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torch M I S S I S S I P P I

Newsletter of the Better Business Bureau / Summer 2009 / Vol. 6, No. 2

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – BBB Explains the Benefits for Small Business Owners On February 17, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act– an economic stimulus plan totaling $787 billion in federal spending and tax cuts. For small business owners who don’t want to wade through the actual document, the BBB offers a summary on some items in the stimulus package that might benefit them. The main goal of the stimulus package is to spur job creation. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that employment could increase by as much as 3.6 million jobs by 2010–with the concept being that more jobs will provide additional assistance to struggling consumers and businesses. For business owners, this means increased federal spending on projects including funding for the U.S. Small Business Administration to assist businesses with financing needs–and small businesses can also look forward to some tax breaks. “The stimulus package is addressing the troubled economy from many angles, and while most of us will receive benefits as an individual through tax breaks, there are perks for business owners as well,” said Bill Moak, President/CEO of the Mississippi BBB. “Experts agree that a healthy job market goes hand-in-hand with a healthy economy, and frankly, some businesses need the help immediately to stem the tide of employee layoffs.” Following are examples of how the American Recovery and

Reinvestment Act will benefit small businesses:

Small Business Financing The U.S. Small Business Administratin will receive $730 million from the stimulus package to help assist businesses with financing. According to the SBA, funds will be divided among many programs including: • $375 million for temporary fee reductions or eliminations on SBA loans, and for increased SBA guaranteed shares, up to 90 percent for some loans. • $255 million for a new loan program to help small businesses meet existing debt payments; and • $30 million to expand SBA’s Microloan program, enough to finance up to $50 million in new lending and $24 million in technical assistance grants to microlenders. For complete details on how the U.S. Small Business Administration will use the new funding from the stimulus package and how small businesses can benefit, go to www.sba.gov.

Small Business Tax Breaks • Qualified Property Expense Increased. The ceiling on the Section 179 tax break – allowing companies to expense qualified assets in the first year of service– has been increased to $250,000.

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2009 Business Integrity Awards The Better Business Bureau is now accepting entries for the 2009 BBB Business Integrity Awards to be held at the Jackson Convention Complex on Thursday, October 1, 2009. The awards give public recognition to companies that are committed to exceptional standards for ethical business practices and customer service that benefits customers, employees, suppliers and communities. Winners must exemplify outstanding customer service, embody truth in advertising and help foster ethics within their industries and community.

Benefits include: • Winners are recognized at the event. They receive a personalized trophy that can be displayed in their offices. • After the event, winners receive a Business Integrity Award logo and details on how they can promote their status as a winner in advertising, marketing and online. • Being named a winner by the BBB adds to an organization’s reputation and prestige, confirming the confidence placed in it by its stakeholders. To be considered, an organization must submit a Business Integrity Award entry form (available at ms.bbb.org) along with supporting documents listed on the form. If you have any questions about the form or need assistance in applying for the award, please contact the BBB at info@ms.bbb.org or 601-8569357.

Start With Trust.

www.ms.bbb.org

Enter Your Business For Recognition


Cell Phone Chat

BBB Accredited Business Standards BBB Accredited Businesses agree to abide by the following standards:

ICE....Does your cell phone have it? Emergency personnel now check cell phones to determine who should be notified when someone is in an emergency situation. So – instead of programming your home # or the # of a spouse or friend under “Home” or the name of the person, program it as ICE (In Case of Emergency).

• Build trust: Fulfill all licensing and bonding requirements, avoid government sanctions, adopt ethical business practices, and maintain at least a “B” grading at the BBB that accredits the business. • Advertise honestly: Abide by local, state and federal advertising laws and the BBB Code of Advertising. Cooperate with the BBB’s self-regulatory programs for the resolution of advertising disputes. • Tell the truth: Disclose all material facts in written and verbal communications with customers. Ensure that written materials are readily available, clear, accurate and complete. • Be transparent: Openly identify the nature, location and ownership of the business. Disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that may influence a customer’s decision to buy. • Honor promises: Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations. • Be responsive: Address disputes quickly, professionally and in good faith. • Safeguard privacy: Protect any data you collect against mishandling and fraud. Collect only needed personal information. Respect customers’ wishes regarding the use of their information. • Embody integrity: Approach all business dealings and transactions in an honest and ethical manner.

