Last week, Verizon Wireless unveiled a new component of its Business SharePlan service that allows small businesses to add or combine phone lines in various parts of the country onto one account and share the minutes.

Under the plan, business customers can choose to activate their phone with any U.S. area code or telephone number, a feature aimed at helping remote employees and other business associates avoid running up their phone bills.
More information on the new plan is available here.

Do-it-yourself sales

Microsoft Office Live Small Business earlier this week launched a series of new features that include Store Manager, an e-commerce tool designed to help small businesses sell products online.
The tool gives small businesses free access to Web hosting, rich site design capabilities, productivity applications, contact management software and custom domain name registration with 100 business e-mail accounts, among other applications.
While geared toward the do-it-yourself approach, the tool also offers designers and developers to help out with website development and maintenance.
For more information, go to

Beyond PayPal

A recently launched website is by Chase Paymentech Solutions is designed to help small businesses process credit-card payments.
The site, which was developed by New York-based interactive agency Foundry9 in partnership with Chase Paymentech, allows businesses to research payment products that fit their needs and offers access to experts who can customize programs to their specifications. The programs boast reliable terminals, low interchange rates to process credit card transactions and custom gift card programs.
The site also offers credit and gift card processing specific to the restaurant and food service industries, such as tip editing and tab forwarding.
For more information is available here.