Small Business Hiring Trends Upward in October 2021 OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

Small Business Hiring Trends Upward in October

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index signaled continued positive momentum for the labor market

CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (“SBEI”) reported a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.07% in October, which is a significant jump from the mildly positive report in September. The CBIZ SBEI tracks payroll and hiring trends for over 3,700 companies that have 300 or fewer employees, providing broad insight into small business trends.

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“The increase in hiring reported in October is probably the result of a few contributing factors,” said Philip Noftsinger, Executive Vice President, CBIZ, Inc. “Continued decreases of COVID-19 cases are likely contributing to more people returning to work, all enhanced unemployment benefits have expired and businesses under 100 employees are unaffected by the federal vaccine mandates.”

The ADP and Moody’s employment report indicated growth in hiring among small-, medium- and large-sized companies. Its October reading showed an overall increase of 571,000 private-sector jobs for the month, only a slight increase over the September report. Small businesses accounted for 115,000 of those new jobs on a seasonally adjusted, month-over-month basis. The ADP and Moody’s report counts small businesses as companies with 49 or fewer employees, while the CBIZ SBEI uses data from companies with 300 employees or fewer.

The CBIZ SBEI reported robust hiring in the West (2.09%) region for the second consecutive month, likely driven by its delayed economic reopening following the delta variant’s impact on the region. The Central (0.61%) region showed little change while still seeing positive growth. The Southeast (1.49%) and the Northeast (1.35%) both reported hiring increases.

On an industry level, the most notable increases were seen in Accommodations and Food Services, Construction, Retail, and Transportation. Non-profit, Professional Services, and Wholesale Distribution saw decreases in hiring.

“The vaccine mandates will likely continue to be a variable in hiring trends,” added Noftsinger. “As we approach the busy holiday shopping and travel season, the hope is that the growth momentum continues.”

To view an infographic with data from the employment index, visit the CBIZ website.

Additional takeaways from the October SBEI include:

October’s snapshot: 25% of companies in the index expanded employment, 53% made no change to their headcounts and 22% reduced staffing.

Industries at a glance: Hiring gains were seen in Accommodations and Food Services, Construction, Retail, and Transportation. Meanwhile, declines were reported in Non-profit, Professional Services, and Wholesale Distribution.

Geographical hiring: The Central (0.61%), Northeast (1.35%), Southeast (1.49%) and West (2.09%) regions all experienced hiring increases.

What’s next? Small businesses are continuing to grow as the economy rebounds to pre-pandemic levels. Vaccine mandates may play a continued role in labor trends.

The October CBIZ SBEI data follows the Q3 2021 release of the CBIZ Main Street Index, which surveyed nearly 2,000 businesses throughout the U.S. on their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.* The data reveals that tax policy, supply chain issues and inflation are all leading concerns for small business owners. Additionally, 52.8% of respondents reported staffing shortages as a top concern, which was even higher than the percentage reported in Q2. Please see the CBIZ Main Street Index webpage for an interactive infographic with additional data.

*Note: Not all of those surveyed in the CBIZ Main Street Index are clients of CBIZ.

Editor’s note:

(1) The SBEI illustration is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on our work at

Follow CBIZ on Twitter at @CBZ or on Facebook.

About CBIZ

CBIZ, Inc. is a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services to businesses throughout the United States. Financial services include accounting, tax, government health care consulting, transaction advisory, risk advisory, and valuation services. Insurance services include employee benefits consulting, retirement plan consulting, property and casualty insurance, payroll, and human capital consulting. With more than 100 Company offices in 31 states, CBIZ is one of the largest accounting and insurance brokerage providers in the U.S. For more information, visit



Kara Lester

Gregory FCA for CBIZ

Cross River and TechUnited Join Forces Propel Entrepreneurs and Empower More Small Businesses OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual

Cross River and TechUnited Join Forces to Propel Entrepreneurs and Empower More Small Businesses in New Jersey

Cross River and TechUnited launch Women & Minority Business Owners Mentorship Cohort

Cross River is investing in its backyard by continuing to cultivate the NJ ecosystem through job creation, community partnerships and empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs

FORT LEE, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cross River Bank (“Cross River”), a technology-driven financial services organization that provides core infrastructure and embedded financial solutions and TechUnited:NJ, a membership-driven, non-profit organization that offers opportunities for tech-enabled companies and entrepreneurs to collaborate, today announced a groundbreaking partnership to propel the future of New Jersey by increasing support for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the state, particularly by providing additional resources to women and minority business owners.

