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DAYTONA BEACH -- More Fortune 500 companies are involved in NASCAR than in 2008, according to a recent review of brands currently using the sport to drive business.

The analysis looked at companies that either sponsor NASCAR teams, tracks, the sanctioning body, or are media partners. The number of current Fortune 500 companies invested in NASCAR (114) remains higher than any other sport. In 2012 alone, more than 24 brands entered the sport, including a handful of Fortune 500 companies.

NASCAR's Brian France"Some of the world's most profitable and successful corporations choose NASCAR to help drive their businesses," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "These companies bring a great amount of rigor to where they make investments. This is especially true when it comes to marketing - and the sponsorship channel in particular - where they are looking for strong return on investment."

"Some of the world's most profitable and successful corporations choose NASCAR to help drive their businesses," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "These companies bring a great amount of rigor to where they make investments. This is especially true when it comes to marketing - and the sponsorship channel in particular - where they are looking for strong return on investment."

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ORMOND BEACH -- Attention small business owners and managers: Have you wondered what worker's compensation protection is best for your business; or if your business is protected from natural disaster loss? Certainly everyone in your position is curious how the new health care laws will affect your operations. How will it affect you?

Learn the answers to these questions and more at the first of Ormond MainStreet's presentations of Small Business Lunch & Learn from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. Seats are filling quickly so RSVP to Craig Conrey at 321-626-6628 or email him at craig.conrey@hotmail.com.

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Manatee CountyTALLAHASSEE – Air Products, based in Allentown, Pa., plans to expand its liquefied natural gas heat exchanger manufacturing capacity by constructing a second manufacturing facility – 300,000 square feet – at a new site in Manatee County that will bring 250 jobs to the Sunshine State, Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning.

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Charlie HelmCourtesy photo for Headline Surfer / Charlie Helm joins finncial consulting team of Alliance Financial Partners.

PALM COAST -- Alliance Financial Partners, Inc. is proud to announce that Charles, “Charlie” Helm has joined the financial consulting team of Alliance Financial Partners, Inc. Alliance Financial Partners, Inc., located in Palm Coast, is a full-service financial firm, locally owned and operated by David L. Fowler and Edward Herrera.

With the addition of Helm, Alliance Financial Partners, Inc. will now offer two locations: 216 S. 3rd Street, Flagler Beach and 1 Florida Park Dr. North, Suite 105-B, Palm Coast.

Helm was raised in Baltimore. He spent most of his adult life in Cleveland Ohio until relocating to Dade City, in 1985. He moved to Flagler Beach in 1989. Helm began his long, seasoned financial career as a life insurance agent with New York Life in 1958. He went on to join Monarch Life Insurance Company in 1962, where he received his Series 7, General Securities Registration.

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Jeff HentzPhoto for Headline Surfer / NSBNews.net
Jeffrey Hentz President/CEO Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Hentz Assumed his leadership position Friday with the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the marketing arm of the Halifax Area Advertising Authority.

DAYTONA BEACH -- The head of the Halifax Area Advertising Authority welcomed tourism executive Jeffrey Hentz who began his has duties today as the new president and chief executive officer of the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"We are excited to have Jeff join and lead our tourism marketing team," said Sean Belgrade, chairman of the Halifax Area Advertising Authority, which oversees the Daytona Beach area's tourism marketing efforts. "This is the start of an exciting era for the Daytona Beach area."

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New Smyrna Beach KmartLast-minute shopping before permanent closing of New Smyrna Beach Kmart.Headline Surfer videos and photos by Sera Frederick / 
Kmart in New Smyrna Beach is yet another empty anchor on State Road 44 with its closing Sunday.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The inevitable happened Sunday: Kmart closed its doors for good with customers scrambling at the last-minute with some priced-goods slashed 90 percent.

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DAYTONA BEACH -- This Friday's Daytona Area Chamber of Commerce "Eggs and Issues" will look at the pros and cons of gambling with legislation being considered in Tallahassee in addition to a possible referendum in Volusia in Novemeber.

The 7:45 a.m. breakfast will be at Gene's Steak House, 3674 W. International Speedway Blvd. 

Gambling is on Florida's government radar. What does it mean for our state and Local tax base? Our economy? Our tourist market? Are their any social problems associated with it? Both sides of gambling will be discussed with special guest speakers: Daytona Beach Kennel Club's Dan Francotti and No Casinos Inc.'s Paul Seago. 

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DAYTONA BEACH -- Passenger traffic at Daytona Beach International Airport increased 11 percent in December compared with the previous December.

The airport saw 39,839 passengers traveled through the county- operated airport compared with 35,955 passengers in December 2010. For the 12 months ending December 31, the airport recorded 550,986 passengers, an 11 percent increase over the prior 12 months.

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NEW SMYRNA BEACH – InterContinental Hotels Group, the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms, is proud to announce that Holiday Inn is ranked highest in guest satisfaction among mid-scale full service hotel chains, according to J.D. Power and Associates 2011 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

As one of the brand’s 808 hotels in the America the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites New Smyrna Beach contributes to the brand’s overall success by providing a consistent and welcoming experience for each and every guest.

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Courtesy photo / Here is an aerial view of Daytona Beach International Airport, which features a new runway completed in November.

DAYTONA BEACH -- Passenger traffic at Daytona Beach International Airport was up 11 percent in October and November, showing an upward trend as the year winds down, officials said.

"Daytona Beach International Airport is winding up 2011 with a nice gain in passenger traffic and the completion of a major rehabilitation of its main runway," Airport Director Richard Karl said.

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