Mastercard Pledges $250M In Help For Small Businesses

PYMNTS.com: | April 08, 2020

Recognizing that Main Street is being hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Mastercard committed $250 million over the next five years to support small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a press release. The announcement came during the virtual America CARES Small Business Relief event hosted at the White House on Tuesday afternoon (April 7). The New York-based credit issuer pledged to help defend businesses and their employees through free cyber vulnerability assessments and identity theft protection for the 28 million SMBs eligible to participate in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). When our small businesses suffer, our nation suffers, so it is incumbent upon all to ensure that we’re supporting the businesses who are the lifeblood of our economy and pillars of our communities,” said Mastercard President Michael Miebach in the release.

Spotlight

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of more than 600 organizations dedicated to the mission of building and protecting wealth in America’s underserved communities. For more than 20 years, we’ve advocated to ensure vibrant communities for America’s working families by actively promoting access to basic banking services and products, homeownership and the development of affordable rental housing, local business growth, workforce training, and strong consumer protections in the financial sector. To learn more about NCRC, visit our website at www.ncrc.org.


Other News
FINANCE

Wells Fargo Introduces Small Businesses to Alternative Options for Financing and Technical Assistance

Wells Fargo | April 25, 2022

Today, Wells Fargo announces the Small Business Resource Navigator, an online portal helping connect small business owners to potential financing options and technical assistance through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country. The portal was launched in collaboration with the non-profit Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, and was made possible by the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund. By visiting www.bizresourcenavigator.com and completing a short questionnaire, small businesses may be connected to CDFIs or business advisory resources in their area. “As the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, small businesses continue to need our help. We see a lot of value in supporting a resource like this to help small businesses connect to as many options as possible. The Small Business Resource Navigator connects small business owners to potential capital assistance provided by a CDFI who could help meet their needs, and serves as a major time saver for busy entrepreneurs allowing them to stay focused on their business.” Derek Ellington, head of Small Business at Wells Fargo Since 2015, Wells Fargo has provided more than $500 million in philanthropic grants and investments to CDFIs that help underserved small businesses. Ellington added, “We’ve long understood the impact of CDFIs. They are an important part of our financial ecosystem embedded in communities across America providing small businesses in need with capital and other assistance they may not otherwise qualify for through traditional financing. We are proud to expand our support of the work CDFIs do by helping route small businesses to these vital organizations for lending, technical assistance and support.” "Wells Fargo has been dedicated to helping small businesses for many years, but in particular, getting them through the current environment,” says Patrick Davis, SVP of Strategy with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA. "This support is extremely timely as it helps connect small businesses with CDFIs who can potentially provide them access to funding and resources that will help owners get back on their feet. CDFIs are an important part of the financial ecosystem and play a critical role in deploying capital to small businesses with a history of underrepresentation, and it's great to see that Wells Fargo is so committed to the success of small business across the U.S.” In 2020, Wells Fargo announced the Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million small business relief effort focused on small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19, including Black, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, women and many others. Grants were awarded to more than 235 CDFIs and nonprofits serving small businesses across the U.S. The Open for Business Fund is estimated to serve more than 152,000 small businesses and preserve or create more than 255,000 jobs. Roughly 85% of small businesses served by Open for Business Fund grantees are projected to reach racially and ethnically diverse entrepreneurs. Ann Finnegan, president of NDC Community Impact Loan Fund, an Open for Business Fund grant recipient and participating CDFI on the Small Business Resource Navigator network says, “We are excited for the opportunity to connect with more small businesses in need. This platform is an important tool to support our lending mission to minority and women-owned small businesses and non-profits.” About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is a leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 on Fortune’s 2021 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy.

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IMPACT

Bubblr, Inc Launches Community App Based Licensing Opportunity

Bubblr Inc. | December 22, 2021

Bubblr Inc., an ethical technology company focused on the development of Open Source 3.0 tools for the advancement of a better Internet, today announces another licensing for their Open Source Platform. Two weeks ago, Bubblr announced their first licensing agreement with media company UFF (Ultimate Football Fan). UFF and AFTV (Arsenal Football TV). Now Bubblr is adding the community app-based licensing opportunity as an entirely different marketing channel geared towards helping local communities. Utilizing Bubblr, Inc's open source app templates, a city or a town can build their own community app as a platform for local businesses. Many small businesses already subscribe to single-purpose app platforms. Example market sectors dominated by single-purpose apps include fast-food, hotels/accommodation, restaurants, trades-people and ticketing. These single-purpose apps are typically very costly for small businesses, often involving significant monthly subscriptions combined with a percentage of any sales generated through the apps. The Bubblr open-source app templates make it easy for towns and cities to build multi-purpose community apps for any market sector quickly. Initially, these community apps will operate on a freemium model. Eventually, local businesses will be charged a low-cost monthly subscription fee to be listed on the community app. The community will retain most of the revenue generated by these community apps, with Bubblr, Inc. charging a license fee. These community apps will provide a much needed new revenue source for hard-pressed local services. Bubblr, Inc. are already in negotiation with several candidate towns/cities to become the candidate for their own community app. Bubblr expects to make an announcement for its first community app licensee in January 2022. "All of the back-end development work to provide these community apps has already been completed. We are already in the process of building the open-source community app templates that will be completed by March 2022. From a business point of view, it is a win for all parties involved. Local businesses get a new low-cost marketing channel. Local communities get a new revenue source. Bubblr, Inc. does not have to pick up the high cost of acquisition of the local businesses or local app users." Bubblr, Inc.'s Chief Technology Officer Steve Morris About Bubblr, Inc. Bubblr, Inc. is an ethical technology company focused on mobile-first technology that aims to bring back privacy to users, trust in online content, and sustainability to the digital marketplace. Our mission is to empower developers to join in our commitment to improve the Internet and create a new Ethical Internet Ecosystem (EIE) by leveraging our intellectual property through our open-source platform advanced digital tools that enable the building of fair-forward digital solutions.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