“Our success at Cross River is emblematic of the growth of the New Jersey technology ecosystem, and we are humbled to play a part in cultivating, hiring, and investing in our backyard,” said Phil Goldfeder, SVP of Global Public Affairs at Cross River. “As one of the largest lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), we safely and securely supported the smallest businesses who needed access to capital and this partnership with TechUnited demonstrates our continued commitment to our mission of serving the smallest businesses and entrepreneurs leading the next generation.”

As said by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in his welcome remarks at Propelify Innovation Festival: “This event reflects and amplifies the innovative spirit to which New Jersey is responding to a multitude of major challenges. As entrepreneurs and innovators, you continue to reinvent the industry and are critical to the New Jersey economy. Supporting women and minority small businesses through mentorship programs with Cross River… will both transform our state and maintain our commitment to creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey for every family.”

Cross River merges the forward-thinking offerings of a technology company with the established expertise of a bank, while maintaining a strong focus on regulatory compliance and consumer protection. As a New Jersey state-chartered community bank, Cross River has demonstrated firsthand how the state’s structure and support has played an integral role in propelling economic advancement, innovation, and increased investment opportunities. Cross River and TechUnited have been community partners for years, but this partnership is the first of its kind, encompassing a Women & Minority Business Owners Mentorship Cohort, resources for startups and emerging investors, community events, thought leadership and more to propel the greater New Jersey technology and business ecosystems.

The specialized mentorship cohort focuses on providing underrepresented founders and owners with new advantages, resources, and information. The cohort will provide mentorship from executives at Cross River, Amazon, RSM, Deloitte, EY, and more. Within the business community, where startups and small businesses are faced with immeasurable challenges, mentorship, guidance, and community visibility are crucial to provide lasting support. Beyond the 1:1 mentorship, the program also provided four cohort members with grants, subsidized by Cross River, to enable them to present at the Propelify Innovation Festival, on October 6, 2021 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

“Leveraging the TechUnited community and board, as well as our massive annual festival, Propelify, to truly support women and minority founders via this mentorship cohort is critical to the region’s success,” said Aaron Price, CEO of TechUnited. “For entrepreneurs who want to build their companies faster and smarter, this program is for you. We encourage anyone looking for guidance to ensure their business thrives to apply.”

In September of 2021, coming off the success of its 2020-2021 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Cross River launched Making Waves with Cross River, a campaign dedicated to small businesses and entrepreneurs. The campaign is specifically focused on supporting diverse small businesses who are serving their communities and creating jobs and encompasses a number of initiatives in conjunction with community partners including grant programs and small business support.

To learn more, and to get involved, please visit

About Cross River

Cross River is a fast-growing financial services organization that merges the forward-thinking offerings of a technology company with the established expertise and traditional services of a bank. Since its founding in 2008, Cross River has developed strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, marketplace lenders and payment providers, while maintaining a strong focus on regulatory compliance and consumer protection. Cross River provides a highly secure, API-based banking platform and comprehensive suite of products encompassing lending, payments, risk management and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings to deliver responsible financial solutions that empower businesses and consumers anytime, anywhere. Cross River Bank is a New Jersey state-chartered FDIC insured bank. For more information, please visit Cross River’s website at or Twitter @crossriverbank.

About TechUnited

TechUnited:NJ ( is a membership-driven, non-profit organization with over 500,000 innovator members that offers opportunities for tech-enabled companies and entrepreneurs to propel the future of New Jersey and beyond through events, mentorship, content creation, and more. Founded in 1996 as the NJ Technology Council (NJTC), the organization has established itself as the premiere advocate for the technology community in the region. In 2005, the NJTC helped start a successful venture fund in Tech Council Ventures. In 2019, the NJTC acquired the Propelify Innovation Festival to cast a wider net in the region’s startup community. In 2020, the organization rebranded as TechUnited:NJ and redefined its mission to empower innovators and entrepreneurs who build a better future for all.


