Our network

Business

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.

WellStreet plans 12 Metro Atlanta urgent care centers

WellStreet plans 12 Metro Atlanta urgent care centers

ATLANTA -- An Atlanta company called WellStreet Urgent Care said it plans to open 12 urgent care centers in Metro Atlanta in 2012.

The first center will open in January at 2292 Peachtree Road in Buckhead, the company said.

Others are planned in Alpharetta, Austell, Chastain, Decatur, Dunwoody, Marietta, Peachtree City, Sandy Springs and Woodstock, according to the company's website.

"By the end of 2012, the company plans to become the largest provider of urgent care services in the Atlanta metroplex," WellStreet said in a statement.

WellStreet said its centers will be open extended hours, seven days a week, and be located in neighborhood retail centers. The company's chief medical officer is Dr. Lee Resnick.

For more information, visit wellstreet.com.

Barter to Reign at Tradebank’s Atlanta Holiday Trade Expo on Nov. 20, 2011

Barter to Reign at Tradebank’s Atlanta Holiday Trade Expo on Nov. 20, 2011

Tradebank International Inc. (Tradebank) has organized a holiday shopping extravaganza where business owners from around the country will buy and sell goods at metro Atlanta’s biggest barter shopping event. All purchase transactions at the Atlanta Holiday Trade Expo (Trade Expo) will be completed using trade dollars, the international trade exchange’s currency.

Everything from gift baskets to leather goods to tools and toys will be available as well as one-of-a-kind items including jewelry, clothing, sporting goods, artwork, home furnishings, holiday decorations, and much more. The Trade Expo is set for Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 12:00 p.m.to 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta, Perimeter at Ravinia, Atlanta, Ga.

College and Career Motivation Week kickoff at B.E.S.T. Academy

College and Career Motivation Week kickoff at B.E.S.T. Academy

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Public Schools' annual College and Career Motivation Week began at 10 a.m. Monday with a ceremony at B.E.S.T. Academy on the city's west side.

All Atlanta high schools celebrate the week with special themed programs, such as Dress for Success and College Spirit. The week of activities is aimed at getting students excited about applying for college and focused on their futures in school and the workforce.

Additional programs include a career awareness session featuring professionals and industry experts who will share their real-life success stories with APS high school students.

For more information, visit www.atlanta.k12.ga.us.

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.

Santa Arrives in Atlanta - Area Malls Announce Holiday Event Schedules

Santa Arrives in Atlanta - Area Malls Announce Holiday Event Schedules

ATLANTA – Atlanta-area Simon malls will deck the halls this season with plenty of holiday cheer and entertainment. Gwinnett Place, Lenox Square, Mall of Georgia, Northlake Mall, Phipps Plaza and Town Center at Cobb are offering a variety of special holiday events for the whole family:

Gwinnett Place (2100 Pleasant Hill Rd. / 770-813-6840 / Facebook / Twitter)

·         Santa’s Arrival: November 19 at noon.  Visit Santa's Winter Wonderland at Gwinnett Place’s Center Court and have your holiday photo taken with St. Nick!

Renewable Fuels Facility to Save Dekalb County $3 million

Renewable Fuels Facility to Save Dekalb County $3 million

DECATUR – The Greenest Urban County in America is getting a little greener.

DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis, in conjunction with the Clean Cities Atlanta Petroleum Reduction Program and Energy Systems Group, held a ceremonial groundbreaking today for a new renewable natural gas (RNG) processing facility at the Seminole Road Landfill in Ellenwood.

“With this DeKalb County Renewable Fuels Facility, we will turn landfill gas into renewable fuel thereby reducing diesel and gasoline fuel consumption and related emissions in the metro Atlanta area,” said CEO Ellis.

Through this program, the DeKalb County Sanitation Department will convert 70 vehicles to run on RNG that is produced by the DeKalb County Renewable Fuels Facility providing a fuel that is cleaner and less expensive than diesel fuel.  Compared to the cost of diesel fuel, DeKalb County is forecasting fuel savings of $3 million over the next 8 years.  The coun