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Small Businesses Buoyed by Black Friday

SUWANEE, GA -- The storefront shop lacked the manic Black Friday doorbusting quality of its competitors up the road at the Mall of Georgia.

"We knew it wasn't gonna be a Walmart type of a day. That's OK.  We're not competing with Walmart," said Bob Pellegrino, who opened Pooch and Paws two months ago with his wife Starla.

Pooch and Paws is a pet boutique in Suwanee's town center -- a locally owned small business that opened just in time, perhaps, to capitalize on a nationwide effort to jumpstart businesses operating outside the big box.

"I bought gifts for the dogs and for my husband and for my father," said Wendy Green, who started Black Friday at Phipps Plaza, then ended up at Pooch and Paws.

"Shop local, buy local any time you can," Green said. 

H&R Block to Host Career Fairs

ATLANTA - Job seekers in Metro Atlanta will have two opportunities to find seasonal work with one of the country's largest tax preparation firms. H&R Block has scheduled two career fairs in the area.

"With tax season almost upon us, this is a great opportunity with a solid company that does not require tax knowledge," H&R Block's Andrea Thompson said in a news release. "There will be on-the-spot interviews, so come prepared."

H&R Block provided the following information about the career fairs:

November 29, 2010
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
H& R Block
5195 Old National Highway
College Park, GA 30349

November 30, 2010
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
H&R Block
1905 Scenic Highway
Snellville, GA 30078

Suwanee Offering ‘Essentially Free’ Building for a Creative, Catalyst Idea

Atlanta, GA--  Suwanee is giving away a historic downtown buliding to the person that has the most creative idea for a business that will become the catalyst to a vibrant downtown center.

The City’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is seeking development proposals for Pierce’s Corner, a 6,000-square-foot building constructed as a general store in 1910. Any proposed project should serve as a catalyst for future growth and vitality in Old Town and increase employment and/or residential opportunities. In exchange for the right bright idea, the DDA may offer the building for “essentially free.”

Purchased by the DDA in 2005 for approximately $400,000, the Pierce’s Corner building will require rehabilitation. The DDA has received estimates of $500,000 to $1.2 million to renovate the property.

Gwinnett’s second annual Redevelopment Forum on October 15

Atlanta, GA--  The Gwinnett Chamber, in partnership with the Council for Quality Growth and the Atlanta Regional Commission, present Gwinnett’s second annual Redevelopment Forum on October 15, 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the North Atlanta Trade Center (1700 Jeurgens Court Norcross, GA).

The Forum will host keynote speaker and nationally-renown, new-urbanism expert Andrés Duany. Offering four CEUs to every architect, planner and real estate agent in attendance, the event will provide a platform for local and regional leaders to share how Gwinnett and the metro Atlanta region are poised for revitalization.

Suwanee based Retirement Planning and Asset Preservation firm Hosts Veterans Benefit Workshop

Atlanta, GA--  Suwanee-based retirement planning and asset preservation firm The Lloyd Group, Inc. is inviting retired veterans and their families to attend an educational workshop about VA Aid & Attendance benefits.

During the seminar, President and Founder of The Lloyd Group, Mark Lloyd will educate attendees on the Aid and Attendance benefit, a benefit that assists veterans and surviving spouses who may require assistance in care at home, independent living, assisted living or nursing home care.  Lloyd will advise in determining eligibility for the Aid and Attendance benefit and discuss ways of obtaining it.

“Veterans have sacrificed their own needs to protect our country and have provided us with the freedoms we have today,” said Lloyd.

Local Suwanee Company Awarded Large Contract to Upgrade Marta's Fire Protection System

Atlanta, GA--  M.C. Dean, Inc., a design-build firm, has been selected by MARTA to upgrade MARTA's fire protection system.

Representatives from the company said that MARTA will fund the project using $32 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The money will be used to finance the upgrading and enhancing of MARTA's fire alarm, sprinkler and clean agent suppresion systems throughout more than 100 MARTA facilities including all 38 rail stations.

Mark Tibbetts, GM from M.C.Dean's Suwanee office says, "MARTA made a great choice when they selected our company. The M.C. Dean fire protection designers and project management team designated to run this project have extensive experience on similar projects.  Also because we are using local resources operating out of our Suwanee office to engineer, construct, integrate and commission the sytem, the ARRA grant money is going to be spent locally."

Georgia DOT announces I-85 express lane construction information session

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. – The Georgia Department of Transportation will hold a construction information session on the I-85 Express Lane Project on Sept. 1 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gwinnett Civic Center. The project to convert 16 miles of HOV lanes to HOT lanes will offer more choices to all motorists, including single occupant vehicles and more reliable trip times in the corridor.

"This is the first project of its kind in Georgia," said DOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith, Jr. "With construction expected to begin in mid-September, it is extremely important that motorists understand how changes along the interstate will impact their commutes."