Cross River

Eden Hoffman

Phone: 201-808-7000 x538

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Fiverr Announces Inaugural Future Collective, a Business Accelerator Fellowship for Black Entrepreneurs

Future Collective fellows to receive funding as well as access to a free 6-month training and mentorship program for startups

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fiverr, the company that is changing how the world works together, is announcing its inaugural Future Collective Fellowship Program as well as the five fellows who have been selected to receive funding, training and mentorship. Fiverr’s Future Collective was created alongside 1863 Ventures, an independent, Black-led nonprofit organization that delivers business development programs designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and equality, and maestra, a business strategy firm building a more socially conscious and equitable world. The program aims to support Black entrepreneurs that have used Fiverr’s platform to get started and are already a part of Fiverr’s growing community of small businesses.

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Research shows that Black entrepreneurs face financial hurdles not only when beginning their businesses, but as they attempt to navigate spaces that often don’t look like them and to which they have had little access historically. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that Black entrepreneurs were 10% more likely to apply for financial startup assistance than their white counterparts, yet they were 19% less likely to be approved. White entrepreneurs have an edge over their Black counterparts because, for every $100 in white family wealth, Black families hold just $5.04. That same sentiment is what drives many Black sellers on Fiverr. 54% come to the platform hoping to make a sustainable, permanent living primarily on Fiverr – more likely than their White and Latinx seller counterparts. Fiverr hopes to be a part of helping to close that gap and countless others.

“Fiverr’s purpose is to provide anyone, no matter their race, religion, background or beliefs, the opportunity to build their business, brand or dreams. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to use our platform and resources in pursuit of this purpose,” said Micha Kaufman, CEO of Fiverr. “Yes, the world has seen an outpouring of support for Black owned businesses in the past year, however, there is still so much work to be done. We are thrilled to be able to support these incredible five businesses with the funding, mentoring, and training that they deserve and can’t wait to watch them continue to grow and succeed through this program.”

The five businesses that have been selected as Fiverr’s inaugural class of Future Collective fellows are:

  • Appdrop – software for empowering non-technical teams to build mobile apps without writing a single line of code.
  • Budget Collector – provides an artificial intelligence (AI) art adviser as a mobile app. The company supports the development of private art collections as well as galleries and provides resources for potential and current art collectors.
  • De L’or Cakery – a 5-star artisan cake catering company using top notch ingredients, many imported directly from the Caribbean to provide outstanding flavors.
  • Hey Girl Hey – a social bonding game created by sisters, Seanice and Sharina Clarke, Hey Girl Hey is a card game built to foster community connections among black women, featuring unexpected and entertaining prompts and challenges.
  • Keeyahri – a luxury women’s shoe brand inspired by founder and artistic director Keya Martin’s favorite architecture around the world. Keeyahri aims to help women feel confident through unique designs.

Each of the Future Collective fellows will receive $24K in funding from Fiverr, guaranteed placement in an accelerator program organized and orchestrated by 1863 Ventures and regular mentorship and guidance from Fiverr’s senior management team. The structure of the program will consist of monthly cohort sessions, assigned online materials to review and complete coupled with regular coaching sessions. The fellows will also have access to 1863 Ventures’ weekly entrepreneur webinar sessions, allowing them to participate in sessions they find relevant to their business and growth.

“Now, more than ever, it is time to double down on our support of Black entrepreneurs. Over the past few years, roughly 20% of Black Americans have engaged in early-stage entrepreneurship, but their businesses struggle to advance along the entrepreneurial pathway,” said Melissa Bradley, Managing Director of 1863 Ventures. “If Black businesses reached economic parity with non-black businesses, their revenues would increase by approximately $5.9 trillion and create more than 19 million more jobs. 1863 Ventures is proud to be leading the charge in providing the necessary resources, capital, and programmatic support to break down barriers for Black businesses. We are excited to be working with Fiverr and maestra to make this new fellowship one of a kind and accomplish economic parity for these businesses.”

“While white adults have 13 times the wealth that Black adults do, when we compare median wealth of Black and white business owners, the median wealth gap decreases to a multiplier of three,” said De’Ara Balenger, Co-Founder of maestra. “Through this effort and more like it, we believe that we can work towards building Black generational wealth and supporting Black entrepreneurship.”