112 Worldwide Mobile Emergency Number This number will search any existing network to establish the network number you need. This number can be dialed even if the phone keypad is locked. Unlock Your Car If your car has remote keyless entry, you can actually unlock your car via a cell phone. If you lock your keys in your car, call someone who has access to another remote on their cell phone from your cell. Hold your phone about a foot from the car door and have the other person press the unlock button (holding it near their cell). Free Directory Service When you need 411 information from your cell, simply dial 800-373-3411 and get this information without incurring any charges.

What are the industries that exhibit consistent or inherent problems or trade practice concerns? Industries that fall into the category of “Inherent Problems” include:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act continued on page 3

• Credit repair services – Business offering to repair/improve consumer credit history. • Debt negotiation/settlement companies – Businesses using a model that has consumers start by not paying creditors for a period of time prior to negotiation with creditors. • Government auctions and job listing services – Businesses that charge a fee for publicly available information about government auctions and jobs. • Finder services for grants, scholarship and financial aid – Businesses that engage in questionable advertising and charge a fee for resource lists for grants/scholarship/aid. • Businesses selling scientifically unproven health/medical products. • Itinerant/bulk meat sellers – Door-to-door and/or short-term businesses that engage in questionable advertising and sales practices in the sale of bulk meat. • Modeling agencies that charge an advance fee. • Wealth Building Real Estate seminars – Businesses promising unrealistic results for building wealth with purchase of books, DVD’s, etc.

• Bonus Depreciation Extended. Businesses will again be able to take an additional bonus depreciation expense of up to 50 percent of the cost of newly acquired fixed assets. • Loss Carry Back Expanded. Only available to companies with sales less than $15 million, a business which incurs operating losses in tax years ending after December 31, 2007, can offset such losses against income earned in previous years and obtain a refund on previously paid taxes. Losses can now be carried back for five years instead of two. • Vehicle Depreciation Expense Increased. The depreciation expense for passenger vehicles in their first year of service– limited only to those placed into service in 2009– was increased to $10,960. The depreciation expense for light trucks and vans increased to $11,160. The stimulus package will provide state and local governments with billions of dollars to fund assistance programs and infrastructure projects such as road construction or mass transit development. More details on how statespecific funding will be dispersed and which projects will benefit will be announced soon. Additional information on the stimulus package can be found at www.recovery.gov. 2


New BBB Accredited Businesses (February – March – April 2009) A Flair For Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune A. H. Salon & Clinic, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jackson Action Restoration, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Biloxi Adrenaline Tattoo Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport All In One Cleaning Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Starkville AS Fornea Construction, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Oxford Associated Contractors, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hattiesburg Barking Dog Tattooz, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport Bear Creek Animal Clinic, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Yazoo City Betir Blinds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport Big Mallett Construction, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .D’Iberville Blakeney Plumbing & Mechanical, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . .Diamondhead Border French Woodworking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .D’Iberville Bryant Martin Paint & Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Summit Buchanan Masonry LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ocean Springs C & D Lawncare Pressure Washing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport Caring Cuts by Brenda, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Petal Carr Insurance Agency, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune CLA Estate Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ridgeland Coastal Concessions & Mobile Kitchens, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . .Lucedale Corvettes Towing & Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune Cross City Custom Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Corinth Crossroads Distributors, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jackson Custom Metal Roofing & Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport Davey’s Air Conditioning & Heating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune David E. Bane, Jr., Attorney at Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louisville Dixie Performance Insulation, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Prairie Point Dynamic Fire Protection, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Starkville Dynasty On-Site Collections, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport East Central Footcare Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Monticello East Metro Family Medical Clinic, PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richland Evans Lawn Service & Mobile Car Wash, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . .Brandon Executive 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Raymond Fantasy Island Tanning, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune Farm Direct Sod, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune Files Auto Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Philadelphia Foamman Insulation, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport Frank’s Trikes, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Laurel GFR Transport, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richland Golden Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Madison Gray Auto Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jackson

