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Benchmark International Unveils the 2024 Global Business Services Industry Report

Benchmark International

Benchmark International, a leader in the mergers and acquisition (M&A) industry, is excited to announce the release of its 2024 Global Business Services Industry Report. This comprehensive report offers valuable insights and analysis of the rapidly evolving business services sector, catering to stakeholders and industry professionals worldwide. As the business services industry adapts to new technologies, market demands, and regulatory changes, Benchmark International's latest report provides an in-depth examination of these trends, delivering critical information to help companies navigate this dynamic landscape. Key Highlights of the 2024 Business Services Industry Report: Market Overview: Detailed insights into market size, growth trajectories, and segment performance across various regions within the business services sector. Technological Advancements: Exploration of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and cloud computing that are transforming business services. Regulatory Landscape: Analysis of significant regulatory changes and their implications for businesses, emphasizing compliance and strategic adaptation. M&A Trends: Comprehensive review of recent mergers and acquisitions, spotlighting key transactions and strategic movements within the industry. Future Projections: Forward-looking analysis and forecasts, equipping industry professionals with the knowledge to make informed strategic decisions. This report demonstrates Benchmark International's commitment to providing high-quality, actionable insights. It is set to become a crucial resource for executives, investors, and professionals in the business services industry. For more information and to access the 2024 Global Business Services Industry Report, please visit https://www.benchmarkintl.com/insights/market-insights/2024-global-business-services-industry-report/. ABOUT BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL: Benchmark International is a global M&A firm that provides business owners with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. Benchmark International has handled over $11 billion in transaction value across various industries from offices across the world. With decades of M&A experience, Benchmark International’s transaction teams have assisted business owners with achieving their objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses. The firm has also been named the Investment Banking Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor and the Global M&A Network as well as the #1 Sell-side Exclusive Privately-held M&A Advisor in the World by Pitchbook and Refinitiv's Global League Tables. Contact Details Brittney Zoeller +1 813-898-2350 zoeller@benchmarkintl.com Company Website https://www.benchmarkintl.com/

July 18, 2024 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Freelance jobs grow despite AI, finds new data from Freelancer.com

