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Olive Garden promises cheaper food, more options

Olive Garden promises cheaper food, more options

(NBC) -- Fret not, Olive Garden lovers: The "endless" breadsticks aren't going away.

But new management has big changes in store for the casual dining chain, which touts family-style Italian food and has struggled with declining sales.

The chain's president, Dave George told investors on Tuesday the changes include creating a new logo and toning down its the "Old World Style," the Tuscan-style stonework and wooden archways that have been a signature part of Olive Garden restaurants since 2000.

"You're not going to see stainless steel showing up tomorrow in a Tuscan Farmhouse," George said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

George, who became Olive Garden's president in January, said the look would be "more relevant." Olive Garden is part of the Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants chain that includes Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse.

David Thatcher joins Sterling Risk Advisors as Producer

David Thatcher joins Sterling Risk Advisors as Producer

Construction Industry Expert Brings Deep National Accounts Expertise

David Thatcher has joined Sterling Risk Advisors (http://sterlingriskadvisors.com/) as a Producer.  He will provide risk management and commercial/professional insurance solutions with specialties in construction and surety.    

Thatcher brings more than 16 years in sales, management and marketing expertise for one of the world’s largest makers of building materials.  Prior to joining Sterling Risk Advisors, he was an architectural sales manager for Block USA, CEMEX and RMC Allied Materials.  Thatcher consistently exceeded his revenue goals, introduced three new products and grew his client base.

“David Thatcher’s knowledge and strong relationships within the construction industry position him as a great strategic advisor,” said Doug Rieder, principal, Sterling Risk Advisors. 

Perimeter Business Expo to return in 2013

Perimeter Business Expo to return in 2013

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- The second annual Greater Perimeter Business Expo will be held Thursday, May 2.

The Dunwoody and Sandy Springs/Perimeter chambers of commerce have teamed up to bring back the expo, which was enormously popular in its inaugural year.

More than 100 businesses are expected to participate in the event, which is presented in a trade show-like environment.

"Last year's Greater Perimeter Business Expo was a great way to connect with other local businesses, create awareness and engage new clients. We definitely want to exhibit again," Victoria Ishee, director of business development at Digital Corporation, said in a statement.

Visit gpbe.org to sign up your business for booth space.

The expo will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 2 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, which is located at 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. Admission and parking are free.

Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, others offer benefits of earned income tax credit at news conference

Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, others offer benefits of earned income tax credit at news conference

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) Sites Also Begin Offering

Free Tax Preparation to metro-Atlanta Households Earning $49,000 or Less


Press Conference Speakers

 Carlis Williams, Region IV Administrator, US Department Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families

Peggy Bogadi, IRS Wage & Investment Commissioner

Bill Bolling, Executive Director, Atlanta Community Food Bank

Deborah Lum, Executive Director, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency

Karen Rogers, Director, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Weed and Seed 

Jason Nguyen, Osborne High School VITA Site Representative

Bank of America adds 35 small biz bankers in Atlanta

Bank of America adds 35 small biz bankers in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Bank of America Corp. reported Wednesday it hit its target of hiring more that 1,000 small business bankers in 2012, including 35 in Metro Atlanta.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said it extended $280.2 million in credit to Georgia small businesses and $8.7 billion nationally last year. The $8.7 billion was an increase of 28 percent over 2011.

It recently reported net income of $2.8 billion for 2012. It also saw its head count shrink by about 5,000 employees to 267,190 in the fourth quarter, evidence that BofA is still trimming staff levels as it works to lower its expenses. Branches also continued to close, with BofA reporting 5,478 banking centers across its U.S. franchise at the end of the year, down from 5,702 centers a year earlier. 

Bank of America is the third-largest bank in metro Atlanta with 145 local branches and $20.4 billion in area deposits for a market share of 17 percent. 

800 new jobs could be coming to Atlanta

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that State Farm Insurance is looking to rent 200,000 square feet of space in Dunwoody. The newspaper, an 11Alive News business partner, said the company could hire as many as 800 new workers.

"I think it's huge," said ABC staff writer Urvaksh Karkaria, who broke the story. "I mean these are all primarily white collar jobs. Even though they may not be $100,000 plus, they're relatively stable, knowledge-based jobs."

The nation's largest property and casualty insurance company is in the market for additional space in Atlanta. State Farm refused to say anything more except to confirm that.

Macon welcomes GreenTec Homes' contributions to 'New Urbanism' initiatives

Macon welcomes GreenTec Homes' contributions to 'New Urbanism' initiatives

MACON, Ga. -- Recently, Atlanta-based GreenTec Homes, Inc. launched a “New Urbanism” initiative with a hard hat walk-through and reception in Historic Macon, Georgia. After the reception, the company principals presented a donation of Christmas ornaments made by local elementary students at Macon’s Rice Elementary School to the Ronald McDonald House Charity in downtown Macon.

This event introduced GreenTec Homes to the local community, and answered all questions from the local community about the collaboration between GreenTec Homes, the City of Macon, Historic Macon, the Macon Housing Authority, and Mercer University. GreenTec Homes entered this partnership in order to help achieve the new walk-able urban initiative, or “New Urbanism” goals set forth by the City of Macon.