IRI and HRB Brands Partner to Drive Category Growth providing support for support for small- to midsize brands

IRI | December 16, 2021

IRI®, a fast-growing, global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and media companies, today announced HRB Brands LLC (HRB) is utilizing IRI’s deep category segmentation and demographic profiles to guide its path forward for both its legacy brands and newly acquired personal care brands purchased from Helen of Troy in June 2021. “Our success leans heavily on the insights and tools IRI provides. We are the David among the giants in our categories. IRI helps us compete day in and day out within established segments and channels as well as in new ‘whitespace’ opportunities we’ve discovered,” said Jim Daniels, chief executive officer for HRB Brands. “HRB Brands is on a significant growth trajectory with our retailers. Consumer and economic trends are in our favor, and with IRI’s help we expect to reach our goals faster than was possible before.” Through the partnership, HRB Brands has utilized IRI’s Unify® visualization platform, which brings together multiple, disparate data sources to identify emerging market trends and opportunities. Unify offers a single access point to all IRI Liquid Data® solutions, which aggregate and visualize point-of-sale and de-identified consumer panel data to provide a holistic view of consumer trends and purchase behavior in real time. “IRI’s shopper insights solutions have enabled HRB Brands and other mid-market retailers and manufacturers to develop a deeper understanding of their consumers. By gaining new insights into demographics, segmentation and purchase behaviors, IRI has helped HRB Brands successfully identify opportunities to drive innovation to best connect its portfolio of brands with the varying needs of consumers.” Robert Porod, executive vice president of Mid-Market National for IRI About High Ridge Brands LLC HRB Brands is one of the largest independent branded personal care companies in North America. HRB Brands holds leading market positions in the hair care and skin cleansing categories with iconic brands including ZEST®, VO5®, COAST®, Rave® SGX NYC®, THICKER FULLER HAIR®, Zero Frizz® and LA LOOKS®. HRB Brands is a portfolio company of Tengram Capital Partners. About IRI IRI is a fast-growing, leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organizations, retailers, and financial services and media companies grow their businesses. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated into an on-demand, cloud-based technology platform, IRI is empowering the personalization revolution, helping to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers, collaborate with key constituents and deliver market-leading growth. About IRI’s Mid-Market Growth Practice The Mid-Market Growth Practice of IRI provides high-tech and high-touch support for small- to midsize manufacturers. Regardless of company size, IRI has a data solution that drives understanding and growth. Companies benefit from access to all the same tested and proven solutions offered to IRI global partners, enabling companies of all sizes to democratize data, streamline analytics and, ultimately, win in the marketplace.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

SetSchedule Announces New Innovative App Tools for Small Businesses

SetSchedule | December 18, 2021

SetSchedule, a technology company that has had great success in the real estate business development space, is releasing an update to its app. This update will add onto the app’s current features, and is set to be a place where entrepreneurs and solopreneurs can network, market their business, and collaborate on projects with other professionals from any industry. “I’m extremely excited to challenge and disrupt an industry of social networks that produce a lot of garbage content and non valuable connections for professionals. Tie that with the newly created software as a service tools, I believe SetSchedule is positioned to grow very fast and support solopreneurs in a totally new innovative way." CEO Roy Dekel, SetSchedule Features such as “Ask the Pro” allows users to ask questions geared towards certain professions to connect qualified professionals. By having users select areas of professional expertise this will connect users with experts that are outside of their personal network. The “Broadcast” feature is meant for users to conduct digital marketing locally by selecting a geographic area and geo targeted location, connecting solopreneurs with their target audience.. The Irvine based company has experienced rapid growth, going from under 50 to over 200 employees, winning numerous awards, and has been featured on the INC 5000 for three consecutive years. About SetSchedule: SetSchedule is an American technology company which disrupts the real estate industry by leveraging SAAS and consumer cloud communication products, artificial intelligence, and autonomous business flow applications to eliminate the struggle behind establishing a connection. SetSchedule's goal is to innovate the real estate industry with cutting-edge tools that allow for better connections, easier communication and stronger relationships between consumers and their local experts.

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Spotlight

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of more than 600 organizations dedicated to the mission of building and protecting wealth in America’s underserved communities. For more than 20 years, we’ve advocated to ensure vibrant communities for America’s working families by actively promoting access to basic banking services and products, homeownership and the development of affordable rental housing, local business growth, workforce training, and strong consumer protections in the financial sector. To learn more about NCRC, visit our website at www.ncrc.org.

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