Visa Supports Small Businesses and Women Entrepreneurs Every Day

eSellerCafe | April 15, 2020

Small and micro-businesses are facing an unprecedented challenge in light of COVID-19. In the U.S., nearly two-thirds have temporarily closed or are planning to so in the next two weeks. Around the world, small and micro-businesses account for more than 90% of global businesses and 50-60% of global employment. Supporting these small and micro-businesses to help get our world moving again has never been more critical. Earlier this month, the Visa Foundation announced two programs totaling $210 million to support small businesses and organizations focused on women’s economic advancement and inclusive economic development. The first program of $10 million is designated for charitable organizations on the frontlines responding to the COVID-19 pandemic giving immediate emergency relief in areas such as public health and food distribution in each of the five geographic regions in which Visa operates.

Spotlight

The internet is increasingly important to the way people live their lives, and businesses need to adapt accordingly. But for small firms, working out the best way to construct an online presence can be tricky. So to help you, we’ve put together this supplement, in conjunction with our sponsor Nominet. On pages 4-5, you’ll find details on the UK internet environment and on what Nominet does, while pages 6-7 look at the reasons you really do need to be online nowadays.


Other News
BUSINESS STRATEGY

Amber Solutions Closes 2020 With Series B Funding Totaling More Than $8.5 Million

Amber Solutions | January 25, 2021

Company's advances in technology, patent portfolio, industry awards and partner discussions drive increased investor interest. DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA , Jan 25, 2021 - (ACN Newswire) - Amber Solutions, the young Silicon Valley company that is making the digital control of electricity in solid-state architecture a commercial reality, today announced that its 2020 series B funding round raised more than $8.5 million from new and existing investors, following a successful year of secured patents, partner discussions and multiple industry award wins. According to Amber Founder and CEO Thar Casey, the company's progress in 2020 is all the more remarkable given the challenges posed to the business by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns that prevented most, if not all, in person product demonstrations. "2020 presented a challenging business climate, but our commitment to revolutionize the world's building electrical infrastructure helped Amber enter 2021 with increased investment, new patents, as well as multiple industry award wins and nominations," Casey said. "Amber's progress is a sign of the accelerating demand from major electrical product manufacturers for solid-state electrification technologies and its ability to completely disrupt and transform the enormous global market for electrical products and services." In addition to securing patents related to a digital AC/DC Enabler, an AC switch, a digital method to sense ground faults, and super-efficient LED light fixtures in 2020, Amber started 2021 as a BIG Innovations 2021 Award winner, a CES 2021 Innovations Award honoree, and is currently a 2021 Edison Award nominee. Amber's core innovation is a programmable solid-state power system that has a clear path to an even-smaller silicon chip version. Amber's system controls the flow of electricity digitally, enabling unique integration of modern intelligence into building electrical products and infrastructure. The solution introduces the world to a much safer, more reliable and dramatically smarter alternative to the 1970's era electro-mechanical components that are used in nearly all modern electrical infrastructure products. "Amber's patents and innovations are rapidly driving demand for the development of intelligent solid-state based products including two-wire dimmer switches, ultra-efficient commercial LED light fixtures, smart light switches, smart outlets, smart circuit breakers, and more," Casey added. "Based on heightened industry interest, growing investments and ever-increasing energy efficiency goals around the globe, we believe 2021 will be the year solid-state electrification moves from validation to commercialization and mainstream productization." About Amber Solutions Amber Solutions is a leading developer of patented, innovative solid-state technologies for the digital control of electricity. The company's disruptive breakthroughs change the electrical landscape forever for buildings and appliances world-wide. These technologies upgrade power management from 1950's era electro-mechanical to safer, more reliable solid-state architecture with embedded intelligence. Based in Dublin, California, the company is leveraging the expertise of Silicon Valley professionals to deliver a disruptive enhancement to the value and functionality of the world's electrical endpoints and infrastructure. For more information visit www.ambersi.com.

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IMPACT

Uber and Visa Announce Grants For Growth Program, Providing $1 Million in Grants and Resources to Support Small Businesses

Uber | January 11, 2022

Uber and Visa today announced Grants for Growth, a program that will provide $1 million in grant funding to small businesses in 10 U.S. cities that are currently active on Uber Eats. The program will be administered by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Focused on restaurant recovery and entrepreneurship, the program was created to support merchants when they need it most. "We know that this year has been trying for many and that independently-owned businesses continue to face significant business challenges. From natural disasters to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber and Visa are committed to supporting SMBs, especially through unexpected events, when they may need us most." Sarfraz Maredia, VP of US and Canada Delivery at Uber Restaurants active on Uber Eats since January 1, 2022 in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Detroit, the NYC metro/New Jersey area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, and Boston are eligible to apply for the program. Grant recipients will be independently selected by LISC, using criteria to give preference to veteran, minority, women, and LGBTQIA+ business owners. For a complete list of eligibility criteria visit lisc.org/uber. "Independent restaurants are a vital and vibrant part of their communities, and the pandemic continues to impact far too many of them," said Mary Ann Reilly, SVP and Head of North America Marketing, Visa. "Together with Uber, we're proud to help give merchants the support and funding they need, now." "The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce applauds our partners at Visa and Uber for launching this important grant program. Small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, continue to struggle to survive during this pandemic and are working to overcome new challenges," said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President & CEO, USHCC. "As small businesses reopen their doors and look towards recovering, they need access to capital as well as resources and tools now more than ever before. This program comes at the perfect time." Through Grants for Growth, 100 merchants will receive grants of $10,000, which can be used toward immediate needs such as payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading payment technology infrastructure, and other immediate operational costs. In addition to financial support, selected merchants will receive placement in the Uber Eats app and disaster recovery and resiliency guides from Uber and LISC. Merchants interested in applying for the Grants for Growth program can apply at lisc.org/uber from January 17-24, 2022. About Uber Uber's mission is to create opportunity through movement. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 15 billion trips later, we're building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a platform that opens up the world to new possibilities. About Visa Inc. Visa is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating more than 215 billion payments transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories each year. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com. About LISC LISC is one the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.