FREELANCER.COM

Freelancer.com (ASX: FLN), the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and jobs posted, today released its quarterly Fast 50 Index for Q2 2024 based on data from 251,000 jobs posted to the platform. Computer Security (up 27.1% from 868 to 1,103 jobs) emerges as the fastest-growing freelance skill on Freelancer.com, based on job postings across more than 2,000 skill categories from April 1 to June 30, 2024. This trend in cybersecurity skills suggests more small-to-medium businesses are turning to freelancers for cyber security support, further backed by Network Administration (up 9.9%, from 1,229 to 1,351) also placing in the top 25 fastest growing jobs on the platform. The data also shows no negative impact on generative AI tools on freelance jobs, evident in the growth of Writing, Business Service, and Legal Skills seen in this quarter’s Fast 50 report, all of which were predicted to decrease with the rise in generative AI. PDF writing (up 26.7%, from 2,533 to 3,210) was the second fastest growing job, followed by third place being Microsoft Word (up 23.9%, from 3,368 to 4,173) projects which are also associated with content writing. Writing job Copy Typing came in at the 16th place, growing 11.6% (from 4,428 to 4,941). Legal jobs, which were expected to have been ‘at threat’ to AI, have also increased (up 12.0% from 1,138 to 1,274), as well as Legal Research (up 10.8% from 917 to 1,016). In addition to the index, Freelancer.com ’s annual AI survey, which surveyed more than 4,100 workers globally, investigated AI impact on income and the initial results are shedding light on earnings. When asked how the introduction of AI tools have impacted earnings, more than half of workers (52.5%) reveal they’re earning either the same or more. One fifth (19.2%) say that they’re earning a lot more since generative AI tools were introduced, while only one sixth (17.7%) admit to earning less. “AI is creating more jobs than it takes. While many critics continue to speculate which jobs will be made redundant with AI tools, the data shows that freelance jobs which are labeled as the ‘most at risk to AI disruption’ are in fact growing. The preliminary results from our AI survey also dispel the myth that freelancer are earning less since the introduction of generative AI as more three quarters of workers we surveyed are either earning the same or earning more, with a subset taking advantage of AI and earning a lot more.” said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive at Freelancer.com. Cybersecurity threats are on the rise across all organizations, but are particularly harmful for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) which have little-to-no security expertise and usually minimal protection. As a result, businesses turned to freelancers for help. In 2Q24, Computer Security jobs ranked as the fastest growing skills (up 27%), indicating there has been an uptick in cyber security threats targeting SMBs. Many of the projects posted throughout the quarter require help with network security, security assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities, and creation of cyber security response play books. General business services are also increasing on the platform as more employers are hiring freelancers to support their small businesses. A clear indication of this is the popularity of Market Research and Telemarketing jobs coming in as the fourth and fifth fastest growing skills in Q2 2024, up by 21.1% (from 1,525 to 1,859) and 19.4% (from 1,177 to 1,405), respectively. Other business related skills grew in Q2 2024, including Sales (up 15.5% from 3.467 to 4,005), Lead Generation (up 12.2% from 1,802 to 2,021) and Business Plans (up 10.9% from 1,197 to 1,328). A sudden increase in General business services means that many of the new businesses, which are usually started at the beginning of the year, now require further assistance in helping grow and scale their business. Fastest Falling Skills for Q2 2024 The main category of jobs that fell in Q2 2024 was eCommerce related jobs, which saw a significant increase in Q1 2024. Shopify Templates, ranked as the fastest falling skill and was down by 13% (from 1,476 to 1,284). CSS, which is commonly used in website development, was also down (11.8% from 9.486 to 8,368). Both WooCommerce (from 1.072 to 952) and Shopify (2,545 to 2,269) also fell in the quarter. The easing of eCommerce jobs in this quarter was mainly due to seasonality. Typically, entrepreneurs will start a business at the beginning of the year, requiring help to set up their websites or eCommerce platforms. From there, the entrepreneur either pivots to hiring freelancers for other business services, such as sales or research which we’ve seen in Q2 2024 fastest growing jobs, or are equipped with enough to run their business without any further help. Fastest Growing Overall Job The most popular online freelancing job by total volume is currently Graphic Design with almost double the amount of projects than the other top skills. Graphic Design is followed by PHP (programming), Photoshop, Website Design and HTML (programming). These are typically the best skills for any new freelancer to focus on initially when starting their freelancing journey. How Electronic Repairs Are Becoming the Fastest Growing Skill Globally Electronic Repairs has emerged as one of the fastest-growing job categories on the platform over the past year. In Q2 2024, it ranked 19th among the top 25 fastest-growing jobs, with a 10.7% increase (from 14,945 to 16,548 jobs). However, its most impressive growth is evident in the year-over-year comparison, where Electronic Repairs jobs surged by 162%, from 6,315 in Q2 2023 to 16,548 in Q2 2024. Electronic Repairs are in-person jobs where freelancers are deployed across select countries and cities to fix laptops, printers and computer hardware as part of the Freelancer Global Fleet Program. ##### Freelancer.com Fast 50 The Freelancer.com Fast 50 index is the world’s largest forward indicator of trends in online jobs related to industries, technologies, products, and companies. The data is based on 251,000 jobs posted to the Freelancer.com platform between 1st April to 30th June 2024. Data: Fast 50 Quarterly Index – Q2 2024 2023 Q2 v 2024 Q2 Fastest Growing Jobs for Q2 2024 Fastest Falling Jobs for Q2 2024 About Freelancer Twelve-time Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. More than 74 million registered users have posted over 23.8 million projects and contests to date in over 2,000 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer owns Escrow.com and Loadshift. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN and is quoted on OTCQX Best Market under the ticker FLNCF. Contact Details Freelancer.com Marko Zitko +1 650-800-6863 mzitko@freelancer.com

