SBA Seeks Comments for Proposed Rule Allowing Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Access to Surplus Federal Personal Property

PR Newswire | January 21, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking comments on a proposed rule that would allow veteran-owned small businesses, including companies located in Puerto Rico and disaster areas, access to property no longer needed by the federal government. The Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program, managed by the U.S. General Services Administration, enables nonfederal organizations to obtain excess property the government no longer uses.  Surplus property would include computers, office equipment, tools, vehicles, heavy construction equipment, and any property except land or other real property.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Outreach Team Selected to Support Local Small Businesses

Community Business Connector | October 07, 2022

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Port of Seattle, and King County announced today that seven community organizations would serve local small businesses through the Community Business Connector (CBC) program These organizations, identified as Connectors, will serve small businesses in five geographic hubs in King County through a targeted outreach program. Connectors will provide access to available business resources to help them sustain and grow their enterprises. A review panel selected the Connector finalist following a competitive application process. Seven connectors, in the first phase of this pilot program, will ease the way for small businesses across King County to connect with advisors and access resources for business recovery. Connectors will receive a one-time funding award from $30,000 to $40,000 over 12 months as part of the pilot program. Those selected include the following. Lake City Collective OneEastside Spark Growing Contigo, LLC International Rescue Committee Indian American Community Services Kent Chamber of Commerce SnoValley Chamber The Chamber's team of Connectors utilizes an online ticket system to connect with business owners directly. Connectors provide referral options to lenders, small business development centers, and other helpful resources. The Port of Seattle invested $650,000 in community-based partnerships to open doors for ethnic businesses that anchor our communities and neighborhoods, Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. "Helping small companies tap resources is vital as the region grows amid uncertain economic conditions locally and globally. Connectors will make the region's small business support ecosystem more accommodating and inclusive by building relationships with businesses facing challenges due to linguistic, cultural, and geographic barriers. "Companies owned by people of color, and those based in rural communities have faced higher barriers to accessing capital, receiving state and local relief funding, and pivoting to online sales ,We are committing $500,000 from King County COVID-19 Local Recovery Funds to ensure that small businesses throughout King County can get the direct support and resources they need " Seattle Metro Chamber CEO Rachel Smith

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

American Express and TikTok Launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator to Help Small Businesses Reach New Audiences on Small Business Saturday

American Express | November 15, 2022

American Express today announced that it has partnered with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator, a new program to help small business owners reach a new generation of shoppers on Small Business Saturday, which is on November 26, 2022, and runs throughout the holiday shopping season. The partnership with TikTok builds on the ongoing support American Express provides small businesses year-round and its goal to drive $100 billion in reported consumer spending at small businesses from 2021 through 2025. Starting November 14, the #ShopSmall Accelerator will include an offer for eligible small business owners to earn a $100 TikTok advertising credit*. In addition, small business owners will be given access to tools and resources to think like TikTok creators, including a tutorial at AmericanExpress.com/ShopSmallAccelerator on how their businesses can stand out on the platform. Lifestyle creators Anna Sitar @annaxsitar and Sofia Bella @iamsofiabella, along with small business owner Brandon Blackwood @brandonblackwoodnyc, will teach small business owners how to use TikTok as a search engine; leverage sounds, trends, hashtags and communities; and how to drive engagement with users. To help small businesses get discovered by new audiences, American Express has also partnered with musical artist Chlöe Bailey @chloebaileywashere to create a “Shop Small Soundtrack,” which TikTok users can add to their content. “The #ShopSmall Accelerator will help give small merchants the tools they need to reach the next generation of consumers on TikTok, where our Shop Small Impact Study found that 67% of Gen Z users have shopped from a small business that was displayed on their For You Page ,Shopping small has a significant impact on helping local communities, with two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses staying within the local community. Last year, consumers reported spending more than $23B shopping small on Small Business Saturday, and we want to exceed that in 2022.” Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express "More and more American small businesses are turning to TikTok to take us inside their world in a fun authentic way, and as a result, they are reaching new customers, hiring more employees and growing their business. The real world impact is undeniable, with 44% of TikTok users saying that they discovered something on the platform and immediately went out to buy it, according to our Global Retail Path To Purchase Study," said Sofia Hernandez, Global Head of Business Marketing for TikTok. "This holiday season, the TikTok community is ready to #ShopSmall and support small businesses. Based on data in the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the US.2 The study also found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the US stays in the local community and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services. 63% of small business owners said they want to grow their Gen Z and Millennial customer base this holiday season, and 50% agreed that Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever for their business this holiday shopping season. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 to help small businesses and communities thrive. Since then, it has turned into a nationwide Shop Small movement that is celebrated annually and is critical for small businesses during the holiday shopping season. American Express provides ongoing support to small businesses year-round through the Shop Small Resource Hub where small business owners have access to complimentary marketing supplies and resources; Amex Offers for Merchants for services ranging from technology to shipping solutions; a new, dedicated Small Business Saturday page from Business Class, featuring insights, tips, and inspiration; and more. U.S. consumers can find American Express accepting independent retailers across the nation through the Shop Small Map and Card Members can access special Amex Offers from Small Merchants on the Shop Small Offer Hub here. ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.

