• In this Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, photo, Shoneji Robison, left, and Catarah Hampshire, owners of Southern Girl Desserts, pose for a photo in their bakery, in Los Angeles. In less than two years, Southern Girl Desserts took out six loans and was in a financial mess that made it difficult to buy ingredients and pay workers. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

    Fast and easy loans come at price for small businesses

    NEW YORK (AP) — It sounded like a sweet deal: A loan broker walked into Southern Girl Desserts offering the Los Angeles bakery a $40,000 loan that could be deposited in a bank account quickly. Already rejected for a loan from a bank, co-owner Catarah Hampshire took the offer and hired more workers to whip up peach cobblers and sweet potato cupcakes.

  • Microsoft’s 3Q earnings grow 31 pct; stock falls

    In this Jan. 5, 2011 file photo, Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer gives his Keynote speech for the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas. Microsoft reports quarterly earnings Thursday, April 28, 2011, after the market close.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, file)

    Microsoft Corp.’s latest quarterly earnings rose 31 percent even as sales of its Windows operating system sagged.