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Winn-Dixie receives bids on two stores

When Winn-Dixie announced it was closing its metro Atlanta SaveRite stores, it prompted a "hear we go again" among Gwinnett's passionate revitalization folks - politician and homeowner alike.

Winn-Dixie is abandoning six Gwinnett SaveRite stores, but apparently two of them won't stay vacant for long.

Minneapolis, Minn.-based grocery and distribution giant Supervalu bid on two Norcross SaveRite locations this past week. A Supervalu spokeswoman said the company put in bids for two of its independent retailers, and they could occupy the SaveRite buildings once all the dust settles. First, a bankruptcy judge has to rule on the bids.

Bankrupt Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., based in Jacksonville, Fla., is leaving a number of large markets, including Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah in Georgia.

Tech talk coming

A huge tech crowd is booking Gwinnett Center during the heart of college football season.

But this group won't be wearing the gold and black or talking about Georgia Tech's chances in the revamped ACC.

After using the Cobb Galleria in recent years, the Technology Association of Georgia is moving its annual conference to Duluth. The "techsters" want to use the Duluth venue Oct. 19 for an event expected to draw up to 1,000 people and perhaps pique interest in Gwinnett from a few more high-tech firms. Speakers include Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot Inc., who donated millions to build the new Georgia Aquarium in Midtown.

Mani Krishnaswamy, chairman of a group of high-tech firms known as the Gwinnett Technology Forum, said landing the conference is a big deal.

"This puts Gwinnett on the radar of more high-tech companies," Krishnaswamy said. "We hear of many firms located in downtown Atlanta that are frustrated by the traffic."

Jobless claims down

from year ago

It may not last, but fewer Gwinnett workers are getting the dreaded pink slip.

Gwinnett jobless claims fell nearly 30 percent from last June, the Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday. The county saw 1,724 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last month versus 2,416 the same time a year ago - a steeper drop than Cobb, DeKalb or Fulton.

Unemployment claims are a closely watched economic indicator because they can gauge where the job market is headed. When layoffs slow, hiring sometimes picks up.

E-mail Doug Sams at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com