Business Briefs: Strauss Construction closing after 28 years

Business Briefs: Strauss Construction closing after 28 years

May 4th, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Strauss Construction closing after 28 years

After 28 years, John Straussberger is shutting down his Strauss Construction Co. in Chattanooga.

"I just felt like it was time to do it," Straussberger said when contacted at his Tremont Street office in North Chattanooga.

Since its start in 1990, Strauss Construction has completed more than $150 million in building projects of all sizes and complexities, including 162 building projects in the past decade in the city of Chattanooga alone, according to building permit records.

Strauss began working on the Edwin Hotel near the Walnut Street Bridge nearly three years ago, but the company was recently replaced as general contractor on the project.

Straussberger said he is no longer working on any projects and is in the process of closing down the business.


VW recalls Passats over air bag woes

A recall has been issued for 71,335 Volkswagen Passat sedans and wagons in the 2006-2007 model years.

Upon deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to explode, according to the company.

The recall does not involve Passats made at its Chattanooga assembly plant, since production didn't begin there until 2011.

Volkswagen plans to notify owners, and dealers will replace the front driver air bag inflator with an alternate inflator free of charge.

The recall began earlier this week. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to


Food City to hire 750 at job fairs

Food City will hold a career fair on May 14 and 15 at all its locations from 1 to 7 p.m. for full- and part-time positions.

Food City plans to hire over 750 people to work in key customer and food service posts at store locations throughout its market area. The positions include both entry-level and experienced/skilled positions, such as meat cutter, cake decorator and retail management.

Interested candidates can apply online at or visit any Food City location to complete an employment application.


Mortgage rates dip to 4.55 percent

The key long-term U.S. mortgage rate declined slightly this week, after a steady rise for most of April that pushed the rate to its highest level in more than four years.

With the spring buying season underway, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 4.55 percent from 4.58 percent last week. By contrast, the benchmark rate averaged 4.02 percent a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans ticked up to 4.03 percent from 4.02 percent last week.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.69 percent from 3.74 percent last week. The fee remained at 0.3 percent.


Record exports cut U.S. trade deficit

Record exports trimmed the U.S. trade deficit in March, the first drop in seven months in a massive gap that President Donald Trump is determined to shrink with an aggressive America-first policy.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit — the difference between what America sells and what it buys in foreign markets — slid to $49 billion, down from $57.7 billion in February and lowest since September.

Trump has vowed to bring down America's massive deficits, which he blames on bad trade agreements and abusive practices by U.S. trading partners.

Exports rose in March to a record $208.5 billion, led by shipments of civilian aircraft and soybeans. Imports slipped 1.8 percent to $257.5 billion.

The United States ran a $20.5 billion surplus in the trade of services such as education and banking. But that was offset by a $69.5 billion deficit in the trade of goods.