The Standard Defers Rate Increases for Small Business Customers

Business Wire | March 31, 2020

Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) announced on March 26 that it will hold benefit plan rates stable for all groups up to 500 employees with renewal dates of May, June and July 2020. “As we face the challenges surrounding COVID-19 together, The Standard recognizes that this pandemic is taking a particular toll on our small business customers,” said Dan McMillan, vice president of Employee Benefits. “We are making a number of accommodations for our small business employee benefits partners so they can focus on what matters most right now – their families, employees and businesses.”

Spotlight

While your registered business name provides you with minimal protection, trademark registration permits you to take legal action against infringing conduct or imitators attempting to profit from your company's goodwill. Registering both your business name and your business mark ensures that the time and money you spent designing your intellectual property are not wasted.

Spotlight

While your registered business name provides you with minimal protection, trademark registration permits you to take legal action against infringing conduct or imitators attempting to profit from your company's goodwill. Registering both your business name and your business mark ensures that the time and money you spent designing your intellectual property are not wasted.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Citizens Announces $300,000 Grant for Veteran Small Businesses in the Bronx

Citizens | November 08, 2022

Citizens today announced a $300,000 grant to empower veteran-owned small business in the Bronx, in partnership with Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) and the Hope4Heroes program. The grant will provide tailored support and resources to strengthen veteran-owned business, such as storefront renovation, new technology and technical training, and includes one year of financial mentorship. Earlier today, Citizens and MWSF recognized Former U.S. Army Specialist Marisa Estrella, founder of Worldwide Veterans & Family Services, as the first grant recipient. The program will remain open and accept applications through the end of this year, in order to benefit additional veteran-owned businesses. To be considered, applicants must be an honorably discharged veteran and own a business in Bronx County. Interested veterans can apply at militarywarriors.org/hope4heroes. “Citizens has a long-standing commitment to supporting veterans, particularly in under-served communities where small businesses are struggling to recover from the pandemic, In the last year, Citizens has worked closely with communities across New York City, understanding that a bank’s true value is in contributing positively to the neighborhood and supporting businesses and customers to realize their dreams. We are excited to build on our 8-year partnership with Military Warriors Support Foundation by expanding to the Bronx.” Brendan Coughlin, Head of Consumer Banking at Citizens. The program is the largest corporate grant for veterans in the Bronx and continues Citizens’ deep commitment to fostering neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Hope4Heroes is an extraordinary initiative helping veterans all across the country, and we are proud to partner with Citizens to bring the program to the Bronx,” said Ken Eakes, Executive Director at MWSF. “There are many hurdles to overcome while running a small business and operating in a borough like the Bronx, where recovery has been stalled. Citizens and MWSF have a track record of supporting small businesses and seeing the results of our support extend to the communities around them. I am grateful for this amazing grant and invaluable support for my business, and I want to thank Citizens and MWSF for making this happen,” said Marisa Estrella, Former U.S. Army Specialist and founder, Worldwide Veterans and Family Services. “The Bronx is my home, and I am proud to start here, serving veterans in my neighborhood. Rehabilitation of low-income veterans is critical to help them transition to civilian life and continue contributing to their communities. My goal is to help homeless or at-risk veterans have better and dignified lives. Citizens and MWSF are helping make my vision a reality. Since entering the NYC Metro market in February with retail branches, Citizens has hosted several community programs across the city supporting open streets and night markets and providing grants and support for small businesses and workforce development. Citizens has partnered with a number of local organizations including LISC, Ukrainian Women’s League, Think!Chinatown, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, the Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, and Pursuit. About Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $224.7 billion in assets as of September 30, 2022. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,400 ATMs and approximately 1,200 branches in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Self Esteem Brands Unveils Partnership, Incentive Program to Increase Franchise Ownership with Minority Small Business Owners