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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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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Wrapmate makes it easier for franchises to brand their vehicles

Wrapmate | September 29, 2022

Wrapmate is excited to announce that it's bringing its vast network of over 1,400 vehicle graphics professionals to franchisors nationwide in an all-new product offering for franchises to receive vehicle wraps for all their company vehicles across all U.S. markets. Now, franchisors nationwide can wrap anywhere from one to 10,000 vehicles quickly and efficiently, in every major market.Wrapmate's Franchise Wraps and Graphics Program meets franchises where they're at with an out-of-the-box solution to handle all things graphics. Entrepreneurs enter the franchise business with the expectations of marketing and operations already being pre-set and on autopilot. Franchises can now have their mind at ease knowing that wrapping franchisee vehicles is just as easy. The core components of Wrapmate's turnkey program provides all U.S.-based franchisors with flexible pricing, branding consistency, standardized logistics and nationwide installation coverage for wraps & graphics on any vehicle type or quantity. Wrapmate's flexible pricing structure ensures zero costs are charged to the corporate entity, including no setup costs or monthly management fees. Franchisors are simply responsible for sharing the vehicle graphics program to their franchisees, and Wrapmate handles everything else. Franchisors not only benefit from beautiful vehicle branding and endless marketing value, but a promising strategy for fueling additional growth across current and new franchisee markets. Included in the program comes a ready-to-use ordering platform where franchisees can visit a co-branded website to choose their vehicle, graphic size, creative theme and then instantly place an order for new vehicle graphics. Wrapmate can also facilitate other large format printing and installation like window signage, wall murals and floor graphics at any or all franchisee locations. "We are beyond excited to provide franchisors across all U.S. markets with the effortless ability to offer wraps and graphic products to their franchisees, no matter where they are located, Thanks to Wrapmate's logistical prowess behind-the-scenes, we can ensure color consistency, branding perfection and flawless installation across every single franchisee's wrap project." Javier Lozano Jr., Chief Marketing Officer of Wrapmate Jeremy Seiley, a franchisee of That 1 Painter based in Houston, Texas, says, Working with Wrapmate to put wraps on both my franchise vehicles has been incredibly simple and streamlined. Since getting my wraps completed, I literally have potential customers approaching my vehicles on a daily basis asking for price quotes and it's grown my sales pipeline substantially. Franchisees, in many cases small business owners, are generally not familiar with how onsite and offsite graphics have a very positive impact on the business growth, nor do they know where to go to get these solutions. A one stop shop for graphics, facilitates the adoption of 3M trusted graphic solutions in this market segment, hence continuing to grow the overall graphics industry, shares Carolina Bautista-Brown, 3M Segment Marketing Senior Manager. About Wrapmate Wrapmate is an all-in-one digital platform for business owners and consumers to get their vehicle wraps & graphics projects designed, produced and installed in any city across the U.S. Utilizing Wrapmate's advanced technologies, customers can visualize, purchase and even finance their vehicle graphics in the simplest way possible. Additionally, Wrapmate supports a nationwide network of over 1,400 vetted graphic professionals known as Wrapmate Pros, providing them with local customer projects and solutions to grow their business. To learn more, visit wrapmate.com. About 3M 3M believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what's possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities, and planet. Learn how we're working to improve lives and make what's

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