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FINANCE

Slice Adds Remodeling Contractors to Small Business General Liability Insurance Coverage

Slice | April 04, 2022

Slice Labs Inc. (Slice), a technology company with the first on-demand insurance platform, announced the addition of remodeling contractors to the covered classes under the AERO Insurance brand. Agents can now quote, bind and issue for 70 different classes in 42 states + D.C. In the fall of 2021, Slice and Appalachian Underwriters partnered on the development and distribution of Contractors General Liability Insurance via the new brand AERO Insurance. Data from the first quarter of 2022 continues to show tremendous growth with 46% month-over-month growth. “With remodelers being such a large group of the contractors industry, we’re very pleased to offer coverage. Not only do we want agents to have the best digital experience, we want them to be able to have access to the widest set of coverage, including hard to place coverage.” Tim Atta, founder and CEO of Slice Labs About Slice Labs Slice Labs Inc. is building the future of insurance by enabling insurers, MGAs, and technology platforms to build intelligent and intuitive, on-demand digital insurance products via Slice’s cloud-based platform. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York City, Slice has been consistently recognized as an insurance and technology leader by industry publications, awards, and Tier 1 publications. About Appalachian Underwriters, Inc Appalachian Underwriters, Inc. (AUI) offers a leading insurance wholesale brokerage outlet for agents looking to bring their clients a broad selection of quality products. AUI is a Nationwide MGA that specializes in Workers'​ Compensation, Commercial Specialty, and Personal Lines products. The company also offers a brokerage unit that expands their product offering beyond their Managed Programs and allows them to place large specialized risks. AUI’s “one–stop” approach affords the convenience of dealing with one sales and administration staff, while gaining access to a wide range of high quality companies. Appalachian Underwriters is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acrisure.

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TECHNOLOGY

Foxquilt Launches eCommerce Insurance Product to Support Modern Small Business Owners

Foxquilt | April 20, 2022

Foxquilt, a leading North American insurtech focused on empowering small businesses with customized insurance products uniquely matched to their needs, announced the launch of a new eCommerce insurance product. Business owners will be able to secure coverage tailored to their specific needs, entirely online, on their own time and at better prices than they are used to. Foxquilt's eCommerce product is evolving insurance to meet the needs of the modern small business owner by providing an easy, all-online solution specifically designed to help new and existing e-commerce business owners quickly access insurance and fulfill compliance needs. Until now, the average eCommerce business was met with trepidation if US sales volumes were high or if they were a dropshipper who sold products from overseas. Foxquilt's new offering provides reliable coverage no matter the percent of US sales or where the products come from. Not to mention the improved affordability of this product, starting at $500 annually. The pandemic vastly accelerated the rise of eCommerce as the primary channel for shopping, and businesses have evolved to meet this new need. As such, more small businesses and entrepreneurs are turning to eCommerce and online marketplaces to meet customers where they are, changing the landscape in direct-to-consumer buying behaviors. With this shift, large eCommerce marketplaces such as Etsy, Shopify, and Amazon, now require sellers to purchase their own insurance policies. "Innovating insurance solutions for our small business customers has always been the epitome of our business at Foxquilt. That's why we're proud to introduce this new product offering to ensure that eCommerce business owners can secure insurance online and on-demand while protecting them from exposures where they trade." Mark Morissette, CEO and Co-founder of Foxquilt Foxquilt affords small business owners in over 500 professions to quote, buy and instantly receive their business insurance online. This is more efficient and cost-effective than other solutions available in the market. The company is committed to building technology that empowers small business owners, enabling them to have more control of their insurance buying experience, instead of being restricted to long wait times, extensive paperwork and a lack of autonomy. Foxquilt's business insurance products are specifically built to support business owners' entire insurance journey online, while providing a tailored, customized product. The platform is complemented by unique data and machine learning underwriting infrastructure, that suggests coverages based on a user's individual profile. As a North American insurance provider, Foxquilt is looking forward to launching the eCommerce product within the US later this year. Foxquilt also has leading partnerships and is excited to expand this roster with eCommerce marketplaces and online stores to provide top-quality coverage and a slick experience. About Foxquilt Foxquilt is a leading North American Insurance technology company focused on providing small businesses insurance. Foxquilt develops, underwrites and distributes a complete line of its own commercial insurance products in the United States and Canada. The company uses a combination of data analytics and artificial intelligence to recommend the best insurance coverage and price to meet the individual needs of its small business customers.

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Spotlight

The internet is increasingly important to the way people live their lives, and businesses need to adapt accordingly. But for small firms, working out the best way to construct an online presence can be tricky. So to help you, we’ve put together this supplement, in conjunction with our sponsor Nominet. On pages 4-5, you’ll find details on the UK internet environment and on what Nominet does, while pages 6-7 look at the reasons you really do need to be online nowadays.

Resources