July 18, 2024 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Leaders in Real Estate Advocate for Cooperative Approaches to Address Housing Crisis

K3 Holdings

K3 Holdings, a privately held real estate investment firm with extensive holdings throughout the United States is advocating for collaboration as stakeholders consider housing policies to combat homelessness. In a recent article published by The Mortgage Note and a blog post at the K3 Holdings and Alpine LA Properties websites, leaders stressed the need for cooperative approaches to policies that can address housing options, especially for disadvantaged populations. “At K3 Holdings and Alpine LA Properties, we experience firsthand the complex challenges faced by both landlords and tenants in the quest for safe and adequate housing. The ongoing economic turbulence, driven by higher interest rates and inflation, underscores the urgency for cohesive, sensible housing policies. As political leaders seek effective solutions, expanding the perspectives at the table is essential,” stated Nathan Kadisha, a K3 Principal. “Safe and adequate housing is a cornerstone for community stability and prosperity—it is a moral imperative. When families struggle to find stable homes, the repercussions ripple through society, leading to increased homelessness and pressure on social services. This issue affects every facet of our communities, highlighting the critical need for effective policy solutions.” According to Kadisha, effective housing policy should create mutually beneficial outcomes for both landlords and tenants. Unfortunately, policy debates often frame these groups as adversaries, competing for limited resources. This adversarial mindset overlooks the shared goals and common interests that can unite landlords and tenants. While often considered unlikely allies, landlords have a vested interest in advocating for policies that support tenants and promote vibrant, inclusive communities. Advocacy from property companies can help ensure the financial health of investments and fosters environments where tenants can thrive. “As stakeholders continue to seek solutions, policymakers should work collaboratively to address the root causes of housing insecurity while protecting property owners' interests. This approach can solve critical issues facing all parties. Unlike so many political battles, when it comes to affordable housing policies, one group does not have to lose for another to win,” Kadisha continued. One key area for sensible policy action is rent stabilization. Thoughtfully implemented rent stabilization can provide tenants with the stability they need while allowing landlords to earn a fair return. By capping annual rent increases at a rate tied to inflation, we can ensure rental housing remains affordable without imposing undue burdens on property owners. Ensuring fair treatment for tenants and landlords alike helps build stronger, more resilient communities. “As property managers, we bring a unique perspective to the table, balancing tenant needs with our business interests. Lopsided policies can harm the broader community, making it imperative for us to advocate for balanced, unifying housing policies. By working together, we can bridge the gap between stakeholders and pave the way for a more equitable, sustainable housing market.” Addressing the current housing crisis demands bold, visionary leadership from policymakers. By prioritizing policies that promote stability, fairness, and inclusivity, stronger communities where everyone has access to safe, stable, and affordable housing can be built. Property managers are ready to collaborate with policymakers, tenants, and other stakeholders to realize this vision. ### For more information or to schedule an interview with a K3 spokesperson, please contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or dan@danrene.com Contact Details K3 Holdings Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 dan@danrene.com

July 17, 2024 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Standard Fleet and UP.FIT Partner to Modernize Government Electric Vehicle Fleet Management

