11 LI public companies snagged $36 million in PPP loans: SEC records

Newsday | May 04, 2020

Eleven public companies on Long Island have secured Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling more than $36 million and sustaining the salaries of about 2,200 workers, according to a Newsday review of securities filings.
Some of the companies are still operating because they make essential products such as coronavirus diagnostic tests, scientific equipment and components for military aircraft. Forty-five percent made money last year and 55% did not.
The group’s PPP loans averaged $3.3 million. That's more than 13 times the average of $250,949 for 81,075 loans awarded in New York State as of April 16, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The agency couldn't provide data for Long Island.
The disparity between the loan amounts for public companies and small Main Street businesses has sparked criticism in Nassau and Suffolk counties and across the country.
"You have all of these large companies that got millions of dollars in loans, but this [the coronavirus business shutdown] isn't going to lead them to go out of business," said Bob Waldeck, president of RATCO Inc., a Holbrook manufacturer of replacement frames for vintage Triumph sports cars. "For little guys, like us, it's very likely that six months from now we won't be around. And the PPP and other loan programs were meant to prevent small businesses from going under. It's very frustrating," he said.

Spotlight

It’s no surprise that modern small business owners have a lot on their minds—but what are they really thinking about. Concerns about the future of their business and their country add stress, but for the most part, entrepreneurs remain confident about the present and optimistic about the future. This infographic from viewers with insights in what’s going on with the modern small business owner.


Other News
BUSINESS STRATEGY

Amber Solutions Closes 2020 With Series B Funding Totaling More Than $8.5 Million

Amber Solutions | January 25, 2021

Company's advances in technology, patent portfolio, industry awards and partner discussions drive increased investor interest. DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA , Jan 25, 2021 - (ACN Newswire) - Amber Solutions, the young Silicon Valley company that is making the digital control of electricity in solid-state architecture a commercial reality, today announced that its 2020 series B funding round raised more than $8.5 million from new and existing investors, following a successful year of secured patents, partner discussions and multiple industry award wins. According to Amber Founder and CEO Thar Casey, the company's progress in 2020 is all the more remarkable given the challenges posed to the business by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns that prevented most, if not all, in person product demonstrations. "2020 presented a challenging business climate, but our commitment to revolutionize the world's building electrical infrastructure helped Amber enter 2021 with increased investment, new patents, as well as multiple industry award wins and nominations," Casey said. "Amber's progress is a sign of the accelerating demand from major electrical product manufacturers for solid-state electrification technologies and its ability to completely disrupt and transform the enormous global market for electrical products and services." In addition to securing patents related to a digital AC/DC Enabler, an AC switch, a digital method to sense ground faults, and super-efficient LED light fixtures in 2020, Amber started 2021 as a BIG Innovations 2021 Award winner, a CES 2021 Innovations Award honoree, and is currently a 2021 Edison Award nominee. Amber's core innovation is a programmable solid-state power system that has a clear path to an even-smaller silicon chip version. Amber's system controls the flow of electricity digitally, enabling unique integration of modern intelligence into building electrical products and infrastructure. The solution introduces the world to a much safer, more reliable and dramatically smarter alternative to the 1970's era electro-mechanical components that are used in nearly all modern electrical infrastructure products. "Amber's patents and innovations are rapidly driving demand for the development of intelligent solid-state based products including two-wire dimmer switches, ultra-efficient commercial LED light fixtures, smart light switches, smart outlets, smart circuit breakers, and more," Casey added. "Based on heightened industry interest, growing investments and ever-increasing energy efficiency goals around the globe, we believe 2021 will be the year solid-state electrification moves from validation to commercialization and mainstream productization." About Amber Solutions Amber Solutions is a leading developer of patented, innovative solid-state technologies for the digital control of electricity. The company's disruptive breakthroughs change the electrical landscape forever for buildings and appliances world-wide. These technologies upgrade power management from 1950's era electro-mechanical to safer, more reliable solid-state architecture with embedded intelligence. Based in Dublin, California, the company is leveraging the expertise of Silicon Valley professionals to deliver a disruptive enhancement to the value and functionality of the world's electrical endpoints and infrastructure. For more information visit www.ambersi.com.

