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1. New Daily Deals Service Expands Into Memphis -

A new daily deals service that has longtime Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak as its spokesman is preparing to expand into Memphis.

The service is Great American Deals, a hyper-local daily deals venture similar to Groupon. Sajak’s friend and business partner, Michael Silber, is the company’s CEO who first came to Sajak a few years ago as he looked for a way to get into the daily deals space around the time Groupon was starting to take off.

2. FanBank Shop Local Program Launches in Memphis -

A new shop local rewards program has launched in Memphis, one that brings a different approach to the efforts featuring loyalty cards and aggressive discounting that tend to be the norm.

FanBank, on the other hand, is designed to connect customers with local businesses using an approach similar to that of an airline or hotel rewards program. Participating consumers leave their information on file, and then they go about their shopping habits as normal, incrementally benefiting from the program along the way.

3. Former Memphian Finds Online Success With StyleBlueprint -

Former Memphian Elizabeth Fox and Liza Graves launched the online lifestyle publication StyleBlueprint.com in January 2009 with the goal of connecting women with their community.

4. 9 Things Apple Could Do With $137 Billion -

Apple Inc. has recently come under attack for its practice of stockpiling cash. At the end of last year, the company was sitting on $137 billion – and the heap keeps growing.

5. Gates, Buffett Again Top Forbes' Billionaires List -

NEW YORK (AP) – Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates remains the nation's richest man by far, as the tech and philanthropy giant took the top spot on the Forbes 400 list for the 19th year running, with a net worth of $66 billion.

6. Business Focus -

Memphis’ small-business community got a shot in the arm earlier this month.

Tennessee’s three-day sales tax holiday ran from Aug. 3 through Aug. 5, and it drew shoppers to retailers that carry certain clothing items, school supplies and computers.

7. Startup Weekend Helps Bring Ideas to Life -

In LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s recent book “The Startup of You,” he recalls a billboard in Silicon Valley that asks passers-by – many of them presumably being startup founders – a simply question: What makes you so special?

8. Many Questions Raised Before Going Public -

As Facebook prepares for its multibillion-dollar initial public offering (IPO) next month, it sheds light on how companies – including local ones – decide whether to go public or not.

Memphis-based pharmaceutical company GTx Inc. went public in 2004 and local paper producer Verso Paper Corp. held its IPO in 2008, but the overall number of publicly traded companies both locally and nationally has dropped over the past two decades.

9. Facebook Leaning Toward Nasdaq, Reports Say -

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook will list its shares with Nasdaq, according to media reports.

That would be a big win for the Nasdaq, which competes fiercely with NYSE Euronext Inc., especially for an initial public offering as large as Facebook's, pegged at $5 billion.

10. (Daily) Deal or No Deal? -

The anatomy of a deal has become a fascinating study these days among businesspeople, grappling as many of them do with coupons, daily deals, special offers – whatever magic ingredient will bring customers through the door.

11. Groupon Restatement Sparks More Worries -

NEW YORK (AP) – Groupon's announcement that its revenue and earnings were lower than what it reported in February is sparking fresh worries about its business model.

Trouble arose when the young online deals site said late Friday that it needed to increase the money it set aside for refunds. Now, investors are selling, and some analysts are wondering if Groupon will be able to outgrow its growing pains.

12. Yelp Looking for $12 to $14 per Share in IPO -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Online review service Yelp rated its own business Thursday, setting an IPO target of $12 to $14 per share that could value the 7-year-old company as high as $840 million.

13. Status Update: Facebook to Go Public, Raise $5B -

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook made a much-anticipated status update Wednesday: The Internet social network is going public eight years after its computer-hacking CEO Mark Zuckerberg started the service at Harvard University.

14. Uninsured Turn to Daily Deal Sites for Health Care -

NEW YORK (AP) – The last time Mark Stella went to the dentist he didn't need an insurance card. Instead, he pulled out a Groupon.

Stella, a small business owner, canceled his health insurance plan more than three years ago when his premium rose to more than $400 a month. He considered himself healthy and decided that he was wasting money on something that he rarely used.

15. European Finan. Crisis Tops AP Picks of '11 Biz Stories -

NEW YORK (AP) – Europe took the financial world on a stomach-churning ride in 2011.

The rising threat of default by heavily indebted European countries spread fear across financial markets and weighed on economies worldwide. As the year came to a close, banks and investors nervously watched Europe's political and financial leaders scramble to prevent the 17-nation eurozone from breaking apart.

16. Groupon Acts Locally With $10 Credit Offer -

NEW YORK (AP) – Groupon is thinking locally. The online deals site is offering a $10 credit to the first 150,000 people who purchase a local Groupon by Dec. 24.

The offer looks like a response to a recent promotion by Amazon that critics said hurt brick-and-mortar businesses. Last Saturday, Amazon.com Inc. gave shoppers a $5 discount if they used its Price Check app inside retail stores to find lower prices on its website.

