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Top News Links: Wednesday, Nov. 25

Get ready for Small Business Saturday

National retailers are touting their deals for Black Friday, but local companies believe they are the real deal when it comes to Small Business Saturday. Since American Express started promoting local businesses as a holiday shopping destination the day after Black Friday in 2010, Small Business Saturday has emerged as a day for smaller shops and boutiques to capitalize on those things that set them apart. – Alabama News Center

Ground broken on double-branded Hilton

Developers officially broke ground Tuesday in downtown Birmingham on a Hilton hotel that's the first of its kind in the country. Dothan-based LBA Properties, Sunbelt Development and Hollis & Spann will develop the double-branded Hilton Hotel, which will feature a Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites, a Hilton extended stay brand. That combination is the first of its kind in the country. – AL.com

Walter Energy gets court OK for auction

Bankrupt Walter Energy Inc. received court approval on Tuesday to auction its coal assets as part of a proposal to emerge from bankruptcy that has faced fierce opposition from unions and retirees in its home state of Alabama. Walter Energy is one of four debt-laden U.S. coal producers that have sought Chapter 11 protection this year as plummeting commodity prices, weak demand and increased environmental regulation hurt operations. – Reuters

Technip USA eyes $31 million expansion

With an eye toward rebounding energy markets, an established Mobile company is looking to invest nearly $31 million to expand its Theodore operations and ultimately boost its employment by about 10 percent. The city of Mobile’s Industrial Development Board recently approved 10-year ad valorem and sales and use tax abatements totaling roughly $3.3 million for the proposed Technip USA Inc. expansion. – Alabama News Center

Salvation Army, design group work on new site

The Salvation Army Birmingham Alabama is set to begin construction of a new campus on the two-block Lewis Elementary School site in North Birmingham. Since 2001, The Army has worked with Birmingham’s LIVE Design Group to evaluate properties in several areas of the city to relocate their Area Command and Social Services buildings. – News release 

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