Charter Business is going after small businesses in its footprint by offering to buy out the early termination fees that are associated with switching to the cable operator.

The buyout allows businesses that are locked into contracts to make the switch to Charter Business without bearing the brunt of the termination fees.

"Business Customers who would like to experience the higher Internet speeds and robust suite of products offered by Charter Business often feel trapped in their current contracts,” said Don Detampel, executive vice president and president, commercial services for Charter Communications. "Charter has taken the worry of early termination fees out of the equation for our new customers so business owners can try Charter Business with confidence."

Prospective customers have to install Charter Business’ data, phone and/or video services to start the process of getting their termination fees paid. The second step is filling out the “Charter Business contract buyout form,” which is sent to Charter Business along with a copy of the previous provider’s bill with the early termination fees highlighted.

From there Charter Business said it would cut a check in the amount equal to the early termination fee charged by the previous provider, but the amount is capped at $500. 

In its most recent first quarter earnings, Charter’s commercial revenues rose to $234 million, an increase of 20 percent on a pro forma basis over the prior-year period. Charter said the increase was due to higher sales to small business customers.

Charter Communications will hold its second quarter earnings call July 31.