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HPA Resource Guide During COVID-19

Over the last couple weeks, HPA has been working diligently to build a resource guide with aggregated content. As an organization, we hope to help keep you informed on the latest news with how COVID-19 is affecting our nation and the marketplace. As we all navigate this unprecedented time, we wanted to equip you with…

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Over the last couple weeks, HPA has been working diligently to build a resource guide with aggregated content. As an organization, we hope to help keep you informed on the latest news with how COVID-19 is affecting our nation and the marketplace.

As we all navigate this unprecedented time, we wanted to equip you with helpful information and important resources as it relates to your business. Check out the full resource guide below (and subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t already).

Last updated: May 4, 2020


Quick Resource Guide Links:

Business, Loan and Financial:

Operational:

State and Health:

Startup Ecosystem:

  • Chicago Proactive Response: Chicago’s leading innovation centers, 1871, mHUB and MATTER, are working together in light of the current events. They are collaborating to mobilize leaders and generate solutions within the tech ecosystem.
  • Learn more and join the fight against COVID-19 at CPR-Covid19.com.

Below outlines more detailed information on state and federal loan assistance and relief packages.

Updated SBA Loan Application

As of April 3, the U.S. Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a new loan application. Notably, the updated loan addresses the challenges of certification from the original application and has additional improvements. Further guidance on affiliation rules is still forthcoming. We will update as information is released. As of April 7, the Treasury Department and SBA updated the affiliation rules and released important guidance about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Because of the advocacy from NCVCA, this guidance provides helpful information about the obligations of venture-backed companies, improving the position of the startup ecosystem. The NVCA developed a guide to the PPP and analysis of the applicable affiliation rules.

Update: As of April 21, the Senate passed a bill providing an additional $310B in funding for PPP loans. The bill still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law by the President, but we’ll provide an update once news is shared.  

Review Fit Small Business’ list of the top SBA lenders for insight into choosing an SBA lender.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act, which was signed into law on Friday, 3/27, allocates $350B to help small businesses keep workers employed in the midst of the pandemic and economic downturn.

This initiative, known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll amid this emergency. Notably, a portion of these loans may be forgiven if companies maintain their payrolls during the time of crisis.

The CARES Act also created tax deferment and tax credit programs for payment taxes for businesses that don’t take advantage of PPP.

To learn more, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce compiled an interactive map to learn how aid can help small businesses in each state. More information will be released soon on how to apply. In the meantime, please review this guide to help you understand eligibility and prepare to apply for this loan.

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

The Small Business Administration is providing federal disaster loans with access up to $2M in capital. If you anticipate any economic impacts on your business from COVID-19, you should apply. In other words, if you foresee an inability to transact business, close new deals, produce and distribute products or services, etc.

Furthermore, these loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. Read the overview of disaster loans for more context. 

Additionally, Congress continues the process of evaluating and discussing aid packages that will set aside additional funds for SBA disaster loans. 

The SBA compiled resources and information to equip small businesses to navigate the current economic landscape. For these resources, learn more

Contact information for businesses in IL:

  • Chicago Office: 312-353-4528 
  • Springfield Branch: 217-747-8249
  • Email: Illinois.DO@sba.gov
  • Bo Steiner, District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Illinois District Office <robert.steiner@sba.gov>

COVID-19 Aid Package

On March 18, Trump signed a $100B aid package to respond to COVID-19. It primarily focuses on help for employees and individuals, including:

  • Required paid leave: The bill requires businesses with <500 employees to offer up to 2 weeks of paid sick or emergency leave for virus-related illnesses. It also includes an additional 10 days at 2/3 pay. Businesses smaller than 50 employees will likely be exempted.
  • Tax credits for paid leave: The bill gives tax credits for wages paid for employees on sick leave. It will be applied against the employer portion of Social Security tax credits.
  • Unemployment benefit changes: The bill makes it easy for states to extend unemployment benefits beyond 6 months, making layoffs more expensive.

We anticipate there could be more aid packages coming. We’ll update this resource guide as necessary.

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on 3/19 that the city of Chicago is introducing a Chicago small business resiliency loan fund. The $100M fund will provide low-interest loans of up to $50,000 to severely impacted small businesses.

To be eligible, businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Suffered more than 25% revenue decrease due to COVID-19
  • Employ fewer than 50 employees and have gross revenues of less than $3 million in 2019
  • Provide a city business address or city business license
  • No pre-existing tax liens or legal judgments

In addition, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Bank statements dating back to October 2019
  • Most recent tax return
  • Photo ID (CityKey will be accepted)

Breakdown: Coronavirus Tax Breaks for US Citizens

The Accounting Institute for Success developed a helpful resource that highlights the new deadlines and provides a state-by-state breakdown of the updates for tax breaks. Additionally, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) assembled a large document of information, including each state’s department of revenue, which will be regularly updated.

