SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Fenris Introduces a New Insurance Prefill API for Small Businesses

Fenris | June 28, 2021

Fenris Digital, announced the launch of its latest data service, Small Business Insurance Prefill API. Fenris Digital is a data and analytics company focused on streamlining and modernizing the process of quoting insurance products for insurance agents, carriers, and brokers. This is their tenth data and awareness product launch in the last year and a half, increasing their 400% growth by 2020. By providing up to 40 of the data points required by most commercial insurance application questionnaires, including NAICS code, the latest service makes it easier for small business owners and agents to get a quote — directly from digital-first carriers or via insurance aggregators.

The newly launched small business API provides more data points from more sources than previous Fenris small business services and is integrated into the company's AI-driven data platform. It makes use of Fenris' proprietary data repository, which contains information on over 35 million small businesses, all properties in the United States, and over 255 million adults. Fenris clients can also obtain API-delivered data on business owners, which is frequently required by underwriters when assessing the risk of micro-businesses.

Fenris data platform enables to take advantage of big data and analytics capabilities without investing resources, due to its machine learning algorithms, and extensive data sourcing.

About Fenris
Fenris, an industry leader in data sourcing technology, uses data and machine learning to provide instant insight and enrichment on each applicant and policyholder. Fenris' API-delivered solutions for auto, home, and life personal lines insurance, as well as small business commercial insurance, are focused on applicant scoring for propensity to buy and lifetime value, data enrichment and pre-fill for friction-free quoting workflows, and LEMA (Life Event Monitoring and Alerts) to identify key retention and upsell moments on every policyholder.

Spotlight

Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests such as SYSmark* and MobileMark are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information, go to intel.com/performance.


Other News
FINANCE

Lenovo Awards $100,000 in Grants to Minority-Owned Small Businesses Across Ontario

Lenovo | February 09, 2022

Today, Lenovo announced the ten Ontario-based recipients of its Evolve Small grant program aimed at providing relief to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-owned (BIPOC) small businesses navigating the challenges and impact of COVID-19. Issued in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT), each small business will be awarded a CAD $10,000 grant. In addition, Lenovo is providing educational programming to all TRBOT member businesses, to help accelerate their digital adoption. Throughout the two-month application window, TRBOT received a total of 203 small business applicants that met eligibility requirements. All applications were reviewed by a panel of experts from TRBOT and grant recipients were selected based on their ability to demonstrate their business’s equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives and their completion of one or more of TRBOT’s Recovery Activation Program (RAP) streams, an online support and education program designed to help businesses adapt to a more digital world during and after the pandemic. TRBOT launched its Recovery Activation Program (RAP) to help Canadian small businesses adapt to the increasing need for digital adoption that was accelerated by COVID-19. By focusing on attracting customers, improving supply-chain efficiencies, managing workforces virtually, and streamlining costs, RAP provides a comprehensive toolkit to support the long-term success of Toronto’s small business community “As the pandemic continues to impact us all, we recognize that small businesses, and especially minority-owned small businesses, have been hit the hardest and need support to survive and thrive. We hope that the funding provided through the grant program with the Toronto Region Board of Trade will provide relief to some of the businesses who have been impacted the most, and we look forward to seeing how these funds are used to innovate and build for the future.” Colin McIsaac, Vice President and General Manager, Lenovo Canada “The submissions we received show a remarkable range of engaged, passionate women and BIPOC entrepreneurs,” said Leigh Smout, President of the World Trade Centre Toronto. “Each of these grants, which Lenovo has made possible, will allow the recipients to grow their business and, in turn, their already-significant contributions to our regional economy and communities. We are proud to be associated with Lenovo and these amazing business leaders.” About Lenovo Lenovo is a US$60 billion revenue Fortune Global 500 company serving customers in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that power (through devices and infrastructure) and empower (through solutions, services and software) millions of customers every day and together create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. About Toronto Region Board of Trade The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic growth agenda. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region, and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships, and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

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IMPACT

Uber and Visa Announce Grants For Growth Program, Providing $1 Million in Grants and Resources to Support Small Businesses

Uber | January 11, 2022

Uber and Visa today announced Grants for Growth, a program that will provide $1 million in grant funding to small businesses in 10 U.S. cities that are currently active on Uber Eats. The program will be administered by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Focused on restaurant recovery and entrepreneurship, the program was created to support merchants when they need it most. "We know that this year has been trying for many and that independently-owned businesses continue to face significant business challenges. From natural disasters to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber and Visa are committed to supporting SMBs, especially through unexpected events, when they may need us most." Sarfraz Maredia, VP of US and Canada Delivery at Uber Restaurants active on Uber Eats since January 1, 2022 in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Detroit, the NYC metro/New Jersey area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, and Boston are eligible to apply for the program. Grant recipients will be independently selected by LISC, using criteria to give preference to veteran, minority, women, and LGBTQIA+ business owners. For a complete list of eligibility criteria visit lisc.org/uber. "Independent restaurants are a vital and vibrant part of their communities, and the pandemic continues to impact far too many of them," said Mary Ann Reilly, SVP and Head of North America Marketing, Visa. "Together with Uber, we're proud to help give merchants the support and funding they need, now." "The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce applauds our partners at Visa and Uber for launching this important grant program. Small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, continue to struggle to survive during this pandemic and are working to overcome new challenges," said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President & CEO, USHCC. "As small businesses reopen their doors and look towards recovering, they need access to capital as well as resources and tools now more than ever before. This program comes at the perfect time." Through Grants for Growth, 100 merchants will receive grants of $10,000, which can be used toward immediate needs such as payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading payment technology infrastructure, and other immediate operational costs. In addition to financial support, selected merchants will receive placement in the Uber Eats app and disaster recovery and resiliency guides from Uber and LISC. Merchants interested in applying for the Grants for Growth program can apply at lisc.org/uber from January 17-24, 2022. About Uber Uber's mission is to create opportunity through movement. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 15 billion trips later, we're building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a platform that opens up the world to new possibilities. About Visa Inc. Visa is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating more than 215 billion payments transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories each year. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com. About LISC LISC is one the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.