Standard Fleet

Standard Fleet, an electric vehicle management technology developer, and UP.FIT, an Unplugged Performance company focused on the upfitting of Tesla electric vehicles for fleet use, today announced a collaborative initiative designed to enhance government electric vehicle (EV) fleet management. This effort brings together UP.FIT’s industry-leading expertise in customizing Teslas for specialty use with Standard Fleet's sophisticated fleet management software, aims to improve operational efficiency and support the environmental goals of government fleets including those managed by emergency responders and law enforcement. “Our collaboration with UP.FIT aims to equip police departments with the tools they need for a smoother, more cost-effective fleet management experience,” said David Hodge, Founder and CEO of Standard Fleet. “Integrating our software with UP.FIT’s customized Tesla vehicles means we can offer a system that improves operational efficiency while supporting environmental goals.” "Our mission at UP.FIT is to simplify the adoption of electric fleets for first responders and fleet operators globally,” said James Hedland, Fleet Director at UP.FIT. “Standard Fleet software gives operators complete control of the access, charging, maintenance, and dispatching of their up-fitted EVs. Together we’re providing police departments and other city and county fleet operators with an electric vehicle management system proven to enhance performance and operational efficiency." The partnership addresses a growing need for cost-effective and responsible deployment of EV fleets in public service by merging the expertise and capabilities of UP.FIT and Standard Fleet. This initiative is poised to redefine fleet management for government entities, enhancing both vehicle functionality and operational oversight. Key Benefits of the Partnership: Improved Operational Efficiency: Standard Fleet’s software streamlines the management of charging, maintenance, and daily operations of EVs, reducing both time and costs for fleet managers. Tailored Vehicle Customizations: UP.FIT modifies Tesla vehicles to meet the specific needs of police and public safety operations, enhancing their reliability and suitability for work in the communities they serve. Environmental Impact: The shift towards EVs helps reduce emissions and air pollution, and aligns with local, state, and federal environmental objectives. Sergeant Tony Abdalla from the South Pasadena Police Department, a client benefiting from this partnership, stated, “Adopting electric vehicles for police work presents a unique set of challenges along with opportunities to better serve our community with a cleaner, more reliable, and higher performance police fleet at lower costs over the long term. Standard Fleet technology gives us mobile access to all of our EVs to enhance our operations from dispatch, charging, maintenance, and analytics, to keyless access for officers coming on- and off-duty. Combining Standard Fleet software with the hardware and digital technology upgrades installed by UP.FIT puts our fleet at the forefront of sustainability and performance.” This initiative underscores the potential of technology to improve public sector operations and promotes the adoption of sustainable practices in fleet management. As police departments and other city and county fleet operators increasingly turn to electric vehicles, Standard Fleet and UP.FIT provides scalable, impactful, and effective solutions for the challenges of modern fleet operations. To learn more about this strategic collaboration, please visit here. Useful Links: Learn More: www.standardfleet.com About UP.FIT: https://up.fit/ Follow us: Blog | X | Instagram | LinkedIn Sales and Partnership Inquiries: Please email Standard Fleet at contact@standardfleet.com. About Standard Fleet: Founded in 2021 and based in San Francisco, Standard Fleet envisions a future where electric vehicle (EV) fleets are at the forefront of sustainable transportation, supporting a more environmentally friendly approach to urban mobility. The company’s software simplifies the management of electric vehicle fleets by enhancing operational efficiency and facilitating the transition to sustainable transportation. For more information, please visit www.standardfleet.com. About UP.FIT: Based in Hawthorne, CA, UP.FIT, an Unplugged Performance company, is the global leader in upfitting Teslas for fleet use. Launched in response to the growing need for advanced, sustainable fleet solutions, UP.FIT collaborates with industry leaders to engineer high-level components, turnkey vehicles, training, and innovative management tools. The UP.FIT mission is to provide first responders with the most innovative, safe and reliable equipment possible, all while driving to a cleaner tomorrow. Contact Details ANW Networks for Standard Fleet Alicia V. Nieva-Woodgate +1 720-808-0086 alicia@anwnetworks.com Company Website https://www.standardfleet.com/

July 16, 2024 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Reid Hoffman Wished Death Upon Trump & Funded ‘Lawfare;’ He Must Be Removed from Microsoft’s Board & Defense Innovation Board

