Central Garden & Pet Launches Central Ventures

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT, CENTA) (“Central”) announced today that it has launched Central Ventures, a venture fund dedicated to discovering emerging businesses that are focused on innovating and shaping the future of the garden and pet industries. The fund is a key priority in the company’s new ‘Central to Home’ strategy, which was unveiled today at Central’s first Investor Day.

“At Central Garden & Pet, we know we must always be looking ahead and investing in the leaders and ideas of tomorrow to ensure we are positioned to drive the future of our industries,” said Tim Cofer, CEO of Central. “Our new ‘Central to Home’ strategy includes a renewed focus in venture that will bring exciting new products and capabilities into the organization. Additionally, we’re looking forward to teaming up with great businesses and leaders and leveraging our capabilities to help them unlock

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3PL Central Launches New Consulting Services to Support Warehouses’ Rapid Growth

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — 3PL Central, the leader in cloud-based Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) built to meet the unique needs of third-party logistics (3PL) warehouses, today launched a new suite of Consulting Services designed for 3PL warehouses to optimize efficiency, implement best practice workflows, and automate processes. Last week alone, 3PL Warehouse Manager customers saw increased order volume of more than 42% compared to the previous year’s Black Friday volumes, highlighting the need for warehouses to create scalable and optimized processes.

In a recent survey, 3PL warehouses cited managing costs (49%), driving operational efficiency (47%), and technology implementation/integration (45%) as the top three challenges within their businesses today — finding and retaining workers came in as a close fourth (43%). Designed to address these challenges, 3PL Central’s Consulting Services include a variety of options to overcome the unique challenges associated with efficiency bottlenecks, insufficient

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Controversial RI loan program launches to help small business

Rhode Island’s latest source of funding for pandemic-struggling businesses was once compared by Gov. Gina Raimondo to the disastrous 38 Studios deal.



Gina Raimondo smiling for the camera: “None of this is easy and I wish I didn’t have to do it,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said from the Veterans Memorial Auditorium stage on Thursday, referring to her imposition of restrictions to fend off a fall wave of COVID-19. But without the pause, she said, the state risks overwhelming its hospitals at the onset of winter.


© The Providence Journal / Sandor Bodo
“None of this is easy and I wish I didn’t have to do it,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said from the Veterans Memorial Auditorium stage on Thursday, referring to her imposition of restrictions to fend off a fall wave of COVID-19. But without the pause, she said, the state risks overwhelming its hospitals at the onset of winter.

The $42 million Small Business Development Fund was approved by the General Assembly over Raimondo’s objections last year, and after extended wrangling over how the program would operate, applications for $20 million in loans through it are now being accepted, according to a release from the state Commerce Corporation. 

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The loans will be made by Enhanced Capital, one of three Louisiana firms 

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Oracle Launches MySQL Database Service With Business Analytics Capabilities

Oracle has announced the general availability of a cloud-based MySQL database service with a new analytics engine that can perform transaction processing and business analysis tasks within the same database system.

The software giant is pitching the fully managed MySQL Database Service as a high-performance, lower-cost alternative to competing systems such as the AWS RDS database and Redshift cloud data warehouse, Google Cloud SQL and Microsoft Azure SQL Database

“Partners have been asking Oracle to expand their portfolio of database services. And that’s what Oracle is doing with MySQL Database Service,” said Edwin DeSouza, vice president of product marketing for MySQL at Oracle, in an interview with CRN.

[Related: 10 Big Data Management And Business Analytics Tools You Need To Know About]

Oracle acquired the open-source MySQL database as part of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010. Sun previously acquired MySQL in 2008.

The MySQL database is widely used

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Speakeasy Launches One-Day Training Program Designed to Help Job Seekers Connect and Master Virtual Interviews

Speakeasy Launches One-Day Training Program Designed to Help Job Seekers Connect and Master Virtual Interviews

Virtual Interviews with ImpactSM teaches skills to defuse the high-pressure nature of interviews while driving meaningful connections in a virtual setting

In response to high unemployment rates that continue to plague the nation, Speakeasy, Inc., the leading global consulting firm focused on professional communication development, today announces the introduction of Virtual Interviews with Impact. The style-focused program, delivered in two 2.75-hour virtual sessions over the course of a single day, is offered at a nominal fee in order to support the many unemployed professionals facing such a great need. The program is designed to prepare job seekers with the tools and education they need to navigate their way out of unemployment in what has largely become a virtual-only setting.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which caused today’s high unemployment rates, also has forced business to

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Woodforest National Bank Launches First Virtual Woodforest Foundry with LiftFund Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Woodforest National Bank® teamed up with LiftFund Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center to launch its first virtual/online Woodforest FoundrySM.