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MANAGEMENT

Nuula prioritizes small business owners' wellness with new app features

Nuula | May 18, 2022

Nuula, a fintech company focused on providing small businesses the tools and the capital they need to succeed, announced an initiative to help small business owners improve their overall mental and physical well-being. In partnership with Walnut, Nuula's new wellness feature gives small business owners access to life insurance, plus meditation programs and online fitness classes, all for as little as $9/month. Nuula's focus on the entrepreneur's well-being, in addition to business performance, was driven by insights into how personal stress is affecting small business owners, especially with the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent Capital One survey found that 45% of small business owners report that running a business during the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental well-being, and 42% say they are currently experiencing burnout or have experienced it within the past month. "For a small business owner and entrepreneur, work and life are inextricably linked, which is why it is so important to provide support for both, Nuula is taking a new approach to small business financial services by focusing not only on the needs of the business but also on the needs of the small business owner." -Mark Ruddock, CEO at Nuula. Nuula's new health and wellness feature offers access to guided meditation, sleep guides, and mental focus programs through Headspace Plus and online fitness programs through ClassPass Digital. The programs are paired with $10k-$50k of Life Insurance to give small business owners peace of mind. The new feature sits atop of Nuula's existing portfolio of small business tools, including financial health tracking, cash-flow forecasting, 24/7 credit monitoring, as well as updates on rating and reviews, all available in the Nuula app. "Nuula is taking a forward-looking approach to the needs of small businesses, by embedding tools that match the holistic needs of its customers, Mental and physical health are paramount to entrepreneurial success. Walnut is proud to help Nuula empower business owners by allowing them to easily access health and wellness offerings within Nuula's existing ecosystem of critical financial tools." -Derek Szeto, Co-founder and CEO of Walnut Starting today, Nuula users can sign up for a health and wellness membership that includes group life insurance and subscriptions from ClassPass and Headspace. About Nuula Nuula is building the future of small business performance. Launched in 2021, Nuula is a financial services and technology company focused on serving the small to medium-sized business community. Nuula provides real-time data and analytics, allowing businesses to manage their finances, monitor their credit ratings and user reviews, and more. Nuula is an advocate of financial inclusivity and a proud partner to Kiva to create economic and social good. To learn more about Nuula, visit www.nuula.com About Walnut Founded in 2020, Walnut is a Canadian and US insurtech that has built infrastructure to enable multiple lines of embedded insurance for brokers, employers, and financial services coupled with value added benefits from international brands. Walnut's platform makes insurance simple and convenient – creating greater accessibility for underserved audiences. Learn more about Walnut at www.gowalnut.com/businesses.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Wishpond Announces Acquisition of Viral Loops - a Leading Provider of Referral Marketing Solutions