Self Esteem Brands, LLC | November 14, 2022

Self Esteem Brands (SEB), the parent company of Anytime Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, The Bar Method, Stronger U and Waxing the City, today announced a partnership with The J3 Collaboration Project (J3) and a new diversity franchise incentive program to make franchising opportunities more attractive and accessible for black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in communities across the U.S. The J3 partnership and incentive program are key elements of Self Esteem Brands' social impact strategy: With more than 5,000 gyms and studios worldwide, the company is on a mission to enrich the health, wealth and wellbeing of people and communities around the world. Both underscore a commitment to that mission by directly improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) across its U.S. franchise network of fitness and wellness brands. "Our global footprint and reach mean that diversity, equity and representation are table stakes for our business – but we need to do more to ensure true representation across our U.S. franchise network, As we work to make an impact in minority communities and drive small business ownership, our partnership with J3 and the diversity franchise incentive will help us build that stronger, more representative franchise owner network across our family of brands." Tony Nicholson, vice president of Franchise Development at Self Esteem Brands. The Self Esteem Brands diversity franchise incentive program encourages minority franchise candidates to seek small business ownership of a franchise brand location in the U.S. – Anytime Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, The Bar Method, and Waxing the City. Qualified candidates will receive a reduced initial franchise fee that is $7,500 less than the standard franchise fee. Interested candidates can learn more at https://www.sebrands.com/franchise/. J3, led by co-founders Jennifer Callender, Johnny Romero, and Jack Wilson, has a mission to increase diversity in franchising. J3 works with franchise brands to create an environment where minority community members can thrive through business ownership. (Separate from its work with Self Esteem Brands, J3 also provides a percentage-based discount in the form of a capital grant for each of its clients who start a franchise business.) J3 and Self Esteem Brands are building grassroots connections in communities and relationships with nonprofits like the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, Players Coalition, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Together, they're also making meaningful connections with the right funding resources, real estate partners, and trade shows that work closely with BIPOC communities. Above and beyond the Self Esteem Brands diversity incentive program, J3 and Self Esteem Brands are actively working to develop additional financing opportunities for prospective business owners from underrepresented communities. For example, J3 is currently working with AltCap, a community development financial institution (CDFI) that helps support underserved communities with financing, to help fund and provide technical assistance to minority entrepreneurs interested in franchising with Self Esteem Brands. As champions of diversity focused on improving our underserved communities, Self Esteem Brands is an ideal partner for us," said Jack Wilson, franchise and independent business broker and co-founder of The J3 Collaboration Project. "Through our partnership, we hope to make the dream of minority business ownership a reality. We're excited to help bridge the gap that BIPOC communities face when it comes to franchise ownership, and we're proud to work with a brand that is actively committed to bettering communities. Self Esteem Brands was recently named by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the "Top 50 Franchise Companies Doing the Most to Champion Diversity." Its social impact strategy aims to further advance its brands and growth with stronger representation across a wider set of communities in the U.S. and worldwide. Our social impact Self Esteem Brands is on a mission to elevate lives: we enrich the health, wealth and wellbeing of people and communities around the world. We aim to do this by investing in people, neighborhoods and communities and groups in ways to help ensure essential and healthy economic & living conditions exist. From thriving small businesses, to social and recreational spaces, to wellness and nutrition services, Self Esteem Brands works to help people improve their personal health and wellbeing. About Self Esteem Brands Our purpose is to improve the self-esteem of the world. Self Esteem Brands (SEB) is the parent company of Anytime Fitness (the world's largest fitness franchise), Basecamp Fitness, The Bar Method, Stronger U and Waxing the City. Combined, most of our more than 5,000 franchise locations are locally operated across nearly 40 countries worldwide by independent, small business owners. SEB is also the parent company to affiliates Provision Security Solutions and Healthy Contributions. Leading with a culture anchored in the values of people, purpose, performance and play, plus a charitable focus through the HeartFirst Foundation®, SEB seeks to enrich the lives of all who interact with our brands and businesses. Our vision is a world of self-esteem for every human to rise from their challenges.

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FINANCE, BUSINESS STRATEGY

UK Export Finance Leverages Informatica Cloud Platform to Help Businesses Scale Globally

Informatica | September 21, 2022

Informatica , an enterprise cloud data management leader, today announced that UK Export Finance is modernizing to the cloud with Informatica’s Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC), freeing up team resources to better serve UK businesses of all sizes and sectors. UK Export Finance is the world’s first and oldest export credit agency, its mission is to advance prosperity by ensuring no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, doing that sustainably and at no net cost to the taxpayer. In the last year it supported 545 companies supporting exports in 61 countries. The small but nimble department is undertaking a digital transformation journey and selected Informatica to modernize its data architecture on a single cloud platform. Informatica’s IDMC enables enterprises to manage, own and derive insights from their data in the Cloud. UK Export Finance kicked off its digital transformation with a focus on connectivity and fast data ingestion. The IDMC enabled seamless integration with Azure DevOps and Power BI and allows UK Export Finance to manage all data pipelines from a single, browser-based tool and usage-based pricing has lowered the total cost of ownership. With a legacy integration stack, the UK Export Finance technology team was spending more and more time on maintenance and manual hand-coding to rebuild connectors to meet the specs of modern data architectures, taking time away from important projects. This, along with evolving international standards and regulatory requirements, made it the right time to modernize to the cloud. After an intensive decision-making progress, UK Export Finance chose Informatica’s cloud-native IDMC for its best-in-class capabilities, wide array of codeless connectors, and ease of implementation. With AI-powered automation and re-usable templates, IDMC has reduced data loading and build times by 40%, allowing the UK Export Finance technology team to focus on more strategic initiatives. Developers and data scientists are no longer tied down with maintenance and instead applying their expertise in building reports that unearth insights and value from the data for the UK exporters the department serves. With a mission to better serve British businesses to enter new markets, maximize growth potential and increase the volume of export sales, our team looks to data to unearth insights and uncover new strategies,” said Daniel Cozens, Senior Technical Lead, UK Export Finance. “Informatica’s Intelligent Data Management Cloud has helped alleviate the maintenance and build burden, allowing our team to work on more interesting, strategic initiatives and deliver data-driven recommendations for the UK Exporters we support. “How businesses manage and innovate with data can be the decider on whether they become an industry disruptor or get left behind. With the IDMC, UK Export Finance can improve operational efficiency, eliminating inefficient hand coding and democratise data across the department to allow faster time to value and timely insights,We’re pleased to be working with UK Export Finance to unleash the power of its data to help UK businesses and industries thrive.” Jason Tooley, VP Informatica About Informatica Informatica (NYSE:INFA), an Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader, empowers businesses to realize the transformative power of data. We have pioneered a new category of software, the Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud™(IDMC), powered by AI and a cloud-first, cloud-native, end-to-end data management platform that connects, manages, and unifies data across any multi-cloud, hybrid system, empowering enterprises to modernize and advance their data strategies. Over 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries and 85 of the Fortune 100 rely on Informatica to drive data-led digital transformation.

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