Small businesses warned against cyberattacks

BY CHAO YAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — An unwitting business employee clicks the wrong link and suddenly finds her files have been locked. A message flashes on the screen: You can have your data back, for a price. Small businesses are falling prey to such “ransomware,” a type of cyber attack and one of a variety of networking threats companies now face. “Small business is vulnerable to a wide variety of cyber threats, like web-based attack, scripting, phishing, ransomware…and ransomware is huge in Michigan currently,” said Zara Smith, the strategic programs manager for the Michigan Small Business Development Center. Small business, big threat
More than 40 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses, according to a 2016 report by cybersecurity firm Symantec.

Slow start for businesses makes for a strong finish

It is a Monday evening around 5 p.m. and Turner Street is very quiet. A few cars are passing by on the road. The Lamb’s Gate Antique shop owner is locking his door. There are scattered street wanderers, but the heart of little Old Town seems empty. Unlike most towns in the area, this is the norm for Old Town.

Snowplowers still liable for slips on uncleared pavement

By ANTHONY HARVEY
Capital News Service
LANSING—Commercial snowplowing and de-icing companies will remain responsible for anyone who slips and falls on freshly plowed properties and parking lots. Rep. Ken Yonker, R-Caledonia, who owns Yonker’s Landscaping Inc., had introduced a bill to remove the responsibility from snowplowing and de-icing services. The Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, recently voted against passing the measure on to the Senate. Contracts drawn up by property owners generally place two responsibilities on the snowplowing contractors: to service the property when called and to assume responsibility for patrons who slip and fall on the property. Supporters were disappointed the bill didn’t move to the full Senate.

Government programs support small businesses services

By XINJUAN DENG
Capital News Service
LANSING – Small businesses are getting more chances to access capital, spur job growth and boost exports under recent federal and state initiatives. These include the Small Business Administration (SBA), Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing pointed to resources to increase access to capital for Michigan small businesses. 
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating the majority of new jobs,” Stabenow said. “We continue to make sure our small businesses have access to the capital they need to grow their companies and hire new workers.”
Small businesses in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties have received $395 million in financing since 2010 under the Small Businesses Jobs Act, Stabenow said.