Great Southern Landscape, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Columbus Guardian Asset Documentation, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ridgeland Gulf Breeze Landscaping, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gautier Hair by Vanessa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richton Hughes & Co., LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Petal Industrial-Commercial Fire Protection, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lucedale J & J General Contractors, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Macon J.H. O’Neil Marble Works, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meridian James E. Johnson Allstate Insurance Agency . . . . . . . . . . . .Madison Jazzco Gutters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kokomo JR’s Hunting & Surplus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Yazoo City Junior Auxiliary of Biloxi-Ocean Springs, MS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Biloxi Lady Luck Tattoo & Body Piercing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hattiesburg Magnolia Real Estate Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ellisville Manufactured Homes & RV Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune Matthews, Cutrer & Lindsay, P.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ridgeland Micro-Tek Computers of Yazoo, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Yazoo City Mississippi Technology Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ridgeland Murphy’s Lawn & Landscape, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brandon New Image Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wiggins NRH and Associates, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Picayune Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce . . . . . . . . .Oxford Park Fire Gulf Coast, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Biloxi Performance Therapy, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Philadelphia Progressive Heating & Cooling, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richland ProTel, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pearl Ray Mac Lawn Specialist, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gulfport S & S Grooming and Boarding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bruce Security Credit Services, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Oxford Simpson General Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mendenhall Sole Connection Footcare Clinic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Monticello Specialty Fire Protection, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Forest Spencer Lee’s Transmission, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Oxford Stanton Body Shop & Wrecker Service, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jackson Stephens of Mendenhall, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mendenhall Stricklin-King Funeral Home, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Yazoo City Superior Sweeping Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Long Beach Sutton Monuments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Belzoni Tax Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sardis The Flowood Compass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brandon The Poolman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meridian The Vision Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louisville Total Cleaning Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ocean Springs Unity Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .McHenry Vital Health Care & Associates, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louisville Westside Body Shop, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Philadelphia Wonderland Tattoo & Body Piercing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meridian Young’s Emergency Services & Contracting, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . .Pearl

CHARITY REVIEW PROGRAM Congratulations to these accredited charities that recently met all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charitable Accountability!

Junior Auxiliary of Biloxi – Ocean Spring, MS

BBB MISSISSIPPI ACTIVITY REPORT

Mississippi Technology Alliance

(February – March – April) 195,309 625 5 89 44 2 4 13

Use the BBB Accredited Business Seal in your advertising. It makes a difference to your customers and helps attract and assure new ones. Don’t waste this valuable tool! 3

• • • • • • • •

reports checked by consumers complaints processed consumer arbitrations completed newly accredited businesses charity reviews completed business investigations completed ad reviews completed area meetings held


Start With Trust. POST OFFICE BOX 3302 RIDGELAND, MS 39158

Jackson, MS Permit #670

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU SERVING MISSISSIPPI

PAID PRSRT STD U.S. Postage

BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIR ..................................Dennis Chandler ..........State Farm Insurance ..............Brandon CHAIR-ELECT ......................Donna Anderson ..........Central Appliance Co. ..............Pascagoula

EXECUTIVE STAFF President/CEO ....................................................Bill Moak

TREASURER ........................Linda Powell ................Stifel Nicolaus Investments ........Jackson SECRETARY ........................Patricia Rucker ............Entergy Mississipi, Inc...............Madison IMM. PAST CHAIR................Allen Anderson ............Anderson CarpetOne................Hattiesburg SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE TO CBBB BOARD ............................................Linda Ferguson ............Safeway Cleaners ....................Pearl COUNSEL ............................Robert E. Box ..............Watkins Ludlam ....................Ridgeland Winter & Stennis, P.A.

VP/Operations ..............................................Jackie Warren Dispute Resolution ............................................Lelia Wilson Ad/Charity Review ........................................Beth Sheppard Communications/Accreditation........................Dick Brodbeck

PRESIDENT/CEO ..................Bill Moak, APR ............BBB Serving Mississippi ..........Ridgeland AT-LARGE MEMBERS William Bassett ..........................American Medical Response ......................................Jackson Thomas Blanche ..............................High Point Coffee Company ........................................Oxford LeAnne Brewer ..........................Comcast Spotlight ....................................................Jackson Michael Caracci ..........................Sta-Home Health Agency ..........................................Jackson Bob Connor ........................................................................................................Madison Bill Crump ........................................Viking Range Corporation ..........................................Greenwood Phil Dickerson ............................ ..............................................................................Ridgeland Jim Finley ..................................The Growth Coach, Inc. ..............................................Brandon Larry Greer..................................Mississippi Public Utilities ..........................................Jackson William McCuiston......................Spring Hill Tree Company ..........................................Winona William Pride ....................................Pride Auto Sales........................................................Batesville Bill Sones....................................Bank of Brookhaven ..........................................Brookhaven Jeff Taylor ..................................Two Men & A Truck ..................................................Ridgeland Frankie Thomas ..........................WLBT ..............................................................Jackson

BUREAU CONTACT INFORMATION Web site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ms.bbb.org Accredited Business phones . . . . . . . . . . . .601-856-9357 800-987-8294 Consumer Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .601-707-0960 800-987-8280 Fax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .601-856-9331 Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .info@ms.bbb.org

92312 BBB_Torch3  

M I S S I S S I P P I Enter Your Business For Recognition • Qualified Property Expense Increased. The ceiling on the Section 179 tax break –...

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