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Business roundup: CommunityOne picks officer to lead Rowan area branches

ASHEBORO — CommunityOne Bank has named new consumer banking managers, including Scott Mendenhall for the Piedmont region that includes Rowan County.
Other new managers are Darrell Rogers for the Catawba Valley area, Verne Deason for the Charlotte Metro area, Jackie Hunnicutt for the Northwestern area, Scott Smith for the Randolph County area and Cathy Lowery for the Southern area.
“We are proud to have excellent leadership throughout our organization,” said Pam Frey, Consumer Banking Executive for CommunityOne. “Each of these individuals possesses extensive knowledge and experience that will help us continue to provide excellent service to our customers and communities.”
Mendenhall, a native of Greensboro, previously served as branch manager of the bank’s Hilltop Road branch in Jamestown and has more than 16 years of banking experience. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Appalachian State University and holds Series 7 and Series 66 financial securities licenses. In his new position, Mendenhall will manage the bank’s consumer banking efforts in the Piedmont area, including Guilford, Alamance, Orange and Rowan counties.
Concord landscaping business wins Angie’s List award
CONCORD — H2O-Matic Irrigation & Landscaping Inc. has earned an Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2011.
The honor is bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the businesses rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service and health providers.
Rick Battaglia is president of H2O-Matic Irrigation and Landscaping, which specializes in hardscaping, irrigation, landscape lighting, aluminum fencing, outdoor kitchens, fountains, ponds, fog-scaping and mist cooling, drainage and water treatment.
Ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, but members can find the 2011 Super Service Award logo next to business names in search results on AngiesList.com.
Judicial district bar elects new officers at annual meeting
SALISBURY — The 19-C Judicial District Bar held its annual meeting Nov. 16 at the Salisbury Country Club, with President Andrew Abramson presiding.
New officers elected include Jennifer Suneson of the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office as president, Peter C. Smith of Koontz & Smith as vice president and Richard R. Reamer of Kluttz, Reamer, Hayes, Randolph, Adkins & Carter LLP as secretary-treasurer. These officers will serve the local bar for the coming year.
The 19-C Judicial District Bar serves lawyers who live and practice in the judicial district of Rowan County. Membership in the local bar is required in conjunction with membership in the State Bar Association. The 19-C District has 139 members.
State helping small businesses deal with tax issues
More than 1,000 businesses are receiving help getting back on track with tax payments through a new program offered by the N.C. Department of Revenue and N.C. Small Business Commissioner’s Office.
The Small Business Taxpayer Recovery Program offers penalty and fee waivers, as well as payment plans to companies that have fallen behind on sales, withholding and certain other taxes. The program is designed to help businesses recover from the economic downturn and runs through June 2013.
Businesses with 200 or fewer employees qualify for the program and must agree to use the counseling services of the Small Business and Technology Development Center or the N.C. Small Business Center Network.
• How can a small business participate in the Program? Contact the NCDOR representative below or set up an appointment at the Charlotte office: NC Dept. of Revenue, 301 McCullough Dr., Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28262, 1-877-252-3052
• Who qualifies for the program? Businesses with 200 or fewer employees qualify for the program and must agree to use the counseling services of the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) or the NC Small Business Center Network (SBCN).
• When does the Program begin? It is available now and is scheduled to run through June 2013.
• What are trust taxes? Trust taxes are taxes that are paid by a customer or withheld from an employee and held in trust by the business until they are filed and paid to the Department of Revenue. The following tax types are trust taxes: Motor vehicle lease and rental, Sales and use, Scrap tire disposal, White goods disposal, Withholding, Franchise tax is also included in the program, but is not considered a trust tax.
• Why is the Department of Revenue making this offer to small businesses? The goals of this program include reducing the number of non-compliant taxpayers and helping small businesses recover from the economic downturn.
• How do I obtain the counseling offered as part of this program? To request counseling, please have your application available and contact the SBTDC at 919-600-6169. Please indicate that you were referred by NCDOR.
• What’s in it for me? Small businesses that qualify for the program will have any penalties and collection assistance fees waived on the previously mentioned tax types. In addition, they will receive more favorable payment plan terms than are normally offered for delinquent trust taxes. Further, the Department will not issue liens for delinquent trust taxes included in the program. The SBTDC and the SBCN will assist participating small business taxpayers with financial planning and other business needs.
• What if I am in the program and cannot fulfill the terms of the agreement? Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement will automatically disqualify a small business from the program. This will result in the immediate reinstatement of all penalties and fees and may subject the small business to a tax lien. The Department strongly encourages small businesses to file and pay all current taxes and make all scheduled payments for the delinquent liabilities.
Call 877-252-3052 for more information or go to: http://www.dornc.com/business/recovery_program.html. You can also contact NCDOR Representative Cale Johnson, 919-715-3304, e-mail: cale.johnson@dornc.com.
Some tax moves you can consider making by Dec. 31
As December comes to an end, why not make a few tax moves now that could give you added savings when you file your 2011 tax return? According to Salisbury area Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, year-end is an ideal time to lower your 2011 tax liability and increase the size of your refund when tax time arrives early in 2012.
“There is still time for a final push to claim several tax benefits before 2011 winds to a close,” said Pat Laughrey, area manager. “In fact, many taxpayers will be doing things like giving to charities and pre-paying January tuition, but the key is knowing how these and other common expenses may count as tax deductions if you qualify.”
There are five key considerations taxpayers should be thinking:
• Save more for retirement – By increasing retirement plan contributions, you can reduce your income for tax purposes. Triad taxpayers can contribute up to $16,500 to a 401(k), 403(b) or Federal Government Thrift Savings Plan; those over age 50 can contribute an additional $5,500.
• Prepay January payments in December – Taking care of your January mortgage payment, 4th quarter state tax estimate, or winter semester tuition now lets you claim these payments on your 2011 tax return.
• Get to the doctor! – If you are holding off on a major medical procedure until after the holidays, stop procrastinating and make an appointment now to increase your 2011 medical expense deductions.
• Give to charity – Giving cash and non-cash donations to charity can give back on your taxes. And volunteering time counts too, which means that volunteers who work with charitable organizations in the Triad community may be able to deduct their out-of-pocket expenses on a tax return.
• Save energy, save $500 on your taxes – If you are planning to buy an energy saving hot water heater or install energy efficient windows or insulation to your home, do it now. Up to $500 in credit may be available for making energy-related home improvements.
To learn more about tax moves to make, visit www.jacksonhewitt.com or call 1-800-884-5709.
No store closures planned under Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo deal
Food retailer Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. agreed to go private in a $560 million all-cash deal with smaller rival Bi-Lo LLC.
The deal creates the ninth largest supermarket operator in the country, Bi-Lo Chairman Randall Onstead told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The new company will have about 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states throughout the Southeast. Bi-Lo — owned by private equity group Lone Star Funds — currently has 207 supermarkets and employs about 17,000 people.
Greenville, S.C.-based Bi-Lo was started by former Winn-Dixie executive Frank Outlaw in 1961.
Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie have both filed for bankruptcy protection in recent years, with privately held Bi-Lo emerging from bankruptcy last May.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie was under bankruptcy protection from February 2005 to November 2006.
Submit information about new businesses, honors and management promotions to bizbriefs@salisburypost.com. Include a daytime phone number.

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