SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS
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.
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.
TECHNOLOGY, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE
CyberCatch | September 22, 2022
CyberCatch, today, jointly announced with the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA), a strategic partnership to enable Arizona's small businesses to quickly and easily implement necessary cyber security controls for digital success.According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 590,000 small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) in Arizona, and these businesses employ nearly 43.5% of the state's private workforce. Small businesses are the growth engine of Arizona's economy, and this partnership provides a valuable tool for continued success,said Debbie Hann, Chief Operating Officer, ASBA. We are delighted to partner with CyberCatch to keep Arizona's small businesses one step ahead of cyber threats, so they can continue to grow and succeed digitally. Nearly all small businesses are digital these days, and need to stay proactive, said Hann.ASBA is pleased to take a leadership position with this program and announce a new ASBA membership benefit in the form of a subscription to CyberCatch, at a discount. CyberCatch's patented, innovative, cybersecurity Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution is specifically designed for small businesses and enables quick and easy implementation of all necessary controls for continuous cyber security. The SaaS solution automatically and continuously tests cyber security controls to detect security holes for prompt remediation so attackers cannot exploit and ensures ongoing compliance and cyber risk mitigation.
"CyberCatch is a one-stop-shop for small businesses. We are honored to partner with ASBA. Our compliments to ASBA for their foresight and forward thinking to recognize cyber risk as a key threat to small businesses in Arizona and to partner with us to craft a valuable and timely solution for their members and prospective members to assure their continued success."
Sai Huda, founder, chairman and CEO, CyberCatch.
The root cause of data thefts and ransomware is security holes which derive from missing or ineffective cybersecurity controls that the small business is unaware of," said Huda. "Small businesses have limited resources and generally don't know what cyber security controls to implement or how to implement them in order to be secure from cyber threats, and now must comply with new requirements such as Zero Trust. ASBA and CyberCatch aim to fill those gaps in small business knowledge, with this innovative new partnership. This member benefit gives small businesses immediate savings and continual digital compliance and security. To learn more about this benefit, visit website.
About Arizona Small Business Association
The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) was founded in 1973 and serves as the collective voice of small businesses in Arizona by driving a better environment for all of us to do business. Today, ASBA is focused on delivering statewide education, mentoring, networking, and advocacy programs, providing innovative entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to grow and evolve in an ever-changing marketplace. For more information, visit website.
CyberCatch is a unique, patented cybersecurity Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that protects small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from cyberattacks by focusing on the root cause why SMBs fall victim: security holes. It provides an innovative cloud-based SaaS platform coupled with deep subject matter expertise to help SMBs implement just the right type and amount of cybersecurity controls. The platform then performs automated testing of controls from three dimensions: outside-in, inside-out and social engineering. It generates the Cyber Breach Score to continuously measure cyber risk and finds security holes and guides the SMB to fix them promptly, so attackers can't exploit any missing or broken controls to break in and steal data or infect ransomware. CyberCatch's continuous value proposition:
Sage | August 10, 2022
Sage (FTSE: SGE), the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses, announced the Canadian release of Sage Payroll, which integrates accounting, payroll and HR functions into a single unified platform with Sage Accounting. The new, cloud-first solution from Sage is uniquely positioned to enable small businesses, HR and accounting teams, to manage payroll and employee data in one platform with employee self-serve features, to help their business flow.
Delivering on its promise of continuous improvement and innovation, Sage has responded to customer needs to deliver a cloud payroll experience that helps solve today’s most pressing business challenges. With Sage Payroll, small business owners can pay their employees anytime and anywhere, with the platform automatically calculating the value of each employee’s individual payment based on their hourly pay or salary.
Rather than forcing small businesses and their accounting and HR teams to juggle between multiple solutions and chase after employee data, Sage Payroll centralizes employee records and automates time-consuming HR processes with ease. This helps to minimize time-wasting, manual work and human error mistakes while empowering small businesses to focus on what matters most – their people and their customers.
“For many SMBs, digital tools boost productivity and reduce cost while supporting hard-working teams to get work done more efficiently, With Sage Payroll, Canadian small business owners and accountants can now run their payroll, accounting, and HR processes from a single dashboard, making it easier to pay staff and track and manage HR information all in one place, to drive efficiencies and empower the workforce of today.”
-Steve Ryujin, VP, Small Business Segment, Sage Canada
And because Sage Payroll is integrated with Sage Accounting, business owners and their accounting staff need not worry about manually syncing payroll and accounting, saving them both time and effort. The software is also CRA Compliant and aligned with changing tax legislation.
Sage Payroll is designed to meet the administrative needs of Canadian small businesses. As a business grows from a sole proprietorship to a thriving company with hundreds of employees and performance targets, Sage can provide the right add-ons to accommodate every stage of their business growth.
Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of small and mid-sized businesses served by us, our partners and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR and payroll software to make work and money flow. By digitizing business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality and the climate crisis. Learn more at https://www.sage.com/en-ca/
FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE
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.”
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.