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Smart Eye Technology just launched on the Samsung AppStack Marketplace

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Smart Eye Technology

Smart Eye Technology Brings its Biometric-Based Secure File Sharing Platform to the Samsung AppStack Marketplace

Smart Eye Technology, a biometric-based file sharing platform, today announced that it has partnered with Samsung to help small and medium-sized businesses combat security threats by bringing its innovative platform to Samsung AppStack Marketplace customers. AppStack is a new platform that curates and bundles apps for small businesses. 

With more people working remotely, and even as people move back to the office, employers are continuing to face an increasing number of security threats.

This unique privacy and secure document solution uses a proprietary biometric engine, with continuous facial recognition, voice recognition, and additional factors to block unauthorized viewers of your documents and control who sees what, when, and how. Smart Eye is further powered by Adobe Sign (enabling Biometrically verified e-Signatures). Use cases span from board of director communications, high-value financial transactions, work at home employees, HR data sharing, health record protection, secure online testing, e-notary, validated invoice presentment, and more.

Smart Eye Technology is focused on helping companies protect the privacy and security of the confidential business information that they need to share with employees, customers or vendors as part of their on-going business. The solution also includes biometric-authenticated e-signatures for executing contracts in their platform.

“As many organizations continue to operate in dispersed and hybrid work environments, they are under increased pressure to ensure their data remains secure no matter where it is going,” said John Curtis, Vice President, Mobile B2B, Samsung Electronics America. “Smart Eye Technology provides a modern day solution for SMBs to share wiring instructions, project bids and other sensitive documents securely within this environment.”

Smart Eye Technology consists of a desktop and mobile app which lets users upload, share, receive, review and e-sign files in the platform from any device. When files are uploaded for sharing, they are encrypted with a proprietary self-protecting data technology for true end-to-end security. Smart Eye doesn’t stop there, though, to secure confidential information.

For an added level of security, each company creates their own ‘private pond’ for internal and external collaboration. “In order for anyone to receive or share files with you through the platform, your system admin must approve them,” Dexter Caffey, founder of Smart Eye Technology, explained. Shutting out all others protects organizations from issues like wire fraud, business email compromise and even data leaks from employees – either intentional or unintentional. 

Smart Eye layers on biometrics, requiring the file receiver to authenticate their identity in order to access the file. It  then utilizes continuous facial recognition to detect and block unauthorized “shoulder surfers” from seeing the information on the authorized receiver’s screen. “No one should be able to see your confidential information unless you want them to,” said Caffey. “Smart Eye says no, this file is none of your business, so we’re blocking you out.”

File senders have additional control over files even after they hit send. They can set a time limit on file access; prevent downloading or further sharing; track activities on the file; and even terminate access to any file immediately, with just one click. Plus there’s a control panel for the system admin to monitor activities on all files shared through the platform in real time.

Smart Eye also uses its biometrics to enable identity-verified e-signatures and ensure that only the intended signer can e-sign the contract. “Many executives have assistants sign documents for them, but now that executive is not responsible for that contract,” Caffey continued. Smart Eye e-signatures are powered by Adobe Sign, the market-leading e-signature solution in Adobe Document Cloud; and the addition of biometric authentication provides needed proof of who signed your contract.

Smart Eye Technology was designed to meet the needs of any size business in any industry as an all-in-one platform that is simple to use and affordable.  “Advanced technology does not need to be complex,” Caffey added. “Giving customers a great and user-friendly experience is our number one focus.”

You can get Smart Eye Technology at a discounted rate through Samsung AppStack. AppStack simplifies the process of selecting and managing your work apps, reduces their subscription costs and provides ongoing support, plus a centralized billing system. Smart Eye Technology desktop app versions are available for Windows and macOS in the Samsung AppStack Marketplace.

The software comes with:

  1. Desktop version (Windows / Mac)
  2. Mobile version (Android / Apple iOS)
  3. Administrative Control Panel for enterprise management
    Download it free for 14 days and test it out! https://www.samsung.com/us/business/products/software/appstack/smart-eye-technology/

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How Five Community-Owned Businesses Were Bolstered with Cares Act Money – Mojitos

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Mojitos

“I don’t want to say it was a drop in the bucket, it was very helpful,” said Luis Fernandez of the thousands in federal money his business got under the Paycheck Protection Program, a later COVID-19 grant and from elsewhere.

“But one rent check, one liquor license renewal and a couple of utility check payments and you just blew $50,000,” said the owner of Mojitos Cuban American Bistro at the Forum as he recounted well over a year of struggle in his Peachtree Corners restaurant and other locations. He said without the money from the paycheck program, they wouldn’t have made it until December of this past year, when they got the grant.

