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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 4:55 pm | Fair 66º


Make It Work Holding Liquidation Sale Saturday to Fund Employees’ Final Paychecks

Meanwhile, Best Buy announces plans to eliminate 600 Geek Squad positions nationwide as well as 1,800 store workers

Make It Work is selling its furniture and equipment through Saturday to fund employees’ final paychecks.

The Santa Barbara-based computer support company closed its doors on June 25 after repairing computers for more than 11 years. While the company grew each of the five years before 2008, revenue has been declining since then and Make It Work didn’t raise sufficient capital or acquire enough customers to sustain business, according to founder and CEO Eric Greenspan.

“I don’t regret anything because it was quite a ride, but I’m sorry for the people who got hurt by it, including my employees, customers, shareholders and my family,” Greenspan told Noozhawk last month.

Former marketing director Ashley Smith is managing the liquidation sale, which includes furniture, televisions, cables, computers, radios, accessories and other equipment. It will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 3890 La Cumbre Plaza Lane, in the offices above the Habit Burger.

Smith, who is one of the 34 employees who are now out of work, said that while she wasn’t sure whether every employee would get fully reimbursed for his or her work, she said the company is “doing everything we can to make sure every employee gets paid.”

Smith said she hasn’t received her last paycheck but is still optimistic.

“I was definitely startled by the news,” Smith said. “I worked there 3½ years, and when you work somewhere that long, they are like family. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but we are doing everything we can to get through this transition and make it as easy as possible for all involved.”

Make It Work, which primarily focused on residential-based configurations and repairs, sold its clients prepaid service hours that companies like TechEase said would reimburse. But Smith said she didn’t know if any of the liquidation money would go toward the extended service contracts.

The company began partnerships with retailers such as Costco and was about to launch new deals with Amazon, Newegg and Costco’s online division but they didn’t materialize fast enough, Greenspan said, adding that cloud storage and cheaper machines translated to fewer repair requests.

While Greenspan declined to comment on his failed company, he said Best Buy’s decision to layoff 600 Geek Squad employees is a testament to the difficult times for repair services.

Best Buy spokesperson Bruce Hight told Noozhawk that it’s eliminating 600 Geek Squad positions nationwide that service appliances and televisions in customer’s homes as well as 1,800 store employees.

“These changes were previously announced as part of the leadership team’s ongoing turnaround plan,” said Hight, referencing the announcement in March. “We are working to minimize the impact of the changes on employees while building a foundation for a strong future.”

He added that the 2,400 employees will be terminated by Aug. 1 and will qualify for severance packages and job placement assistance.

In terms of local computer repair companies, TechEase used to focus half of its business on the residential market, according to co-founder Evan Asher. He decided to move the company’s direction toward small businesses because of better margins and more demand.

“If I was confident in the residential-based business, we would’ve taken the company in a different direction,” said Asher, adding that it doesn’t help when other similar businesses are entirely mobile.

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkBiz, @noozhawk and @NoozhawkNews. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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