Preparing for 2020: Outlook and challenges for small businesses

Post-Bulletin | January 15, 2020

SCORE’s Acting CEO, Bridget Weston, shared her message to small businesses last week by looking back at last year and looking forward to 2020. She summarized: "By all accounts, the economy did well in 2019, and it continues to hum along at a decent pace in early 2020. GDP growth, unemployment, core inflation and manufacturing all moved in encouraging directions in 2019, and for most small businesses, that’s been good news for their bottom line. But while the economy remains strong now, our latest infographic, Small Business Outlook and Challenges for 2020, shows that growth may slow over the next couple of years.” The main take away is, How will your business prepare as you look ahead?

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FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

TriNet Announces Enrich Learn™, Tax Optimized Education Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Size Businesses

TriNet | September 15, 2022

TriNet, a leading provider of comprehensive human resources for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), today announced at TriNet PeopleForce the launch of Enrich Learn™, the newest benefit product offering from its recently launched Enrich product line. Enrich Learn will offer tax-optimized reimbursements for expenses by SMB employees to advance their education. Like the other Enrich products, Enrich Learn is a turn-key solution for benefits sponsored by the SMB. Enrich Learn will be available to all of TriNet's 23,000 SMB customers starting next month. The previously announced product releases include Enrich Access, which allows for TriNet customers to offer tax-optimized travel reimbursements for medical care, and Enrich Adopt, which offers reimbursements for expenses incurred during the adoption process."Our Enrich product line is designed to allow SMBs to make choices in benefit offerings that are right for their company. SMB leaders recognize that the benefits they offer speak to the culture that they are building," said Burton M. Goldfield, President and CEO of TriNet. "It's just one more way TriNet seeks to fulfill its mission to power the success of SMBs by supporting their growth and enabling their people." "TriNet believes that the benefits offered by the Enrich product line are essential to attract and retain the talent that many of our customers need to innovate and grow, Education is a key factor in job advancement and satisfaction, so we expect Enrich Learn to be a particularly effective way for our clients to expand their benefit offerings." Samantha Wellington, TriNet's Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Chief Legal Officer, and Secretary For all of the Enrich product offerings, TriNet will administer the benefit for the customer and manage all reimbursements and compliance requirements. For more information on this groundbreaking new product line from TriNet, please visit: Employee Benefit Plans | Comprehensive Benefits Packages | TriNet About TriNet       TriNet provides small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR solutions tailored by industry. To free SMBs from HR complexities, TriNet offers access to human capital expertise, benefits, risk mitigation and compliance, payroll, all enabled by industry leading technology capabilities. TriNet's suite of products also includes services and software-based solutions to help streamline workflows by connecting HR, Benefits, Employee Engagement, Payroll and Time & Attendance. From Main Street to Wall Street, TriNet empowers SMBs to focus on what matters most—growing their business and enabling their people.

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TECHNOLOGY

BAU Launches New and Revolutionary Mobile App to Help Small Businesses Promote Themselves

BAU | November 21, 2022

BAU has launched a new mobile app designed to help small businesses advertise themselves through super-charged word-of-mouth for our digital age. Imagine a construction contractor attracting new clients by reaching the audience of a nearby real estate broker, or a coffee shop partnering with a nearby bagel business and getting its ads shown directly to their viewership. BAU lets you take advantage of industries that naturally appeal to consumers together in order to reach the right buyers and send the right message. Most business owners use Google, Meta, Yelp and other platforms as expensive but necessary tools to reach target audiences online ... but it doesn't have to be that way. BAU has created an opportunity to connect with the exact type of complementary businesses that have access to desired customers, attracting attention, sales, and clicks from the right prospects. "This is a 'dating' platform for everyone to build better relationships with small businesses nearby," BAU CEO Lambert Egbuchulam. The new BAU mobile app offers: BETTER TARGETING Let's face it: most ads are misplaced annoyances that people can't wait to skip. Advertisements on BAU get seen by your specific target audience, meaning better results with no exposures wasted on people you don't want to appeal to. LOWER PRICES Digital advertising is like the housing market—prices just keep barreling upwards, driven by competition. With BAU, you could save a fraction of what you would on a monthly ad budget compared to what you'd waste on "the big guys," increasing R.O.I. and making advertising a no-brainer. COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY BAU compiles straightforward, up-to-the-minute reports with results that let you know how your ads are doing at a glance. Update, suspend, or alter your campaign at any time. SIMPLIFIED MANAGEMENT No tech stuff, no setup wizards, no degree in computer science needed. We built BAU to be simple enough for Grandma to use, without all the jargon and learning curve. LOCAL BAU is all about symbiotic relationships within your local community. Not only do people like to buy where they live, but it also makes it more cost-effective and seamless for you, the business owner. ABOUT BAU At BAU, we believe it shouldn't be about who has the biggest ad budget or most genius marketing team —we dream of a world where needs are met and businesses are built based on honest, local collaboration. By connecting local businesses and having them help advertise each other, we're inspiring commerce to be more simple, more honest, and more clear. We consider our business model to be super-charged word-of-mouth, updated and revolutionized for our digital age. We invite you to join us on our crusade to bring the power back to the small businesses as we create marketing opportunities that don't just create profits... they also empower people.