As the pandemic flickered to life in the spring of 2020, he said, the dining room was closed for more than a month, then open for takeout only, and when the dining area finally reopened, 80% of their square footage disappeared due to social distancing.

Thinking initially that the crisis would peak and begin to subside in 15 days, Fernandez said he gathered staff and told them that he was going to pay them as if all and sundry were going on a couple-week vacation.

When that span came and went with no sign of recovery, “that’s when the body aches and the grey hairs came. I feel like I aged 30 years in ten months,” he lamented.

Efforts to stay afloat included them cashing in life savings and maxing out a home equity line of credit. Not so good.

But much better: Fernandez credits both the city of Peachtree Corners and ordinary citizens with being a huge help. The grant money that he had applied for in late November-early December came through a couple of weeks before Christmas — a very timely holiday gift, if you will.

As with Harwell, Fernandez said since reopening and easing back toward “normal,” business has been a roller coaster ride. “We saw some amazing weeks of sales come in late May and early June (of 2020) and we said, ‘Hey, baby, we’re coming back.’ And then the whole riots and everything started happening with spikes in cases and (business) went back down again.”

He credits the city with helping to stem the bleeding in a couple of ways. Fernandez said when they decided to reopen the dining room, he procured a large banner announcing the reopening. Unbeknownst to him, he said, was a provision in the city’s building code limiting the size of such signage. A code enforcement agent drove the point home with a visit.

The Cuban restaurant owner decided to plead his case with city hall, emailing a member of the council and getting a sympathetic hearing. “A week later, the city announced they weren’t enforcing the signage code,” he said, adding, “you’re not thinking about the city code when you’re trying to save your financial life.”

The city also eased up on late fees for paying liquor sales tax, Fernandez said, which alone saved thousands of dollars. The move made sense, he said, given that restaurants, with historically little profit margin, have to closely allocate their money in order to meet such obligations in a timely manner.

The community also rallied, buying gift cards while the restaurants were closed and placing garden-variety-sized orders with a $100 tip attached. “They really did bring tears of joy on more than one occasion, just knowing that we have a community that wants to help small businesses,” he said.

Fernandez said the business is back to about 80% of its former level. He noted that the latest wrinkle involves finding enough staff. “We had an amazing Mother’s Day weekend at all of our restaurants,” he said. “But we have like 40% of the staff, so it feels a lot harder.” He said the weekend was a mad scramble as a result.

While the trend is in a positive direction, he added, a business model meant to evoke a crowded, hopping 1950s Cuban nightspot faces a tough challenge in an era of social distancing and face masks.

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How Five Community-Owned Businesses Were Bolstered with Cares Act Money – BeautifulLea Hair Salon

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MY SALON Suite— BeautifulLea Hair Salon
MY SALON Suite— BeautifulLea Hair Salon, Photos by George Hunter

Businesswoman Lea Harwell said her business has been subject to ebb and flow since the onset of the pandemic some 16 months ago. Although she prides herself on having an “always prepared” mentality, being shut down for five weeks and then having to make operational concessions to COVID took a considerable financial toll.

She said the thousands of dollars in COVID grant money she received helped compensate for the weeks of no income. The veteran cosmetologist dipped into her own finances for business expenses during that time, then used some of the grant money to replenish her rainy-day stash.

She also utilized the help to get masks and additional safety supplies and institute cleaning measures. Then there were operational and scheduling changes that chewed away at her former income level.

“I work longer hours to do the same number of people because I’m not seeing two people at the same time,” Harwell said. She occupies a one-room suite with three chairs at the MY SALON SuiteBeautiful Hair Salon and said in pre-COVID times she could have a client in one chair undergoing a color processing while simultaneously giving a haircut in the other. That’s not possible now.

On the other hand, she allows that having an individual room instead of working as part of a larger open salon has been a plus.

In addition to the limitation on people, additional costs have come with completely sanitizing her room between clients and keeping mask and cleaning supplies on hand for her and for customers who want to feel more comfortable.

That has made her more adaptable, she inferred. “You can’t cut hair very well around a mask,” she said, although if clients insist on a covering, she can find a workaround.

She’s gone the extra mile on Zoom to help clients who are even more ultra-cautious. Harwell said several who have feared venturing out have asked her to jump on a video call with her so they can trim a friend’s or partner’s bangs or clean up a bit around their ears.

She’s willing to do that, but couples it with a cautionary note. “I tell them I will try to help, but I can’t take any responsibility for what you do with your untrained hands.” As she noted, “I have doing this for 40 years.”

Providing what could be termed “tele-haircuts” is a second manner in which she’s had to be nimble since COVID reached pandemic levels last year. Harwell said there are other examples as well.

Take what happened at the end of the five-week shutdown, for example. “I remember the day the governor was doing his press conference. He made the announcement at 4:00, and at 4:01 my phone started blowing up. That day was a scramble, and everyone wanted to be back,” Harwell recalled.

