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Instagram introduces new feature to support small scale businesses - India Today

Instagram introduces new feature to support small scale businesses - India Today

Instagram introduces new feature to support small scale businesses - India Today

Posted: 12 May 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Instagram on Monday rolled out a new feature to help small scale businesses that are badly affected due to coronavirus lockdown. Many users noticed a new story added to the Stories feed with "Support Small" written beneath it. On tapping on stories, the users could see the names of small scale businesses around them.

Announcing the new feature on Twitter, Instagram tweeted from its official account saying, "Today we're launching a "Support Small Business" sticker in stories so you can show love to your favorite small businesses. Use it and your photo or video will be added to a shared story where friends can see which businesses you support."

So if you want to promote your favorite businesses on the platform, you can add the "Support Small Business" sticker to your story and post a story to the Stories feed. This would enable other uses to see the sticker, which will help in increasing the visibility of the company that you are promoting.

"As many stores remain closed and social media serves as an online Main Street, the shift to doing business online is more urgent than ever. We're announcing new ways for people to support and discover small businesses, along with more tools for keeping businesses informed and connected with their customers," Instagram said in a statement.

As a report published in TechCrunch, Facebook is planning to add a dedicated Business Inbox to the Messenger App to make it easier for businesses to communicate with customers.

Facebook is also introducing a new feature called the Businesses Nearby, which allow users to see the latest updates and posts by the businesses near them on the social networking platform. This feature would help users in locating the shops that providing essential items and this would also help the businesses in connecting with the customers better.

"We want to do everything we can to support small businesses right now, whether that''s building new tools to help them stay in touch with customers or giving people the power to easily show their love to businesses they care about," said Instagram COO Justin Osofsky said in a statement.

Facebook will also post COVID-19 related information on its platforms including Instagram, along with tools and tips for small scale businesses. The information can be obtained by the businesses through the Facebook app or their Instagram handles.

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the world in many ways and the small scale businesses and low-income workers have maximum challenges due to this. Tech giants like Facebook, Google are doing their best to support theme carry out their businesses in such trying times.

Ivanka Trump helps Treasury prioritize $10B funding for minority-owned small businesses - Fox Business

Posted: 28 May 2020 01:01 PM PDT

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Ivanka Trump, senior adviser to President Trump, is working closely with the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration to help allocate $10 billion in funding for minority-owned small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Payment Protection Program (PPP) funding will go toward Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which have so far received $7 billion in approved funding for 95,000 loans, the SBA announced Thursday.


"As the administration continues to assist our nation's small businesses, it is critical that we maintain a vigilant focus on assisting those that need it most – specifically those in minority, underserved and rural communities," Ivanka Trump said in a Thursday statement.

Ivanka Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a conference call with banks on efforts to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, at the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

She added that the announcement "once again delivers on the president's promise to fight for forgotten Americans everywhere and is a historic recognition of the unique needs of small businesses and the communities that they serve."


The administration has so far granted 4.4 million loans worth more than $510 billion to small U.S. businesses to help Americans get back on their feet after months of lockdowns that have led to record unemployment at 14.7 percent.

Unemployment rates among women and minority groups were higher in April. Women reached 16.2 percent unemployment, black Americans reached 16.7 and Latino/Hispanic Americans reached 18.9 percent, according to the Labor Department.

Ivanka Trump, who has spent much of her time in the White House working to support small businesses, especially during the pandemic, helped to secure more than $750 million for CDFIs and has provided additional opportunities for businesses to understand how to best spend their loans.


Her outreach to large financial companies has helped generate $1.6 billion in private-sector initiatives to help small businesses, she said in April. She also helped launch the Agriculture Department's $3 billion "Farmers to Families Food Box" program, part of the $19 billion coronavirus farmer's assistance program, which requires distributors to deliver food from smaller-scale farmers to nonprofits and faith-based groups in need.

Fish Taco restaurant workers talk to a customer, left, in front of the restaurant in Bethesda, Md., Monday, May 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

"The PPP has helped over 50 million American workers stay connected to their jobs and over 4 million small businesses get much-needed relief," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "We have received bipartisan support for dedicating these funds for CDFIs to ensure that traditionally underserved communities have every opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before."