17. FarmVille Creator Hopes to Raise About $1B in IPO -

NEW YORK (AP) – Hoping to harvest some fresh cash, the online game company behind "FarmVille" said Friday that it plans to raise $1 billion in an initial public offering of up to 100 million shares.

18. Report Says Facebook Seeks $10 Billion in IPO -

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook might finally be laying down the groundwork for a highly anticipated initial public offering, long expected to take place sometime after April 2012.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the world's largest online social network is looking to raise as much as $10 billion in its IPO. The Journal cited people familiar with the matter but did not identify them by name.

19. Groupon Shares Jump in Public Market Debut -

NEW YORK (AP) – Groupon, the company that pioneered online group discounts, saw its stock climb by nearly a third in its public debut Friday, showing strong demand for an Internet company whose business model is considered unsustainable by some analysts.

20. IPO Market, an Engine of Job Growth, Stalls -

NEW YORK (AP) — Two companies with quirky names, Ubiquiti Networks and Zeltiq Aesthetics, made their public debuts earlier this month with listings on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Each company's stock went up modestly on the first day of trading.

21. Groupon's Fall to Earth Swifter Than its Fast Rise -

NEW YORK (AP) – Only a few months ago, Groupon was the Internet's next great thing. Business media christened it the fastest growing company ever. Copycats proliferated. And investors salivated over the prospect of Groupon going public.

22. Groupon Newest Deal to Reward Customer Loyalty -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Groupon has come up with another way for bargain hunters to save money as the online coupon distributor prepares to raise money from wary investors.

The additional savings will be offered through a customer loyalty program that Groupon unveiled Wednesday.

23. 'FarmVille' Creator Zynga to Go Public -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Zynga, the online game maker behind "FarmVille" and other popular Facebook pastimes, is going public, the latest in a crop of high-valued Internet IPOs expected after LinkedIn Corp. showed that the online networking craze is a hot commodity on Wall Street.

24. Pandora Gains Point to Healthy Internet IPO Future -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Internet radio station Pandora Media's IPO struck the right chord with investors Wednesday despite the static in the overall stock market.

Pandora's shares surged by as much 63 percent in their market debut before pulling back later in the session. The stock closed at $17.42, still a decent gain amid the market's broader decline. It marked a 9 percent increase from Pandora's initial public offering price of $16 and a nearly six-fold increase from what Pandora's own board thought the stock was worth just six months ago.

25. Pandora Raises IPO Offering Price Range -

NEW YORK (AP) – Pandora raised the price range of its initial public offering Friday by at least a third and boosted the number of shares to be sold by as many as a million, demonstrating again a seemingly insatiable demand from investors for a stake a new slate of Internet companies.

26. It's Here: Groupon Files for Hotly Anticipated IPO -

NEW YORK (AP) – Fast-growing daily deal site Groupon Inc. on Thursday filed go public, the first step what will be one of the year's most hotly anticipated initial public offerings.

27. Deal Sites Appeal to Shoppers and Businesses Alike -

Groupon is adding 150 employees a month at its U.S. headquarters and trains them in a church because the conference rooms at its headquarters aren't big enough. Ideeli has crammed so much electronic equipment into its New York office that the power goes out every day.

28. LinkedIn's Stock Up 90 Percent in Market Debut -

NEW YORK (AP) – LinkedIn's stock more than doubled in its market debut Thursday because of huge investor demand for the first major U.S. social networking company to go public.

The stock traded at $103 at midday under the symbol "LNKD" on the New York Stock Exchange. That puts the company on track for one of the biggest first-day gains of 2011.

29. LinkedIn Increases Price Range for IPO Shares -

NEW YORK (AP) – The professional networking website LinkedIn is increasing the target price for its initial public offering of stock by about 30 percent in a sign of heavy demand by investors. The increase is encouraging for future IPOs of other social-networking companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Groupon.

30. New Google CEO Larry Page Reshuffles Exec Team -

NEW YORK (AP) – Google CEO Larry Page has promoted six executives to head key parts of the company in one of his first big moves since he took over the Internet search company on Monday. The management reshuffle is an attempt at streamlining a bureaucracy that's sometimes bogged down Google even as it became the world's most valuable Internet company.

31. Reports: JPMorgan Seeks Minority Stake in Twitter -

NEW YORK (AP) – JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s new fund that invests in social media companies is in talks to buy a minority stake in Twitter, according to published reports.

32. Report: Google, Facebook Consider Buying Twitter -

Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. have both held low-level talks with Twitter Inc. about purchasing the social networking service, according to a report published Thursday.

33. Local Deals Site Groupon Raises $500 Million -

NEW YORK (AP) – Groupon, the fast-growing Internet startup that offers local deals and discounts to members, has raised $500 million of the $950 million it is planning to collect in its latest financing round.

34. Retail Rebound? -

Retail sales are looking bright this year, a sign that the pendulum of consumer confidence is swinging back in the right direction.

Holiday sales are anticipated to increase a modest 3.3 percent this year – adjusted from 2.3 percent in November – according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). This year’s uptick follows 2008’s 3.9 percent decline and also tops the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.5 percent.