She said that after initial rush, business tapered off. A couple of roller-coaster cycles followed, including a drop-off last July and August. Now her business has settled into a groove that’s about 80% of the pre-pandemic level.

A couple of ancillary factors have brightened the picture. “Our owners were very generous to us,” she said. Although they had to keep up with payments to their landlords, lease payments from individual salon tenants were waived during the time that they were not able to be open, she explained.

Harwell also cited working for a number of years in sales and marketing, which she pursued until coming back to the haircutting business some 13 years ago. “I can get out there and find business,” she said confidently. “If business falls off, I just don’t wait for something to happen. I need to work, and I want to work.”

For now, she’s playing it conservatively, using her much-appreciated help to rebuild her savings while keeping her fingers crossed that cases don’t spike again to the point that another shutdown is required. She’s still in recovery mode, financially.

Harwell said she thinks Governor Brian Kemp has done what he can to keep small businesses going during the pandemic and added that she’s eternally grateful that Georgia is not in the same boat as California, where she said stylists weren’t allowed to work for a year.

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How Five Community-Owned Businesses Were Bolstered with Cares Act Money- Anderby Brewing Feature

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Preston and Michell Smelt

The grandly titled Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act came quickly out of Congress and was signed into law after the namesake disease clamped down on both public and private life in March of 2020. A key provision was a $367 billion loan and grant program for small businesses.
Sometime later, the city of Peachtree Corners was allocated $4.5 million meant to aid those enterprises and divvied it up among each qualifying applicant. This is a story about five Peachtree Corners enterprises forced to weigh a number of considerations, from how to balance safety for customers and staff with a driving need for revenue — and about the help they got to stay afloat.

Anderby Brewing

Anderby launched in 2019 with owner Preston Smelt and spouse Michell, along with a small cadre of employees, brewing a variety of IPAs, stouts, fruited sours and other favorites. They built buzz through their taproom and by supplying kegs of beer to restaurants. Then came COVID, and the whole enterprise, well, went flat.

The bar area serving individual brew

They got a COVID-19 grant through the Cares Act plus help through other government programs that, lumped together, was in the low six figures. It was badly needed as their taproom shut down until June. With restaurants closed, as well and many later limiting to pickup and delivery once open, that part of the business dried up as well.

Smelt said some stark numbers told the tale. He said a good month prior to COVID meant $35,000 to $40,000 in total revenue rolling in from product distribution and their taproom. After the onset of the epidemic, that shrank to $3,500 or $4,000.

Anderby’s original brew canned on site.

“And it wasn’t like we were a long-established business where we could go to a bank and say ‘we need a $100,000 loan and we’ll be good for it as soon as we get out of this,’” he pointed out.

Smelt said, “The money got us to the point where we were able to make some reinvestment in product and stocking raw materials.” He said it also helped to fund the acquisition of capital equipment for a canning operation “because that was one of the few ways to move beer during this period.”

Preston and assistant brewer Dana Reppel.

That canning equipment took until October to arrive. In the meantime, they resorted to a hand bottler, filling exactly two bottles at once and selling finished six-packs out the front of their digs. Ultimately the endeavor was a money-loser, but Smelt said it did provide some revenue, got their product into the hands of their boosters and gave them visibility.

It also kept them from pouring even more beer down the drain than they had already had to do.
Another factor in play, he said, was a “fantastic landlord” who worked with them on their rental obligations. “We would not have survived without those two things,” he said bluntly.

Wall art

Smelt said he and his wife had just started talking about revamping their product lineup when the epidemic descended. The federal help helped enable them to settle on a core of three or four beers they think will help them expand throughout the region.

The couple is cheering the growing vaccination numbers and drooping COVID caseloads. With more companies reopening in the surrounding Technology Park and their workers beginning to stop in, and restaurants starting to clamor again for kegs, prospects are improving.

Anderby expansive interior

Another positive factor, he said, was that three new breweries have opened in the immediate area since they debuted. He said having several in close proximity will create a “brewing scene” that could become a destination choice.

At their own destination, they had cut taproom seating by 30-40% before reopening last summer and took other cleaning and sanitizing steps. “What we’re wanting to do is create an environment where you can come in and spread out and feel comfortable,” Smelt said.

In line with the push toward distancing has been a reluctance to re-start larger themed events. He said that if a bigger crowd shows up in conjunction with daily operations, they’re OK with that, but a large blowout is not in the cards.

In another case of altered plans, Smelt said earlier plans to do a capital expansion have been put on hold. All the juggling of procedures, products and profit-and-loss numbers has taken a toll.

“There hasn’t been a lot of sleep,” he said. “There’s still not. While things are improving, we’re not back to normal yet.”

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