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SANY signs deal with Central Atlanta Tractor

SANY signs deal with Central Atlanta Tractor

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- SANY America continues to grow in north and central Georgia.

The Peachtree City-based equipment manufacturer recently signed a dealership agreement with Central Atlanta Tractor Sales in Austell. Central Atlanta Tractor will now sell SANY's hydraulic excavators.

"SANY America looks forward to working with Central Atlanta Tractor in meeting the equipment and service needs of contractors and other customers throughout central and northern Georgia," SANY vice president Eric Teague said in a release.

Central Atlanta Tractor provides new and used equipment sales and field support throughout the Southeast, according to a company release.

RadioShack to close 1,100 stores

(USA TODAY) -- After reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings, RadioShack said Tuesday that it would close about 1,100 poorly performing stores, roughly 20% of the electronic retailer's locations.

The store closings will leave about 4,000 locations in the U.S. The company has been struggling to revamp its stores for the past year.

Total net sales and operating revenues were $935.4 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $1,171.4 million last year, a 20% decline. Comparable store sales were down 19%, which the company blames on poor performance in its mobile phone business.

RadioShack stock was down more than 20% in premarket trading.

"Even in this environment, we're continuing to make progress on the five pillars of our turnaround plan: repositioning the brand, revamping the product assortment, reinvigorating the stores, operational efficiency and financial flexibility," CEO Joseph C. Magnacca said in a statement.

Bill would unplug Georgia's $5K electric vehicle tax credit

ATLANTA -- Georgia ranked fourth in the U.S. in electric vehicle registrations last year - an impressive showing for a state notched squarely in the middle of the country's "truck belt."

Now, a bill introduced by state representative and former Alpharetta Mayor Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), threatens to suck the air out of electric vehicle adoption in the Peach State.

The bill would eliminate an up to $5,000 tax credit available to buyers of new zero-emission vehicles, no later than April 1. The tax credit - among the richest in the country - coupled with a $7,500 federal tax credit, has fueled electric vehicle adoption in the state. 

Electric vehicle advocates argue eliminating the tax will slam the brakes on sales of electric vehicles, which they say reduce emissions and dependence of foreign oil.

WellStar strikes partnership deal with Mayo Clinic

MARIETTA, Ga. -- WellStar Health Systemannounced a deal with the Mayo Clinic Health System Thursday morning.

The Mayo Clinic is a globally recognized research and health system that specializes in cancer and cardiac care. The group has a network of specialists and hospitals in Rochester, Jacksonville, Fla. and Phoenix, Ariz.

Marietta-based WellStar, the largest health system in metro Atlanta with a network of five hospitals, declined comment.

With the partnership, Mayo gets toehold in a burgeoning medical market. The deal makes WellStar more competitive with Atlanta's Emory Healthcare, a cardiac and oncology powerhouse.

The WellStar-Mayo collaboration could be similar to what Mayo is doing with Colorado's Aspen Valley Hospital.

Under that partnership, Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) doctors get access to Mayo's diagnostic and consulting tools, according to the Aspen Daily News.

RadioShack to close 500 stores

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- RadioShack scored big points with its comedic 1980s-themed Super Bowl ad that poked fun at the retailer's outdated image, but the mood was more somber on Tuesday when news broke that around 500 stores will close in the coming months.

WATCH | RadioShack Super Bowl ad

The Wall Street Journal says it isn't clear which of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company's 4,300 stores will be closed or when.

The closings are part of a restructuring. Says the WSJ, "The retailer has struggled to reverse a string of losses deepened by a sales strategy focused around smartphones, which failed to improve revenue over the past two years."

Aaron's supports Cobb mentoring program

Aaron's supports Cobb mentoring program

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Aaron's Lease-to-Own has raised $15,000 for the Cobb County School District's Mentoring Matters program.

Cobb Mentoring Matters allows local residents, business owners and civic groups to mentor and donate money to students in need.

"I believe it is our responsibility to positively impact the lives of all individuals we encounter," Brett Ruffino, vice president of Aaron's in Marietta, said in a statement. "It is especially important to the youth that are willingly and enthusiastically lining up saying that they need and want mentorship."

Ruffino added that Aaron's is committed to making a positive impact on the community and the lives of its customers.

Aaron's employees participate in Cobb Mentoring Matters, but wanted to make an additional contribution -- hence, the $15,000 donation.

(CCSD CobbCast)

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

With all the hype and Black Friday campouts at Best Buys and Toys R Us, you'd guess that the majority of holiday shopping budgets go to purchases like electronics, toys and clothing. But according to new research, the biggest share what comes out of your holiday wallet actually goes to ... groceries and restaurants.

New data from Card-Linked Marketing leader Cardlytics -- collected from millions of U.S. households over the past two years -- shows what consumers actually spend their money on during the holiday season.  When it comes to holiday shopping Americans are spending 24% of their budget on groceries followed by restaurants and apparel.  Toy purchases are actually at the bottom of the list.

The Top 10 Share of Wallet (see link/attached for graphics and pie charts for 2011 and 2012 holiday spending):

1. Groceries - 24%