A Week In Business

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Retailer Opens In WOC

WEST OCEAN CITY – Michaels Stores, Inc., the nation’s largest specialty retailer of arts and crafts materials, is now open in a 20,000-square-foot retail space at the White Marlin Mall, according to Matt Mittenthal, property manager at Greenberg Gibbons Commercial, the mall’s leasing and property management firm.

"For over 20 years, the family of Michaels Stores has been helping crafters of all ages express themselves with skill and originality," Mittenthal said.

Michaels Arts & Crafts currently operates more than 950 stores in the 48 states and Canada. The closest locations to the West Ocean City store are Salisbury and Rehoboth Beach. The White Marlin Mall store carries an extensive collection of arts and crafts. The new West Ocean City store carries more than 40,000 products and offers a wide range of products in categories including apparel arts, bakeware, beads/jewelry making, fine art, floral, framing, general crafts, kids crafts, home décor, paper crafts, seasonal, wedding, and yarn and needle crafts.

Recently Michaels unveiled 4,000 new paper-crafting products including an exclusive line of Martha Stewart Crafts items. Their new paper-crafting department offers merchandise for every gift giver, hostess and cropper with varieties of ribbons, stamps, albums, papers and embellishments.

Another new line is inspired by pop sensation Hilary Duff. The "stuff by hilary duff" items are DIY fashion accessories and embellishments to inspire customers to reinvent existing products or clothing.

Michaels also offers in-store classes that are designed to teach, to stimulate the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and to provide customers with inspiration. One example of this is their currently running "Craft Discovery Days."

Realtor Completes Course

BERLIN – Nicholas Bobenko, a Realtor with RE/MAX Premier Properties, recently completed the Credit Smart certification course offered by mortgage giant, Freddie Mac and the Maryland Association of Realtors.

The certification enables Bobenko to offer comprehensive home buying seminars that are aimed to assist potential homebuyers through the home buying process. The seminars will provide valuable information on financing, consumer credit, mortgage programs and incentives as well as other related information. These free seminars will be held in the near future in conjunction with mortgage lender, Brian Roberts of National City Mortgage.

For information on the upcoming no-cost seminars, call 410-213-1107.

Shamrock Names Top Producer

BERLIN – Shamrock Realty Group names Rosie Beauclair as top listing and top sales agent for the month of March.

Beauclair joined Shamrock Realty Group in December as a seasoned Realtor(r) and continues to consistently be a top performer.

Stimulus Payments On Way

BALTIMORE – The Internal Revenue Service has begun to transfer economic stimulus payments to millions of Americans, some of whom will see payments in their bank accounts as early as today.

The IRS will issue payments of up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples) plus $300 for eligible children younger than 17, throughout the spring and summer. The first wave of payments will go to people who opted for direct deposit on their 2007 income tax returns.

"People who chose direct deposit will receive their economic stimulus payments the quickest," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. "We know there are many people who are eligible for an economic stimulus payment who have not filed a tax return. If you think you may be eligible, even if you don’t normally file a tax return, please check it out. And, use direct deposit to get your payment faster."

Whether a taxpayer opted for direct deposit determines how soon the payment will arrive. The first cycle of paper checks will be mailed starting May 9. Even people who normally do not have a filing requirement may be eligible for the stimulus payment. People who have no filing requirement must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income.

Qualifying income includes any combination of earned income, nontaxable combat pay they elect to include in earned income and certain payments from Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement. People with at least $3,000 in qualifying income may qualify for an economic stimulus payment of $300 ($600 for married couples) plus the $300 per qualifying child payment. However, they must file a 2007 income tax return by Oct. 15, 2008, to receive a stimulus payment.

They can use the simple Form 1040A and provide basic information. Form 1040A is available on IRS.gov, the official IRS Web site.

The payment schedule announced earlier this year is for people who filed early enough to have their tax returns processed by April 15. People who did not submit a return in time for it to be processed by April 15 may see their stimulus payments later than the scheduled dates.

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