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FINANCE, BUSINESS STRATEGY

Counterpart Launches AI-Powered Crime Coverage For Small Businesses Backed by Aspen Insurance

Counterpart | September 16, 2022

Counterpart, the AI-driven management liability insurtech for small businesses, today announced the launch of Crime insurance. The policy can be purchased on a standalone basis or packaged with its existing Directors & Officers, Employment Practices, and Fiduciary insurance lines. Backed by Aspen, the Crime insurance expansion reinforces Counterpart’s commitment to using its cutting-edge technology to address critical exposures of small businesses.Employee theft costs businesses $50 billion annually, and costs are rising at a rate of 15% per year, according to the U.S Department of Commerce. The new offering helps identify employee theft and social engineering perils by utilizing Counterpart’s proprietary machine learning-based underwriting system, which includes employee sentiment analysis, as well as proactive risk mitigation guidelines. “Small businesses often lack the internal auditing and risk management capabilities of larger businesses, which can make them more susceptible to Crime risk. Our extensive underwriting experience, proprietary data infrastructure, and increased market presence have enabled us to craft a Crime product that complements our existing insurance lines,We are grateful for the continued support of the well-respected team at Aspen, along with many of our broker partners, who have helped us develop a very competitive product.” Mike Levins, Head of Insurance at Counterpart Crime insurance is available for small businesses with less than 250 employees and less than $100 million in revenue and total assets through Counterpart’s wholesale broker partners. “Counterpart continues to impress CRC Group and the brokerage community with its effective and efficient quoting and binding tools. Now, with their Crime capabilities, we can rely on Counterpart as a one-stop shop for comprehensive management liability coverage for our valued Insureds,” said Dan Lazarz, Director, CRC - ExecPro Group. “Counterpart has established an impressive track record of innovation,” said Zac Clammer, Executive Vice President, Management Liability at Aspen. “We are pleased to continue developing our partnerships with Counterpart across the growing portfolio of excess and primary small business insurance products that we are bringing to market.” Small businesses should contact their broker about Counterpart insurance coverage and can learn more about Counterpart’s products and services by visiting: yourcounterpart.com About Counterpart Counterpart is an AI-driven management liability insurance solution for the 21st century workplace. The company offers modern Directors & Officers, Employment Practices, Excess and Fiduciary products for small businesses. Through data mining and advanced analytics, the company's rating systems measure risk more efficiently while requiring less information from the broker and applicant. Counterpart’s distinctive approach to underwriting is complemented by a suite of products and services that help brokers and insureds proactively manage exposures throughout the term of the policy. For more information, visit yourcounterpart.com About Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited Aspen provides insurance and reinsurance coverage to clients in various domestic and global markets through wholly-owned subsidiaries and offices in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For the year ended December 31, 2021, Aspen reported $13.8 billion in total assets, $7.6 billion in gross reserves, $2.8 billion in total shareholders’ equity, and $3.9 billion in gross written premiums. Aspen's operating subsidiaries have been assigned a rating of “A-” (Strong) by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and an “A” (“Excellent”) by A.M. Best Company Inc.

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TECHNOLOGY, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

CyberCatch and Arizona Small Business Association Announce Partnership to Help Small Businesses in Arizona Mitigate Cyber Risk

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. About CyberCatch 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:

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Spotlight

A Tweet is a powerful tool. Every week billions of Tweets flow through Twitter about every imaginable subject. A wide variety of people, organizations, businesses - big and small, local and international - all use Twitter to make their presence known.

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