Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Commits $5 Million to Small Business Owners Impacted by the COVID-19

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Chicanos Por La Causa | May 19, 2020

  • BCBSAZ is committing $5 million to Chicanos Por La Causa to provide loans through their lending division Prestamos CDFI to assist Arizona small business owners.

  • This collaboration will help CPLC distribute loans to small business owners through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

  • Prestamos is an approved lender for the federal PPP and will issue funds backed by BCBSAZ to qualifying applicants in Arizona who meet the PPP's criteria and eligibility.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is committing $5 million to Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) to provide loans through their lending division Prestamos CDFI (Prestamos) to assist Arizona small business owners whose businesses have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This collaboration will help CPLC distribute loans to small business owners through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

We are hearing from small business owners, and we see how hard they are working to protect their businesses and keep their employees safe, we serve thousands of small businesses and as we continue to assist Arizonans through this global pandemic, we want to be a part of the solution to help small business owners continue to serve Arizona, provide jobs, and help rebuild our local economy.

- Pam Kehaly, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

The $5 million in funding from BCBSAZ will enable CPLC Prestamos, a Community Development Financial Institution, to offer additional PPP loans to Arizona businesses to support their employees. To date, Prestamos has been able to support 321 businesses with more than $11 million in PPP funding, preserving 1,615 jobs. Prestamos is an SBA-approved lender and offers high-quality lending and consulting services for business owners, helping to create financial stability and job opportunities for communities most in need since 1980.

Small businesses are hurting, and it's creating a significant ripple effect. If an employer is unable to meet payroll, families are unable to put food on the table, bills are unable to be paid and the local economy suffers, while many small businesses in the state have been denied access to emergency capital, we're grateful that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is partnering with Chicanos Por La Causa to provide additional resources that will allow small business owners to continue serving our communities.

- David Adame, President and CEO of CPLC.

Prestamos is an approved lender for the federal PPP and will issue funds backed by BCBSAZ to qualifying applicants in Arizona who meet the PPP's criteria and eligibility. Qualifying companies with less than 500 employees can apply for a loan to assist with payroll, rent and utilities to support their business through the COVID-19 pandemic. For more details on eligibility and to apply, visit

CPLC has partnered with BCBSAZ for more than 20 years. While the organization was founded in Arizona, it is one of the largest Hispanic nonprofits in the country, helping to promote stronger, healthier communities across the Southwest. CPLC empowers lives by delivering a comprehensive range of bilingual and bicultural services in health and human services, housing, education, and economic development.

Read More: Small Business Committee Chairman Calls for Expedited Extension of PPP

This commitment is the latest in a series of steps BCBSAZ has taken to assist Arizonans during the COVID-19 pandemic, including small business owners. For more information about how BCBSAZ is helping the Arizona community during the global pandemic, please visit

About Chicanos Por La Causa

Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) is a community development corporation that provides services in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Since 1969, CPLC has been changing lives by developing self-sufficiency and instilling empowerment in those we serve. Our focus areas are economic development, education, integrated health & human services, and housing. CPLC provides a better life through offering business and employment opportunities; ensuring everyone has the solid foundation of an education; providing hope through a pathway of recovery, restoration, and resiliency; and ensuring that a safe, secure, affordable home is available to every individual we serve. Today, we have 48 programs and services, nearly 1,000 employees, and 110 offices, making CPLC the third-largest Hispanic nonprofit in the nation and the number one charity in Arizona.

Read More: Survey Finds Pandemic to Affect Small Businesses over the next 12-16 Months

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is committed to helping Arizonans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. With a focus on connecting people with the care they need, BCBSAZ offers health insurance and related services to more than 1.7 million customers. Through advanced clinical programs and community outreach, BCBSAZ is inspiring health in Arizona. BCBSAZ, a not-for-profit company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The company, and its subsidiaries, employ more than 2,400 people in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff, and Tucson offices.


Symantec has established one of the most comprehensive sources of Internet threat data in the world through the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, which is made up of more than 63.8 million attack sensors and records thousands of events per second. This network monitors threat activity in over 157 countries and territories through a combination of Symantec products and services, such as Symantec DeepSight Intelligence, Symantec Managed Security Services, Norton consumer products, and other third-party data sources.

