Alignable.com launches #MyMoneyStaysLocal for small businesses

Cision PR Newswire | August 05, 2020

To help drive more progress in the recovery of all small businesses and their communities across the U.S. and Canada, Alignable.com is launching #MyMoneyStaysLocal today. #MyMoneyStaysLocal is a grassroots movement encouraging business owners and community members alike to spend more money on purchases close to home. The movement was created to raise awareness of how spending your money locally has a direct impact on how quickly and completely your community recovers. Local businesses really need support from each other and the members of their communities to survive the devastating effects of the COVID-19 epidemic, which has already forced thousands nationwide to close for good. The latest estimates from Alignable polls of 485,000 small business owners is that 3% of all SMBs have shuttered so far, and 40% could run out of cash reserves later this month.

Spotlight

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world’s foremost collection of climate scientists. Throughout 2013/2014, the group will release its Fifth Assessment Report in four installments, highlighting the current state of the climate system and climate change, its environmental and socio-economic impacts, and mitigation strategies that can limit emissions. Here, WRI provides ongoing analysis of this groundbreaking climate change research and its potential implications on communities, the economy, and the environment.


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BUSINESS STRATEGY

MeridianLink® Announces Agreement to Acquire StreetShares®

MeridianLink | March 11, 2022

MeridianLink, Inc.®, a leading provider of modern software platforms for financial institutions and consumer reporting agencies, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire StreetShares®, a mission-driven financial technology company that provides digital small business lending technology to banks and credit unions. StreetShares is an award-winning financial technology company that started in 2014 as a low-cost, digital lender to veteran-owned small businesses. StreetShares later launched its digital business lending platform to allow community banks and credit unions to affordably make small business loans with a 100% digital, omnichannel experience. “StreetShares’ commitment to providing lenders across the U.S. with state-of-the-art business lending capabilities, including business loans, automated decisioning, and business lines of credit, aligns with our focus on empowering more banks and credit unions to better serve consumers and communities. Adding the StreetShares team, technology, and strong partnerships with organizations like Fiserv to the MeridianLink family will accelerate our small business lending capabilities and further strengthen our MeridianLink One platform.” Nicolaas Vlok, CEO of MeridianLink The StreetShares Atlas Platform™ enables banks and credit unions to get up and running in a fully digital, business lending environment in 45 days or less. Built by experienced business bankers, The Atlas Platform enables community lenders to use data-driven technology to deliver a superior digital banking product experience to their small business customers. It also specifically addresses the key challenges in small business risk assessment and decisioning to meet the financing needs of small businesses efficiently. “StreetShares is thrilled to join forces with the innovators at MeridianLink to better serve America’s main street business owners,” said Mark L. Rockefeller, StreetShares co-founder and CEO. Mickey Konson, StreetShares co-founder and president added, “Enhancing MeridianLink’s platform with StreetShares’ Atlas Platform technology will provide community banks and credit unions with industry-leading tools to better serve small business customers.” About MeridianLink MeridianLink® is a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, specialty lending providers, and consumer reporting agencies. Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, MeridianLink provides services to more than 1,900 customers, including a majority of the financial institutions on Forbes’ 2021 lists of America’s Best Credit Unions and Banks. About StreetShares StreetShares is a small business banking software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that powers community banks, credit unions, and non-financial organizations. Its Atlas Platform offers a full suite of digital, white-labeled, small business banking products to their customers. StreetShares technology was voted “Best in Show” by community bank executives at the American Banker Small Biz Banking Conference, and the StreetShares team has been recognized as EY Entrepreneurs of the Year, Innovators of the Year, and other honors.

