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Sears announces 4 Metro Atlanta stores among those to close

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- At least four Metro Atlanta Kmart stores are among the 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores to close nationally, company officials revealed Thursday afternoon.

Sears Holdings initially announced the closings Tuesday, saying the closings were going to occur due to faltering sales during the holiday season.

In the information released Thursday, Sears Holdings announced closings for 79 locations, indicating that announcements of other closings would be forthcoming.

The company says same-store sales figures fell 5.2 percent in the eight weeks ending Christmas Day.  That came from a 4.4 percent drop in sales at Kmart stores and a 6 percent slide in sales at domestic Sears stores.

'Mega Monday' expected to set records for shopping, returns

ATLANTA -- It's the biggest gift return day of the season, and experts predict "Mega Monday" could be as big as Cyber Monday or Black Friday.

Retailers slashed prices to entice customers already heading to stores to exchange gifts and hunt for after-Christmas bargains.

"Thirty-five percent more people will be returning this year, than last year," said Janice Lieberman, Consumer Correspondent for the Today Show. "For every dollar spent during the holiday, almost ten cents of it is returned." 

Some store make returns much easier than others. 

Sears may be the number one easy return store because they not only readily accept returns, but they extended their return window to 120 days through this holiday season.

The Money Tree files for Chapter 11

The Money Tree files for Chapter 11

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. -- The Money Tree Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing difficulties branching from customers who didn't repay loans.

The Bainbridge, Ga.-based consumer lender said Dec. 19 it filed for bankruptcy at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama, where its accountants are located.

The Money Tree makes small consumer loans as well as loans for cars under the brand name Best Buy Autos. That arm is not part of the bankruptcy filing and will continue operating as normal.

The company intends to stay in business while it goes through reorganization plans -- it will cut the number of branches from 92 to 46.

"We have done everything possible to try and protect the integrity of our investors and the company," president Bradley Bellville said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

First Data: Consumers held back on spending until end of Nov.

First Data: Consumers held back on spending until end of Nov.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Consumers knew better deals were coming on Black Friday and held back on spending until the end of November, according to First Data's latest SpendTrend report.

VIDEO: Black Friday brawl at Ellijay Walmart

The privately held Sandy Springs-based electronic payments company reported year-over-year dollar volume growth was up 7.3 percent in November, down from October's 9.4 percent jump.

Dollar volume growth was 8.1 percent, while transaction growth was 6.1 percent in November.

Local couple donates $250,000 to Gwinnett Tech

Local couple donates $250,000 to Gwinnett Tech

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Gwinnett philanthropists Clyde and Sandra Strickland have donated $250,000 to the Legacy of Lives Campaign at Gwinnett Technical College.

The program establishes scholarships for students in certain programs, and helps others enroll in the school after obtaining their GEDs.

RELATED: New Heart & Vascular Center at Gwinnett Medical Center to be named for the Stricklands

Preparing for Taxageddon: Interstate Tax Strategies is Helping Atlanta Disarm Tax Time Bombs

Preparing for Taxageddon: Interstate Tax Strategies is Helping Atlanta Disarm Tax Time Bombs

 

With the United States’ growing unemployment rate and rising deficit, state governments have become very aggressive at finding additional tax revenue. They are actively looking for companies that they can audit and assess for back taxes. According to Internet Retailer, e-commerce rose 14.8% in 2010, creating a golden opportunity to help states, including Georgia, supplement their income. More and more local businesses are hearing the word “nexus” brought into play, leaving a thin line in sales tax obligations. Regardless of the industry, companies with customers in multiple states should carefully evaluate the tax filing requirements and the tax rules where their customers are located. 

Interstate Tax Strategies P.C. is working to correct sales tax problems for multistate businesses—before the auditor arrives!

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Revenue stamped its approval on $50 million in donations under the Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

The program lets people and businesses get tax credit for donations to scholarships for Georgia children to attend private schools.

Fifty million dollars is the most allowed under the program. In 2012, the statewide cap on donations will increase by the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index until 2018.

Individuals can donate up to $1,000, while married couples have a donation cap of $2,500. Corporations can donate up to 75 percent of their state income tax liability.

The American Federation for Children estimated more than 6,000 students last year got scholarships to attend private schools through the program.