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TECHNOLOGY

Clik2pay Boosts Capabilities with the Launch of Mobile App for Small Businesses

Clik2pay | February 15, 2022

Payment service provider Clik2pay continues to add to its feature set with the launch of the new Clik2pay mobile app. This first-of-its-kind product allows merchants to collect funds from consumers, who can pay easily and securely online directly from their bank accounts. Having found initial success with large businesses, Clik2pay is now opening up this payment functionality to the millions of small businesses and micromerchants operating in Canada. The Clik2pay app is free to download and easy to use. Businesses simply enter their customer’s name, mobile phone number, and amount owed into the Clik2pay app. Clik2pay texts the customer a link - or the business can present a QR code for the customer to scan. The customer completes the transaction directly and securely from their bank account. Because the payment takes place within the customer’s own bank, the transaction is secure and familiar. “The high costs of credit card payments, on top of the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, is really hurting small business. Card-based mobile apps can cost 3-4% of the sale, require a separate device to read the card and may result in chargebacks to the business. The Clik2pay app helps businesses contain card costs and manage cash flow by providing guaranteed payments in near real-time.” Mike Bradley, Founder and CEO of Clik2pay Clik2pay is a unique online payments service that facilitates bill, invoice and online payments directly and securely from customer bank accounts. Payments are requested easily by text message, e-mail, checkout button or QR code and are processed at a fraction of the cost of other payment types. Clik2pay leverages multiple layers of bank-grade security and the highest standards for risk management by using one of the most secure money transfer services globally. To use the app, businesses register and link their bank account directly in the app and are ready to receive payment in a matter of minutes. Transaction fees are 1% + $1 per transaction, with no hidden charges or extra fees. The Clik2pay app is available for all major mobile phones – at the App Store (Apple) and Google Play Stores. About Clik2pay Clik2pay is first in Canada to deliver real-time payments to businesses directly from customer bank accounts. The company’s focus is to be the best way for Canadian consumers to pay, and for Canadian retailers to be paid. Clik2pay is led by a team with deep business and technology expertise in payments, retail, and digital banking. Clik2pay features for larger businesses include easy-to-use APIs, end-to-end payment tracking, real-time notifications, status updates and a complete settlement file.

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FINANCE

Pitney Bowes and Funding Circle Launch Innovative Partnership to Support Small Business Lending

Pitney Bowes | March 23, 2022

Pitney Bowes Inc., a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services, today announced it has partnered with Funding Circle, a leading online small business lending platform, to provide loans to their small business customers. Powered by Funding Circle’s world class machine learning and technology platform, Pitney Bowes will offer small business term loans to their customers, who will benefit from Funding Circle’s streamlined online application and loan origination process with market competitive rates. With these capabilities, customers will be able to get access to critical funds in as little as 48 hours. This pilot program aims to advance the lending experience for Pitney Bowes small business customers at a time when many small businesses are increasingly looking for growth capital. Seven in ten business owners (72%) have said they feel they will need financing this year, according to Funding Circle’s 2021 Small Business Surveyi. “America’s 32.5 million small businesses are the driving force behind our economy, but the number of small business loans approved by large banks has halved in just two years,” said Christopher Johnson, Senior Vice President and President, Pitney Bowes Financial Services. “Our partnership with Funding Circle will help business owners on Main Street get the working capital they desperately need to grow their business. In addition, it positions Pitney Bowes for long-term growth, as we create new value for our clients with new offerings.” “We share a common mission with Pitney Bowes to break down barriers and help make access to finance easier for all SMBs. This lending as a service partnership showcases the strength of our machine learning and tech platform to help customers access funding in a simple and seamless way. More than one third of business owners see an opportunity to grow the size of their business this year; yet, many remain hindered by a lack of access to capital to do so. We are committed to helping these businesses to unlock the finance they need to grow and power the economic recovery.” Vipul Chhabra, Managing Director of Funding Circle US The announcement is the latest in a series of strategic Pitney Bowes investments and services which will expedite SMBs’ access to capital and improve their lending experience. About Pitney Bowes Pitney Bowes is a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services to more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500. Small business, retail, enterprise, and government clients around the world rely on Pitney Bowes to remove the complexity of sending mail and parcels. The Pitney Bowes Bank, Inc. (the Bank) is a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Global Financial Services, LLC, which in turn is a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc. The Bank is an FDIC insured Utah Industrial Bank located in Salt Lake City, Utah for over 23 years. The Bank has a nationwide lending and deposit footprint. About Funding Circle Funding Circle is a small and medium enterprise (“SME”) loans platform. Since launching in 2010, investors and lenders across Funding Circle's geographies - including retail investors, banks, specialty finance companies, asset management companies, insurance companies, government-backed entities and funds - have lent approximately £13 billion to c.120,000 businesses globally. iThe Funding Circle 2021 Small Business Survey was conducted through The Bliss Group’s Speed Data platform, powered by 1Q, a survey application that polls mobile audiences in real time. The survey includes responses from 1,000 U.S. business owners, who completed the questionnaire on October 26, 2021.

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Spotlight

Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests such as SYSmark* and MobileMark are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information, go to intel.com/performance.

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