East Meadow Pathmark closing; other business briefs

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LONG ISLAND


East Meadow Pathmark closing

The East Meadow Pathmark on Front Street will close its doors in May, according to its parent company, A&P. The store is closing because of an upcoming expiration of the lease, said A&P spokeswoman Marcy Connor. The company filed a WARN notice -- required for mass layoffs and plant closings -- with the state Department of Labor, noting that 118 employees will be affected. It is unclear how many employees will be laid off as a result of the store closing, said Patrick Purcell, spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, which represents many of the store's workers. Depending on seniority, union employees can move to jobs at other stores, "bumping" others from those positions. Since A&P emerged from bankruptcy last year, it has been reviewing leases as they expire, Purcell said. -- Keiko Morris


Online start-up raises $1M

GroupGifting.com, a Hauppauge-based social and mobile gifting start-up, recently raised more than $1 million in an initial round of "angel" financing, the company said. The start-up, which works with retailers and provides a mobile platform to sell gift cards, began meeting with potential investors this past November after launching over the summer, said chief executive Tyler Roye. Before that, Roye spent about a year developing the smartphone application for GroupGifting.com with his team. The $1 million came from a handful of investors, one of which was the Long Island Angel Network, Roye said. He declined to specify how much was raised from each investor. Angel investments are made in start-up companies before they become profitable, and they typically range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to the low millions.-- Lisa Du


NATION

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Airlines to discuss merger

Directors of American Airlines and US Airways reportedly plan to meet Wednesday to consider a merger. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that negotiators were still considering the makeup of the combined company's board and an exact role for the chief executive of American parent AMR Corp. US Airways declined to comment, and AMR did not return messages. The companies are trying to finish a deal before Friday, when a confidentiality agreement covering some AMR bondholders expires. That could result in public disclosure about negotiation details. If the two carriers were to strike a deal, it would create the world's biggest airline by passenger traffic.


Federal SBA boss leaving post

Karen Mills is leaving her post as head of the Small Business Administration, opening yet another Cabinet-rank job for President Barack Obama to fill at the start of his second term. Obama says Mills played a leading role supporting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. Mills has served as SBA administrator since 2009. The SBA arranges loans, loan guarantees and other assistance to small businesses. Most recently, the SBA stepped in to assist businesses hurt by superstorm Sandy, approving more than $1.1 billion in disaster loans to residents and businesses in states affected by the storm.


Interest rate may stay low

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen says the central bank may keep its key short-term interest rate at a record low even after unemployment falls close to a more normal level. The Fed has said it would hold its benchmark rate near zero as long as unemployment is above 6.5 percent and long-run inflation forecasts are below 2.5 percent. The unemployment rate is currently 7.9 percent. In a speech Monday to the AFL-CIO, Yellen said those are "thresholds for possible action, not triggers that will necessarily prompt an immediate increase." Her comments echoed remarks Chairman Ben Bernanke made in December. -- AP

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