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Southwest Airlines plans big Atlanta announcement

ATLANTA -- Southwest Airlines is planning to celebrate its first year of flying from Atlanta with a big announcement.

On Feb. 12, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Inc. plans to hold an event at the AirTran Corporate Center in College Park. A big announcement is anticipated that will further the airline's presence in Atlanta.

"This is the year where we really get to work on building Atlanta," Gary C. Kelly, CEO and president of Southwest, said in a Jan. 24 call with analysts. "And the nice thing is we've had just such a wonderful reception in the community. So we're very pleased with the reaction to the Southwest brand ... So we got a big year coming up, though, for Atlanta, no question."

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler will join Southwest executives including Jeff Lamb, senior vice president of administration and chief people officer, for the upcoming event.

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. 

Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton sue HSBC over predatory lending

Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton sue HSBC over predatory lending

ATLANTA -- Three Atlanta-area counties have filed a lawsuit claiming that British bank HSBC engaged in predatory lending that ended up costing them hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties say the bank aggressively signed minorities to housing loans that were likely to fail. The counties say it caused tremendous damage, including extra expenses and lost tax revenue.

The lawsuit says the banks violated the Fair Housing Act, which provides protections against housing or renting policies or practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status or handicap.

A lawyer for HSBC said he couldn't comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in October. A federal judge has given the bank until Jan. 25 to file a response.

Spanx! expands to Atlanta airport

ATLANTA -- Atlanta billionaire Sara Blakely has been running in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for 15 years promoting Spanx!, and now her popular shapewear will be sold in the airport itself.

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Rather than cutting a ribbon, her team cut tied-together Spanx! to celebrate their opening in terminal E.

The company headquarters is now in Buckhead, but she first operated out of her rented Virginia Highland apartment.

LittlePINKBook.com holds 8th Annual Fall Empowerment event

LittlePINKBook.com holds 8th Annual Fall Empowerment event

LittlePINKBook.com, the digital platform for career women, hosted its 8th Annual Fall Empowerment Event on November 13. More than 300 professional women attended the luncheon event, at the Atlanta History Center, along with more than 550 unique viewers joining via live stream. Some viewers planned gatherings of 50 or more women and leveraged the event to enhance their own business and networking meetings in cities across the globe.

The executives on the panel candidly answered questions related to their career paths to the C-Suite. Glenda Umaña, anchor at CNN en Español, was the event’s moderator. Read LittlePINKBook.com’s “Top 10 Takeaways” for favorite thoughts shared by the three panelists:

·        Teri List-Stoll, SVP and Treasurer, Procter & Gamble

Delta ends service to Columbia, Mo.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Delta Air Lines will stop providing service to Columbia Regional Airport in February.

Columbia city officials said Delta rejected a $3 million revenue guarantee over two years to continue providing routes to Atlanta and Memphis. The city's offer included a landing fee waiver for two daily flights to Atlanta starting in 2014.

Mayor Bob McDavid said Delta told Columbia officials it lost $900,000 last year providing service to the city. Delta officials were reportedly upset the city offered a $3 million revenue guarantee to American Airlines.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the city should have communicated better with Delta before making the deal with American.