About Fiverr

Fiverr’s mission is to change how the world works together. Since 2010, the Fiverr platform has been at the forefront of the future of work connecting businesses of all sizes with skilled freelancers offering digital services in more than 500 categories, across 9 verticals including graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video and animation. In the twelve months ended June 30, 2021, 4.0 million customers bought a wide range of services from freelancers across more than 160 countries. We invite you to become part of the future of work by visiting us at, read our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Abby Forman

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Western Union Business Solutions Supports Latino Business Action Network

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#diversity–The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, today announced sponsorship support of the Latino Business Action Network by its Western Union Business Solutions unit.

The Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the purpose to strengthen the United States by improving the lives of Latinos. LBAN empowers Latino entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through research, education and national ecosystem development. LBAN collaborates with Stanford University to champion the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI).

The partnership reflects Western Union Business Solutions’ advocacy towards diversity in business and an investment towards initiatives that further this goal in the small business sector. This partnership is launched with the objective of contributing to the valuable mission set forth by LBAN. It is also an extension of a company-wide commitment to a fully inclusive work culture that reflects global communities.

“We strive to unleash the economic earning potential of Latino entrepreneurs by understanding and addressing structural impediments to scaling their businesses and by identifying and analyzing the opportunities and national economic implications represented by Latino business development,” said Jennifer Garcia, COO of LBAN. “We are excited to have the support of Western Union Business Solutions in this endeavor.”

“Western Union Business Solutions envisions a culture of global unity and boundless connection, contributing to a world where diversity is celebrated in all its forms,” said David Renta, Hedging Director at Western Union Business Solutions. “I am proud that Western Union Business Solutions has joined with the Latino Business Action Network to support its mission and support Latino businesses in the United States.”

For organizations seeking a partner to optimize cross-border payments, Western Union Business Solutions equips you with the solutions you need to send, receive, and manage international payments. Our extensive global network, spanning 200 countries/territories and 130 currencies combined with our knowledge of local markets enable you to manage international payments simply, effectively, and efficiently.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments. Western Union’s platform provides seamless cross-border flows and its leading global financial network bridges more than 200 countries and territories and over 130 currencies. We connect businesses, financial institutions, governments, and consumers through one of the world’s widest reaching networks, accessing billions of bank accounts, millions of digital wallets and cards, and over half a million retail locations. Western Union connects the world to bring boundless possibilities within reach. For more information, visit


Cristina Hoole

Western Union

Mobile: +44-(0)7766 070978

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NALCAB to Host Virtual Latino Policy Summit to Discuss Solutions for Racial Equity & Economic Recovery

US Congresswoman Maxine Waters Among Featured Speakers

SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#LatinoEconomicEngine–As the nation’s focus turns to social and economic justice and a path to recovery, NALCAB – the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders presents its 2021 Latino Economic Policy Summit: Leading America’s Recovery on Wednesday, October 6, 10AM-2PM CT. This 2nd annual summit will convene elected officials, industry experts and change makers in a virtual format to discuss issues that are critical to our country’s Latino communities, the fastest growing demographic in the US. Summit registration is free.

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The Honorable Maxine Waters (D-CA 43rd District), Chair of the US House Financial Services Committee and is considered one of the most powerful women in American politics today, will kick off the event with a keynote address about making the US economy more fair, diverse and inclusive. The summit will also feature an in-depth conversation with Councilmember Nancy Navarro (Montgomery County, MD) on breaking barriers and uplifting low-income and minority communities through local policy.

The event’s public policy panel will take a deep dive into efforts to advance federal policy that supports the drivers of US economic growth – Latinos and communities of color.

Special remarks by US Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabel Guzman, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and Thomas Saenz, MALDEF President will round out the day.

Topics of discussion include creating change through public policy, strengthening voter rights with fair representation in the redistricting process and spurring economic growth by promoting policies that advance the economic mobility of Latinos in areas such as immigration, small business, access to capital, equitable neighborhood development and more.

“The COVID 19 pandemic brought into sharp focus our nation’s inequalities in economic opportunity for Latinos, including access to capital for entrepreneurs, affordable housing instability, and wage gaps,” said Marla Bilonick, NALCAB President and CEO. “NALCAB’s Public Policy Summit will be an opportunity to explore pathways to an inclusive economic recovery and to promote policies that support the key drivers of US economic growth.”

