ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A St. Cloud-based telemarketing company created after the Watergate scandal to raise funds for the Democratic Party is insolvent and will close its doors.
Meyer Teleservices owner Gary Owen said the decreasing number of telephone land lines and the lack of access to cellphones have crippled his business.
"Land lines are decreasing eight to twelve percent per year. And because of court rulings we can't, we can't consciously dial cellphone numbers. And a lot of politicians are now using the Internet to raise funds," Owen said.
The company has closed its offices in Eveleth, St. Cloud and Little Falls. About 100 people have lost their jobs in Eveleth alone.
The company was founded in St. Cloud in 1977. It opened its Little Falls office in 1999 and its facility in Eveleth in 2007.
Owen says he did everything possible to keep the company open.
"We did everything we could to stay open. I went all in. I basically lost all my retirement and took out mortgages on two houses. And the former owner put in $380,000 last year to try to keep us afloat. He's out that now, too," Owen said.
The company owes about $250,000 to the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board which it loaned for the Eveleth facility, according to the Mesabi Daily News (http://bit.ly/1dMMYjN ).