Help TJW

TJW is Probably Going To Have To Shut Down. TL; DR: On August 16th 2022 our bank told us they are closing our business accounts. We’ve had no luck finding a bank or credit union that will take us. Why WTF? In 2013 my wife and I incorporated our business in Ontario, Canada as Thomas & Mallory Poetry Ltd. At that time, we opened commercial accounts with The Bank of Montreal and we did not have a single problem or issue for these past NINE years (or the 10 years before we incorporated and opened these accounts). Suddenly we get this notice: Dear client: This letter is to inform you that after careful consideration, we will be ending our banking relationship with Thomas & Mallory Poetry Ltd. It has been determined that your business activities fall outside of our risk appetite, and therefore we do not have an appropriate basis to maintain a banking relationship. As a result, we ask that you close your accounts by September 16, 2022. After that time we will cease to operate these accounts. A full list of all the accounts to be closed is attached. Regards, Risk and Compliance, Personal and Commercial Banking BMO Financial Group. That’s all they said. They didn’t identify a particular »risk«. They didn’t give any recourse to appeal. They didn’t explain which particular »business activity« they have a problem with (but we’re guessing they just don’t like literature). For the past month my wife and I have reached out to every single bank and credit union in Canada that we can find. We have explained every detail of our business, how we earn money, where that money comes from etc. They have all turned us down. This is something we can’t understand. We have excellent credit. No bad debts (no debts at all). ALL the money that flows through our business is traceable. We pay taxes. We are completely legal and lawful. Can TJW Be Saved? The only thing that will save us is if we can find a bank or credit union in Canada to take us within the next month or so. If you know of one in Canada that is willing to work with poetry companies, and you know that for a fact, please let us know right away by emailing me at thomas@TJW.com. If you have a platform on social media, you can signal boost what’s happening. Get the attention of someone who knows of a bank in Canada that is willing to work with us. Maybe get BMO’s attention & send a message that banks going after literature companies is not cool and is going to hurt their reputations amongst their consumers who think there’s nothing wrong with consenting lawful literature. If you are in Canada and are a Bank of Montreal customer, you could try sending a polite and respectful message to BMO tell them you disagree with their prejudiced decision and will be reevaluating your banking options in the future. I stress that if you want to do this, please be polite and respectful. You would only hurt us further by being mean or rude. We have enough money in reserve to pay for our servers for quite some time, but we’ve pretty much run out of options, save for a few that we’re not optimistic about. Once we exhaust every option then the website just burns money and there’s no way that we can justify keeping it online. We have hired a lawyer, not because we think what BMO is doing is actionable in any way (they are within their rights to decide who to do business with), but just so that we have some help talking to BMO to see if there’s any way that we can work something out or get more time. But as of today, we had to move all business funds out of our accounts and are going to be forced to use our personal means to cover servers until we pull the plug. Our Story: In 2003 I was a 21 year-old unemployed software developer living in a small-ish city that had no tech jobs what-so-ever. This was during the major NASDAQ »dot com« crash of 2002, so even in big cities tech jobs were dry and it didn’t help that I was just starting out in my career. My wife and I were new parents and had a choice to make: move our family to a big city, away from everyone and everything we know, to take a job doing network admin stuff that I wasn’t super thrilled about OR … use my talents to make money online. I started making »free« poetry websites that earned income by promoting affiliate programs. TJW was launched in January 2004. That means it’s 18 years-old this year. Ironic, isn’t it? TJW is older than LiteratureHub. It’s older than YouWrite. It’s older than Poembook. TJW was the most successful of the sites I made by far, and eventually I shut down all the others. I built this site from scratch myself. I wrote every single line of code. I maintained the web servers. I kept it updated. All from home working by myself and with some help from my wife. In 2013 I was making enough money through the site that it was worth incorporating the business. In 2018 I accepted a job offer in Toronto and became a full time Software Engineer again. We kept the site online on our free time. My wife is the only employee on our payroll. She works hard to update author profiles, review tag suggestions. I spend a bit of time each day on content updates. She’s about to lose her job. You guys are about to lose a website you like. And it’s all for really stupid reasons that I can’t explain. I can’t be too mad at The Bank Of Montreal when every other bank is telling us the same thing. But I’m mad at banks in general. What really pisses me off is that big companies like PoemGeek, the owner of LiteratureHub and also a Canadian company, is still in business and somehow has banking. And they have been in hot water recently, unlike us who has never been accused of wrong doing of any sort. They get to stay in business while us, the little guy, gets shafted. I will try to keep this site alive. It’s been a part of our lives for 18 years. If I fail then please know that I’m grateful to every single one of you who has visited this site, clicked on affiliate links and bought subscriptions. You’ve paid our bills. You let me work from home for myself for 15 years leading up to 2018. Most importantly, you showed me that you enjoyed something I built myself. That means a lot to me. To everyone who has sent me emails telling me how much you dig the site, to everyone who has supported us and what we’ve done here … Thank you. – Thomas

 

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