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LI Entrepreneur Challenge taking applications; other business briefs

Long Island

Entrepreneur Challenge

The Long Island Young Entrepreneur Challenge is now taking applications for the chance to win $10,000 toward start-up ideas. The competition is geared toward Long Islanders ages 17 to 22. Applicants can choose between two tracks: an entrepreneur track open to Long Island residents, and the student track for those attending local universities. Five finalists in each track will be picked to compete in a public pitch contest before judges May 9. The competition is sponsored by Capital One Bank and FrontStreet Facility Solutions. Applicants should submit a short business plan by Friday to plication.htm. -- LISA DU

Composites conference

The Long Island Forum for Technology will host its third conference on composites manufacturing Wednesday, with three panels focusing on equipment, trends in the industry and start-up financing. Composites are strong and lightweight materials engineered from two or more components. LIFT's new composites manufacturing center is to open in Plainview in October. The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage. -- LISA DU


Nasdaq deal on Facebook

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday it has approved a plan by the Nasdaq stock exchange for it to pay $62 million in reimbursements to investment firms that lost money because of technical problems during Facebook's initial public offering last May. Facebook went public amid great fanfare, but computer glitches at the Nasdaq delayed the start of trading and threw the debut into chaos. Some investors said they were left holding shares they didn't want. Shares of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook Inc. fell 60 cents to $25.13 yesterday. The stock has not hit its IPO price of $38 since the first day of trading, May 18.

Best Buy co-founder back

Best Buy co-founder and former chairman Richard Schulze is returning to the company as chairman emeritus. The move comes after he considered making a buyout bid for the electronics retailer but never made a formal offer. The company hired turnaround expert Hubert Joly as CEO in August, the company has cut jobs, invested in training employees and started matching online prices. Schulze left the board in June after a company investigation found he knew about an inappropriate relationship then-CEO Brian Dunn had with a female staffer.

Judge nixes fracking fluids list

A judge in Casper has sided with the state of Wyoming and ruled against environmentalists who sought to obtain lists of the ingredients that go into hydraulic fracturing fluids. Environmental groups had requested the lists from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, arguing the public needs to know what chemicals companies are putting underground. They were denied on the grounds that the lists are trade secrets that may be withheld under Wyoming's open records law. Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking has upheld the denial, ruling the state official who withheld the information acted reasonably. Oilfield services company Halliburton intervened on the state's side.


Bernanke defends low rates

Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies Monday, saying they are helping to boost growth around the world and have created markets for products made in developing nations. Critics have argued the low-interest-rate policies could feed a global currency war, which is lowering currency values to make products more competitive on global markets. In a speech at the London School of Economics, Bernanke argued the low-rate policies have the primary aim of boosting domestic growth, not trying to lower the value of a nation's currency. -- AP

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