Like so many who suddenly found themselves unemployed, Gary Panuska said his grandson decided to start a new business after losing his job during the pandemic.
In January, Gary said his grandson filled out a form and mailed a check to register his online business with the state. But months later, Gary said they were still waiting for the paperwork to go through.
“We tried contacting everybody and we couldn’t get any kind of response on email or returned phone calls,” he said. “It was just really frustrating … he wanted to get this thing off the ground.”
In April, Gary contacted NBC 6 Responds and sent the paperwork he had to one of our consumer investigative producers.
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“I was hoping you guys could actually do something,” he said. “Within I would say a week, week and a half, we had phone calls. We had everything going.”
In an email, a spokesperson for the Florida Division of Corporations told NBC 6 they had “…been working with the business owner since his initial filing,” adding they had notified Eric “…that his filing had been rejected because he had submitted the wrong form.”
On May 20, the same day the NBC 6 producer sent an email, the division said they “…received a voicemail about the filing…” and “…promptly returned the call …” leaving a message for Eric.
The state said it eventually connected with Eric’s grandmother and on May 24, it processed the paperwork after confirming the intent of the filing.
“We were jumping up and down,” Gary said. “He’s really happy now. He’s getting some business and looks like he’s finally going to make some money.”
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