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    Arkansas Business: Walmart ends relationship with Paula Deen

    6:24 AM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks on Wednesday turning in their first two-day run of gains since the Federal Reserve gave its timetable for slowing its economic stimulus a week ago. That announcement had spooked markets, turning stocks volatile.

    Wednesday's gains coming in spite of the latest appraisal of the U.S. economy, which showed economy growth at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first three months of the year down significantly from a previous estimate of 2.4 percent.

    That growth rate also consider anemic by many economists.

    Walmart ends relationship with Paula Deen

    Here in Arkansas, ripples from the Paula Deen situation. The Southern celebrity chef, who has been dealing with the fallout of admitting to using a racial slur, has now had her deal with Wal-Mart ended.

    The Bentonville-based retailer said Wednesday after Dean's tearful appearance and apology on "The Today Show" that it would not place any new orders for Deen's products.

    Wal-Mart has been carrying Deen's line of more than 200 cookware and food products.

    Meanwhile, other companies have voiced support for Deen, including Club Marketing Services of Bentonville, which helps companies sell products to Wal-Mart.

    Mark Simmons named NWA Council Co-chair

    Also in northwest Arkansas, Mark Simmons, chairman of Simmons Foods Inc. in Siloam Springs, has been named the next presiding co-chair of the Northwest Arkansas Council.

    Simmons was announced as co-chair during the council's annual meeting on Wednesday.

    Simmons is part of a group of prominent business people who created the Northwest Arkansas Council in 1990.

    Part of Simmons' focus at the council will be a five-year plan aimed at helping the region continue to grow.

    Ballet Arkansas seeking $200K for Main Street studio

    And finally, Ballet Arkansas announced late Tuesday that it's raising $200,000 to secure rehearsal and office space in Little Rock's emerging Main Street Creative Corridor.

    The company has its sights set on a 1,500-SF rehearsal studio in the Arkansas Building at the corner of Sixth and Main streets.

    Lauren Strother, executive director of Ballet Arkansas, said the organization has already raised more than $50,000.

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