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Dept. of Labor launches system to improve unemployment insurance

Dept. of Labor launches system to improve unemployment insurance

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Labor recently rolled out a new electronic system designed to increase efficiency and reduce costs of operating the state's unemployment insurance program.

Georgia is one of 10 states to adopt the State Information Data Exchange (SIDES) E-response. It allows employers to respond promptly to the Department of Labor when a former worker files an unemployment claim, according to state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

"This new online capability is part of our continuing effort to make the Georgia Department of Labor more user-friendly and technologically up-to-date," Butler said in a statement. "This will significantly speed communications between the labor department and employers. At the same time, it will help prevent some overpayments to people who might not be eligible for benefits, saving us from having to go back and try to collect money from ineligible applicants."

KENNESAW | Tire company to move to Cobb

KENNESAW | Tire company to move to Cobb

ROME, Ga. -- A tire distributor that has operated in Rome for two decades is moving to a larger facility in Kennesaw.

American Tire Distributors reportedly plans to move to the new 100,000-square-foot facility this summer. Ron Sinclair, senior vice president for marketing, said the move is expected to take place in early August.

Officials say all of the employees have been offered the opportunity to stay on with the company after the move.

American Tire Distributors is a wholesaler of tire products to retailers across the region. The company moved more than 200,000 tires to retailers from as far away as Dunlap, Tenn. to Anniston, Ala. from the Rome distribution center last year.

UHY’s David Barton to Share Knowledge on Service Organization Audits February 14

UHY’s David Barton to Share Knowledge on Service Organization Audits February 14

Webinar will focus on data center audit standards and assessments

David Barton will address professional service organizations and their customers and lead a discussion on data center audit standards and assessments during a webinar Tuesday, February 14th from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

'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.

Rome CVB names first 'Superstar of Service'

Rome CVB names first 'Superstar of Service'

ROME, Ga. -- The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau has rolled out a new program to recognize and reward the very best in customer service.

The "Superstars of Service" program will choose four winners every year from the many Floyd County workers who go above and beyond the expectations of visitors and residents.

"We want to recognize the very best in service across the county and have our front-line employees raise their standards to compete for this award," said Lisa Smith, executive director of the GRCVB.

The inaugural recipient is Bridgett Montgomery, director of sales and marketing at Hawthorn Suites in downtown Rome.