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Businesses find ways to deal with late-paying customers


In the first few years after Julie Mullen and Elizabeth Grace launched their public relations firm, they found it was hard to get some clients to pay. The co-owners of The Buzz Agency didn’t require clients to pay up front, and checks were the only form of payment the company was set up for. Some of their clients, who included ...

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Frustrated with event ticketing? New ventures try to help

In this photo taken Friday, June 21, 2019, FlipTix workers load a ticket printer in their tent at the entrance to the Clusterfest comedy event in San Francisco. The company's application lets people who leave a venue early sell their ticket and lets someone who wants the remainder of the ticket buy it. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Event organizers hoping to eliminate ticket scams and huge markups in the secondary market are increasingly turning to companies that use technology to allow fans to buy and resell their tickets while putting caps on prices. Partnering with such companies allows event organizers to take control of the resale of their tickets. Fans who can’t go can return their tickets, ...

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Tips to help small businesses find the staffers they want

Signs for employment opportunities are posted at an exit ramp off of Interstate 79 in Pennsylvania in this file photo. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Small business owners who compete with large companies as well as each other for job candidates find they need to be creative to get the staffers they want. Some have given up on online job boards and develop their own strategies. Here’s what they do: Never stop recruiting. Many owners are always on the lookout for people who look like a ...

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Small businesses learn hard lessons when they’re not prepared for disaster

In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo destroyed communities are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. Despite the potential for hurricanes and other natural disasters, many small business owners don’t prepare for the worst, leaving them to learn during a crisis what they should have done differently. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

When Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, Carlos Melendez couldn’t contact the staffers or customers of his San Juan-based technology firm, Wovenware. Melendez learned a lesson that would help his business during the next storm, that disaster preparedness includes being able to communicate with people when the emergency is over. He quickly signed up with an online messaging ...

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University of Nebraska team creates cornfield robot system

In this June 20, 2019 photo, a robot, created by a team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is shown measuring physical characteristics of a corn plant at the Greenhouse at Innovation Campus. (Emily Haney/Lincoln Journal Star via AP)

Plant science students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are still taught to phenotype by hand, wading into muddy fields to record the differences in physical characteristics between varying corn hybrids with a small set of tools and a pen and notebook. But like the rest of 21st century life, technology is on track to render humans obsolete. A team of ...

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A quick how-to guide for businesses preparing for a downturn


Forecasts of slower economic growth during the second half of the year have many small business owners turning more cautious. While economists’ predictions aren’t dire, owners who remember the lessons of the Great Recession are nonetheless becoming even more careful about increasing their risks than they have been in recent years. Here are steps owners take when they’re uneasy about ...

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Confusion and challenges: Blockchain technology brings struggles for lawyers and regulators

Caroline Lynch of Copper Hill Strategies and Dale Werts of Lathrop Gage discuss the regulatory issues that blockchain users can face during a conference on April 24 in Kansas City. Photo by Scott Lauck

Story by Scott Lauck At a recent conference on the promises and perils of blockchain, a cartoon by artist Tom Fishburne flashed up on the screen. A business owner asks an employee, “Where should we focus this year?” “’Blockchain,’” the employee responds. “It will change everything. Everybody is talking about it. The potential applications are endless. We don’t want to ...

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The Photo Bus Company: More than just a bus

Photo Bus Company

This is part of a series about Missouri entrepreneurs, their products and their retrospective advice for others who dream of launching their own startup businesses. Cate DePrisco’s husband, John DePrisco, was a wedding photographer in 2011 when he decided he needed to find a way to stand out from his competition. Melding a passion for photography and a family history ...

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Man seeks funds for incubator to help minority entrepreneurs

A Columbia man launched a business, published a children’s book and created a nonprofit after serving eight years in prison. Cory Crosby now has his heart set on opening a business incubator that welcomes Columbia’s minority entrepreneurs. Crosby is trying to fundraise $100,000 to open an incubator. The facility would expand upon the mission of his nonprofit, Innovated Dreamz, which ...

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