Register for the Summit at:


The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) is the hub of a national network of more than 130 member organizations that are anchor institutions in geographically and ethnically diverse Latino communities in 40 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico. NALCAB supports our member institutions through funding, training, research and advocacy, enabling them to invest in their communities by building affordable housing, ensuring equitable neighborhood development, supporting small business growth, and providing financial counseling on issues including credit building and homeownership. As a grantmaker and US Treasury certified CDFI lender with offices in San Antonio and Washington DC, the NALCAB Network serves hundreds of thousands of low- and moderate-income people, advancing economic equity and inclusivity in the communities we serve.


NALCAB Contacts:
Sharon Garcia, Director of Communications, 210.446.4282;
Jasmine Valadez, Communications Manager, 210.502.0341;

HR News - 15Five Announces Transform an Innovative Approach to Manager Development - OutBuro LGBTQ professional entrepreneur online networking community gay lesbian bisexual transgender

15Five Announces Transform, an Innovative Approach to Manager Development

New Offering Empowers Managers to Drive Business Results and Employee Engagement

15Five RGB Full Color Lockup

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–15Five, the leading human-centered performance management platform, has launched Transform, a leadership training and coaching offering built to enable managers to simultaneously drive employee engagement and business results.

The latest addition to the full 15Five solution, Transform is a combination of customized coaching and online educational offerings designed to unlock the leadership potential of all managers. Learning the skills to connect actions to results, managers are empowered to harness the strengths and capabilities of their teams while they become better leaders.

“We know from our research that managers play a huge role in driving employee performance and engagement and attaining key business goals. This has been especially true over the last 18 months,” said Kathi Enderes, vice president of research for The Josh Bersin Company. “Developing the types of leadership capabilities needed for today’s work world takes more than traditional training. Coaching, practice, and ongoing feedback are required in order to make sustained change, and most companies have found this type of development to be prohibitively expensive. Solutions like Transform can help companies foster these next-generation leadership capabilities in a scalable and efficient way.”

Transform’s blended learning model upskills managers to become champions of better performance and engagement, and includes five essential elements:

Coaching and Development Tailored to the Individual

Transform is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but instead tailors the coaching and training to each company, their managers’ needs and specific performance challenges. Instead of a static library created for passive viewing, Transform provides dynamic and interactive coaching and resources to help companies realize their business goals.

A Dedicated In-house Team That Partners With Clients

15Five uses an in-house team to partner with the client’s organization in order to take action and move business metrics. Unlike other solutions on the market, coaching is not out-sourced to a third-party vendor with only a transactional interest in the client’s success. 15Five’s in-house team is trained, experienced and positioned to understand and help clients meet their goals.

The Primary Focus Is on Business Results

While 15Five recognizes the importance of learning outcomes, Transform’s primary intent is positively impacting a client’s higher-level business goals, including growth and customer satisfaction, while ensuring employee engagement and retention.

Real-time Practice and a Continuous Feedback Loop Foster Ongoing Improvement

Transform takes a unique approach that moves beyond passive learning through on-demand pre-recorded videos or instructor-led training. Working with a coach in real-time, managers practice the skills they have learned in the flow of their work, apply their learnings, and then receive continuous, actionable feedback on how to improve.

Solution Is Paired With Software to Further Drive Impact

15Five is the only solution to combine software with in-house, qualified expertise. Pairing Transform with 15Five’s software products enables the manager to take action and solidify behavior change and also perform insight-generating activities such as tracking and reporting. For example, Transform trains managers to develop effective Objectives and Key Results and coach their teams to complete them, which is aligned to 15Five’s Focus product—a goal setting and measurement tool.

“This was a transformative experience that helped our managers and executives understand how to leverage their own strengths to cultivate the strengths of their teams,” said Tarveen Forrester, head of people operations at Tastemade. “Our team was thoroughly engaged and came away with new insights and tools that they were able to immediately translate into action—such as giving feedback that fosters employee growth, creating efficiency through delegation, and being more assertive and confident. We found the program to be incredibly effective.”