Wishpond Technologies Ltd. | April 05, 2022

Wishpond Technologies Ltd., a provider of marketing-focused online business solutions, is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition (the "Acquisition") of certain assets and specified liabilities constituting substantially all of the business and assets of Viral Loops Limited ("Viral Loops") pursuant to an asset purchase agreement (the "APA") effective April 1, 2022. Headquartered in London, England, Viral Loops is a referral marketing software platform that helps companies acquire new customers and increase sales through the power of word-of-mouth and referral marketing. "We are very pleased to announce our first acquisition of 2022 and the fifth acquisition since Wishpond went public in December 2020. Viral Loops has built a company with tremendous brand recognition in the industry and has demonstrated consistent, strong revenue and EBITDA growth. Besides growing Viral Loops as a stand-alone business, we believe there are tremendous cross-sell opportunities for offering referral marketing solutions to Wishpond's existing customer base of over 3,000 small to medium sized businesses. We are thrilled to welcome the Viral Loops team to the growing Wishpond family." Ali Tajskandar, Chairman and CEO of Wishpond Founded in 2016, Viral Loops helps businesses unlock their viral growth through powerful referral marketing solutions. It allows businesses to design, create and manage referral programs that reinforce customer loyalty, attract new customers and decrease customer acquisition costs. Viral Loops provides its customers with customizable templates for referral marketing campaigns where customers can refer their network in exchange for rewards. Viral Loops' technology tracks and manages the effectiveness and results of the referral program and enables customers to manage the distribution of the rewards and discounts arising from the campaign. Viral Loops has strong revenue growth and over 15% EBITDA margins. Revenue in 2021 was US$800,000 generated from more than 700 diversified customers, half of whom are based in the United States. Viral Loops will continue to maintain its brand, website and client relationships, while Wishpond will provide operational support and cross selling opportunities. Wishpond expects Viral Loops product and services will enhance Wishpond's current product offerings and increase customer lifetime value. "We are thrilled that the Viral Loops team will be joining Wishpond," said Savvas Zortikis, CEO of Viral Loops. "Wishpond has established a model for servicing the online marketing needs of small and mid-sized enterprises. We believe that the Viral Loops technology will continue to flourish under Wishpond and that our customers will be well served under the Wishpond banner." In consideration for the acquisition of Viral Loops, Wishpond anticipates the total purchase price to be approximately US$2,300,000, consisting of an upfront payment of US$1,380,000 from cash on hand and a one-year performance earn-out in the expected amount of US$920,000 (the "Earn-Out"). The Earn-Out, which is based on a percentage of revenue of the acquired Viral Loops business, will be paid quarterly and may be paid in cash, common shares of Wishpond ("Shares"), or a combination thereof, at the Company's discretion. Any Shares that are issued will be at a deemed price per Share equal to the 10 trading day volume weighted average price of the Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSXV"), subject to certain minimum share price requirements as per the APA and as permitted and approved by the TSXV. About Wishpond Technologies Ltd. Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Wishpond is a provider of marketing-focused online business solutions. Wishpond's vision is to become the leading provider of digital marketing solutions that empower entrepreneurs to achieve success online. The Company offers an "all-in-one" marketing suite that provides companies with marketing, promotion, lead generation, and sales conversion capabilities on one integrated platform. Wishpond replaces disparate marketing solutions with an easy-to-use product, for a fraction of the cost. Wishpond serves over 3,000 customers who are primarily small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in a wide variety of industries. The Company has developed cutting-edge marketing technology solutions and continues to add new features and applications with great velocity. The Company employs a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model where substantially all the Company's revenue is subscription-based recurring revenue which provides excellent revenue predictability and cash flow visibility. Wishpond is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker "WISH", and on the OTCQX Best Market under the ticker "WPNDF".

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IMPACT

Uber and Visa Announce Grants For Growth Program, Providing $1 Million in Grants and Resources to Support Small Businesses

Uber | January 11, 2022

Uber and Visa today announced Grants for Growth, a program that will provide $1 million in grant funding to small businesses in 10 U.S. cities that are currently active on Uber Eats. The program will be administered by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Focused on restaurant recovery and entrepreneurship, the program was created to support merchants when they need it most. "We know that this year has been trying for many and that independently-owned businesses continue to face significant business challenges. From natural disasters to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber and Visa are committed to supporting SMBs, especially through unexpected events, when they may need us most." Sarfraz Maredia, VP of US and Canada Delivery at Uber Restaurants active on Uber Eats since January 1, 2022 in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Detroit, the NYC metro/New Jersey area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, and Boston are eligible to apply for the program. Grant recipients will be independently selected by LISC, using criteria to give preference to veteran, minority, women, and LGBTQIA+ business owners. For a complete list of eligibility criteria visit lisc.org/uber. "Independent restaurants are a vital and vibrant part of their communities, and the pandemic continues to impact far too many of them," said Mary Ann Reilly, SVP and Head of North America Marketing, Visa. "Together with Uber, we're proud to help give merchants the support and funding they need, now." "The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce applauds our partners at Visa and Uber for launching this important grant program. Small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, continue to struggle to survive during this pandemic and are working to overcome new challenges," said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President & CEO, USHCC. "As small businesses reopen their doors and look towards recovering, they need access to capital as well as resources and tools now more than ever before. This program comes at the perfect time." Through Grants for Growth, 100 merchants will receive grants of $10,000, which can be used toward immediate needs such as payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading payment technology infrastructure, and other immediate operational costs. In addition to financial support, selected merchants will receive placement in the Uber Eats app and disaster recovery and resiliency guides from Uber and LISC. Merchants interested in applying for the Grants for Growth program can apply at lisc.org/uber from January 17-24, 2022. About Uber Uber's mission is to create opportunity through movement. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 15 billion trips later, we're building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a platform that opens up the world to new possibilities. About Visa Inc. Visa is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating more than 215 billion payments transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories each year. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com. About LISC LISC is one the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.

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Spotlight

It’s no surprise that modern small business owners have a lot on their minds—but what are they really thinking about. Concerns about the future of their business and their country add stress, but for the most part, entrepreneurs remain confident about the present and optimistic about the future. This infographic from viewers with insights in what’s going on with the modern small business owner.

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