Saturday, February 23, 2019

small business

small business

Small business in Wisconsin cancels its unusably bad internet service from Frontier; Frontier demands $4,300 cancellation fee - Boing Boing

Posted: 23 Feb 2019 12:47 AM PST

Wisconsin's Pardeeville Area Shopper is a one-person family business run by Candace Lestina, whose mother founded the weekly paper; like all businesses, the Shopper needs internet service, and like most American businesses, the Shopper is at the mercy of a terrible, monopolistic ISP, in this case, Frontier.

Frontier's service was unusably bad: six months into Lestina's three-year contract, she concluded that that she couldn't use the service anymore, plagued by frequent outages and slowdowns. Lestina decided to switch to Charter (a company that is also terrible in every way).

But when she canceled her service, she got an "early termination" bill from Frontier for $4,300. Lestina offered the company a $500 settlement, which they turned down, insisting on the full amount. Lestina says her contract does not spell out this termination clause, but Frontier is insisting that she is legally obliged to pay it in any event.

Frontier has since sent a collections agency after Lestina.

The Frontier Internet service "was dropping all the time," Lestina told the news station. This was a big problem for Lestina, who runs the paper on her own in Pardeeville, a town of about 2,000 people. "I actually am everything. I make the paper, I distribute the paper," she said. Because of Frontier's bad service, "I would have times where I need to send my paper—I have very strict deadlines with my printer—and my Internet's out."

In Pardeeville, Frontier's website lists offers for DSL Internet service plans with speeds from 3Mbps to 12Mbps, but not for higher-speed fiber lines that are generally only available in bigger cities and towns. DSL speeds are often significantly lower than the "up to" speeds advertised by providers.

Frontier demands $4,300 cancellation fee despite horribly slow Internet [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]

(via /.)

Watch party for Small Business Revolution decision will take place in the Tiger Dome - Canon City Daily Record

Posted: 23 Feb 2019 04:46 AM PST

Final reveal party slated for 5 p.m. Tuesday

A Facebook screenshot of ’Small Business Revolution - Main Street’ hosts Ty Pennington and Amanda Brinkman announcing Cañon City as one of the

A Facebook screenshot of 'Small Business Revolution - Main Street' hosts Ty Pennington and Amanda Brinkman announcing Cañon City as one of the six finalists in the running for the show's season 4 on Feb. 12. (Small Business Revolution / Facebook)

Amanda Brinkman, the Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe Corp. and the host of Hulu’s Small Business Revolution - Main Street, speaks

Amanda Brinkman, the Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe Corp. and the host of Hulu's Small Business Revolution - Main Street, speaks with Cañon City Mayor Preston Troutman at a community rally Jan. 31. (Michael Alcala / Daily Record)

Cañon City's Small Business Revolution fanatics and supporters outgrew the Cañon Royal Event Center and later the Annex Event Center, and they just might fill up Cañon City High School's Tiger Dome.

Community members will gather there Tuesday to find out which of the six cities in the running will be selected to be featured on season four of Hulu's makeover show, Small Business Revolution — Main Street.

The Small Business Revolution final announcement gathering will be from 5 to 6 p.m., with the official news expected to be released at 5:30.

Cañon City Economic Development Director Ryan Stevens in an email Friday said the six cities have been told that they each should hold a watch party and prepare as if they have won.

"This event really is about the celebration of our journey through this process and being proud of what we have accomplished," Stevens said. "And really, we have accomplished a lot. There is a lot to be proud of."

The other finalist towns include Camas, Washington; Corsicana, Texas; Durant, Oklahoma; Searcy, Arkansas; and Washington, North Carolina.

The prize for the winning community is a $500,000 grant that will help six businesses revamp their websites, do some storefront improvements and help with merchandising and finance questions.


Carie Canterbury: 719-276-7643,

Waterloo North Hydro impersonators scam small business owners over the phone -

Posted: 23 Feb 2019 05:20 AM PST

Waterloo North Hydro wants to warn all small business owners not to trust scam callers impersonating W-N-H representatives.

Manager of Energy Efficiency and Corporate Communications, Jeff Quint, says real Waterloo North Hydro representatives will never threaten immediate disconnection.

"Customers will get multiple notices and multiple phone communications. We give phone calls, emails, hand-delivered notices over a fairly lengthy time period. We don't provide customers 2-3 days, we provide a lengthy time period to make the payment. So if someone is threatening immediate disconnection, that's a red flag."

Quint says scam callers generally have enough information to make the customer feel like they are on a legitimate call.

"They will say the business owner's name. They claim to have their account number, they will provide an account number -- it's not a real account number. They'll basically say 'your account is overdue and if we dont receive payment immediately --' sometimes it's right there over the phone, or maybe a very, very short period of time, like within an hour or so. If they don't get that payment then they say, 'we're going to come out and disconnect your power.'"

He says Waterloo North Hydro will never ask customers for payment over the phone, or ask for payment using gift cards.

Quint says other red-flags include calls outside of regular business hours, and requests for in-person payments at any address other than 526 Country Squire Road in Waterloo.

He is highlighting the importance of not sharing any account information over the phone -- you should hang-up immediately and call WNH to report the call.

Disaster Loans Available to Louisiana Small Businesses; Ouachita, Morehouse included - MyArkLaMiss

Posted: 22 Feb 2019 02:19 PM PST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - (2/22/19) Small nonfarm businesses in 30 Louisiana parishes and neighboring counties in Arkansas and Texas are now eligible to apply for low interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by excessive rain and flooding in the following primary parishes that occurred Sept. 1 - Dec. 10, 2018.
Primary Louisiana parishes:  

  • Bossier
  • Caddo
  • Evangeline
  • Grant
  • Morehouse
  • Natchitoches
  • Pointe Coupee
  • Rapides
  • Red River

Neighboring Louisiana parishes:  Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Bienville, Concordia, De Soto, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, La Salle, Ouachita, Richland, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana and Winn;
Neighboring Arkansas counties:  Ashley, Chicot, Lafayette, Miller and Union;
Neighboring Texas counties: Cass, Harrison, Marlon and Panola.
"SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster," Garfield said.
Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
"Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3.675 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship," Garfield said.
By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on Feb. 13, 2019.
Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary's declaration.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at

Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.
The deadline to apply for economic injury is Oct. 15, 2019.

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