AmEx sales staff misled small-business owners to boost card sign-ups - WSJ

Seeking Alpha | March 02, 2020

American Express salespeople misrepresented card rewards and fees, checked credit reports without permission, and, in some cases, issued cards that weren't requested, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing current and former AXP employees. The current and former employees say the questionable sales tactics go back to at least 2015 when AmEx was struggling to keep Costco Wholesale small-business customers after the warehouse club ended their partnership. With the potentially huge loss of revenue from Costco customers, AmEx started an aggressive campaign to keep them, which led to escalating sales goals and hefty commissions.

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FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

TriNet Announces Enrich Learn™, Tax Optimized Education Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Size Businesses

TriNet | September 15, 2022

TriNet, a leading provider of comprehensive human resources for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), today announced at TriNet PeopleForce the launch of Enrich Learn™, the newest benefit product offering from its recently launched Enrich product line. Enrich Learn will offer tax-optimized reimbursements for expenses by SMB employees to advance their education. Like the other Enrich products, Enrich Learn is a turn-key solution for benefits sponsored by the SMB. Enrich Learn will be available to all of TriNet's 23,000 SMB customers starting next month. The previously announced product releases include Enrich Access, which allows for TriNet customers to offer tax-optimized travel reimbursements for medical care, and Enrich Adopt, which offers reimbursements for expenses incurred during the adoption process."Our Enrich product line is designed to allow SMBs to make choices in benefit offerings that are right for their company. SMB leaders recognize that the benefits they offer speak to the culture that they are building," said Burton M. Goldfield, President and CEO of TriNet. "It's just one more way TriNet seeks to fulfill its mission to power the success of SMBs by supporting their growth and enabling their people." "TriNet believes that the benefits offered by the Enrich product line are essential to attract and retain the talent that many of our customers need to innovate and grow, Education is a key factor in job advancement and satisfaction, so we expect Enrich Learn to be a particularly effective way for our clients to expand their benefit offerings." Samantha Wellington, TriNet's Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Chief Legal Officer, and Secretary For all of the Enrich product offerings, TriNet will administer the benefit for the customer and manage all reimbursements and compliance requirements. For more information on this groundbreaking new product line from TriNet, please visit: Employee Benefit Plans | Comprehensive Benefits Packages | TriNet About TriNet       TriNet provides small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR solutions tailored by industry. To free SMBs from HR complexities, TriNet offers access to human capital expertise, benefits, risk mitigation and compliance, payroll, all enabled by industry leading technology capabilities. TriNet's suite of products also includes services and software-based solutions to help streamline workflows by connecting HR, Benefits, Employee Engagement, Payroll and Time & Attendance. From Main Street to Wall Street, TriNet empowers SMBs to focus on what matters most—growing their business and enabling their people.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

U.S. Small Business Administration Veterans Small Business Advisory Committees Set to Host Virtual Public Meetings December 7-8

U.S. Small Business Administration | November 29, 2022

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF) and Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA) announced that the task force will hold their next set of virtual public meetings on December 7 and December 8, respectively, via Microsoft Teams. "Both the IATF and ACVBA committee meetings serve as opportunities for participants to learn the latest on the state of veteran-owned small businesses and discuss how the SBA can continue to serve the military and veteran community,This quarter, participants will receive an important update on the SBA's Veteran Small Business Certification Program." Associate Administrator for the SBA Office of Veterans Business Development, Larry Stubblefield. WHAT: IATF and ACVBA Virtual Public Meetings The IATF meeting will include committee member updates from the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Treasury, Defense, Labor; U.S. General Services Administration; Office of Management and Budget; North Carolina Business Center; the American Legion; VET-Force; and the National Veteran Small Business Coalition. The ACVBA meeting will cover briefings from SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development on the SBA's Veteran Small Business of Financial Assistance, VA, and the Madison Services Group. WHEN: IATF Meeting Wednesday, December 7, 2022 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) ACVBA Meeting Thursday, December 8, 2022 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EST) WHO: Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator, SBA Office of Veterans Business Development Robert Bailey, ACVBA Chairperson, Veteran Small Business Owner IATF and ACVBA Committee Members Guest Speakers from Interagency Partners and Veterans Service Organizations HOW: The IATF will meet on Wednesday, December 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) via this Microsoft Teams link. To join the meeting by phone instead, use 206-413-7980 and enter the Conference ID: 978023539#. The ACVBA will meet Thursday, December 8, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EST) via this Microsoft Teams link. To join by phone instead, dial 206-413-7980 and enter the Conference ID: 674127009. Public comments and questions are strongly encouraged to be submitted in advance via email by December 6 to veteransbusiness@sba.gov. For technical support, please visit the Microsoft Teams support page. Meeting presentations and minutes will be available after both meetings at www.sba.gov/ovbd under the "Federal Advisory Committees" section. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Wrapmate makes it easier for franchises to brand their vehicles