Tax Update – Delay of Federal Payment

On 3/17, the IRS issued guidance regarding a tax-payment delay. Per Notice 2020-17, individuals, estates and trusts can defer up to one million dollars of federal income tax payments until July 15. Corporations can defer up to 10 million dollars of payments. Important to note, this deferral applies to a taxpayer’s 2019 tax liability and 2020 first quarter estimated tax payment.

Note, this is not an automatic extension. Taxpayers will have to complete their returns or file an extension before April 15th filing date in order to qualify for the payment deferral. 

Many states are also deferring payment. The AICPA is updating its state guidance daily. Find details for your state here.

Honeycomb Credit Small Business Loan

Honeycomb Credit is offering community-sourced loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. In order to help deliver the working capital, Honeycomb is offering 45-day payment free periods with 6-month interest-only periods.

As a result, the company is reducing their posting, success and investor fees. Additionally, they are aiming to connect businesses with local investors as quickly as possible. These loans will be community funded via the Honeycomb crowdfunding platform. Learn more about this loan here.

U.S. Federal Reserve Programs for Economic Relief

On 3/23, the U.S. Federal Reserve shared that steps would be taken to combat against the economic disruptions. 

These plans include the establishment of new programs to issue US government-backed loans to small businesses. Additionally, there will be measures to backstop credit for households, small businesses and major employers, including lending against student and credit card loans. Stay tuned for updates because these initiatives are still being finalized.

Resource Guide Updates

We will continue to update this resource guide as we learn of additional opportunities and information. If you have information or resources to add to this resource guide, contact us. Above all, HPA is a resource for you in this stressful time filled with uncertainty.

We are closely monitoring COVID-19 and how it affects our portfolio companies, members and partners. With that said, we’re happy to put together additional resources. We are also available to discuss business needs and the state of the market, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Stay healthy,

The HPA Team

Source: https://hydeparkangels.com/hpa-resource-guide-during-covid-19/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hpa-resource-guide-during-covid-19

Private Equity

Alternative Investments: Accelerate’s Alt ETFs Now On RBC Dominion Securities A+ Platform

Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc announced this week that its alternative ETFs have been added to the RBC Dominion Securities A+ platform. RBC Dominion Securities describes the A+ as the next level of wealth management.

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Alternative Investments: Accelerate’s Alt ETFs Now On RBC Dominion Securities A+ Platform

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The A+ is for you if “you require serious investment management for your serious money.”

Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc announced this week that its alternative ETFs have been added to the RBC Dominion Securities A+ platform.

RBC Dominion Securities describes the A+ as the next level of wealth management.

For select clients with serious money, the platform provides greater convenience, customization, RBC’s Unified Managed Account technology, access to elite money managers worldwide, and tax efficiency.

Accelerate’s Alt ETFs on RBC A+

The range of alternative ETFs from Accelerate allows investors to diversify beyond stocks and bonds by including alternative asset classes in their portfolios.

The firm is known as a pioneer in institutional caliber alternative ETFs including hedge fund and private equity ETFs. It claims it is “disrupting the asset management industry by offering performance-oriented alternative investment strategies previously reserved for wealthy investors at a fee significantly lower than competitors.”

“We are pleased to be chosen by RBC Dominion Securities, a global leader in wealth management, as one of the select group of high-quality investment managers on the exclusive A+ platform for RBC Dominion Securities advisors and their clients,” said Accelerate CEO Julian Klymochko. “In an era of rock-bottom interest rates and record-high stock market volatility, we are pleased to provide investors with diversification, alternative yield, and alpha generation solutions through alternative investment strategies including absolute return, arbitrage, enhanced equity, and private equity replication.”

Selected ETFs

The alternative ETFs on the RBC Dominion Securities A+ platform include:

  • Accelerate Absolute Return Hedge Fund (TSX: HDGE) – a diversified, liquid, and performance-oriented long-short equity hedge fund
  • Accelerate Arbitrage Fund (TSX: ARB) – provides exposure to SPAC arbitrage and merger arbitrage investment strategies
  • Accelerate Enhanced Canadian Benchmark Alternative Fund (TSX: ATSX) – combines exposure to the S&P/TSX 60 plus a long-short Canadian equity overlay
  • Accelerate Private Equity Alpha Fund (TSX: ALFA) – designed to provide investors with private equity-like investment returns

Related Story:  Liquid Alt ETF Provider Accelerate Offers Ready-Made Alternative Investment Strategy                                                

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/accelerates-alt-etfs-now-on-rbc-dominion-securities-a-platform/

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Private Equity

Venture Capital: AgTech Startup Benson Hill Lands $150M

Benson Hill, an agtech startup based in St. Louis, announced Thursday its close of a $150 million Series D round led by Wheatsheaf and GV (formerly Google Ventures). It uses biotechnology and data science to enhance the nutritional qualities and sustainability of crops.