To learn more about Transform and 15Five’s human-centered performance management platform, please visit

About 15Five

Founded in 2011, 15Five equips HR leaders to play a strategic role in their company’s growth. HR leaders use 15Five to combine engagement, performance, and OKRs on one platform so they can make insightful decisions and take strategic action. Unlike other “command and control” performance systems, 15Five uses the latest in people science to turn managers and employees into self-driven owners of performance and engagement. To further the impact of talent on company growth, 15Five also provides education, coaching, and community for HR leaders, managers, and employees. HR leaders at over 2,800 companies, including Credit Karma, Spotify, and Pendo, rely on 15Five’s software and services to make their talent a growth driver.


Marissa Goldman

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Prospr Raises $3.2 Million Series Seed to Change the Future of Frontline Work

Funding will be used to continue to disrupt frontline employee solutions and keep pace with explosive demand

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prospr, the platform revolutionizing frontline (deskless) workforce management, announced today that it has successfully completed an oversubscribed seed fundraising effort bringing in $3.2 million of fresh capital to build on current momentum. Prospr plans to use the capital to enhance its suite of offerings, expand its customer base, as well as scale infrastructure to support continued growth, following the company’s 500% revenue growth in 2021.

Known as the ‘one employee app to replace the rest’, Prospr offers businesses the opportunity to centralize employee needs like scheduling, time & attendance, real-time communication, facilities, and learning through customizable modules in a singular app. Prospr customers, on average, consolidate 4 previous softwares into one, with 50% of Prospr customers moving their frontline communication from Slack and 43% of customers migrating their intranets for employees from Google Docs.

Eric Phelan, Co-Founder and CTO, credits Prospr’s success to “the power of data with empathy-driven design” and Prospr customers agree; “Prospr has helped us make big improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of our day-to-day gym operations,” said Roger Harvey, CEO of TSI/New York Sports Clubs. “We’re able to support and connect with our employees like never before.”

The company plans to take on the world’s 2.7 billion deskless workers, which represent 80% of the global workforce. With many of the employees on the platform being hourly – without a work email or overlapping schedules – providing one platform for teams to engage is crucial. Workers in the post-pandemic labor market are also increasingly demanding schedule flexibility, real-time communication, transparency, and opportunities for recognition & growth, which Prospr provides on worker’s mobile phones.

With this raise, Prospr is poised to provide small to medium-sized business and enterprise with the most forward thinking and encompassing employee management tools, most specifically for multi-location or franchise businesses with customer facing frontline employees.

“We’re able to build better software for operators and employees because everyone on our team has been there. I’ve been an hourly worker, I’ve been a manager, and the owner/operator,” said Erika Wasser, Prospr Co-founder and CEO. “We’re a software that powers businesses with a lot of moving parts, big goals and vulnerable workforces, the success of all parties in that ecosystem is our priority and we’re excited to keep building.”

The seed financing round is led by Bonfire Ventures and is joined by Quiet Capital and Animo Ventures.


Prospr is transforming employee management as the ‘one app to replace them all’ for the success of frontline teams. Common sense solutions delivered in a mobile app that employees love; we are the future of work. Prospr offers robust real-time communication, learning & development, scheduling, shift management, task & facilities ticketing and more. Fully customizable, Prospr works for every type of team, but we shine when frontline employees are customer-facing, and quality of work and information sharing is key. Prospr is trusted by some of the country’s most recognizable brands like Dunkin’, Centerplate, NYSC, 1800-Got-Junk, and SMB’s alike. If you manage people: you have to get Prospr.

To learn more, visit

About Bonfire Ventures

Bonfire Ventures is an LA-based seed-stage venture capital firm that invests exclusively in B2B software businesses, and typically leads or co-leads a startup’s first priced round. Bonfire, with over $350M under management, backs extraordinary founders who are seeking to build world-class market leaders, and aspires to serve as those founders’ most trusted advisors. Investments include The Trade Desk (IPO), Scopely, TaxJar (acquired by Stripe), Pendo, ChowNow, Outreach, OpenPath (acquired by Motorola), Branch, Edgecast (acquired by Verizon), Boulevard, Optimize Health, Prevoty (acquired by Imperva), Inspire, Mountain Digital, EmailAge (acquired by LexisNexis), Invoca, Honk, Bitium and Orbitera (both acquired by Google), Testflight (acquired by Apple) and others. For more information visit


Tyler Williams
(347) 647-9687

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Brand Strategy Experts Explain How Tapping Into Company Culture Can Win More Customers in New Book

‘Culture Built My Brand’ is a practical road map to winning more customers by unleashing company culture.

