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.
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.
Capital CDC | September 27, 2022
Capital CDC strives to make a difference in the communities we serve through unwavering advocacy and reinvestment in local economic development.Recently, Capital CDC donated $15,000 to WESST, a non-profit, small business development and training organization committed to growing New Mexico's economy by cultivating entrepreneurship. Since 2013, Capital CDC has provided financial donations to non-profits and economic development organizations in New Mexico totaling $124,500. Capital CDC contributes to these types of organizations annually to help grow the resources available for small businesses in New Mexico.
"We are so grateful for the generous gift we recently received from Capital CDC! Thank you for supporting WESST's transformational work with New Mexico small businesses. With this support, WESST continues providing supportive business services and access to capital for the diverse entrepreneurs who need it most. This work wouldn't be possible without partners like you!"
Katie Knipe, VP of Development at WESST.
FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE
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
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.