MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Tailwind Acquires Replier.ai, Adding AI Capability to Help Marketers Break Writer's Block + Write Better Copy

Tailwind | March 31, 2022

Tailwind, a leading small business marketing software platform, has acquired Replier.ai, a software platform that helps marketers generate custom replies and content with AI, in order to expand its team, products and customer base.

Replier.ai joins Tailwind as the company's 6th acquisition to-date. Tailwind is backed by Pilot Growth Equity out of San Francisco and New York.

As the Tailwind team explored opportunities to help users create AI-driven marketing copy, Replier surfaced as a strong partnership candidate. However, as the two teams came to know each other better, they recognized an opportunity to create greater value for small businesses by joining forces.

"Tailwind is committed to helping small business owners accomplish their marketing effectively and easily." 

Tailwind Co-Founder and CEO, Daniel Maloney

"The copywriting power of Replier.ai is truly remarkable. We can't wait to incorporate that functionality across the Tailwind marketing system to empower our members to put their best foot forward in all of their content."

Replier's vision to help small businesses generate high-quality customized content using AI-driven technology complements Tailwind's strategy to make world-class marketing easy for everyone. With this shared vision Tailwind will be one step closer to offering a complete marketing suite that helps small business owners take control of their marketing in less time.

"For a company whose members are as diverse as ours, being able to tailor AI to the specific needs of each customer's brand is critical - but also a meaningful technical challenge," says Will Washburn, Tailwind VP of Engineering.

"The Replier.ai team had made great strides in that direction and we're excited to work together to fully realize that vision."

About Tailwind
Launched in 2015, Tailwind is a leading small business marketing platform that helps entrepreneurs, creators, sellers and marketers plan, create and execute world-class marketing campaigns across digital marketing platforms including Email marketing, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Tailwind is rapidly shifting the status quo that marketers should expect from marketing software by integrating what would normally be separate stand alone tools into one cohesive system, with the goal of enabling small businesses to be effective omni-channel marketers within their unique needs.

Spotlight

When you think about great branding, Coca Cola’s distinctive red and white lettering, Nike’s swoosh and Adidas’s three stripes likely come to mind. But as a small business, imagining the level of investment that’s gone into these iconic images can make the thought of undertaking your own branding initiative seem overwhelming.

Spotlight

When you think about great branding, Coca Cola’s distinctive red and white lettering, Nike’s swoosh and Adidas’s three stripes likely come to mind. But as a small business, imagining the level of investment that’s gone into these iconic images can make the thought of undertaking your own branding initiative seem overwhelming.

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FINANCE

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Approves Freedom Bank for the Preferred Lenders Program

Freedom Bank of Virginia | October 12, 2022

The Freedom Bank of Virginia announced today that the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the Bank for the Preferred Lenders Program (PLP). The SBA designates certain experienced lenders as PLP Lenders and delegates the authority to process, close, service, and liquidate most SBA-guaranteed loans without prior SBA review. Now as a PLP Lender, Freedom Bank is authorized to make SBA-guaranteed loans without prior SBA review of eligibility or creditworthiness allowing for a more seamless and timely loan process. "Freedom Bank's Small Business Lending Division has been working diligently since its inception to serve clients through government guaranteed loans including SBA 7(a) loans. Now as a PLP Lender we look forward to additional opportunities to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs with an even more seamless and efficient loan process. The Small Business Lending Division will remain focused on meeting the needs of the Bank's clients in the DC Region, as well as, originating new clients nationwide with our technology-forward platform and customer centric approach " Joe Thomas, President and CEO. Kevin Ferryman, Executive Vice President & Head of the Small Business Lending Division, added "We are thrilled with our new designation as a PLP lender which will allow us to offer an even greater level of service and wider range of SBA products to our clients and broker partners. Our team is committed to assisting the business community in obtaining the funding required to sustain and grow their companies. We are able to fill the void many small businesses and entrepreneurs are experiencing by delivering capital when they need it most." About Freedom Bank Freedom Bank (OTCQX: FDVA) is a next-generation community bank, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, offering commercial banking, personal banking, and mortgage banking solutions using banker expertise and innovative technology to build lead relationships with clients. Focusing on businesses, real estate owners, and professionals, Freedom Bank concentrates on key industry verticals to deliver unique, sector-specific solutions to help clients meet their goals and realize their dreams. Freedom Bank has sales office locations in Fairfax, Vienna, Reston, Manassas, and Chantilly, VA. The Freedom Bank Mortgage Division is headquartered in Chantilly, VA and the Freedom Bank Small Business Lending Division is headquartered in Harrison, NY.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Equitable Launches New Turnkey 401(k) Program for Small Businesses