NLPC

Following the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump in Butler, Pa. on Saturday, National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is calling upon tech entrepreneur Reid Hoffman to resign his seat on the board of directors for Microsoft Corporation. Should he refuse to step down, then the Microsoft Chairman and Lead Independent Director must take steps along with fellow directors to remove him. The shareholder group is also calling for Hoffman’s removal from the Defense Innovation Board (DIB), a body organized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to make recommendations regarding technological modernization of the military. DIB is currently chaired by Michael Bloomberg. At the billionaires’ retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho, this week, Mr. Hoffman reportedly engaged in a vigorous debate with fellow tech executive Peter Thiel over how the LinkedIn co-founder’s funding of “lawfare” has turned Trump into a “martyr.” According to a report by Puck News, Mr. Hoffman responded to Mr. Thiel, “Yeah, I wish I had made him an actual martyr.” Previously, Hoffman was also widely known for introducing Jeffrey Epstein to other Silicon Valley figures. According to Luke Perlot, associate director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project: “As shareholders of Microsoft, we call on Mr. Hoffman to resign, or be removed, from the board of directors. His ongoing presence on the board is a stain on Microsoft’s reputation and would implicitly condone his statements and actions.” According to Paul Chesser, director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project: “Sarcasm or not, Hoffman has made clear that he doesn’t think Donald Trump has any civil rights, and that he and other billionaires should pick the president, not the American people. Some holders of great wealth seek to help the less fortunate or promote freedom and decency. Hoffman has instead sought to undermine democratic norms and values. We repeat our call that we made last year that Mr. Hoffman be removed from Microsoft’s board as well as the Defense Innovation Board.” According to Peter Flaherty, NLPC Chairman: “The Defense Innovation Board is engaged in the task of using technology to strengthen our defense in a dangerous world. It conducts serious business. It is no place for an unserious character like Reid Hoffman. For one thing, his associations with Jeffrey Epstein make him a security threat. For another, funding lawsuits by the likes of E. Jean Carroll and wishing martyrdom on Donald Trump should disqualify him from any government board or position.” Founded in 1991, the National Legal and Policy Center promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 drene@nlpc.org Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

July 14, 2024 09:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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BestGrowthStocks.Com Issues an Extensive Comprehensive Analysis of Asset Entities Inc.

Asset Entities Inc

NEW YORK, NY / NewsDirect / July 11th, 2024 / Best Growth Stocks, a leading independent equity research and corporate access firm focused on finding and reporting on the best growth stocks utilizing exclusive ai-assisted research recently issued a comprehensive analysis of Asset Entities Inc. a provider of digital marketing and content delivery services across Discord and other social media platforms, and a Ternary Payment Platform company. Asset Entities Inc. (NASDAQ: ASST) has garnered significant investor attention following the strategic acquisition of the assets of TommyBoyTV and a 1-for-5 reverse stock split. Best Growth Stock's full report offers an analysis of Asset Entities Inc. (NASDAQ: ASST) operations, potential catalysts, growth drivers, financials, share structure, chart setup with support and resistance levels, and more. Access this full analysis with no obligation: https://bestgrowthstocks.com/access-asst-analysis/ Access this full analysis with no obligation: https://bestgrowthstocks.com/access-asst-analysis/ About Asset Entities, Inc. Asset Entities Inc. is a technology company providing social media marketing, management, and content delivery across Discord, TikTok, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, and other social media platforms. Asset Entities is believed to be the first publicly traded Company based on the Discord platform, where it hosts some of Discord’s largest social community-based education and entertainment servers. The Company’s AE.360.DDM suite of services is believed to be the first of its kind for the Design, Development, and Management of Discord community servers. Asset Entities’ initial AE.360.DDM customers have included businesses and celebrities. The Company also has its Ternary payment platform that is a Stripe-verified partner and CRM for Discord communities. The Company’s Social Influencer Network (SiN) service offers white-label marketing, content creation, content management, TikTok promotions, and TikTok consulting to clients in all industries and markets. The Company’s SiN influencers can increase the social media reach of client Discord servers and drives traffic to their businesses. Learn more at assetentities.com, and follow the Company on X (formerly Twitter) at @assetentities. About Best Growth Stocks Best Growth Stocks is a leading independent equity research and corporate access firm focused on finding and reporting on the best growth stocks utilizing our exclusive ai-assisted research. BGS is also a financial news provider, focused on giving investors direct access to CEOs of promising, publicly-traded companies, and market experts. Our CEO interviews aim to answer the questions that rest on the minds of current and future shareholders. This is not to be construed as financial advice. Please consult with a licensed financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Media Contact Best Growth Stocks Senior Editor: Steve Macalbry Editor@BestGrowthStocks.com SOURCE: BestGrowthStocks.Com Contact Details Media Source LLC Best Growth Stocks +1 989-274-7778 editor@bestgrowthstocks.com

