Today’s Thank You: Acronis & Lendio

Amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I remain a glass-half-full type of guy. My long-term view always remains positive -- despite the near-term challenges we all face. And yes, the challenges remain immense.

Still, each new day brings us one day closer to the pandemic's end. Keep that in mind as we watch the infection numbers surge. We truly are one day closer to the pandemic's end.

And each day there are shining examples of leadership -- if you look for them. I'll document those leaders here -- each day -- until we emerge together from this pandemic. And of course -- first and foremost -- a special thank you to our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers on the front lines during these unprecedented times. And to our supply chain workers who ensure food, medicine and other goods continue to flow to our towns and homes nationwide.

Our Daily Thank You

Day 30 - Saturday, April 11, 2020: Todays's thank you goes to Acronis and Lendio: The duo is partnering to help MSPs and channel partners access money more quickly from various sources — including the CARES Act and PPP program.

Day 29 - Friday, April 10, 2020: Today's thank you goes to D&H Distributing, which hhas established several new credit options along with finance partners including DLL for qualified D&H partners.  Visit D&H’s Financial Services page or email [email protected] for information. New D&H partners can visit the following link to apply for DLL’s offering. Call (800) 877-1200 to speak to a D&H credit representative.

Day 28 - Thursday, April 9, 2020: Today's thank you goes to the U.S. Federal Reserve -- which unveiled programs that will provide $2.3 trillion in loans for small and midsize businesses, U.S. cities and states. The announcement is in addition to the established SBA PPP program, ChannelE2E believes. Stay tuned for more updates on this.

Day 27 - Wednesday, April 8, 2020: Today's thank you goes to Republic Bank, based in Philadelphia, -- which may be the only bank in the region that is taking PPP applications from both customers and non-customers, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Day 26 - Tuesday, April 7, 2020: Today's thank you goes to Kaseya Cares: The IT management and business automation software provider rolled out a $10.5 million program to assist MSPs and customers. The effort includes (1) Government Relief Navigation, (2) Business Guidance and (3) Direct Financial Assistance.

Day 25 - Monday, April 6, 2020: Today's thank you goes to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). More than 15,000 hotels have signed up for the association's new initiative – “Hospitality for Hope." The initiative identifies hotel properties that have offered to provide temporary housing for emergency and healthcare workers. Hotels can sign up here.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

Day 24 - Sunday, April 5: Today's thank you goes to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who coordinated a shipment of 140 ventilators from Oregon to New York. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to peak in New York in mid-April or so. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thanked Governor Brown, and vowed to help Oregon in that state's potential time of need.

Day 23 - Saturday, April 4: Today's thank you goes to Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who helped to coordinate China's donation of 1,000 ventilators to New York.

Day 22 - Friday, April 3: Today's thank you goes to Goldman Sachs, which vowed $300 million to assist small businesses and communities through the pandemic.

Day 21 - Thursday, April 2: Today's thank you goes to the Economic Advisory Council of Long Island -- one of the first organizations to publish research detailing the pandemic's expected impact on small business.

Rayanne Buchianico

Day 20 - Wednesday, April 1: Today's thank you goes to Rayanne Buchianico of ABC Solutions, who has summarized the CARES Act for partners. She's speaking today (April 1) on a special ASCII Group webcast to provide more info about the legislation and its implications for small businesses. Special thanks to MSP veteran and consultant MJ Shoer for the heads up on Buchianico's efforts.

Day 19 - Tuesday, March 31: Today's thank you goes to best-selling author Verne Harnish -- who offers this guidance for navigating COVID-19.

Day 18 - Monday, March 30: Today's thank you goes to Amazon as well as the company's Staten Island, New York, warehouse workers. The thank you puts the spotlight on a key labor issue facing America -- as front-line workers strive to maintain supply chains, and employers strive to keep those supply chains safe and clean for those workers. To be clear: Amazon and some of those Staten Island workers are feuding. Workers are demanding better work conditions, and Amazon insists that it's taking the right steps to protect workers. Amazon fired at least one worker -- which has triggered  "he said, she said" coverage in the media. Whether you side with employers or workers -- or sit somewhere in between -- the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, puts a critically important spotlight on the issues facing our supply chain workers and employers at this time.

Day 17 - Sunday, March 29: Today's thank you goes to the Small Business Administration. Yes, the SBA has hit some scalability and cybersecurity issues in recent days. But during these unprecedented times, the SBA has also refined its website with detailed info to help small businesses find near-term financial assistance.

Day 16 - Saturday, March 28: Today's thank you goes to Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (L4GG) — a non-profit network that is offering free legal advice to help small businesses navigate the COVID-19 stimulus package, along with related loans and grants.

Day 15 -Friday, March 27: Today's thank you goes to all MSPs and IT solutions providers working in and around New Orleans -- the latest pandemic hot spot.

As of March 25, there were 1,975 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Louisiana, with more than 800 in New Orleans alone, The Guardian reports.

Certainly, health care workers in and around New Orleans deserve our loudest praise. But let's not forget the IT professionals and service providers who are keeping mission critical systems running for those health care providers and customers across Louisiana.

Day 14 - Thursday, March 26: Today's thank you goes to the ConnectWise team for launching Hand Wash Karaoke -- a fundraiser for small businesses and the IT service providers that support them.

As ChannelE2E has noted, most small businesses only have about two weeks of cash on-hand. Many of those small businesses, in turn, may fail to pay MSPs and solutions providers in the days and weeks ahead. And that could put a major strain on IT channel businesses nationwide. ConnectWise Hand Wash Karaoke is seeking to raise $1 million in a bid to assist MSPs & IT solutions providers.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Day 13 - Wednesday, March 25: Today's thank you goes to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo -- who has rapidly emerged as "America's Governor" amid the pandemic. Cuomo's daily press briefings at around 11:00 a.m. ET are filled with data and facts that clearly outline New York's latest moves to battle the pandemic; outbreak trend lines; the challenges we face; and the role we each play in the pandemic and eventual recovery.