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#B2B–Brand strategy experts, Mark Miller and Ted Vaughn, have introduced “Culture Built My Brand,” a practical guidebook for company leaders who want to learn how to unleash company culture to create an authentic and memorable brand, engage teams, drive better results, and attract a tribe of loyal customers.


Miller and Vaughn, the co-founders of Historic Agency, a brand strategy anCd innovation firm, have taken their years of experience in helping organizations leverage their company culture to build stand-out brands, and have distilled that knowledge into an easy-to-follow brand-building playbook. “Culture Built My Brand” provides practical, actional steps and customizable tools to empower leaders to tap into company culture to improve employee performance, actively engage customers, drive improved company performance, and create an authentic brand that stands out from the competition.

“So many organizations are sitting on a rocketship and don’t realize it,” Miller said. “That rocketship is their internal culture. Our goal with this book was to pass along the tools we’ve built over the years to help company leaders realize the true potential of culture and bring it to life to fuel success.”

The book, which officially releases October 19, 2021, is now available for pre-sale.

“There’s a direct correlation between company performance and culture,” Vaughn said. “We’ve seen time and time again –– when a company gets the culture piece aligned, performance skyrockets. This book details how to get there in an approachable way.”

What others had to say about “Culture Built My Brand”

“For leaders looking to nurture, change or turn around their culture, Ted and Mark’s work in ‘Culture Built My Brand’ offers practical advice, real-life examples, and a road map to align your culture with your brand.” ~ Linda Rutherford, Chief Communications Officer at Southwest Airlines.

“Brands without a thriving internal culture are zombie brands. They may not know it, but they’re dead inside. ‘Culture Built My Brand’ will teach you how to bring your organization’s culture to life in ways that fuel success and performance.” ~Jim Moriarty, Co-managing Director of Brand Citizens

“Every company has a culture, whether or not it is defined often determines the success. ‘Culture Built My Brand’ helps business leaders create a culture that is worthy of the vision they have for their company.” ~ Ryan Sisson, CEO of Moniker Group.

“The largest swing vote in a successful brand is the employees and culture behind it. ‘Culture Built My Brand’ is for leaders who want to shape that culture and empower their staff.” ~ Kyle Buckett, retired Navy Seal, executive and author

About the Authors

Mark Miller and Ted Vaughn are the co-founders of Historic Agency, a brand strategy, innovation, and design partner that helps ambitious brands do more good. Mark leads product strategy, marketing transformation, and brand at the agency, while Ted leads client transformation, and specializes in executive leadership, brand development, and strategic clarity. For more about Historic Agency, visit

Helpful Links



Beth Cochran, Wired PR
(602) 758-0750

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Bloomfire Announces Major Growth Investment from Primus Capital

Investment will accelerate Bloomfire’s growth and product innovation

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bloomfire, the leader in knowledge engagement software, today announced that Primus Capital (“Primus”) has made a significant growth equity investment in the company. Primus will partner with the Bloomfire management team to drive the company’s next phase of growth.

“Partnering with Primus on this significant investment is a real opportunity for Bloomfire to accelerate our growth and innovation while continuing the dedicated support we provide our customers,” said Mark Hammer, Bloomfire CEO. “We intend to use this funding to advance our platform to push the boundaries of what an intelligent knowledge engagement platform can do for today’s enterprise. Our success is due to the smart and efficient work of the entire Bloomfire team, as well as our deep base of enterprise and mid-market customers. By leveraging Primus’ experience with great SaaS companies, we now have the opportunity to invest in the team and look for M&A opportunities to expand our footprint.”

Aaron Davis, director of Primus, said, “Bloomfire has an industry-leading product, a strong leadership team, and a proven track record for growth. The company’s leading position in the knowledge management space, combined with this investment, will create a new growth trajectory for the business. There is significant momentum in market demand for knowledge management solutions, and we are excited about the opportunity to support the team to build on their success to date and continue to innovate in this category.”

As part of this recapitalization, Aaron Davis and Chandler Watlington of Primus Capital will join Bloomfire’s board of directors, along with Bloomfire CEO Mark Hammer.

