SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Insurance Bureau of Canada Launches Business Insurance Action Team to Support Small Businesses

Insurance Bureau of Canada | November 24, 2020

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reported today that its Business Insurance Action Team (BIAT) has dispatched and is prepared to assist with finding suitable insurance for small businesses in Ontario's neighborliness area battling to discover insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IBC reported the making of BIAT in late October. This industry-driven arrangement brings back up plans and their delegates together to help battling small businesses in Ontario's accommodation area – explicitly eateries, bars, bars and feast lobbies – secure insurance in the midst of the financial difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has made.

"Small and family-run businesses in Ontario's hospitality sector are facing extraordinary challenges, and its incumbent upon all of us to try and do what we can to help," said IBC President and CEO Don Forgeron. "The hospitality industry is a major contributor to the Ontario economy, and we recognize that current pandemic-related restrictions are creating difficult economic conditions. That's why IBC and a group of insurers in Canada have come together to deploy an innovative solution to assist small businesses struggling to find insurance."

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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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FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Valley Bank Launches Community Lending Platform

Valley Bank | September 09, 2022

Valley National Bank today announced the launch of a Community Lending platform to streamline processing as it ramps up its efforts to provide more financial products, resources and connections to women and minority-owned businesses. In 2021, Valley made more than 6,181 small business loans in low-to-moderate-income census tracts and to businesses with a gross annual revenue of $1 million or less. Valley’s Community Lending Team, which focuses specifically on providing financing solutions to women and minority-owned small businesses within this space, quickly realized the need for a separate platform to organize the program across the Bank’s four states. This new platform makes the application and lending process much easier and faster by reducing a great deal of paperwork that would normally take weeks to process. The new platform offers women and minority-owned businesses easier access to traditional products such as payroll, commercial mortgages and merchant services, while also looking at qualifications for loans with a different lens. Instead of just considering traditional requirements related to cash flow and having three years of business history, the bank is also considering personal and business credit scores. Under the leadership of National Director of Community Lending Thais R. Sullivan, the department now consists of 15 dedicated professionals and reaches across Valley Bank’s U.S. footprint from New York south through Florida, into underserved communities where businesses often don’t qualify for traditional lending. “The Community Lending team is committed to looking at financing for these small businesses differently,” said Sullivan. “We examine their growth potential rather than their current size to determine how we can help drive long-term growth. The launch of this platform will help us as we help small businesses along the path to growth and future success.” Sullivan and her team of experienced professionals worked to create the products, resources and relationships to ensure the Community Lending team could provide timely access to the crucial elements to help businesses in need. The regional leaders for Community Lending are: Luis De La Hoz, Regional Director of Community Lending New Jersey Martine Pierre-Paul, Regional Director of Community Lending Florida/Alabama Michael Warrington, Regional Director of Community Lending New York “During the pandemic we became painfully aware how many businesses weren’t in a position to qualify for emergency funding programs like the Paycheck Protection Program,” said Sullivan. “Minority-owned businesses in particular were less likely to apply, not because they didn’t need the funding, but because they weren’t set up to qualify.” With a lack of professional relationships or experienced mentors that could help find paths to financing, many small business owners lacked the vital documentation needed to obtain a traditional loan. In addition to providing access to its own banking products and services, Valley Bank’s Community Lending solutions include leveraging strong partnerships with national and regional organizations that can provide additional education, mentorship and financing resources. These organizations include such groups as the Small Business Administration (SBA), Palm Beach County Black Business Investment Corporation (BBIC), and National Entrepreneurship Association (NEC). Valley Bank’s Community Lending team members have been working with underserved small businesses for more than two years to create custom financial solutions that make a difference. As two examples: Juan Garay, a disabled veteran and president of Facility Services Solutions Group in Edison, New Jersey, first turned to Valley Bank in 2020. “Valley helped to connect us with loans and grant opportunities,” Garay said, “and guided us in certifying our organization as a Disabled Veteran Owned Business, Minority Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise.” Dr. Angie Mason, DPT, OTR/L and Dr. Tyre Patterson, DPT were struggling to get financing for their startup business Dynamic Duo PT+ in West Palm Beach, Florida, despite having over a decade of experience in their field. “Valley Bank provided us real financial guidance and connected us to other professionals we needed to help our business thrive,” said Dr. Angie Mason. “We opened the doors to our office in May of this year.” About Valley As the principal subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp, Valley National Bank is a regional bank with approximately $54 billion in assets. Valley is committed to giving people and businesses the power to succeed. Valley operates many convenient branch locations across New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, and is committed to providing the most convenient service, the latest innovations and an experienced and knowledgeable team dedicated to meeting customer needs. Helping communities grow and prosper is the heart of Valley’s corporate citizenship philosophy. To learn more about Valley, go to www.valley.com or call our Customer Service Center at 800-522-4100.

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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

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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Start a food truck or food cart business is one of the best business to start. Here in this video you'll know how to start your own food cart business step by step. Food truck business plan, ideas, food menu in India, UK, USA, Canada.

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