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MACON, Ga. – Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. may have merged with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and intend to close its Macon factory next year, but that won’t spell the end for B&W FCU having a presence in the city. By the time the company relocates its factory here by mid-2006 to Winston-Salem, N.C., Louisville, Ky.-based B&W FCU will have moved its Macon branch currently housed at the factory in to a new branch office at the site of the former Northside Mortgage building on Riverside Drive. A credit union spokeswoman said the branch is expected to open by Jan. 31 or the first week in February. It’s located about four miles away from the factory. What’s more, B&W FCU will retain its name. President Jim Oliva said “that’s been our charter name from day one. Brown & Williamson hasn’t objected to us using it.” Even so, Oliva said the credit union is contemplating changing its name within 12-18 months. The former single-sponsor credit union also was approved recently for a community charter to serve nine counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana. It’s also been approved to serve underserved tracts in Bibb, Houston and Jones counties in Georgia. According to Oliva, the Brown & Williamson factory in Macon has about 2,100 employees. Of those, some of them will have early retirement options and others will have the opportunity to relocate to Winston-Salem. The factory has been in Macon for 30 years.

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