About Bloomfire

Bloomfire is a knowledge engagement platform that enables and empowers teams to tap into their organization’s collective intelligence. Bloomfire gives organizations one centralized, searchable place to collect, find and democratize knowledge and insights. Its purpose-built knowledge solution makes it simple for brands like Burberry, Capital One, Conagra, Jackson Hewitt, Metlife and Lubrizol, to find, contribute to, and manage company knowledge so that employees have the information they need to do their jobs. For more information or to schedule a demo, visit

About Primus Capital

Primus Capital is a growth-oriented private equity firm focused on investing in leading software, healthcare and technology-enabled services companies. Primus partners with exceptional management teams to accelerate growth, improve operating performance, and increase the value of the companies in which they invest. Primus pursues buyouts, control and minority recapitalizations, secondary share purchases and expansion financings; this flexible approach enables them to engage with business owners and design tailored investment structures to meet the particular needs of the transaction. For more information, visit


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Stephen Crawford Business Exit Strategy Coach OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

An Exit Strategy is a MUST have to Grow Your Business

In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Stephen Crawford a Business Coach who focuses on the end game.  

Stephen Crawford throughout his career has been a teacher and/or coach in some manner. For the bulk of his career, he was a vocal coach helping his clients and students be pitch-perfect while performing and guiding their careers. He has owned two successful vocal studios and has clients who have gone on to reach prestigious positions.  

01:10 Stephen’s background in music and vocal coaching

07:00 How vocal coaching relates to business coaching/consulting

09:50 It’s all about mindset

10:50 Stephen provides an overview of how he works with small business owners

12:30 Stephen shares examples of what business owners have lost by not having an exit strategy when unexpected emergencies force them to close their business

15:00 Exit strategy for business growth

17:30 Document your processes – even if you are a baker, document recipes so all things are repeatable by others

19:00 Stephen shares information about the methods and their profit accelerator business survey that covers 40 areas of a business

22:50 Stephen provides a prioritized approach so that business owners can incrementally work on what is the most important and growth-oriented

25:30 In the past you may have hired a coach and didn’t get the actionable results desired. Stephen’s tools provide actionable prioritized reports and guidance.

29:00 Stephen assists professionals with their webinars, presentation, and public speaking game. We further discuss how business owners should leverage video and audio to promote their knowledge, products, and services in an informational way.

Stephen focuses on the end game of what the client is wanting to achieve and then works systematically with them to help them shift their mindset to remove the stumbling blocks that are holding them back. Stephen has taken his past and realized his skills, knowledge, passion, and expertise can help small businesses. He launched Infinite Symmetry Business Strategies as an independent small business consulting agency under a national Business Services company that provides a researched methodology to structure his consulting practice with tools and resources.    

One of those tools is a comprehensive business survey that helps Stephen and the business owner uncover underdeveloped or missing core business structures, processes, marketing channels, and key business documents. There are over 40 areas of insights in this survey and its personalized report. From completing it, along with the businesses owners’ stated goals, Stephen can then make prioritized recommendations.   

In our conversation, Stephen provided an example of how a business owner due to a family unexpected health issue had to sell her business. She was not prepared and basically had to walk away from all her years of working to build and sustain it. Had she previously worked with Stephen, gotten prepared with the legal documents, documented business processes, a growth plan, a solid marketing plan, insurances, clear accounting, and an exit strategy, she would have been in a much better place financially and emotionally.  

Having a business exit strategy is not just a single document. Think of it as an athlete whose goal is to compete in the Olympics.  Writing on a piece of paper, “I want to compete in the Olympics” is great. But it won’t get you there. An effective business exit strategy relies on all the areas of the business to be strong, documented thoroughly, and in place right now.  Waiting until you need or want to exit is likely too late.

Do you think you are leaving your business to your child/ren?  Have they worked in the business long enough to know how it fully operates? A great exercise would be to have them assist in the forming of the exit strategy. As they assist in process documentation and all the other aspects they’ll gain a fuller knowledge and understanding along with being able to contribute to some of the decision makings.  Having an exit strategy also prepares a business to raise capital from investors or secure a good business loan.  

You owe it to yourself to have your business as strong and ready as it can be.  Reach out to Stephen today to set up an initial conversation.  

To connect with Stephen you can find him on OutBüro here.  Join us on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online networking community for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies, and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality-focused benefits, policies, and business practices.  

Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco.