FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE ARE OFFERING MILLIONS IN SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS AMID COVID-19

Black Enterprise | April 06, 2020

Since the start of the global pandemic of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, many states have issued a mandatory stay-at-home order for all residents forcing all non-essential businesses to close down until the virus has been properly contained. As a result, small business owners have been struggling to keep their doors open and stay afloat through the economic fallout. Companies like Facebook and Google have been stepping in by providing grants to entrepreneurs struggling with their expenses amid the virus pandemic. Facebook announced it will be providing $40 million in grants to 10,000 small business owners all over the country who have been affected by COVID-19. This is part of an existing initiative of $100 million that the company is providing toward coronavirus relief.

Spotlight

GreyOrange's robots, dubbed the Butler and PickPal, primarily help warehouse operators automate some of their worker's most physically challenging tasks, like sorting, carrying and picking items off shelves. The company just raised $140 million and expanded to the U.S.


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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Sherweb and RBC Team Up to Help Canadian Businesses Accelerate Digital Transformation

Sherweb | March 08, 2022

Sherweb, an award-winning cloud marketplace leader, announced today a collaboration with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to help Canadian businesses accelerate their digital transformation as part of RBC’s Go DigitalTM program. The past year has impacted businesses across Canada, with many struggling to adapt to new digital realities. Sherweb and RBC are committed to helping businesses manage their transformation journey with confidence, so they can increase their resiliency and continue to grow. "Sherweb’s objective is to simplify the cloud adoption process through a combination of expertise and a human approach to providing IT solutions. We help businesses better understand their investments, the opportunities available to them and overcome the barriers associated with going digital." Matthew Cassar, Sherweb’s co-CEO "With a network of thousands of IT professionals, Sherweb can help businesses overcome any obstacle. With competencies in every tech area from productivity to security, our extended partner network represents unmeasurable knowledge for businesses to tap into." The benefits of adopting cloud solutions are clear: increased efficiency, lower costs and improved competitiveness. Research from BDC shows that digitally mature businesses are 62% more likely to have high sales growth and 52% more likely to have greater profitability over time. Sherweb’s product portfolio and cloud expertise will allow RBC to scale out digital solutions rapidly and effectively for their Go Digital customers. This exclusive offer for RBC business clients supports all productivity, security and training needs, including industry-leading names such as Microsoft, Office Protect, Acronis, LogMeIn and QuickHelp. “The RBC Go Digital™ strategy makes it easier for our clients to gain access to digital expertise and the right technologies to meet evolving demands and grow their business, no matter where they are on their digital journey,” said Don Ludlow, VP Small Business, BFS Strategy and Partnerships at RBC. "We are pleased to introduce Sherweb as the newest Beyond Banking partner under the Go Digital banner. Sherweb will become an RBC strategic digital partner through their tailored support with business strategy, operational efficiencies and the very best cloud product and service solutions to help our clients with their evolving technology needs. I am looking forward to learning from Sherweb and sharing this partnership with our clients.” Digital transformation has never been more critical for business growth. Its importance is recognized by the Government of Canada through its Canada Digital Adoption Program, which is committed to helping SMBs adopt new technologies. Over the next four years, $4 billion will be provided to eligible businesses to access skills, training and funds to move into the digital age. About Sherweb More than 6,500 partners and 80,000 companies worldwide grow their business using Sherweb’s value-added services. We support our customers with business strategies, cloud services, operations and expertise. Whatever their business, we can help them reach their full potential by creating a tailored approach to their needs.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Thrive Acquires Incare Technologies to Build a Foundation for Regional Expansion in the South

Thrive | January 07, 2022

Thrive, a premier provider of NextGen Managed Services has acquired InCare Technologies, a nationally recognized information technology managed services provider known for its work with healthcare, local governments, education, and other SMB businesses. The acquisition provides Thrive with a strong regional provider in the South, enabling it to better deliver and support its managed Cybersecurity, collaboration, and Cloud services across the country. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Tennessee and Mississippi, InCare Technologies provides award-winning managed services which include proactive IT support, Cybersecurity, networking, total technology outsourced management and more. "InCare Technologies is one of the best-run MSPs that we've had the privilege of working with. Their operational maturity, management team, employee technical acumen and commitment to customer service make them the perfect partner for Thrive to anchor our Southern expansion. Thrive's ServiceNow platform, sophisticated 24x7x365 Security Operations Center (SOC) practice and Public, Private & Hybrid Cloud solutions will undoubtably benefit InCare's loyal clientele and attract future prospects within the region." Rob Stephenson, CEO of Thrive "Since our inception, InCare Technologies has been dedicated to helping our customers stay productive and secure as they look to streamline their IT operations," said Brian Walker, CEO of InCare Technologies. "By partnering with Thrive, we'll advance that cause even further by improving the way we service our clients via advanced technologies, innovation and improved efficiencies. Our team has been impressed by Thrive's people, processes, and platform, but most importantly by their commitment to customer service and their own employees. This makes them a perfect match to continue our legacy and workplace culture as a leader in our market." Working with some of the top companies across multiple industries, Thrive delivers comprehensive NextGen managed services and unmatched expertise to drive digital transformation efficiencies with advanced Cybersecurity best practices. About Thrive Thrive is a leading provider of NextGen managed services designed to drive business outcomes through application enablement and optimization. The company's Thrive5 Methodology utilizes a unique combination of its Application Performance Platform and strategic services to ensure each business application achieves peak performance, scale, uptime, and the highest level of security. About InCare Technologies InCare Technologies is an SMB-focused managed service provider headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Montgomery, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee. InCare offers leading-edge IT managed services and local support; InShield, a comprehensive cybersecurity service; and InCare 360, the ultimate in managed services, comprising all aspects of a company's IT needs.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Ready Capital Small Business Lending Scales Up with LenderAI

Ready Capital & LenderAI | May 10, 2022

Ready Capital Corporation (NYSE: RC) ("Ready Capital" or the "Company") announced another Company record for small loan closings (loans from $10,000 to $350,000) funding over fifty-five (55) SBA 7(a) small loans in April. The Company attributes this success and continuous growth to using a technology platform called LenderAI by iBusiness Funding LLC ("iBusiness Funding"), which is now available to all lenders. "LenderAI has enabled us to scale up and support the smallest businesses, a key objective for us,"Traditionally, it has been extremely difficult to scale SBA 7(a) operations, especially for lower loan amounts offered to the smallest businesses. This was the perfect opportunity to employ iBusiness Funding's LenderAI technology." -John Moshier, President of Small Business Lending at Ready Capital. Ready Capital's Small Loan Lending program has gone from funding 84 loans in 2021 to 150+ loans in the first four months of this year. This growth has been enabled by iBusiness Funding's LenderAI technology, a full suite of tools including digital application flow as well as automated decisioning, origination, underwriting and closing, all in a convenient and user-friendly platform. "Our core mission when expanding the SBA small loan program was to help the smallest businesses, making affordable lending available to support economic development and underserved communities, enderAI has enabled our 7(a) small loan products. The technology platform allows us to process loans for smaller businesses, who have fewer capital options, by digitizing their documents and inputs, giving them access to capital while allowing them to stay focused on their businesses." -Justin Levy, President of Ready Capital Small Balance Lending We believe our LenderAI technology has drastically improved document collection and processing, streamlining both the borrower and lender experience, said Katy Forte Seybold, iBusiness Funding Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy. We're thrilled Ready Capital has successfully leveraged our LenderAI technology and we're hoping many more lenders will for all loan sizes. There's little risk to trying it out, with bank level security, flexible core platform integrations and, for a limited time, it's free to try with no implementation fees. Ready Capital continues breaking company records with a focus on the smallest and most underserved borrowers. iBusiness Funding is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ready Capital. About iBusiness Funding, LLC iBusiness Funding LLC ("iBusiness"), established in 2015 and acquired by Ready Capital Corporation in 2019, is a technology Software and Services Provider that provides small business lending solutions to financial institutions. Over 130,000 loans have been funded through iBusiness' technology amounting to more than $6 billion. About Ready Capital Corporation Ready Capital Corporation (NYSE: RC) is a multi-strategy real estate finance company that originates, acquires, finances and services small to medium balance commercial loans. Ready Capital specializes in loans backed by commercial real estate, including agency multifamily, investor and bridge as well as SBA 7(a) business loans. Headquartered in New York, New York, Ready Capital employs over 600 professionals nationwide. The company is externally managed and advised by Waterfall Asset Management, LLC.

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TECHNOLOGY

SparkCognition's Award-Winning Cybersecurity Solution Providing Zero-Day Protection Now Available in Lenovo's Small Business Store

SparkCognition | February 02, 2022

SparkCognition, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) software solutions for business, announced its award-winning AI endpoint protection product (EPP) solution, DeepArmor, is now available in the LenovoPRO Small Business Store. "We are proud to work with Lenovo to bring our AI-enabled cyber solution to a broader range of small business users, helping them to detect and prevent even the most sophisticated zero-day cyber threats," said Vijay Doradla, President at SparkCognition. "The Deep Armor technology, based on advanced machine learning models, can help prevent never before seen cyberattacks, even while working offline, requiring less than four megabytes of space for deployment." A new cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds, putting businesses at risk of being compromised, shut down, and ransomed. SparkCognition developed DeepArmor as the first line of defense to prevent cyber threats at the edge. Built on proven AI and machine learning (ML) models, rather than rules, heuristics, and specific signatures, DeepArmor helps to prevent malware from accessing sensitive data, taking operational control, and compromising asset integrity, blocking known and new ransomware, trojans, and viruses. Its endpoint protection works both online and off, and installs and activates within minutes, without needing IT support or security skills. "Two in five small to mid-sized businesses were impacted by ransomware in 2020, with 43% lacking any type of cybersecurity defense. Extending our AI expertise and trusted and tested cyber solutions to Lenovo's small business customers is just one way we're able to work together to serve businesses in further protecting their endpoints." Marc Davis, Senior Director of Business Development at SparkCognition Lenovo is a leading OEM in cybersecurity that takes a secure-by-design approach to embed security features throughout the entire lifecycle across device components, ranging from hardware and below-the-operating-system, all the way to the cloud layers. By working with software providers like SparkCognition, Lenovo is able to offer its customers more solutions to further protect their data privacy, intellectual property, strategic investments, and customers. About SparkCognition SparkCognition's award-winning AI solutions allow organizations to predict future outcomes, optimize processes, and prevent cyberattacks. We partner with the world's industry leaders to analyze, optimize, and learn from data, augment human intelligence, drive profitable growth, and achieve operational excellence. Our patented AI, machine learning, and natural language technologies lead the industry in innovation and accelerate digital transformation. Our solutions allow organizations to solve critical challenges—prevent unexpected downtime, maximize asset performance, optimize prices, and ensure worker safety while avoiding zero-day cyberattacks on essential IT and OT infrastructure.

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Spotlight

GreyOrange's robots, dubbed the Butler and PickPal, primarily help warehouse operators automate some of their worker's most physically challenging tasks, like sorting, carrying and picking items off shelves. The company just raised $140 million and expanded to the U.S.

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