SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Ending of PPP Lending, Loan Approval Rates Increased in May 2021 for Banks, and Non-Bank Lenders as per Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™

Biz2Credit | June 09, 2021

According to the latest release on June 08, 2021, by Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™, small business loan approval rates hiked slightly from 13.4% in April to 13.5% in May 2021 at big banks. However, small bank loan approval percentages climbed much higher from 18.2% in April, to 18.7% in May.

“As more and more people are vaccinated from COVID-19 and ease in lockdowns, access to the favorable economic conditions loan approval by banks hiked to 0.3%,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, nation’s leading experts in small business finance. With the completion of the second round of the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPC), the lending figures of next month will be significant.

Credit unions increased the loan approval rate from 20.3% in April, to 20.4% in May 2021.However, Institutional lenders edged up slightly higher from 23.5% in April, to 23.6% In May 2021. Whereas other non-bank lenders hiked them slightly higher.Alternative lenders approved funding rates from 24.0% in April, to 24.3% in May 2021.The above results are based on data from more than 1,000 small business owners who had applied for funding on the Biz2Credit platform.

About Biz2Credit
Biz2Credit was founded in 2007, Since then it has funded more than $3billion in small business financing. The company is flourishing its way to industry-leading technology in custom digital platform solutions for banks and investors, other financial institutions, and service providers.

Spotlight

Where do you go for your morning coffee? To get your car serviced? To get your hair or nails done? Small businesses are not just beloved local service providers – they also create roughly two-thirds of all American jobs.1 Over the past decade, more and more of these businesses are being funded by lenders outside of the financial mainstream. This article explores the rise of alternative and subprime business finance and the implications for Main Street business owners. Drawing on Opportunity Fund’s direct experience successfully lending to thousands of low-income and minority entrepreneurs across California.


Other News
BUSINESS STRATEGY

American Express and TikTok Launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator to Help Small Businesses Reach New Audiences on Small Business Saturday

American Express | November 15, 2022

American Express today announced that it has partnered with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator, a new program to help small business owners reach a new generation of shoppers on Small Business Saturday, which is on November 26, 2022, and runs throughout the holiday shopping season. The partnership with TikTok builds on the ongoing support American Express provides small businesses year-round and its goal to drive $100 billion in reported consumer spending at small businesses from 2021 through 2025. Starting November 14, the #ShopSmall Accelerator will include an offer for eligible small business owners to earn a $100 TikTok advertising credit*. In addition, small business owners will be given access to tools and resources to think like TikTok creators, including a tutorial at AmericanExpress.com/ShopSmallAccelerator on how their businesses can stand out on the platform. Lifestyle creators Anna Sitar @annaxsitar and Sofia Bella @iamsofiabella, along with small business owner Brandon Blackwood @brandonblackwoodnyc, will teach small business owners how to use TikTok as a search engine; leverage sounds, trends, hashtags and communities; and how to drive engagement with users. To help small businesses get discovered by new audiences, American Express has also partnered with musical artist Chlöe Bailey @chloebaileywashere to create a “Shop Small Soundtrack,” which TikTok users can add to their content. “The #ShopSmall Accelerator will help give small merchants the tools they need to reach the next generation of consumers on TikTok, where our Shop Small Impact Study found that 67% of Gen Z users have shopped from a small business that was displayed on their For You Page ,Shopping small has a significant impact on helping local communities, with two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses staying within the local community. Last year, consumers reported spending more than $23B shopping small on Small Business Saturday, and we want to exceed that in 2022.” Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express "More and more American small businesses are turning to TikTok to take us inside their world in a fun authentic way, and as a result, they are reaching new customers, hiring more employees and growing their business. The real world impact is undeniable, with 44% of TikTok users saying that they discovered something on the platform and immediately went out to buy it, according to our Global Retail Path To Purchase Study," said Sofia Hernandez, Global Head of Business Marketing for TikTok. "This holiday season, the TikTok community is ready to #ShopSmall and support small businesses. Based on data in the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the US.2 The study also found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the US stays in the local community and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services. 63% of small business owners said they want to grow their Gen Z and Millennial customer base this holiday season, and 50% agreed that Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever for their business this holiday shopping season. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 to help small businesses and communities thrive. Since then, it has turned into a nationwide Shop Small movement that is celebrated annually and is critical for small businesses during the holiday shopping season. American Express provides ongoing support to small businesses year-round through the Shop Small Resource Hub where small business owners have access to complimentary marketing supplies and resources; Amex Offers for Merchants for services ranging from technology to shipping solutions; a new, dedicated Small Business Saturday page from Business Class, featuring insights, tips, and inspiration; and more. U.S. consumers can find American Express accepting independent retailers across the nation through the Shop Small Map and Card Members can access special Amex Offers from Small Merchants on the Shop Small Offer Hub here. ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Sana Expands Affordable Health Insurance Offerings for Small Businesses to Alabama

