Business briefcase: Aug. 31, 2012

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By The Staff

Bradford’s YLB featured on new SBA platform

A Shelbyville business is featured as part of “Small Business Owners Speak,” an interactive platform launched this week by the Small Business Administration. The site features videos from entrepreneurs from across the country that have started or grown a business with the help of the SBA. The videos will be featured at www.sba.gov/stories.

YLB Accounting & Consulting Services, started by Yolanda Bradford, is featured on the new platform. YLB submitted the video during National Small Business Week. 

YLB used the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program to cut costs and hire 10 employees, the SBA ARC Stabilization Loan Program to rebound from the recession in 2009 and the SBA 504 Loan Program in 2011 to purchase a building for Bradford to grow her business.

The page features videos that were submitted during SBA’s 2012 National Small Business Week video contest. But to help reach out to more small business owners SBA has opened “Small Business Owners Speak” to other entrepreneurs interested in submitting a video to be featured at www.sba.gov/stories. More information about the video submission process can be found on the same page. 

“I have the great privilege of meeting small business owners from across the country as I travel every week. But now, thanks to ‘Small Business Owners Speak,’ you can hear their stories, too,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in a release announcing the program. “This page will highlight the voices of successful small business owners who have started or grown a business thanks to help from the Small Business Administration.”

Gasoline prices on the rise

With the Labor Day holiday weekend beginning, the average retail gasoline prices in Louisville have risen 11.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.75 per gallon as of Monday, and prices began to rise on Thursday afternoon in Shelbyville, hitting $3.89 at Speedway, which typically is the first in a market to move prices. Walmart on Thursday afternoon also ran out of some grades of fuel.

Louisville’s prices compares with the national average that has increased 3 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.73, according to gasoline price website LouisvilleGasPrices.com.  Thos prices were 9 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 22.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The national average has increased 23.3 cents per gallon during the past month and stands 11.8 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“Well, for those that have noticed, the national average has perked up slightly in the last week as oil prices have advanced,” GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said.

He said that because of the impact of Hurricane Isaac that “it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that we see refinery outages, oil production losses, and gasoline supply issues – essentially all the things you don’t want to happen. One thing is for sure – I’m concerned that this storm will temporarily drive prices higher in the short term.”

Foreclosure relief program begins

The nation’s largest mortgage servicers have begun providing direct relief to homeowners in Kentucky and across the country as part of the national mortgage foreclosure settlement, according to the first post-settlement progress report released today by independent settlement monitor Joseph A. Smith of the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight.

In Kentucky, the interim report shows that from March 1 through June 30, mortgage servicers from the nation’s five largest banks provided $14.1 million in settlement-related relief to 477 Kentucky homeowners. Borrowers received an average of $29,629. As of June 30, 2012, mortgage servicers were processing relief claims for an additional 219 borrowers totaling $7.4 million.

The report also shows that an additional 84 Kentuckians were able to refinance their homes through the settlement. These borrowers held mortgages that exceeded the current value of their homes. The average interest rate reduction was 3.37 percent.

“I am pleased that the banks are moving in the right direction and providing relief to homeowners in Kentucky and across the country,” Attorney General Jack Conway said in a release announcing this program. “It is important to note that we are only a few months into what is a three-year agreement and more relief is on the way for homeowners.”

Bulletin board

  • Shelby Development Corporation’s board of directors will meet at 8 a.m. today at the Cardwell House on Main Street in Shelbyville.
  • The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce has set its annual Taste & Tunes event for 5-7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $20.
  • Financial Peace University, the popular course taught on DVD by Dave Ramsey, will begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 18 and continue through Nov. 13 at the Mulberry Building, 701 Main St. in Shelbyville. For additional information, contact Elaina Burks at 502-417-8600 or clayramsey@insightbb.com or Marcia Duncan at 502-321-4978 or Marcia@SOLDonKY.com.

Bits & bytes

  • Officials at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky believe a disgruntled former contract employee has not released proprietary information he allegedly hacked company computers to obtain last week. In a statement released Wednesday by Toyota spokesman Rick Hesterberg, the company stated, “Although we will continue to investigate this issue thoroughly, we currently do not believe that any company proprietary information or supplier data was distributed.” The contract employee, an Indian national named Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed, was sued in U.S. District Court in Lexington last Friday by Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. for allegedly hacking into the company’s computer system and sabotaging a variety of internal programs.
  • Kroger announced a fund-raising campaign to benefit the American Cancer Society. More than 60 stores throughout Kentucky are participating in the campaign, which kicks off today.
  • Lexmark has announced a restructuring of the Lexington-based company that will see it stop manufacturing inkjet printers and eliminate 1,700 jobs worldwide – most of those in manufacturing – according to the company's Web site. Five hundred jobs are expected to be cut in Lexington – 350 full-time positions and 200 contractors, according to the company.

The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report. The Sentinel-Newswelcomes Briefcase items. Information and photos may be E-mailed to sharonw@SentinelNews.com. The deadline is noon Wednesday.