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TECHNOLOGY

Foxquilt Launches eCommerce Insurance Product to Support Modern Small Business Owners

Foxquilt | April 20, 2022

Foxquilt, a leading North American insurtech focused on empowering small businesses with customized insurance products uniquely matched to their needs, announced the launch of a new eCommerce insurance product. Business owners will be able to secure coverage tailored to their specific needs, entirely online, on their own time and at better prices than they are used to. Foxquilt's eCommerce product is evolving insurance to meet the needs of the modern small business owner by providing an easy, all-online solution specifically designed to help new and existing e-commerce business owners quickly access insurance and fulfill compliance needs. Until now, the average eCommerce business was met with trepidation if US sales volumes were high or if they were a dropshipper who sold products from overseas. Foxquilt's new offering provides reliable coverage no matter the percent of US sales or where the products come from. Not to mention the improved affordability of this product, starting at $500 annually. The pandemic vastly accelerated the rise of eCommerce as the primary channel for shopping, and businesses have evolved to meet this new need. As such, more small businesses and entrepreneurs are turning to eCommerce and online marketplaces to meet customers where they are, changing the landscape in direct-to-consumer buying behaviors. With this shift, large eCommerce marketplaces such as Etsy, Shopify, and Amazon, now require sellers to purchase their own insurance policies. "Innovating insurance solutions for our small business customers has always been the epitome of our business at Foxquilt. That's why we're proud to introduce this new product offering to ensure that eCommerce business owners can secure insurance online and on-demand while protecting them from exposures where they trade." Mark Morissette, CEO and Co-founder of Foxquilt Foxquilt affords small business owners in over 500 professions to quote, buy and instantly receive their business insurance online. This is more efficient and cost-effective than other solutions available in the market. The company is committed to building technology that empowers small business owners, enabling them to have more control of their insurance buying experience, instead of being restricted to long wait times, extensive paperwork and a lack of autonomy. Foxquilt's business insurance products are specifically built to support business owners' entire insurance journey online, while providing a tailored, customized product. The platform is complemented by unique data and machine learning underwriting infrastructure, that suggests coverages based on a user's individual profile. As a North American insurance provider, Foxquilt is looking forward to launching the eCommerce product within the US later this year. Foxquilt also has leading partnerships and is excited to expand this roster with eCommerce marketplaces and online stores to provide top-quality coverage and a slick experience. About Foxquilt Foxquilt is a leading North American Insurance technology company focused on providing small businesses insurance. Foxquilt develops, underwrites and distributes a complete line of its own commercial insurance products in the United States and Canada. The company uses a combination of data analytics and artificial intelligence to recommend the best insurance coverage and price to meet the individual needs of its small business customers.

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TECHNOLOGY

Sage Partners with The BOSS Network to empower Black women entrepreneurs with the launch of the Sage Invest in Progress grant

Sage | January 27, 2022

Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses, in partnership with The BOSS Network, an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women, today announce the launch of the Sage Invest in Progress grant to support black women entrepreneurs in their first five years of business. The goal is to help remove barriers to capital that many entrepreneurs – especially women entrepreneurs in the black community – disproportionally face when starting a business. The Sage Invest in Progress Grant will award $10,000 in funding to 25 Black women entrepreneurs to help them successfully grow their business. Sage Invest in Progress will also include a 12-month program of entrepreneurial mentorship and education, helping grant awardees with coaching, connections, and removing capital barriers to address the disparity gap so that they can have the confidence to reach their full potential. Each Sage Invest in Progress grant awardee will receive: $10,000 USD grant Quarterly business training courses through BOSS University sponsored by Sage, including topics on Marketing, Finance, Customer Service, and Business Strategy Access to The BOSS Network online community Complimentary Sage Business Cloud Accounting software “It has been reported that the single greatest barrier to success for new businesses and startups is access to capital—and minorities make up less than 1% of founders that receive that investment. With The BOSS Impact fund, we are working with partners like Sage to address that disparity head on. The Sage Invest in Progress program will build on the work of The BOSS Network to not only empower Black women entrepreneurs but also arm them with the resources they need to lead successful businesses and increase their market share.” Cameka Smith, founder, The BOSS Network The Sage Invest in Progress grant is a three-year commitment to support the newly announced BOSS Impact Fund, which is focused on investing in Black women-led businesses and preparing entrepreneurs to build scalable, growth aggressive companies. The goal of the BOSS Impact Fund is to raise investment funding for 500+ Black women entrepreneurs over the next three years. “At Sage, we have committed to knocking down barriers that foster an advantage for some groups while creating obstacles for others. Capital investment is one area that we’ve recognized as a barrier, particularly for black businesswomen,” said Aziz Benmalek, interim managing director, Sage North America. “Sage is dedicated to being a part of a cultural shift that will help bring about a business community that is more equitable and sustainable for all.” To apply or for more information, visit BOSSImpactFund.com. The grant application process is powered by HelloAlice, a grant-funding platform designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The application window opens January 26, 9 a.m. ET, and closes February 25, 5 p.m. ET. Grant awardees will be announced in late March. About Sage Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of small- and mid-sized businesses served by us, our partners and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR and payroll software to make work and money flow. By digitising business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality and the climate crisis. About The Boss Network Founded by Cameka Smith, BOSS™ is an acronym for “Bringing Out Successful Sisters,” and the network’s mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and career development of women. The BOSS Network is an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online, and event-based networking. To find out more about The BOSS Network, please visit www.TheBOSSNetwork.org. The BOSS Network was named as a Forbes’ “Top 10 Career and Entrepreneurial websites for Women.” More than 200,000 active women members throughout the United States are engaged through our social and digital programming. The BOSS Network’s latest initiative is the BOSS Impact Fund, with a focus on grant funding for 500+ Black women entrepreneurs, over the next three years. In addition, each grant recipient will have admission to the BOSS Business University, a digital mentorship program that will provide a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum, to assist in long-term business growth.