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Venture Capital: AgTech Startup Benson Hill Lands $150M

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Benson Hill uses biotechnology and data science to enhance the nutritional qualities and sustainability of crops.

Benson Hill, an agtech startup based in St. Louis, announced Thursday its close of a $150 million Series D round led by Wheatsheaf and GV (formerly Google Ventures).

The company said other strategic and ESG focused investors also participated. These included Argonautic Ventures, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Emart, GS Group, Louis Dreyfus Company, iSelect Fund, Fall Line Capital, Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, Prolog Ventures, S2G Ventures, and additional strategic and family office investors.  (FOOD navigator-USA.com)

Benson Hill technology

Benson Hill uses biotechnology, data science, and AI to enhance the nutritional qualities, flavor, and sustainability of crops and vegetables.

The firm’s “Cloud Biology” is the fusion of data, machine learning, and AI techniques with biology. Its “CropOS” is a proprietary platform that facilitates the accessibility and actionability of Cloud Biology.

The CropOs platform uses plant phenotyping, predictive breeding, and environmental modeling algorithms to better control the plant breeding process and realize these advantages:

  • Produces plants that are highly productive, highly nutritious, and better tasting
  • Better texture
  • Reduce the number of processing steps
  • Reduce the need for additives
  • Grow plants that “do more with less,” thus boosting sustainability

The company’s work so far has been concentrated around soybeans.

Its new, ultra-high-protein (UHP) soy products spiked the interest of investors. They come from a highly productive non-GMO soybean that is rich in oleic oil content.

Use of funds

Benson Hill plans the commercial launch of the first Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties in 2021, among other product launches.

It also plans to expand its team by adding top talent and continue the development of Cloud Biology and CropOS.

“As a society, we’re at a crossroads made more evident as the pandemic has revealed strengths and vulnerabilities in our food system,” said Matt Crisp, Benson Hill CEO. “Food choices that create enjoyment, make us stronger, and help preserve our environment need to be accessible to everyone, and the power of plant diversity and technology innovation can help fuel that evolution.

Related Story:   Smart Farm Technology To Take The Drudge Out of Plant Breeding

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/agtech-startup-benson-hill-lands-150m/

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Private Equity

FinTech: Alliance Data Buys BNPL Fintech Bread For $450M

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) said Thursday that it will acquire Bread and its digital platform for $450 million of which $100 will be paid through Alliance stock. The transaction would expand Alliance Data’s own digital offerings by including buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) products.

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FinTech: Alliance Data Buys BNPL Fintech Bread For $450M

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Alliance Data will pay in cash and stock for the acquisition.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) said Thursday that it will acquire Bread and its digital buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform for $450 million of which $100 will be paid through Alliance stock.

The transaction would expand Alliance Data’s own digital offerings by including BNPL products. BNPL is a major trend now that consumers have embraced the interest-free, zero-fee facility to pay in installments. Alliance is a provider of data-driven marketing, loyalty, and payment solutions. (Alliance)

Digital BNPL is particularly popular with millennials and the younger set. They prefer not to run up credit card debt and like the speed and convenience. The technology and products acquired from Bread will address this segment of the population.

Bread already has tie-ups with merchants such as online jewelry seller Noémie, the luxury watch seller Hublot and Newton Baby, the crib mattress provider.

BNPL customer experience

“Bread’s flexible, easily-integrated payment solutions, coupled with Alliance Data’s Enhanced Digital Suite, will improve the digital customer experience and support increased acquisition and checkout rates, offering the best payment product to the right consumer at pivotal moments in the customer’s online shopping journey,” Alliance said in a statement.

Alliance intends to leverage Bread’s solutions along with its own existing private label, general-purpose and commercial products.

COVID-19

Its brand partners will therefore get another advantage in the eCommerce channel, with online businesses already getting a boost from COVID-19.

“With the timing of the holiday season upon us, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, and perhaps nowhere as significantly as in financial services and payments,” said Val Greer, chief commercial officer, Alliance Data.

BNPL is now crowded with cash-rich players

Payments giant PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) announced in August that it would begin offering BNPL services, recognizing that COVID-19 had triggered a dramatic increase in their popularity.

Other players in the BNPL field include Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay, and Quadpay.

In a recent study, Tech Crunch found that PayPal had the highest retailer coverage with a presence of 65% retailers. Afterpay was a distant second at 10%, then Affirm 6%, Klarna 5%, and QuadPay 2%.

The study concluded that PayPal was primed to dominate the BNPL wars.

Related Story:   PayPal Challenges Klarna In U.K. BNPL Tussle                                                

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/alliance-data-buys-bnpl-fintech-bread-for-450m/

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