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540 Interactive Weathers the Storm

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540 Interactive Weathers the Storm


http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2004/09/06/smallb1.html

From the September 3, 2004 print edition

BACK TO BUSINESS
Cindy Barth
Managing Editor

On Aug. 12, Paul Joachim and his staff of four had a normal business day for their business-to-business Web consulting company, 540 Interactive.

By the time Hurricane Charley plowed through Central Florida the next evening, Joachim was faced with no power for a business that depended entirely on its ability to have access to the Internet.

"It hurt us badly, no doubt," says Joachim, president of the 5-year-old company.

With no power for a week, Joachim estimates his business lost about $10,000 in revenue. Even though he set up temporary offices at the Disney/SBA National Entrepreneur Center, he was never able to get enough of his business infrastructure up and running to really keep the firm going during the outage.

Fortunately for Joachim, he has business insurance that will help him recoup the lost revenue.

For the other small businesses without outside insurance assistance that are just now digging out from under the hurricane's path of destruction, their ability to keep their businesses afloat is a much more difficult task.

But help is available, says Debbie Brown, director of the National Entrepreneur Center.

Brown says the U.S. Small Business Administration has three types of disaster loans available:

Filing deadlines for loan assistance are Oct. 12 for physical injuries and May 13, 2005, for economic injuries.

Basically, the SBA loans are for those businesses not covered by other insurance," Brown says. "And so far, we've gotten a pretty steady stream of requests for help."

For local businesses that are looking for federal disaster dollars, the first step is to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brown says. FEMA representatives then can make sure the business owner knows all of the aid available to them and will refer them to the appropriate agencies.

Locally, business owners can visit one of the county Disaster Recovery Centers to get a FEMA registration application. Or a form can be downloaded from the SBA's Web site, Brown says.

Inquiries regarding loan assistance have been pretty brisk so far. As of close of business on Aug. 25, FEMA's toll-free registration line had made 115,692 referrals to the SBA for disaster loan assistance, 97,848 home and 17,844 business.

The SBA, meanwhile, has received 1,991 disaster loan applications to date and has approved 68 loans totaling $2.23 million.

"It's going to be a long road to recovery for many businesses," Brown says. "We just want to make sure anyone who is eligible for the assistance gets the information they need to make informed decisions."

As for Joachim, he feels very lucky to have only suffered power outages with his business. Many other businesses near him suffered a lot more damage.

"It could have been a lot worse," he says. "We were pretty lucky all in all."

© 2004 American City Business Journals Inc

540 Interactive, Inc., central Florida's leading e-business development solutions provider, announced today that it has launched www.youngmoney.com, for Young Money magazine, a subsidiary of the InCharge Institute of America, Inc.

The new interactive and highly customized site was created to help Young Money magazine achieve its corporate goals of offering a better content product to its core audience, respond better to its advertising clients, enhance the measurement of Internet traffic across the entire site, and enable more responsive tailoring of content to users, mostly young adults across college campuses around the United States. This new site marks Young Money magazine’s latest evolution in the online world.

With this latest launch, 540 Interactive has created a user-friendly and dynamic front-end design, and a more functional content management solution (CMS) that allows for easier internal management of content and enhanced advertising opportunities for Young Money’s advertisers. This includes allowing daily updates across all site sections, the enabling of automatic content population, easier site management, more flexible advertisement placement and success measurement tools, and allowing advertisers to be proactive with their revenue, marketing and sponsorship efforts. All while ensuring Young Money is able to keep their site fresh, dynamic and informative for their target audiences.

"We are extremely proud of the new youngmoney.com site. It is the culmination of a tremendous collaboration with the InCharge Institute of America and is a significant step forward in how business customers, big and small, can use the Internet and web sites to not only communicate better with their customers, but drive revenue in a more efficient way that can really make a difference to the bottom line," stated Paul Joachim, President of 540 Interactive.

"We have built a comprehensive online tool for Young Moneythat is not a ‘one-size-fits-all' solution, and we believe this site and CMS is truly the next wave of connecting via the web to core audiences."

The site has also been expertly optimized to ensure the highest search-ability from all major search engines throughout the Internet.

"We're very excited about the launch of the new youngmoney.com website. The added features will give us much greater flexibility in terms of content placement within each page”, stated Daniel Jimenez, managing editor of Young Money magazine and youngmoney.com. “The enhanced design allows us to better integrate our advertising and sponsorship partners throughout the website while creating a look and feel that is very similar to our print magazine version. The new website will also be much easier to navigate for our users."

In June of 2003, 540 Interactive announced it would also be the lead developer for the InCharge Institute’s other targeted financial publications, Hispanic Money (online only), and Military Money (print and online).

And, earlier this year, 540 Interactive announced it had expanded its local staff and relocated to larger offices in Orlando, Florida.

Young Money is delivered to college campuses across the United States, and has a bi-monthly circulation of over 325,000. More than 65,000 readers view youngmoney.com each month.

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