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'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.

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Company’s commitment to green construction
practices starts with their own offices

Turner Construction Atlanta, a leader in environmentally friendly building practices, recently received a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council for renovation of their own Atlanta offices. Turner is Atlanta’s largest LEED builder and incorporates sustainable elements into every project.

For Winston Williams, the company’s Green Champion, the space is a demonstration of Turner’s real commitment to sustainability. “Green building practices are an important movement in construction today,” he says. “We embrace those values not only for our clients, but for ourselves as well.”

Green features of the space include:

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.

Sweet deal: Planet Smoothie sold to Tasti D-Lite

Sweet deal: Planet Smoothie sold to Tasti D-Lite

ATLANTA -- Tasti D-Lite has purchased Planet Smoothie for an undisclosed amount.

Atlanta-based Planet Smoothie sells smoothies and all-natural snacks at more than 100 stores, mostly in Georgia and Florida.

In April, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Planet Smoothie generated $25 million in revenue in 2010, down from $26 million in 2009. Its parent company, Petrus Brands LLC, said at the time it was not giving up on the brand and planned to expand by 10 to 15 stores in 2011.

RELATED: Marble Slab, MaggieMoo's merge

Franklin, Tenn.-based Tasti D-Lite is a frozen dessert chain that caters to health-conscious consumers. The chain has international locations in Mexico, United Arab Emirates and Australia.

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!

Stucco company fined $78K by OSHA

Stucco company fined $78K by OSHA

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. -- A Powder Springs-based company has been fined $78,000 for exposing workers to fall hazards, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

This is the third time Escape Stucco and Stone has been fined by OSHA; previous incidents were reported and investigated in January 2011 and December 2010.

About $70,000 of the proposed fine involved workers using a scaffolding system that was not well supported while working on a chimney at a building on South Cobb Drive in Smyrna.

The remaining $8,000 revolved around the company's reported lack of a written hazard communication program for employees who were using strong chemicals, as well as additional scaffolding issues.