Minority communities in the U.S. have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. An April report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that black hospitalized COVID-19 patients were overrepresented in hospitals, and deaths among black and Hispanic/Latino patients were significantly higher than deaths among white/non-Hispanic patients.

The CDC notes that health differences could be the result of differing economic and social conditions between white and minority communities.


Dillard College could be catalyst for economic recovery - Times Record News

Posted: 29 May 2020 02:06 PM PDT

Drs. Scott Manley and John Martinez Published 3:51 p.m. CT May 29, 2020


With the devastation wrought by the simultaneous oil price collapse and the economic shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wichita Falls faces a formidable challenge to rebuild its economy. Bold and innovative initiatives must be developed, implemented, and championed by civic, business, military and academic leaders alike. The Dillard College of Business Administration at MSU Texas offers services and programs that can serve as a catalyst for economic revitalization.

Center for Nonprofit Management & Leadership

Dillard College's newest center is creating a community of resources and support to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of the often-overlooked nonprofit sector. In addition to the new nonprofit minor available at MSU Texas, the center also provides training, research, consulting, and networking opportunities for nonprofits throughout the region.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

America's SBDC at MSU Texas offers three services to small business owners: consulting, research, and continuing education. Although partially funded by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), it is important to note that the SBDC is not the SBA. The SBA is charged with overseeing all things related to small businesses in the US. The SBDC is part of MSU Texas, and is staffed by local experts who understand the local economy and are able to tailor services meeting local business needs.

Another misconception about the SBDC is that the services offered are only applicable to startups or to distressed businesses. On the contrary, staff at the SBDC are well-informed on a wide variety of topics such as business and strategic planning, capital formation, marketing, staffing, record-keeping, financial analysis, and other general management issues. Consulting sessions are by appointment, and all information is kept confidential. Because the SBDC is taxpayer-funded, this high-quality consulting assistance is offered at no cost to the client.

The SBDC also offers specialized research to help business owners understand their target market's demographics and characteristics, as well as industry and economic trends. One example of such research is IBISWorld, which offers detailed reports for more than 700 different industries. Even though a single report costs $925, the SBDC provides this valuable information to its clients at no cost.

Finally, the SBDC offers a variety of no- and low-cost workshops. Topics include everything from an introduction to business ownership to multi-day events such as QuickBooks® and the veteran-focused Boots to Business workshops.

Bureau for Business and Government Research (BBGR)

The BBGR facilitates student and faculty research related to economic development in Wichita Falls and throughout the region. The BBGR actively promotes partnerships in the business and local community around contemporary economic, business, and governmental issues. In addition, faculty may be commissioned to conduct specialized and applied research such as economic impact analysis. The bureau also publishes the Midwestern Business and Economic Review.

Lalani Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

The Munir Abdul Lalani Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise not only provides curriculum for MSU students through its entrepreneurship minor program, but also assists entrepreneurial ventures throughout the region.

Perhaps the most visible program offered by the Lalani Center, i.d.e.a.WF has awarded more than $750,000 in cash and in-kind assistance to thirty different winners. Last year, those winners generated sales exceeding $10 million and provided more than 100 local jobs. In 2020, the competition has been revamped, and the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation has committed up to $250,000 in cash awards to up to five winners.

Within the MSU community, the Lalani Center promotes entrepreneurship through its i.d.e.a.MSU competition, which mirrors i.d.e.a.WF but on a smaller scale. At the grass-roots level, the Lalani Center partners with the SBDC and Texoma Community Credit Union to teach children the principles of entrepreneurship and free enterprise through the Lemonade Day program. The center engages students, faculty, and staff with real-world entrepreneurs through its monthly "Building the Job I Love" luncheon lectures. Finally, the center connects entrepreneurs seeking equity investments with investor members of the Texoma Angel Network.

Although this is not an exhaustive list of the programs and services available at the Dillard College and MSU Texas, these centers offer invaluable assistance to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and economic developers that will help us to collectively rebuild and restore the Wichita Falls economy.

Dr. Scott Manley is the Lalani Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Director of the Lalani Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise at MSU Texas, and Dr. John Martinez is Professor of Economics, MSU Texas.

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