One of the greatest problems that small businesses and new startups face is credit. Not only their own credit worthiness, but the credit they must extend to their service partners and other businesses they deal with. Few startups or small businesses have gone through life without getting stiffed at least once after completing their half of the bargain.
Chasing another business through court is an expensive, time-consuming and often fruitless process. Cortera.com hopes to cut down on those renege situations by supplying small businesses with Dunn and Bradstreet-style ratings based on the feedback that other businesses give in the community.
Think of it as the Better Business Bureau meets Facebook. Basically, business profiles are created by and reviewed by members of the Cortera community (other businesses) and reviews culminate into total rating scores. What’s more, if the business in question does have a D&B rating, Cortera will list that as well.
The reviews are a lot like those on Amazon and eBay, though obviously more business-oriented. To vote, a user must be a registered business on the site. Ratings include overall community ratings, payment ratings based on criteria like promptness of payment. Each rating criteria has a full explanation and those doing the rating can ad comments that others can read as well. The total ratings (Community Ratings) listed have the total number of people who left feedback to get that score.
Cortera (in its current incarnation) was founded earlier this year and is based in Boca Raton, Florida, Quincy, Massachusetts, and with software/development offices in India. The debut for the publicly-accessible Cortera website took place in September at the DEMOfall 09 event after launching in July.
Information on businesses listed with Cortera is available free of charge and requires no account. Registration is required to rate listed businesses, however.
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