Other News

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

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OYO UK partners with PredictHQ to drive more accurate forecasts with AI and data-driven demand solutions

OYO | March 16, 2022

OYO, the leading travel technology brand today announced a partnership with PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, to provide OYO with the necessary data and insights to drive demand and enable smarter pricing and packaging of its rooms. The collaboration will see OYO use PredictHQ's enriched and verified event data and allow OYO to use data and AI, to empower patrons and guests, turning the challenges of a post-pandemic era into opportunities for the future. It will also see OYO become a more data and tech-focused company that makes data-informed decisions, and enables guests to easily research, book and change their reservations and allow patrons to prepare for busy and quiet periods as effectively as possible. "The pandemic blew demand patterns to pieces, but there is a lot for travel companies to be optimistic about if they're armed with the right data. With domestic travel being super competitive and as international and business travel rebound, it's never been more important for accommodation providers to uncover and quickly act adapt to events driving surges in demand, to ensure they are ready to meet very welcome influxes of guests." PredictHQ CEO & Co-Founder Campbell Brown "We work with many of the world's largest accommodation providers, and the partnership with OYO, especially given their focus on providing a cutting-edge user experience for their customers, is one we're very proud of." Welcoming PredictHQ as a partner, Aman Aneja, Director of Revenue Management at OYO UK says, "While OYO has always been a tech-first, data-driven organisation, the collaboration with PredictHQ offers us additional data and deeper insights to deliver more value and solutions to our patrons and guests." He adds, "OYO is accelerating its innovation in travel and hospitality by implementing fresh tech that can accommodate and adapt to new customer expectations. This is a requirement to remain a healthy business in today's reality, but equally important is to offer new technologies that exceed current customer expectations and preferences." "Technology-led businesses have emerged from the pandemic in a stronger position, which is why it was so important for OYO to invest in technology, and learn to do more from less so that we are positioned to be the best partner for our patrons and the best brand for guests," concludes Aman. PredictHQ covers 19 categories of events, including sports, conferences, school and college holidays, and unscheduled events such as severe weather and natural disasters. About PredictHQ PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, empowers global organizations to anticipate changes in demand for their products and services. PredictHQ's demand intelligence API aggregates events from hundreds of sources and verifies, enriches, and ranks them by predicted impact so companies can proactively discover catalysts that will impact demand. With PredictHQ, businesses gain a leg up on the competition and remain confident in their ability to meet customers' ever-changing needs. About OYO OYO is a global platform that empowers entrepreneurs and small businesses with hotels and homes by providing full-stack technology that increases revenue and eases operations; bringing easy-to-book, affordable, and trusted accommodation to customers around the world. OYO offers 40+ integrated products and solutions to patrons who operate over 157,000 hotel and home storefronts across India, Europe, Southeast Asia and 35 countries.

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Mibanco Uses FICO Platform to Expand Microlending and Help Customers

Mibanco | March 21, 2022

Mibanco, the largest microfinance bank in both Peru and Latin America, has used FICO Platform’s Decisions Capability to boost its lending capacity and respond quickly to changing market conditions during the pandemic. The transformational project has reduced the time taken to put policy into production by 90 percent and cut annual IT development expenditure by 20 percent, allowing Mibanco to better serve thousands of its customers. “Mibanco’s goal is to expand access to credit for the unbanked or credit invisible,” said Sebastián Valera, risk transformation manager at Mibanco. “Annually we grant about 1.6 million loans worth about USD$3.7B to hundreds of thousands of people. These loans are often life-changing, allowing individuals to build businesses, access housing and education. We were seeking a tool with predictive analytic qualities that would accelerate and increase approvals, while qualifying consumers better, even the unbanked ones. FICO had the strongest offering that filled the brief.” Prior to the implementation, the entire credit flow, including the policies and various scores, was developed within the bank's core system. This meant when any lending changes were needed, software development within the core was required. “It could take anywhere between 3 to 12 months whenever credit risk wanted to make a change,” said Valera. “Requests went to IT, meetings were held, changes were prioritized by committee, technical documents prepared, development, testing and so on. As a result, we were lacking the agility we wanted and failing to extend microcredit to the largest number of consumers possible.” Mibanco needed to adopt a solution to make more precise, value-based decisions at the origination stage, enabling them to grow more profitable portfolios while managing customer-level risk. Mibanco implemented FICO’s technology in two stages. The first was to enable FICO® Platform - Decision Modeler to be connected directly to the core system, where the flow would be maintained. The second was to replace the core credit flow, used FICO® Originations Solution which is powered by FICO Platform. Over just six months, FICO worked with the Mibanco team to examine, adjust and migrate all the policies programmed into FICO Platform. Group policies were also added that could not be programmed in the past and by January 2020, 28 policies were put into production just as COVID-19 started to spread around the world. When the pandemic arrived, Mibanco was able to react quickly by having a highly flexible originations solution in place. The risk team rescheduled and froze repayments for USD$2.4 billion in loans to 720,000 borrowers and assisted approximately 267,000 customers with USD$785M of credit through government-sponsored programs to the MyPe segment (micros and small companies). Additionally, COVID forced Mibanco to adjust credit policies and the different scores it uses. Thanks to FICO Platform, Mibanco can make quick changes and assist its customers while ensuring that risk keeps within the company’s guidelines. “Lenders want to expand their market to include more new borrowers, but this segment of applicants poses a significant challenge to a lender’s ability to assess character, credit risk and verify the credit destination. Mibanco has modernized its ability to originate loans by harnessing the analytic and predictive power of FICO Platform. Financial inclusion has been a foundational area of focus for FICO and a key part of our ethos. We get great satisfaction out of helping lenders like Mibanco expand their offering to hundreds of thousands and bring them into the financial system.” Nikhil Behl chief marketing officer at FICO “Mibanco did a great job optimizing their decisioning process to drive more automation,” said Armando Junior, general manager, risk and compliance at Dock and one of the FICO Decisions Awards judges. “With an increased adoption of advance technology in microfinancing, lenders can reduce the operational costs and expand lending to thousands more people and at the same time grow their own revenue and opportunities in the market.” About Mibanco Mibanco is the leading microfinance financial institution in Latin America and the second largest player worldwide. In Peru, Mibanco has 23 years of experience working with the purpose of transforming people's lives, committed to their financial inclusion and progress. It has a loan portfolio of more than USD 3 billion, close to 1.6 million customers and more than 300 points of service throughout Peru. About FICO FICO powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 200 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 120 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to helping people get credit, to ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time.