Wrapmate | September 29, 2022

Wrapmate is excited to announce that it's bringing its vast network of over 1,400 vehicle graphics professionals to franchisors nationwide in an all-new product offering for franchises to receive vehicle wraps for all their company vehicles across all U.S. markets. Now, franchisors nationwide can wrap anywhere from one to 10,000 vehicles quickly and efficiently, in every major market.Wrapmate's Franchise Wraps and Graphics Program meets franchises where they're at with an out-of-the-box solution to handle all things graphics. Entrepreneurs enter the franchise business with the expectations of marketing and operations already being pre-set and on autopilot. Franchises can now have their mind at ease knowing that wrapping franchisee vehicles is just as easy. The core components of Wrapmate's turnkey program provides all U.S.-based franchisors with flexible pricing, branding consistency, standardized logistics and nationwide installation coverage for wraps & graphics on any vehicle type or quantity. Wrapmate's flexible pricing structure ensures zero costs are charged to the corporate entity, including no setup costs or monthly management fees. Franchisors are simply responsible for sharing the vehicle graphics program to their franchisees, and Wrapmate handles everything else. Franchisors not only benefit from beautiful vehicle branding and endless marketing value, but a promising strategy for fueling additional growth across current and new franchisee markets. Included in the program comes a ready-to-use ordering platform where franchisees can visit a co-branded website to choose their vehicle, graphic size, creative theme and then instantly place an order for new vehicle graphics. Wrapmate can also facilitate other large format printing and installation like window signage, wall murals and floor graphics at any or all franchisee locations. "We are beyond excited to provide franchisors across all U.S. markets with the effortless ability to offer wraps and graphic products to their franchisees, no matter where they are located, Thanks to Wrapmate's logistical prowess behind-the-scenes, we can ensure color consistency, branding perfection and flawless installation across every single franchisee's wrap project." Javier Lozano Jr., Chief Marketing Officer of Wrapmate Jeremy Seiley, a franchisee of That 1 Painter based in Houston, Texas, says, Working with Wrapmate to put wraps on both my franchise vehicles has been incredibly simple and streamlined. Since getting my wraps completed, I literally have potential customers approaching my vehicles on a daily basis asking for price quotes and it's grown my sales pipeline substantially. Franchisees, in many cases small business owners, are generally not familiar with how onsite and offsite graphics have a very positive impact on the business growth, nor do they know where to go to get these solutions. A one stop shop for graphics, facilitates the adoption of 3M trusted graphic solutions in this market segment, hence continuing to grow the overall graphics industry, shares Carolina Bautista-Brown, 3M Segment Marketing Senior Manager. About Wrapmate Wrapmate is an all-in-one digital platform for business owners and consumers to get their vehicle wraps & graphics projects designed, produced and installed in any city across the U.S. Utilizing Wrapmate's advanced technologies, customers can visualize, purchase and even finance their vehicle graphics in the simplest way possible. Additionally, Wrapmate supports a nationwide network of over 1,400 vetted graphic professionals known as Wrapmate Pros, providing them with local customer projects and solutions to grow their business. To learn more, visit wrapmate.com. About 3M 3M believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what's possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities, and planet. Learn how we're working to improve lives and make what's

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

ShopBIPOC launches free online marketplace featuring BIPOC small business owners

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. About ShopBIPOC 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.

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Spotlight

Do you own a business in need of PayPal? Check out this video that features The Smart Baker, a clever kitchen hack made into an online business that specializes in baking products. WIth easy website integration, PayPal has played a large role in helping The Smart Baker grow, from increase order values by 10% to saving them 29% in card processing fees.

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