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FTC Axes Business Opportunity Scheme

Today the Federal Trade Commission announced that U.S. and Canadian consumers lost more than $7 million due to eighteen elusive marketers selling work-at-home opportunities. The FTC banned those marketers from selling business or work-at-home opportunities under court orders.

According to the article, these orders, along with court orders against fourteen other people and companies named in the FTC lawsuit, resolve charges that the defendants conned consumers into thinking they could make money by referring merchants in their area to a non-existent money-lending service. Many victims affected by this scam were seniors with limited income and savings.

Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection was quoted as saying “The defendants tricked people into purchasing worthless ‘business opportunities’, and manipulated credit card system to hide their tracks. We’re pleased the court stopped this deception, which harmed many older people just trying to make a living.”

The defendants falsely claimed consumers would earn up to $3,000 per month by referring small businesses to the defendants to obtain loans. After consumers paid up to $499 to buy the business opportunity, the defendants told them that, to succeed, they had to buy sales leads that cost tens of thousands of dollars but turned out to be worthless.

To read the FTC news release go to ftc.gov 

 

Nevada Electric Highway Joint Initiative News

In June, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and local utility company Nevada Energy announced the new Nevada Electric Highway Joint Initiative to promote electric vehicle transportation on U.S. Route 95, which connects Reno with Las Vegas.

Businesses and government entities along U.S. Route 95 or in close proximity are being asked to host charging stations. These sites will be chosen based on their cost-effectiveness, location and sustainability.

Once a charging station is approved it will feature one fast charger and two Level 2 EV chargers. The stations are scheduled to open by the end of the year. They will be joining a network of EV stations across the state.

According to a recent announcement from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, the joint initiative received funding from the Energy Department’s State Energy Program. It also stated that “EVs could play a key role in the future of sustainable transportation in Nevada.”

SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program Saved- Annual Limit Raised

Last month the U.S. House of Representatives voted to save the SBA 7(a) Loan Program, which had previously been suspended after reaching the annual limit of $18.75 billion. Furthermore, the annual limit was raised to $23.5 billion for the popular program.

U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras- Sweet issued a statement thanking the House and Senate for helping to keep the flagship lending program on track. She was quoted as stating “We have seen record levels of lending this year, showing us that America’s small businesses are thriving and yearning to grow. We have streamlined our processes, reduced fees, and bolstered our outreach to our lending partners.”

Under the program, which has been tremendously valuable to entrepreneurs, the SBA guarantees up to 85% of the amount of the loan. Without it many small businesses would not be able to obtain loans.

According to the SBA web site eligibility information, the SBA doesn’t specify what businesses are eligible, but it does outline what businesses are not eligible. However, there are some universally applicable requirements for eligibility as follows:

  • Operate for profit
  • Be small, as defined by SBA
  • Be engaged in, or propose to do business in the United States or its possessions
  • Have reasonable invested equity
  • Use alternative financial resources, including personal assets, before seeking financial assistance
  • Be able to demonstrate a need for the loan proceeds
  • Use the funds for a sound business purpose
  • Not be delinquent on any existing debt or obligations to the U.S. government

For more information on ineligible businesses or how to apply for a loan visit sba.gov

 

 

What are Certified Trade Missions?

Certified Trade Missions (CTMs) are overseas events planned, organized, recruited, and led by private and public sector export oriented groups outside of the U.S. Department of Commerce. These events are hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s overseas Commercial Service Offices.

The purpose of CTMs is to bring representatives of U.S. companies into contact with potential agents, distributors, joint venture partners, licensees, local businesses, and government contracts.

Here are some things that are typically included in the CTMs:

  • one-on-one business appointments
  • market briefings
  • networking receptions
  • selective sessions on local business practices, site visits, or seminars

To find out more about guidelines and benefits of CTMs visit export.gov

Secretary of State Warns Business About Misleading Filing Notices

Yesterday Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office posted a warning to businesses regarding misleading corporate filing notices. According to the warning a company based out of Florida calling itself “Division of Corporate Services” is sending an “annual records statement” to companies asking for shareholder/director information and to return the form with a $150 fee.

To read the Secretary of State’s post CLICK HERE.