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'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.

Postal Service to delay plant closings

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Postal Service, which earlier this month announced plans to close more than half of its 461 mail-processing plants, now says it won't move forward on the closings until next May.

"In response to a request made by multiple U.S. Senators, [the Postal Service] has agreed to delay the closing or consolidation of any post office or mail processing facility until May 15, 2012," the agency said in a statement.

The Postal Service did not identify any of the senators.

Under review for possible closure in Georgia are facilities in Acworth, Albany, Athens, Augusta, Cartersville, Columbus, Douglasville, Marietta, Savannah, Swainsboro, Valdosta and Waycross.

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.

Metro Atlanta postal facilities face chopping block

Metro Atlanta postal facilities face chopping block

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Postal Service is moving ahead with plans to close some Georgia mail facilities, part of a nationwide effort to cut costs. Officials predict the closings would also slow the delivery of first-class mail.

The cuts would close 252 of the nation's 461 mail processing centers beginning next spring. They would result in the limination of roughly 28,000 jobs.

The Georgia facilities in danger of closing are in Acworth, Albany, Athens, Augusta, Cartersville, Columbus, Douglasville, Marietta, Savannah, Swainsboro, Valdosta and Waycross.

The cuts are part of $3 billion in reductions aimed at helping the agency avert bankruptcy next year. They would virtually eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day, a change in first-class delivery standards that have been in place since 1971.

ATHENS: Major retail/residential development planned

ATHENS, Ga. -- Two Athens-Clarke County officials say an Atlanta developer is planning a major retail and residential development on the fringe of downtown Athens.

Commissioner Kelly Girtz says Selig Enterprises is planning to build 200,000 square feet of commercial space, including a 90,000- to 95,000-square-foot big-box.

That space would be about twice the size of a typical grocery store but less than half as large as a Walmart supercenter.

Girtz and county Attorney Bill Berryman say they and other officials met with the developer last week.

Jo Ann Chitty, senior vice president at Selig Enterprises, confirms that the company has land under contract but says no tenants are signed up yet.

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Revenue stamped its approval on $50 million in donations under the Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

The program lets people and businesses get tax credit for donations to scholarships for Georgia children to attend private schools.

Fifty million dollars is the most allowed under the program. In 2012, the statewide cap on donations will increase by the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index until 2018.

Individuals can donate up to $1,000, while married couples have a donation cap of $2,500. Corporations can donate up to 75 percent of their state income tax liability.

The American Federation for Children estimated more than 6,000 students last year got scholarships to attend private schools through the program.

Kemp to speak at November Eggs & Enterprise

Kemp to speak at November Eggs & Enterprise

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be the keynote speaker for the November Eggs & Enterprise breakfast, sponsored by the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Kemp has served as Secretary of State since January 2010. Prior to that, he was a state senator from 2002 to 2006, and has founded and developed many small businesses throughout his career. He is the owner of Kemp Properties, which specializes in real estate investments and property management.

As Secretary of State, Kemp is committed to utilizing fiscally conservative business principles, implementing technology throughout government divisions, and removing regulations that block economic recovery and job growth.

A lifelong Athens resident, Kemp is a graduate of Clarke Central High School and the University of Georgia, where he received a degree in agriculture. He and his wife Marty have three daughters and are active members of Emmanuel Episcopal Church.