Crowdfunding Not Always A Savior

Can crowdfunding save your company? Apparently not for the inventors of the SlideBelt, a belt used by hikers to survive if lost in the woods.

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Even though the California company was, per the Sacramento Bee, on ” Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States, with three-year revenue growth of 328%.”

Its growth required debt financing which quickly overpowered its revenues. The company turned to a Regulation A crowdfunding campaign, hoping to raise about $3 million to pay down its burdensome debt load.

But the crowdfunding fell short by about $2.6 million.

Finding that it “was suddenly overextended on inventory, operations, employee headcount, and financing, rendering the Debtor unable to pay its debts as they come due,” the couple who started the business in their garage in 2007, have put the company into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article234151247.html

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Google Invents Event Crowdfunding

Google’s underground tech team called “Area 120” has created a way to have live crowdfunding events for YouTubers.

Variety reports that “the service allows creators to invite their fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events.”

The Fundo website says merely: “Fundo is an experimental project within Area 120, currently in beta. If you’re a creator on YouTube or other platforms and you’re interested in new ways to engage your audience, please request an invitation to Fundo.”

fundo

So far it appears that YouTube celebrities have been having live video chats and charging their fans to participate in a more intimate manner where, for example, Mexican personality Key Risquee sold personalized shout outs for about $4/each.

This could be a place for film/television entrepreneurs to find a new audience that might contribute towards features or streaming series.

https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/google-area-120-fundo-crowdfunding-1203304330/

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California Targets Abortion States

The fight among states for film/television production has just gotten nasty. California has found its business fleeing to other states that offer significant (up to 30%) tax credits/rebates on production costs spent in those states.

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But now, California is fighting back.

California Assemblywoman Christy Smith has introduced a bill  (titled “Share Our Values”)in the legislature that would give tax breaks to film productions that move out of states with restrictive abortion laws.

The law would be in effect for 5 years and reserve $50 million per year for productions that leave Red States (that means you Georgia and Alabama) and return “home” to California.

The bill is moving through CA Senate committees now, on the way to a floor vote.

https://signalscv.com/2019/08/smiths-co-authored-share-our-values-film-tax-credit-advances/

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Crowdfunded Effort To Sue PM Dies

The English courts have ruled that one can’t sue a politician for lying during his campaign.

If you recall, Marcus Ball crowdfunded over £570,000 in three years to privately prosecute the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson for (apparently falsely) claiming during the Brexit vote that the UK sends the European Union over “£350 million a week in membership fees.”

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The High Court noted that one can’t be guilty of lying if there is no law to deal with false campaign statements, especially where they relate to publicly available statistics.

In other words, patently false statements are not actionable.

Legal Cheek notes that Mr. Ball is considering his options now which may include “taking his case to the European Courts, appealing directly to the Supreme Court or simply prosecuting him [Johnson] again in an attempt to force the courts to follow the law.” Good luck, mate.

https://www.legalcheek.com/2019/08/crowdfunding-campaigner-loses-bid-to-take-boris-johnson-private-prosecution-to-supreme-court/

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Tax Rebates Keep Industry In State

States like bringing jobs home.

That’s why South Carolina is considering upping its tax rebate for motion picture and television production.

SCFilmComm

The state has already brought in HBO and McClatchy notes that actor Danny McBride (star of Vice Principals and the coming “Righteous Gemstones”) moved his production company and home to SC.

Even though the 2017 Federal tax law permits an immediate write off of production costs upon exhibition, production companies love the tax rebates/credits that make it possible for them to hire locals and create a new industry in states where technology is usurping jobs.

Looking at how the North Carolina industry fled to Georgia when NC’s credits shrank, local production groups are hoping that the SC legislature will allow for up to $30 million in tax benefits for the coming year.

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article233672382.html

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Crowdfunding Butt Lifts Not High On Donors’ Lists

“Ugly people get nowhere these days,” according to the young woman who became Most Hated after allegedly faking her depression and flirting with her doctor to get the United Kingdom’s National Health Service to waive the £7,000 fee for her nose job.

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Now, she’s crowdfunding for a butt lift so she can look more like the Kim Kardash celebutante.

Complaining that “transgenders get operations left, right and centre,” but the NHS won’t pay for this cosmetic upraise, she says she needs the procedure for her emotional well-being and self esteem.

What’s amazing is that this woman is only one of hundreds of ladies asking the public to pay for this surgery. (Most have received $0).

Who knew this was a thing?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2019/08/woman-who-faked-depression-to-get-nhs-funded-nose-job-now-crowdfunding-for-bum-lift.html

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Movie Cancelled For Political Considerations

Corporate America wants to keep its political affairs under wraps.

Sullivan & Cromwell notes: “Political contributions and lobbying became the most common E[nvironmental] S[ocial] P[olitical] topic [of shareholder proposals] in 2019, representing 28.8% of ESP proposals in 2019, increasing from 24.0% in 2018” Yet most of these lose at the annual meetings.

And, staying below the surface also applies to hot political topics, such as this week when Universal Pictures (Comcast) decided to cancel the release of the thriller movie “The Hunt” after the tweet from the President who claimed that it would incite violence after the two mass shootings last week (a topic of which he is very much aware).

the hunt

The movie’s plot involves East Coast elites hunting Red State citizens for sport with guns.(Perhaps a political statement, if tongue in cheek?)

Rather than be a target of the Commander in Chief, Comcast decided that discretion was better than profit.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/universal-cancels-release-of-the-hunt-movie-11565468731

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