Business In Brief - August 21, 2007

Comporium signs Brown for wireless endorsement

Comporium has selected professional football player Sheldon Brown to be its celebrity representative to promote the company's branding for its nationwide wireless service.

Brown is a native of Fort Lawn and a former star athlete at Lewisville High School and the University of South Carolina. He and his wife, Jenny, have one son, Dion, and are expecting their second child around the end of the year. They live in Marlton, N.J., but plan to move to York County.

Brown was drafted out of South Carolina by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He recently made the cover of Sports Illustrated, which recognized him for being one of the hardest-hitting defensive players of 2006. The cover shows him taking down New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush in a playoff game last year, which also earned Brown the ESPN Hardest Hit of the Year award.

Comporium customers soon will see Brown in TV commercials, newspaper ads and on some of the van wraps promoting Comporium Wireless. His endorsement includes at least three one-hour autograph signing appearances at events to be determined.

Two join Coldwell Banker in Fort Mill

FORT MILL -- Sally White and Lauren Hall have joined the Coldwell Banker United Realtors office in Fort Mill, according to the company.

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors, Carolinas Region has 17 offices, including offices in Rock Hill, Lancaster, Fort Mill and Sumter.

Deadline is Sept. 10 to apply for disaster loans

CHESTER -- The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding businesses in Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union and York counties that Economic Injury Disaster Loans still are available to small businesses impacted by the fire in Great Falls in June 2006.

Small businesses may apply for loans up to $l.5 million if they suffered substantial economic injury from the disaster. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. These loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

The interest rate on these loans is 4 percent, with a maximum term of 30 years.

For an application, call SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or download it from the Web site at disasterassistance.

Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The deadline is Sept. 10.

Economic indicators index up in July

NEW YORK -- A closely watched gauge of future economic activity edged up in July, reversing the previous month's decline. The recent erratic pattern reflects uncertainty in a U.S. economy roiled by a credit crunch.

The Conference Board said Monday its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent in July, as analysts were expecting. The index fell 0.3 percent in June, after rising 0.2 percent in May.

The report is designed to forecast economic activity over the next three to six months.

The index has bounced up and down over the past few months, suggesting that economic growth is likely to continue but at a slower pace. With the latest report, the cumulative change in the index over the past six months has increased 0.1 percent.

The movement of the index over the past few months mirrors the volatility of the financial markets, said Aaron Smith, senior economist with Moody's