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FINANCE

Abrigo Collaborates with Validis to Speed Up Small Business Lending Process

Abrigo | May 21, 2022

Abrigo, the leader of compliance, credit risk, and lending solutions for financial institutions, announced an alliance with Validis, a secure data ingestion platform that pulls clients' financial information in real-time, standardized for easy consumption. This partnership will allow financial institutions to extract general ledger data quickly and efficiently. With Validis, banks and credit unions can go from application to spreading financials to deciding on loans without leaving Abrigo's Sageworks loan origination system. Pulling and uploading financial data severely slows down the small business lending process and can be frustrating for both the lender and the borrower. The newly available integration of Validis' data extraction software solution eliminates the need for repetitive data entry and manual collection of documents by allowing banks and credit unions to create financial statements automatically from up-to-date general ledger data. The Validis integration complements Sageworks' unique Electronic Tax Return Reader to streamline digital processes for even more applicants. This will speed up the lending operation, so borrowers get answers faster, and institutions can assess and book more loans in the same amount of time. Validis enables borrowers to share their entire financial data history directly from their accounting package in a standardized format, improving insight for financial institutions. Key features include the ability to digitally receive financials in real-time, easily spread customer financial data, and quickly decide if a borrower is creditworthy. "The Validis integration with Abrigo will further enhance a streamlined platform and provide clients with a powerful alternative to manual data collection, said Abrigo President Jay Blandford. This partnership fits well into our vision to make big things happen and better serve financial institutions. "We're really pleased to announce our new partnership with Abrigo and integration with their leading Sageworks software, We have a common goal of helping to digitize and streamline the lending process for many U.S. financial institutions. Access to financial data is traditionally a manual and time-consuming process – using Validis will not only help enhance the decisioning process for financial institutions, but it will also equip them with new insights to help manage risk and monitor portfolio performance." -Paul Thomas, CEO at Validis. About Abrigo Abrigo enables U.S. financial institutions to support their communities through technology that fights financial crime, grows loans and deposits, and optimizes risk. Abrigo's platform centralizes the institution's data, creates a digital user experience, ensures compliance, and delivers efficiency for scale and profitable growth. Visit www.abrigo.com to learn more. Follow Abrigo on social media using @WeAreAbrigo. About Validis Validis manages the acquisition and curation of data through a single platform, driving value, business insight, and operational efficiency for some of the world's biggest brands across accounting and financial services. Validis is an intelligent API that accesses and standardizes financial information, powered within an easy-to-use interface. Visit www.validis.com

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Spotlight

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world’s foremost collection of climate scientists. Throughout 2013/2014, the group will release its Fifth Assessment Report in four installments, highlighting the current state of the climate system and climate change, its environmental and socio-economic impacts, and mitigation strategies that can limit emissions. Here, WRI provides ongoing analysis of this groundbreaking climate change research and its potential implications on communities, the economy, and the environment.

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