July 11, 2024 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between Talent Framework, LLC and Savard Labor and Marine Personnel

Benchmark International

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between Talent Framework, LLC and Savard Labor and Marine Personnel. Talent Framework is a full-service staffing agency specializing in temporary and permanent hourly personnel, primarily for the industrial, professional, and medical sectors. The company's excellent reputation has been instrumental in creating a long-standing repeat client base. Savard Labor and Marine is a personnel and contract labor agency that specializes in providing its clients with skilled and unskilled blue-collar labor. Unlike agencies that promise too much and rarely deliver, Savard has a proven track record of increasing client efficiency and reducing labor costs by providing highly screened, safety-conscious personnel. "For 20+ years, Steve built Talent Framework into a local leader in the staffing industry. This strategic acquisition will give Savard an opportunity to expand operations in a new geographic market and capitalize on Talent Framework's stellar reputation in the area. This is a great match between two great companies." - Kevin Barrett, Transaction Director, Benchmark International Americas: Sam Smoot at +1 (813) 898 2350/ Smoot@BenchmarkIntl.com Europe: Michael Lawrie at +44 (0) 161 359 4400 / Lawrie@BenchmarkIntl.com Africa: Anthony McCardle at +27 21 300 2055 / McCardle@BenchmarkIntl.com ABOUT BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL: Benchmark International is a global M&A firm that provides business owners with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. Benchmark International has handled over $11 billion in transaction value across various industries from offices across the world. With decades of M&A experience, Benchmark International’s transaction teams have assisted business owners with achieving their objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses. The firm has also been named the Investment Banking Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor and the Global M&A Network as well as the #1 Sell-side Exclusive Privately-held M&A Advisor in the World by Pitchbook and Refinitiv's Global League Tables. Contact Details Brittney Zoeller +1 813-898-2350 zoeller@benchmarkintl.com Company Website https://www.benchmarkintl.com/

July 11, 2024 06:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Velocity Global Continues to Expand Global Footprint

Velocity Global

Velocity Global, the world’s expert on work, announced today that it has successfully opened new entities in El Salvador and Georgia, allowing customers easy and compliant access to talent in these economies. The new entities will open opportunities for organizations and local talent alike. The company also announced it has obtained a Haken business license in Japan to ensure continued compliant operations in the country. With a steadily growing economy and strategically located between Europe and Asia, Georgia is an attractive market for growing companies looking to do business in the region. El Salvador offers a favorable business climate with the modernization of foreign trade operations, new physical and digital infrastructure, and a newly implemented legal framework that protects and promotes foreign investment. As the demand for a global workforce continues to grow, including filing specialized open positions, entering new markets, or supporting M&A transactions, the scrutiny to do so compliantly has increased. Failure to comply with local laws and regulations can be a costly mistake for companies, both financially and reputationally. Velocity Global combines its cloud-based technology with in-depth legal and HR expertise in over 185 countries. to create a robust, self-serve platform. The Global Work Platform™integrates with other leading HR technologies to compliantly hire, pay, and manage employees anywhere in the world. “Companies looking to engage talent in new markets must comply with local rules and regulations, in addition to unwritten rules and employee expectations. There are pitfalls around every corner,” says Laura Isaza, Vice President of Subsidiary Management and Corporate Governance at Velocity Global. “Compliance has always been a cornerstone of how we do business. As a strategic partner to our customers, we help them hire talent compliantly and strategize on how a global workforce can help them meet their business goals.” The most compliant way to do business in Japan As part of its continued excellence in compliance, Velocity Global recently obtained a Haken license in Japan. This license will enable Velocity Global to provide EOR services locally in the most compliant way. Haken relationships are under strict government scrutiny. All documents in an employee’s hiring package have been reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Labor to certify a compliant operation. The trusted partner for a borderless workforce These latest updates continue to demonstrate the company’s customer-first focus. By compliantly engaging with a borderless workforce, customers can drive meaningful business value by focusing on what’s important to their business. Learn more about Velocity Global’s solutions at www.velocityglobal.com. Velocity Global gives you the power to build your team everywhere—combining seamless technology and local expertise in 185+ countries. We make it simple to compliantly hire, pay, manage, and retain talent anywhere. With Velocity Global, the world is yours. Contact Details Velocity Global Anja Koltes +1 720-650-4348 press@velocityglobal.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