Day 12 - Tuesday, March 24: Today's thank you goes to four Ingram Micro leaders and their teams -- including:

  • Ingram Micro Chief Financial Executives Kelly Carter (Canada) and Anthony Mackle (U.S.).
  • Ingram Micro Senior Vice President and Chief Country Executives Kirk Robinson (U.S.) and Bill Brandel (Canada).

Together, those folks announced expanded financing to help U.S. and Canadian partners avoid a potential cash crunch.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

Day 11 - Monday, March 23: Today's thank you goes to Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins and the Cisco board -- which committed $225 million in cash, in-kind, and planned-giving to support both the global and local response to COVID-19.

Days 10 and 9 - Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22 - Weekend. 

Day 8 - Friday, March 20: Imagine if our Internet service providers failed us -- and our home networks -- during these unprecedented times. So far, that digital doomsday scenario hasn't occurred.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai drives the “Keep America Connected” initiative

That's why today's thank you goes t0 FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the FCC on March 13, 2020 called on broadband and telephone service providers to sign a "Keep Americans Connected Pledge."

The pledge, which covers a 60-day window, calls on service providers to:

  1.  not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  2. waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
  3. open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

Chairman Pai also continued the Commission’s ongoing discussions with service providers regarding their efforts to ensure that changes in usage patterns occurring during the pandemic do not impair network performance, as well as their plans to ensure network resiliency, the FCC indicated on March 13.

Lori Tisinai

Day 7 - Thursday, March 19: Today's thank you goes to Lori Tisinai of IT Owner’s Compass. Tisinai is now building a community called MSP Covid-19 Help. Also, special thanks to Larry Walsh of Channelnomics for the heads up about Tisinai's efforts.

Justin Kallhoff, CEO, Infogressive

Day 6 - Wednesday, March 18: Today's thank you goes to Justin Kallhoff, CEO of Infogressive, a Top 200 MSSP. Earlier today, I published a blog that brainstormed ways MSPs could offer on-site support during the coronavirus pandemic. It was a foolish effort on my part. Kallhoff politely reminded me that the virus manages to live on keyboards and other office materials for extended periods. It was a good reminder for all partners and end-customers: Please, just work from home. And when a blogger or the media misses the mark, like I did, follow Kallhoff's lead: Tell them so.

Jennifer Haller

Day 5 - Tuesday, March 17: Today's thank you goes to Jennifer Haller, one of the first volunteers to receive an experimental coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine.  Scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle are leading the experiment.  The test will ultimately involve 45 volunteers. Get all the details from this AP report.

Doug Baker, VP of industry relations, Food Marketing Institute

Day 4 - Monday, March 16: Today's thank you goes to Doug Baker, VP of industry relations at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the trade group representing food retailers and wholesalers. On March 15, he told Reuters to tell consumers:

“The grocery supply chain is not going to shut down."

As factories move to round-the-clock operations, they are focusing on the highest priority items to address the unprecedented surge in demand, Baker told Reuters.

Statements like that are reassuring at a time when portions of the media continue to emphasize some empty store shelves without taking a closer look at the overall supply chain replenishment efforts.

Day 3 - Sunday, March 15: Today's thank you goes to our nation's supermarkets and their front-line workers -- particularly the folks at my local Stop & Shop in Northport, New York.

Portions of the media have spent the past 24 hours emphasizing empty store shelves and high-stress fights between shoppers. But when I entered my local Stop & Shop early this morning, the shelves were largely restocked and shoppers were calmly navigating the aisles -- keeping their distance from one another, of course. It was a calming moment and surely a reassuring morning for those who entered the store.

I suspect we will all face supply chain issues and various retail store closings (some temporary, some permanent) in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you, in advance, to everyone who works to minimize those supply chain issues, including those who restock store shelves as best they can.

As for me, I plan to stay home the rest of today and for the long haul -- as per New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is urging New Yorkers to stay home. During work breaks, you can likely catch me at relaxing at our local beaches or on side streets taking walks with my wife.

Day 2 - Saturday, March 14: Today's thank you goes to members of the the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch -- particularly Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin -- for piecing together a bipartisan legislative package in the early hours of March 14 following intense negotiations between Pelosi and the Trump administration, as noted by CNN.

The bill's bipartisan passage was virtually assured when President Trump backed the measure — largely hammered out by Pelosi and Mnuchin — and urged Republicans to support the bill, Politico reports.

The bill ensures free coronavirus tests and paid sick leave for impacted American workers. The pending legislation is likely to pass the Senate once the chamber is back in session (ahem, Senate please reconvene ASAP).

Day 1 - Friday, March 13: Why start here? Admittedly, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) started in 2019 -- more than three months before America fully woke up to the threat. Some folks wanted the federal government to move earlier and faster against the virus. Others insist the government and media response is now overblown. No matter your view, we can all agree: President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Today's thank you goes to Dr. Deborah Leah Birx. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 to lead the government's fight against the global AIDS epidemic. Now she is coordinating the response to the coronavirus, The New York Times notes.

When President Trump on March 13, 2020, announced a public-private partnership to combat the coronavirus, Dr. Birx was one of the calming, science-centric voices who described how the United States will move forward. It wasn't a perfect moment. Trump's speech initially over-emphasized Google's role in the battle vs. coronavirus. But Dr. Birx was a welcome, strong voice in the strategy.

Blog initially published March 15, 2020. Updated daily thereafter.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.