MARKETING AND NETWORKING
ShopBIPOC | November 18, 2022
ShopBIPOC has launched a new online marketplace featuring BIPOC-owned small businesses in Colorado. (BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). The creation of ShopBIPOC was a response to calls from individuals, businesses, and institutions who wanted to support BIPOC-owned businesses and didn't have access to a central marketplace. So, twelve community organizations came together to create the ShopBIPOC platform an online marketplace where conscientious consumers can shop with Colorado's BIPOC-owned businesses. For the first time, Colorado consumers will have a new opportunity to invest their dollars into businesses owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs in an easy-to-access and shop platform. This holiday season, Americans are expected to spend an average of $932 on gifts, up from an average of $837 last year (Gallup, October 2022). According to the U.S. SBA, Hispanic entrepreneurs comprise 11.1 percent of business owners in Colorado, and BIPOC entrepreneurs comprise 7.4 percent. ShopBIPOC is where Colorado shoppers can buy from nearly 200 local, BIPOC-owned businesses.
"People have a real appetite for buying from local small businesses right now, but they can be hard to identify and find, We care about closing the racial wealth gap and lifting entrepreneurs of color. We created ShopBIPOC to connect local BIPOC-owned small businesses with a wider market."
Yessica Holguin, Executive Director of Center for Community Wealth Building, one of ShopBIPOC's twelve founding organizations.
This platform also supports these entrepreneurs in establishing and strengthening their digital presence and connecting with new consumers that may have never had access to them. Restaurateur Edwin Sandoval of Xatrucho Concepts shared, ShopBIPOC has been a valuable resource to Xatrucho in many ways, primarily in helping us reach and connect with government offices and organizations that are looking to diversify their purchasing.ShopBIPOC is free for business owners to list their businesses and accessible for consumers to shop and explore.
Through a collaborative effort of twelve community organizations led by the Center for Community Wealth Building, ShopBIPOC was launched in the Fall of 2022 to connect consumers with BIPOC-owned businesses through an online marketplace.
AutoStore | January 11, 2023
On January 10, 2023, AutoStore, one of the leading warehouse automation companies in the world, announced the debut of Pio in North America. Pio is a plug-and-play version of AutoStore's popular cube storage technology, designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Based on a pay-per-pick service model, Pio enables SMBs, such as retailers of sporting goods, apparel, crafts, and cosmetics, to adopt robotic automation for a relatively cheap investment, thereby helping more businesses obtain access to the world's most advanced automation technology.
Mats Hovland Vikse, CEO of AutoStore, said, "We established Pio to make our technology available to smaller businesses," He also added, "Only 15 percent of the world's warehouses are automated, and fulfillment operations at smaller retailers are still largely manual. Pio levels the playing field so that enterprises of all sizes can take advantage of the space and cost efficiencies of automated storage and distribution systems."
(Source – Globe Newswire)
Retailers pay a fee for each item picked. Software, robots, and ports used in the automation are owned and maintained by Pio. Users simply need to acquire product bins and the robots' running frames. A Pio facility is modular and expandable and works on standard plug-and-play software that integrates with the most prevalent online retail and shipping platforms. In effect, Pio enables small and medium-sized businesses to compete with much larger businesses with minimal capital expenditures, increased staff, and floor space requirements.
Founded in 1996, AutoStore is a robot technology company that developed and continues to innovate Cube Storage Automation - the most compact product/inventory storage solution. The company intends to combine software, hardware, and human capabilities to build the future of warehouse management. AutoStore is a multinational corporation with over a thousand systems installed in 46 countries and a variety of sectors. All sales are developed, installed, and supported by a network of authorized system integrators. The company is headquartered in Nedre Vats, Norway, with offices in offices in the United States, Oslo (Norway), the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Japan, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, and Singapore
Merchants &amp; Marine Bank | January 17, 2023
Merchants & Marine Bancorp, Inc., a century-old banking institution established in Mississippi, has introduced Voyager Lending, a division focused on providing small business owners with lending solutions.
Voyager Lending is led and staffed by industry professionals. The staff cares about the community and tries to give borrowers knowledgeable and personalized service. It makes lending easy and gives people access to money they wouldn't have otherwise!
President and CEO of Merchants & Marine Bancorp, Clayton Legear, said, “Our company’s commitment to small business owners reaches beyond standard banking services and has been a priority for us for more than 100 years.” He added, “You achieve a legacy of that nature by creating partnerships with leaders who are committed to growing the local economy by investing in the communities we serve. Voyager Lending’s mission to secure financing for entrepreneurs and small business owners is exactly that. This lending division is a direct reflection of our philosophy, and we’re very proud to offer financial expertise to partners who are working towards the same vision.”
(Source – Business Wire)
Voyager Lending is excited to provide a diverse range of small business owners with competitive products that the United States government backs via the Small Business Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The company offers loans to pay for buying a business or a piece of real estate, buying out a partner, buying equipment, getting a business started, and paying bills. It is committed to growing communities and enhancing the local economy by aiding small business owners that need funding.
About Merchants & Marine Bancorp, Inc.
Merchants & Marine Bancorp, Inc., is a Mississippi-chartered community bank serving the Gulf South region. Initially formed in 1899, the bank was revived in 1932 during the Great Depression, the most significant economic disaster in the history of the United States. In over eight decades, the bank has grown from $25,000 to over $700 million in assets and from 2 offices to 16 offices servicing Mississippi & Alabama Gulf Coast and Mississippi Pine Belt.