Loans aid firms with reservists called up

Published: Sunday, January 9, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 10:48 p.m.
The Small Business Administration administers a program that provides economic injury loans to small businesses around the country whose "essential" employees are military reservists called to active duty.
The loan program requires that the employee be essential to the success of the daily operations of the small business, and be serving during a military conflict existing on or after March 24, 1999.
The filing period for this type of loan assistance under the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program begins on the date the employee is ordered to active duty and ends 90 days after the essential employee is discharged or released from active duty.
For more details, call (800) 359-2227.
  • n n As of Jan. 1, 2005, telemarketers must "scrub," or purge, their call lists every 31 days. This change means that people who add their numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry should begin seeing a reduction in calls much sooner.
    Previously, the Federal Trade Commission's Telemarketing Sales Rule required telemarketers to "scrub" newly registered numbers from their business lists quarterly.
    An estimated 81 million telephone numbers to date are listed on the registry, according to the FTC. Consumers may register home and cell phone numbers - free of charge - by visiting or by calling (888) 382-1222 from the telephone number they wish to register.
  • n n Florida's 16-year-old Lemon Law Arbitration Program has surpassed the $300 million mark in refunds and replacements for consumers who bought chronically defective new vehicles.
    The attorney general's Lemon Law unit has handled 17,019 cases, of which 11,878 ended in a recovery for the consumer - 70 percent of all cases - with a total dollar value of $300,154,389 through the end of 2004, the agency reported.
    The Lemon Law applies to new car warranty problems reported within the first two years of ownership. It allows vehicle owners to receive a refund or vehicle replacement if the manufacturer fails to repair warranty problems after a reasonable number of attempts, or if a vehicle has been out of service at least 30 days. The problems must be severe enough to substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle, according to the agency.
    The arbitration program is housed within the Attorney General's Office and is jointly administered with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is funded by a $2 fee which is paid when consumers buy or sign a long-term lease on a new or demonstrator vehicle.
    More details about the program are available at http:// or via the toll-free Lemon Law hotline, (800) 321-5366.
    Doris Chandler can be reached at 374-5094 or
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