July 10, 2024 09:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time

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NASBP & SFAA Publish Bond Information Kit for State Broadband Offices & ISPs Participating in BEAD Program

SFAA

The National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) issued a first-of-its-kind Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program Surety Bond Information Kit. The Kit includes bond forms to address the announcement of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce to accept surety bonds as an additional form of security in lieu of letters of credit (LOCs) for the BEAD Program. In November of 2023, NTIA issued a programmatic waiver to modify the requirement for LOCs as the sole means of security to secure the performance of recipients of BEAD grant funds to construct broadband infrastructure. After NTIA’s waiver announcement, NASBP and SFAA formed a surety working group to develop performance bond forms and model language to facilitate the use of surety bonds to meet BEAD Program security requirements. The surety working group developed two performance bond forms, model language for state broadband offices to insert into award agreements, and a sample letter template to confirm for state broadband offices the bond amount for which an internet service provider (ISP) or its construction contractor initially qualifies. Of the two bond forms, one addresses situations when the ISP can qualify for bonding and furnishes the bond directly to the state broadband office. The second bond form addresses situations where the contractor to the ISP building out the broadband system is better suited to qualify for bonding. “Broadband access is so crucial for communities to gain connections, information, and opportunities, especially in rural or underserved areas,” stated NASBP CEO Mark McCallum, “and permitting the use of surety bonds to protect federal and state funding of and investment in broadband infrastructure will ensure that these vital systems will be constructed and realized.” NASBP Director of Government Relations Larry LeClair added, “NASBP and SFAA over time have informed federal agencies responsible for rural broadband deployment of the time-tested benefits of surety bonds to safeguard broadband investments.” “After NTIA announced it would allow ISPs to furnish surety bonds as alternatives to LOCs, NASBP and SFAA then played an active role with the ISP community to educate it about the surety bond product,” related LeClair. “The additional security option instead of LOCs will benefit small internet service providers (ISPs) who were having difficulty securing LOCs,” said SFAA Vice President of Policy & General Counsel Julie Alleyne. “And most importantly, state broadband offices and taxpayers will have added protection because the surety company will only furnish a bond to those it believes can complete the work successfully based on the prequalification process. In comparison, a LOC issued by a bank and secured by deposited funds does not evaluate the contractor’s ability to perform the work,” continued Alleyne. As a hallmark of public procurement, surety bonds are widely used and accepted forms of performance security. They provide viable options for qualified companies that receive federal grant monies for the development of broadband infrastructure, and that wish to offer a form of security other than a bank LOC. The BEAD Program Surety Bond Information Kit is available to download here. The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association representing all surety and fidelity industry segments. We promote the value of surety and fidelity bonding and its vital protections through advocacy, outreach, promotion, and education. The more than 425 member companies write 98 percent of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S. SFAA is also licensed as a rating or advisory organization in all states, and state insurance departments have designated it as a statistical agent for reporting fidelity and surety experience. www.surety.org Founded in 1942, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) is the association of and resource for surety bond producers and allied professionals. NASBP members specialize in providing surety bonds for construction contracts and other purposes to companies and individuals needing the assurance offered by surety bonds. www.nasbp.org Contact Details Peter Roth +1 703-401-0676 proth@surety.org Kathy Hoffman +1 240-200-1278 khoffman@nasbp.org Company Website https://surety.org/

July 09, 2024 11:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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