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  • Ami Kassar

AmiSight 11/14: Inc. Should Stop Promoting Companies That Can Place Business Owners in Debt Traps

Inc. recently published its inaugural Power Partner Awards, which purport to offer business owners a “carefully vetted” list of B2B vendors they can “rely upon." The front cover of Inc.’s November print magazine describes these vendors as “Companies Founders can’t live without.”


In the Finance category, Inc. grants its "seal of approval" to several companies that aggressively promote short-term, high-interest loans (with APRs typically exceeding 50 percent) and merchant cash advances to entrepreneurs and small business owners. These companies include Forward Financing, National Business Capital, and Rok Financial. Unfortunately, many of the products these sites promote lock business owners into debt traps that can be very difficult to escape.


Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and need all the support we can give them; the entrepreneurial community should know when brands like Inc. make decisions like this.


I have written to the editors at Inc. expressing my concerns about their Power Partner choices, and they have yet to reply. So In today's post, I want to share a letter I sent to Joe Mansueto, the founder of Morningstar and owner of Inc., asking him to have his Inc. editors remove the “seal of approval” from these companies. Please share the letter in your social feeds if you agree with this position.


Also, after writing for Inc. magazine for eight years, I have resigned as a columnist on Inc.com. My objective has always been to ensure their audience received the proper financial guidance and information to launch, grow and scale with a heavy emphasis on trying to keep entrepreneurs away from debt traps that can often destroy their companies. Sadly, I no longer feel comfortable aligning my company, MultiFunding, and personal brand with Inc.


I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be joining the team at 21 Hats, where I invite you to read my first column: "Why I’m Moving My Column from Inc. to 21 Hats.”


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