The Woodforest Foundry is an award-winning program and recipient of the Consumer Bankers Association’s 2019 Joe Belew Award, for the most innovative and impactful small business initiative. The Woodforest Foundry is facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, acting as mentors to activate local entrepreneurial ecosystems, which revitalizes underserved communities and helps grow businesses. With the Woodforest Foundry, entrepreneurs find a community of mentors and trusted guidance from peers, Woodforest bankers and community partners.

Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President and CRA Executive Director at Woodforest, commented, “Thank you LiftFund Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center for working with us to launch the Woodforest Foundry for the first time, 100-percent online. Because supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses is critical, especially now, our

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CapabilitySource Launches New Strategy, Planning and Budgeting Tool

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In an effort to continue to modernize marketing technology, CapabilitySource, a digital business transformation consultancy, recently released a new and easy to use tool that provides capability benchmarks for strategy development. This Strategy, Planning and Budgeting Readiness Calculator is available to marketers who want to be more prepared to create and shift 2021 marketing ability.

CEO of CapabilitySource Glenn Coward believes that this calculator will assist marketing executives in crafting an effective framework for reacting to changes in the marketplace.

“With the chaos that’s ensued from COVID-19, our clients have shown they need a nimble marketing strategy now more than ever. This free tool is the only benchmark framework that combines the three intertwined concerns of strategy, planning and budgeting to assist in creating an agile marketing plan,” Coward said. “The SPB Calculator provides recommendations for both business and technology that have

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Instrumental Wealth Launches Independent Financial Planning Practice In Tampa

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Instrumental Wealth, a comprehensive financial planning firm created to serve business owners, professional athletes and executives, today announces the launch of an independent SEC-registered investment adviser in Tampa, Florida. The six-person team, previously affiliated with Northwestern Mutual where they oversaw $150 million in assets under management, is led by David S. Silver, CFP®, who will serve as CEO and President of the firm.

Silver, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and 17-year wealth management veteran with a B.S. in Entrepreneurship from the University of Tampa, pursued this independent practice to add new technology, a sophisticated investment offering and customized solutions to his client-centric service model.

“I got into this business to have a meaningful relationship with clients – to have a real, lasting impact on their lives,” said Silver. “This move gives us the freedom and flexibility to adapt to the

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Amazon launches new AI services for DevOps and business intelligence applications

Amazon today launched SageMaker Data Wrangler, a new AWS service designed to speed up data prep for machine learning and AI applications. Alongside it, the company took the wraps off of SageMaker Feature Store, a purpose-built product for naming, organizing, finding, and sharing features, or the individual independent variables that act like a input in a machine learning system. Beyond this, Amazon unveiled SageMaker Pipelines, which CEO Andy Jassy described as a CI/CD service for AI. And the company detailed DevOps Guru, QuickSight, and QuickSight Q, offerings that uses machine learning to identify operational issues, provide business intelligence, and find answers to questions in knowledge stores.

During a keynote at Amazon’s re:Invent conference, Jassy said that Data Wrangler has over 300 built-in conversion transformation types. The service recommends transformations based on data in a target dataset and applies these transformations to features, providing a preview of the transformations in real

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Google launches program to assist Black and Latinx business owners

Google is has a new plan to help Houston business owners.

The Bayou City is one of the many cities included in tech company’s “Digital Coaches” program” that aims to provide tech education and workshops in underserved areas.

The program, called Digital Coaches, provides free digital skills training and coaching to help Black and Latinx small businesses reach new customers and grow their online presence.

In an announcement made on Instagram, it was revealed that businesswoman Joy Hutton will be serving as Houston’s Digital Coach.

The caption shared that Hutton is the founder of the management consulting firm, Joy of Consulting, which assists companies with their organizational structure through training and process optimization. Hutton also is the founder of beauty on-demand platform on the go GLAM.

The Digital Coaches program will begin on Dec. 4 with its first virtual workshop. The workshop topics include connecting with customers and managing your

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