VSpring, Signal Peak merge venture capital firms, may raise fund in 2013

Published: Thursday, March 29 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that from September 2010 to September 2011, employment increased in 271 of the 322 largest U.S. counties, including 4.5 percent in Utah's second largest county. Salt Lake County — which saw a 2.8 percent increase — ranked No. 48, while no other Utah county ranked among the top 200.

Topping the list was Williamson County, Tenn., posting the largest increase with a gain of 5.4 percent over the year, compared with national job growth of 1.6 percent. The report stated that within Williamson, the largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services, which gained 1,743 jobs over the year, or 9.0 percent.

— Jasen Lee

Bet networks entering prepaid card market

WASHINGTON — BET Networks is entering the exploding business of prepaid cards. It is partnering with Netspend, one of the biggest prepaid card companies, in hopes of reaching millions of black Americans who don't use banks.

BET is the biggest brand name in black media. Netspend hopes BET's endorsement will help it turn some of BET's viewers into fee-paying customers.

Blacks are overrepresented among people who don't have bank accounts or who use high-cost services such as check-cashing and payday loans. Prepaid cards are marketed as a less expensive alternative.

Prepaid cards are like debit cards but aren't attached to a checking account and sometimes lack the consumer protections offered by debit and credit cards. The Federal Reserve says they are the fastest-growing electronic payment method.

— Associated Press

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