Equitable | September 26, 2022

Equitable, a leading financial services organization and principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc., today announced the launch of a new 401(k) program for small businesses, including those with startup plans and plans with account values up to $500kThe new program, Retirement Gateway for Small Business, will serve a growing need in the underserved micro 401(k) market to create a simplified onboarding and administrative experience for plan sponsors and financial advisors from initial consultation to implementation. We anticipate the enhanced tax credits for small businesses establishing retirement plans included in the SECURE Act 2.0 proposal will help grow the micro 401(k) market over time,” said Keith Namiot, Chief Operating Officer of Group Retirement at Equitable. “We have aligned our new program with where the market is expected to grow, and we are excited to help plan sponsors and advisors overcome the administrative barriers associated with setting up 401(k) plans a hurdle that has historically deterred many small businesses from offering them. Retirement Gateway for Small Business is poised to capitalize on other proposed provisions of SECURE 2.0, like the automatic enrollment requirement for new plans created by businesses with 10 or more employees. The growth of state-mandated retirement plans is also driving the demand for this type of program. All new Equitable 401(k) clients with plan account values of up to $500k have access to Retirement Gateway for Small Business. The program offers packages of services—some of which are made available through partnerships with unaffiliated third-party providers—to help ease demands on plan administrators and improve participant outcomes. They include: 3(16) Administrative Fiduciary: Significantly relieves the fiduciary burdens of running a 401(k) for plan administrators. 3(38) Investment Fiduciary: Provides professional assistance with investment management tasks. Automatic Enrollment: Reduces the amount of time employees spend on the enrollment process, which can lead to greater participation and increased savings rates. Stadion Managed Accounts as the QDIA: Reduces the complexity of selecting investments by automatically investing participants in a personalized portfolio. 360 Payroll Integration: Reduces the amount of time and effort spent managing census and payroll files. “Small business owners are focused on operating their organizations. That’s why it’s important to take the guess work out of choosing the right retirement plan design that can help them achieve the best participant outcomes,Predefined packages help advisors reduce the administrative burden and time spent selecting a plan, point their clients to the right amount of fiduciary coverage based on their specific needs, and streamline the overall onboarding process.” Jay Zickerman, head of Product Innovation and Implementation for Equitable’s Group Retirement business Another goal of the program is to help cut the time spent on getting plans up and running by quickly connecting advisors to a third-party administrator (TPA), who can assist with plan design, implementation and ongoing administration. Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc., a retirement plan consulting firm, will serve as the plan’s TPA and 3(16) administrative fiduciary for the Retirement Gateway for Small Business program. Equitable’s Group Retirement business offers tax-deferred investment and retirement solutions for employer-sponsored plans and consists of small-to-medium size businesses, educators and other public sector employees. The business serves more than 1 million clients with $45 billion in account value and assets under administration as of 6/30/2022. About Equitable Equitable, a principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH) has been one of America’s leading financial services providers since 1859. With the mission to help clients secure their financial well-being, Equitable provides advice, protection and retirement strategies to individuals, families and small businesses. Equitable has more than 8,000 employees and Equitable Advisors financial professionals and serves 2.8 million clients across the country. A Retirement Gateway® annuity contract or any state variation thereof is a group flexible premium combination fixed and variable deferred annuity issued by Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (Equitable Financial), NY, NY. Co-distributed by affiliates Equitable Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI & TN) and Equitable Distributors, LLC. Equitable Financial, Equitable Advisors and Equitable Distributors do not provide legal or tax advice and are not affiliated with Stadion or Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company.

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FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Veritran Launches Fusion by Veritran, a Small Business Solution for Financial Institutions at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas

Veritran | October 27, 2022

Veritran, a leading global financial technology solutions provider, today launched Fusion by Veritran, a Small Business Solution for the United States market at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas. The new flagship solution of the tech company is designed for freelancers, independent professionals and owners of small businesses, allowing them to better handle their personal and business finances all in one comprehensive solution. Fusion by Veritran is offered in multiple digital channels, allowing users to access via mobile devices, notebooks, desktop PCs and laptops. This launch followed a presentation by Celent at the conference, highlighting the growth of self-employed workers and the increasing importance of creating customer-centric banking solutions that meet the unique needs of this segment. Veritran's new solution is aimed for financial institutions (ranging from banks to credit unions) and other Fintech industry players that serve or wish to capture this appealing segment. Fusion by Veritran is an innovative solution that can be personalized by each user to drive their experience to the next level. It also combines functionalities that can be found in Veritran's Wallet and Merchants solutions, in an intuitive and efficient way. Some of the functionalities available are digital payments, financial management tools, easy and secure approval of transactions and real-time notifications. Users will also be able to easily track their income and expenses, setting-up and reaching saving goals through "Pockets" that represent specific financial goals or projects. "Traditional banking has neglected the needs of self-employed professionals by forcing them to choose between personal or business banking and coming up short when it comes to a real tailored value proposition that addresses their expectations, Veritran's unique new solution allows financial institutions to tap into and better meet the needs of this underserved market of 33.2 million small businesses across the United States." Greynier Fuentes, VP of Digital Solutions at Veritran. Unlike other fintech solutions available in the market, Fusion by Veritran is modular and scalable, allowing financial institutions to add, exchange or modify features depending on their needs and objectives. This launch is the latest in Veritran's wider portfolio of payments ecosystem solutions. The company facilitates the construction of omnichannel, scalable, and high-performance digital solutions that provide safe, superior user experiences, with the best time-to-market. In the last few years, these kinds of solutions have been exclusively developed by Fintechs, who have positioned themselves as allies of self-employed workers and/or small businesses with a limited offer. Historically, digital payment and collection solutions have faced regulations at a local and even global level. This is a huge opportunity for the main players in the US financial industry to cater to this growing but often overlooked segment, added Fuentes. Visitors to Veritran's booth 3609 at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas will be able to experience first-hand how Fusion by Veritran can help financial entities to stand out with an innovative solution that meets the needs and interests of small businesses like no other. About Veritran At Veritran, we believe in improving our clients' business by making their customers' lives better. Through our enterprise Low-Code platform, we speed up and simplify the development of future-proofed immersive digital channels that create a top-notch user experience. We are innovation drivers serving companies worldwide, reaching millions of users, and running billions of secure transactions annually.

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