Dozens, if not hundreds, of people in Chattanooga are without jobs Friday. A local call center on Brainerd Road has shut down and laid off its employees. Local payday lender Carey V. Brown owns the call center Support Seven. He employs hundreds of workers in Chattanooga.
Our partners at the Times Free Press report workers at Cloudswell, Area 203, ACH Federal and SupportSeven were all laid off today.
Channel 3 was outside Support Seven this morning as employees gathered inside the building for an 8:30 meeting.
By 8:45 a.m., people left the building with paperwork in hand. One left in tears, others with boxes and all without a job.
"If you could see, you could see the signs here for the last past week so basically we knew something was coming," said employee Tiffany Rankins.
Tiffany Rankins is one of the few employees who would talk to us on camera about being laid off Friday.
"It's the next chapter in other peoples lives as far as moving on," Rankins said.
Other employees said they didn't get any severance pay but they'll get one last paycheck that includes paid unused vacation days.
Management refused to talk with Channel 3 today on or off camera. The owner of Support Seven, Carey Brown, is a local millionaire payday lender. Support Seven is a call center helping people with their online loans.
"They told us what we already knew because people have been researching that it is due to the federal regulatory of our country," said one employee who wishes to remain anonymous.
Another employee said the sudden shut down has to do with recent government regulations. New York is cracking down on payday lenders with big interest rates.
"This was not a bad place to work and Mr. Brown was not a bad man to work for," that employee said.
According to Carey V. Brown's personal web site, he has an ownership interest in multiple local businesses including:
A source that worked for Brown gave Channel 3 a copy of the company's internal statement:
"This is to advise you that on August 16,2013 we will permanently reduce a number of employees at the facility due to catastrophic unforeseen business circumstances. Within the past week, we have experienced regulatory pressure that has rendered payment services of the Financial Services Industry unable to support the on going operation of our customers. This notice is to inform you that you will be laid off due to loss of business revenue due to unforeseen catastrophic business circumstances."