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Thumbtack Announces Front Desk – a First-of-its-Kind Concierge Service – to Help Small Businesses Grow More Sustainably

Thumbtack | March 10, 2022

Thumbtack, the modern home management platform, today announced the launch of its latest offering for local professionals: Front Desk. This new concierge service is personalized to help small businesses turn even more potential customers into confirmed jobs. Now, hundreds of thousands of small business owners can optimize their operations to be more efficient and more profitable. “Today, our Front Desk team responds to inquiries in 2 minutes, which means customers are finding help faster than ever and pros are growing their businesses more sustainably. We’re helping pros spend less time in the office or on the phone — and more time on the job. In the future, we envision Front Desk helping independent business owners manage more of their growth factors on Thumbtack. Chat is just the beginning.” Jeff Grant, COO at Thumbtack The labor shortage has severely impacted the home improvement, repair, and maintenance industries with 52 percent of home pros reporting difficulty hiring in our recent Economic Sentiment Survey. Despite the shortage of available qualified workers, home pros are busier than ever – 73 percent expect their company's financial situation to be the same or better in the next quarter. And, they're seeking help to keep up with demand — with more than one third (36 percent) attempting to fill full or part-time positions last quarter. Our new Front Desk offering helps pros minimize the effects of the labor shortage by giving them peace of mind that their customers are getting near instant, effective, and high-quality support while allowing them to focus on their craft. “The Front Desk team has been phenomenal. Customers reach out to us at all times of the day, including at night,” said Michele Bottone, owner of Lazy B Fencing and Staining. “Prior to using Front Desk, we wouldn’t see the messages until the next day because we are out in the field or at home with family. Now it doesn’t matter when customers reach out because they get responded to right away and it’s helped us engage them more efficiently. The customers also enjoy the quick response from our team. It’s been great!” To start, Thumbtack’s Front Desk team conducts an onboarding call with each pro to understand their business goals and preferences in order to set up personalized responses for future customers – much like a personal assistant. From there, based on the package that best fits each pro’s needs, the Front Desk team handles messaging with customers on behalf of the pro (days, evenings, even weekends) and books jobs for them based on their availability and any other personal preferences. Customers get a personalized experience depending on the independent pro they’ve reached out to. During initial testing of Front Desk, local service professionals saw, on average, 20 percent higher job conversion, and 28 percent higher customer satisfaction ratings. To learn more about Thumbtack, download the app (available on iOS and Android). About Thumbtack Thumbtack is a technology leader building the modern home management platform. Through the Thumbtack app, homeowners can effortlessly manage their homes — confidently knowing what to do, when to do it, and who to hire. Bringing the $500 billion home services industry online, Thumbtack empowers millions of homeowners to fix, maintain, and improve their most valuable asset. Hundreds of thousands of local service professionals, from painters and plumbers to photographers and math tutors, use the Thumbtack platform to grow their business each year.

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Symantec has established one of the most comprehensive sources of Internet threat data in the world through the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, which is made up of more than 63.8 million attack sensors and records thousands of events per second. This network monitors threat activity in over 157 countries and territories through a combination of Symantec products and services, such as Symantec DeepSight Intelligence, Symantec Managed Security Services, Norton consumer products, and other third-party data sources.