second location in May 2018. Zunzi's is now focused on further expansion by franchising locations in the Southeast. 

For more information visit  

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July 18 - Anne Pappas Interiors Opens New Full-Service Design Studio and Showroom in Downtown Savannah

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

July 18, 2019 - Anne Pappas Interiors, one of Georgia’s leading interior design firms, recently opened a new full-service design studio and showroom at 101 W. Liberty Street in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District.

“We’re thrilled to open our new design studio and showroom in downtown Savannah, serving clients across the region,” said Pappas. “This inspiring space will allow our talented team of designers to provide exceptional creative services to clientele who appreciate the art of design.”

Located at the corner of Liberty Street and Whitaker Street in the former Barroll and Barroll building, Anne Pappas Interiors offers a variety of interior design services tailored to each individual project, providing seamless support from concept through installation. The new showroom also features a wide range of fabrics, finishes and decorative elements for residential and commercial projects. 

The building also serves as the headquarters for Abode Fine Home Staging, a collaboration between Pappas and project manager Mary Eckwall, providing strategic home staging services for luxury real estate clients and private community developers. 

A member of Coastal Living and Southern Living’s exclusive Designer Network, Pappas offers a fresh, inspired approach to interior design, incorporating a variety of textures and design elements inspired by nature, travel and global style. This talented designer often brings back unique textiles, art and furnishings from her travels abroad to India and throughout Europe for projects here in the Lowcountry. 

A former staff designer for the Savannah College of Art and Design’s campuses in Savannah, Atlanta and Hong Kong, Pappas has worked on major commercial projects as well as residential interior design projects at luxury communities in coastal Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Pappas was recently selected as the official designer for Starland Village, an exciting new mixed-use development currently under construction at Bull Street and 38th Street in the heart of Savannah’s Starland neighborhood. 

Anne Pappas Interiors is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

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July 22 - Matthew Reardon Early Learning Academy Opening in Savannah Aug. 14

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

July 22, 2019 - The Matthew Reardon Early Learning Academy will open on Aug. 14, 2019 at 11500 Middleground Road, Savannah GA, 31419.

An open house will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., and tours are available by appointment the week of Aug. 5-9.

The Early Learning Academy (ELA) is a place for all children to learn through teacher-guided intentional play, meaningful interactions, and inquisitive exploration.

ELA’s goal is to incorporate all children in safe, creative, language-enriched classrooms where learning becomes a fun daily experience. The program is designed to foster all educational and emotional developmental areas for toddlers (18 months) to pre-kindergarten (48-60 months).

According to ELA Director Ciarra Torres, “Inclusion preschools are becoming increasingly popular in today’s society. Family diversity and individual acceptance are widely recognized as beneficial to the entire community. ELA’s mission is to create a facility where all children, with and without developmental differences, are cherished and encouraged to blossom into the persons they are meant to be. Every child deserves the opportunity to learn from others in a loving, safe, comfortable, and educational environment.”

Thirty years of research has shown that all children benefit tremendously in a setting which fosters increased opportunities to learn leadership skills, develop empathy, and broaden language acquisition and peer interactions.

Low child to teacher ratios (4:1) permit staff to focus on each individual child’s development, goals, and progress. ELA’s teaching staff consists of highly trained and caring teachers who collectively bring 30+ years of preschool teaching experience in the Savannah area to Southside’s newest educational gem. ELA classrooms and playground are well-equipped and spacious, far exceeding minimum space requirements.

Dr. Gail G. McGee, PhD, founder of the Walden School at Emory University, is consulting with ELA to replicate components of Walden for inclusive early education. Modeled on learning through incidental teaching, Walden methodology takes advantage of naturally occurring “incidents” to teach important skills. Parental involvement is a key component in the program, including professionally-led training sessions for all families on topics such as behavior management, incidental teaching at home, language enrichment, and much more.

The Early Learning Academy is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a formal educational program from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information visit 

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July 16 - Feed The Hungry and St. Joseph’s/Candler to Open The Empowerment Center

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

July 16, 2019 - Rep. Carl Gilliard and St. Joseph’s/Candler are partnering to create The Empowerment Center to help families rise up out of poverty.

“We recognize the difficulties that the working poor have and we want to help their families become successful and sustainable,” said Rep. Gilliard, who founded Feed The Hungry in 2009. “The Empowerment Center is going to change the narrative on poverty.”

St. Joseph’s/Candler is providing and renovating space next to the health system’s Good Samaritan Clinic in Garden City to house The Empowerment Center. Rep. Gilliard will bring in a number of different local and state agencies that can help people gain skills or find resources to help with employment, education or certifications.

“A healthy life is marked by more than just the absence of disease. People need a good education, life skills, job training and a safe home,” said Paul P. Hinchey, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler. “The Empowerment Center fits squarely into our mission and history of community outreach and we are extremely excited to partner with Rep. Gilliard to improve the lives of those in our community.”

This is a natural partnership for two entities who have spent their existence helping those in need. 

Gilliard is currently a state Representative covering western Chatham County but has spent his life working for civil rights and fighting violence plaguing cities. He founded the Chatham County Youth Commission, Project L.O.V.E. Inc, several anti-crime initiatives and spread his message on many different media outlets. In 2009 he began Feed the Hungry and has provided more than one million servings of hot food and fresh produce. The organization has grown into 12 cities in Georgia and two in South Carolina. 

St. Joseph’s/Candler lives its important mission to treat illness and promote wellness for all people. And not just in healthcare. The health system’s St. Mary’s Community Center, St. Mary’s Health Center, Good Samaritan Clinic and African-American Health Resource and Information Center had more than 78,000 contacts with people last year needing help free of charge. St. Joseph’s/Candler community outreach programs help provide that.

The Empowerment Center will host and partner with:

  • The Georgia Department of Labor
  • The Georgia Department of Transportation DBE Certification Program
  • The Georgia Department of Community Affairs
  • New Beginnings Conflict Resolution Program
  • Small business development through the Georgia Secretary of State
  • Equal Opportunity Authority

Some of the regularly-scheduled classes will include topics on:

  • Soft skills
  • Financial literacy
  • Conflict resolution
  • New home buyer programs
  • College prep

The Empowerment Center is located at 4704 Augusta Road in Garden City.

Upcoming events at The Empowerment Center

July 16, 11 a.m.:  Family Health and Wellness Day. Free health screenings and 200 free watermelons to the first attendees. Presented by Clover Health.

July 17 11 a.m.: Expungement Clinic and Lunch with the Chatham County Sheriff's Office. (Presented by Georgia Legal Services)

July 18 11 a.m.: Job Fair (Presented by EOA).

July 19 Noon: DBE Certification presented by the Georgia Department of (Transportation DBE Supportive Services)

July 20 10 a.m.: Georgia Dream Program Down Payment Assistance Program. (Presented by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs).

The week of July 22-26 the Empowerment Center will do exclusive hiring events to help people get into careers. They will also focus on registration for a GED program in partnership with Savannah Technical College, as well as financial literacy and soft skills training.

To register for any program visit or call 912-436-7380.


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