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Top News Links: Tuesday, Dec. 8

GE scraps plan to sell home appliance business

GE has scrapped a $3.3 billion plan to sell its home appliance business, which includes GE’s Decatur plant, to the Swedish company Electrolux, a deal opposed by U.S. regulators over concerns about competition, The Associated Press reported Monday. The Fairfield, Connecticut, conglomerate General Electric Co. said it will continue to run the business as it looks at other options. – AP/Decatur Daily

Petroleum distributor plans $8.8M expansion

A petroleum distributor and refinery is embarking on an $8.86 million expansion in southwest Birmingham. Allied Energy Corp. will buy and install a hydro treater, which will essentially allow the company to produce an ultra-low sulfur diesel. This has environmental benefits, but it will also allow the company to sell the diesel in Birmingham. – AL.com

BCA names Tommy Lee chairman for 2016

The Business Council of Alabama’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting on Friday elected Foley businessman Thomas M. “Tommy” Lee as chairman for 2016 and chose other officers of the business advocacy organization. Lee is president and CEO of Vulcan, Inc., an aluminum manufacturer. – News release

UA survey shows business confidence down slightly

Business confidence fell to a still positive 51.2 on the fourth quarter 2015, according to the Alabama Business Confidence Index (ABCI) survey, conduct­ed by the Center for Business and Economic Research in UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce. The index fell 3.6 points to its lowest level since the same reading for the first quarter of 2014. Panelists are now less optimistic than a year ago when the ABCI registered 54.2. – News release

AT&T expanding GigaPower to Huntsville

Huntsville is one of 38 metropolitan areas AT&T plans to provide its GigaPower Internet service to by the end of 2016. Huntsville joins Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery as the four Alabama cities the Internet service provider looks to add to its existing list of 18 metros. AT&T will use a 100% fiber-optic network to deliver its GigaPower service. – WAAY

Grandbridge closes EastChase refinance

Grandbridge Real Estate Capital recently closed a $58 million first mortgage loan secured by The Shoppes at EastChase and EastChase Plaza in Montgomery. The refinance transaction, originated by Grandbridge Greenville, S.C., office co-managers Bill Mattice and Phillip Cox for an institutional investor, was funded through New York Life, one of Grandbridge's insurance company lenders. – News release

Legislation ineffective in addressing food deserts

Large grocery store chains are far from addressing the need for fresh foods in areas of Alabama known as food deserts according to federal food stamp data, a problem lawmakers started to address this year by creating an incentive program to attract grocers to those areas. But the program hasn't been funded, something advocates are working to change. – AL.com

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