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GM approves dividend on Series B stock

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors will pay a quarterly dividend of about 64.7 cents a share on its Series B convertible preferred stock, the company said Wednesday.

GM's board approved the dividend for part of last year's fourth quarter and this year's first quarter. It is payable March 1 to holders of the stock as of Feb. 15.

The quarterly dividend payment totals about $64.7 billion, GM said in a statement.

GM sold 100 million Series B junior convertible shares as part of a November initial public stock offering. The shares sold for $50 each and netted the company roughly $5 billion. The convertible shares become shares of common stock on Dec. 1, 2013, unless they're converted before that date. They carry a 4.75 percent dividend rate.

Detroit-based GM sought bankruptcy protection in 2009 and accepted nearly $50 billion in government help. But the company has since made an impressive recovery, with global sales growing 12 percent last year. GM turned a $4.2 billion profit in the first nine months of the year.

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Google's Voice adding new number feature

NEW YORK (AP) -- Google's Voice calling application is adding a long-promised feature: the ability to move a phone number from a cell phone to Google's service.

Previously, Google Voice assigned each user a new number. That made it more difficult to take advantage of its features, which include cheaper international calls and the ability to answer calls on several different phones and computers.

Google Inc. announced Tuesday that users can request "porting" of existing numbers to Google Voice. The transfer costs $20.

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Small businesses given reminder of tax credit

WASHINGTON -- More than 10,000 small businesses in Western New York may be unaware they are eligible for a new tax credit established in last year's health reform law, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday.

Schumer based that projection on a study by a group called Small Business Majority, which found that 43 percent of small businesses surveyed nationwide were unaware of the credit.

"At a time when our economy is still turning around, small businesses need all the help they can get," said Schumer. "The bad news is that far too many small businesses don't know that this credit exists, but the good news is that it's not too late to put that cash in the pockets of the businesses so essential to the economy of New York."

In a letter to H&R Block and other major tax preparers, Schumer and several colleagues urged the tax preparers to try to get their clients to file for the credit.

The credit was designed to encourage small businesses to offer health care coverage to their employees or to maintain the coverage they already offer.

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