EqualFooting Axes 120 and Shifts Focus to Large Clients

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Business-to-business online marketplace EqualFooting.com Inc. has laid off 120 people -- roughly 60 percent of its staff -- as the company shifts its focus, the company said yesterday.

Less than a year after starting its online exchange service, which was designed to help small businesses buy supplies and gain financing, the Dulles, VA, company said it now plans to target large customers.

"You take what has the strongest possibility of success and go with it," chief executive Jim Fox said. "If you don't do it, you're doing a disservice to everybody."

Fox said businesses that were targeted previously have been slower to adopt its service than the company had anticipated. That, coupled with the capital markets' waning appetite for continuing dot-com losses, made yesterday's announcement seem imminent.

In November, the company began shifting its focus to selling its technology for online procurement and online approval of business loans to large enterprises. It laid off 35 employees at that time.

After yesterday's layoffs, the company said it now has about 70 employees.


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