Sana | September 19, 2022

Sana, a health care company providing dependable health benefits to small businesses at affordable prices, today announced its expansion into Alabama.Founded in 2017, Sana recently closed a $60 million Series B funding round co-led by Trust Ventures and Gigafund. Sana is serving a traditionally underserved market in Alabama. In addition to the lack of health insurance options for small businesses, Alabama ranks among the nation’s worst states regarding overall clinical care, according to The United Health Foundation’s 2021 report. That study ranked Alabama last in the category of mental-health providers and 46th in primary-care providers. Sana members receive no-cost virtual appointments with primary-care and mental-health providers, helping Alabamians overcome those shortfalls. “Sana has also entered Indiana and Virginia this year and plans to keep expanding in 2022, We’re on a mission to make quality health care understandable, accessible and affordable to as many Americans as possible. We’re excited to offer Alabama a better alternative to the same restrictive networks and sky-high ‘negotiated rates’ that have dominated the market for decades.” Sana co-founder and CEO Will Young Sana’s availability in Alabama means small and midsize businesses can now get health plans purpose-built to meet their needs. The state’s market is the most concentrated in the country, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama controlling 97%, according to the most recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Sana will offer a desperately needed alternative to BCBS’s monopoly. Only payroll surpasses health benefits as companies’ largest expense category. According to one report, small businesses pay anywhere from 8% to 18% more than a large company for an identical health insurance policy. Worse, 40% of small businesses reported that they’d increased the prices of goods and services due to rising health care costs, according to a 2021 survey. When Sana enters a market, 35% of its new customers are small businesses previously unable to provide health care to employees due to high costs. Launching in Alabama adds more than 800,000 employees who can benefit from Sana’s health plans.Our whole company loves Sana, it's the best health insurance experience we've had in our company history," said Andy Reeves, COO of RedTree Albums. "[It's a] better price for our company and employees and much better benefits coverage. Also it's been a huge benefit how simple Sana is to use and get help with any problems. Those looking for small business health insurance in Alabama can utilize Sana to save money and attract and retain top talent in a competitive labor market. Sana’s customers often save up to 20% compared to legacy insurers. Starting today, Alabama businesses can offer their employees health benefits packages with full medical, dental, vision and more without network restrictions or hidden fees. Sana is known for affordable employer health plans, $0 virtual doctors’ visits, low co-pays and 95% customer-service satisfaction. In addition to primary care, Sana gives employees access to virtual care with providers specializing in pediatrics, maternity and mental health. About Sana Sana provides small businesses with dependable health plans at prices they can afford. Through value-based care, the Sana Care ecosystem of world-class providers, direct primary care, and more, Sana is reducing the cost of high-quality care. Sana makes it easy for employers to administer benefits and offers members simplified health plans and top-notch customer service.

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TECHNOLOGY

BAU Launches New and Revolutionary Mobile App to Help Small Businesses Promote Themselves

BAU | November 21, 2022

BAU has launched a new mobile app designed to help small businesses advertise themselves through super-charged word-of-mouth for our digital age. Imagine a construction contractor attracting new clients by reaching the audience of a nearby real estate broker, or a coffee shop partnering with a nearby bagel business and getting its ads shown directly to their viewership. BAU lets you take advantage of industries that naturally appeal to consumers together in order to reach the right buyers and send the right message. Most business owners use Google, Meta, Yelp and other platforms as expensive but necessary tools to reach target audiences online ... but it doesn't have to be that way. BAU has created an opportunity to connect with the exact type of complementary businesses that have access to desired customers, attracting attention, sales, and clicks from the right prospects. "This is a 'dating' platform for everyone to build better relationships with small businesses nearby," BAU CEO Lambert Egbuchulam. The new BAU mobile app offers: BETTER TARGETING Let's face it: most ads are misplaced annoyances that people can't wait to skip. Advertisements on BAU get seen by your specific target audience, meaning better results with no exposures wasted on people you don't want to appeal to. LOWER PRICES Digital advertising is like the housing market—prices just keep barreling upwards, driven by competition. With BAU, you could save a fraction of what you would on a monthly ad budget compared to what you'd waste on "the big guys," increasing R.O.I. and making advertising a no-brainer. COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY BAU compiles straightforward, up-to-the-minute reports with results that let you know how your ads are doing at a glance. Update, suspend, or alter your campaign at any time. SIMPLIFIED MANAGEMENT No tech stuff, no setup wizards, no degree in computer science needed. We built BAU to be simple enough for Grandma to use, without all the jargon and learning curve. LOCAL BAU is all about symbiotic relationships within your local community. Not only do people like to buy where they live, but it also makes it more cost-effective and seamless for you, the business owner. ABOUT BAU At BAU, we believe it shouldn't be about who has the biggest ad budget or most genius marketing team —we dream of a world where needs are met and businesses are built based on honest, local collaboration. By connecting local businesses and having them help advertise each other, we're inspiring commerce to be more simple, more honest, and more clear. We consider our business model to be super-charged word-of-mouth, updated and revolutionized for our digital age. We invite you to join us on our crusade to bring the power back to the small businesses as we create marketing opportunities that don't just create profits... they also empower people.

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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

Where do you go for your morning coffee? To get your car serviced? To get your hair or nails done? Small businesses are not just beloved local service providers – they also create roughly two-thirds of all American jobs.1 Over the past decade, more and more of these businesses are being funded by lenders outside of the financial mainstream. This article explores the rise of alternative and subprime business finance and the implications for Main Street business owners. Drawing on Opportunity Fund’s direct experience successfully lending to thousands of low-income and minority entrepreneurs across California.

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