Best Practices

Underserved communities banking on businesses to help wipe out hunger

Underserved communities banking on businesses to help wipe out hunger

Tammy Matthew — Market Executive, Bank of America Treasure Coast

Tammy Matthew has worked in the financial services industry for more than 25 years. In her role as the market executive for Bank of America, she leads the market’s business, civic and philanthropic activities and oversees the bank’s business engagement and growth on the Treasure Coast.

More than 12% of Florida residents are facing food insecurity, according to Feeding America. This means the chances are high that you know someone suffering from food scarcity, even if you don’t realize it. More than 2.5 million Floridians live in households without consistent access to food and more than 700,000 are children.

Taking a closer look at the Treasure Coast, Indian River and St. Lucie counties share even higher rates of insecurity than the state average and the prevalence among children is significantly greater at more than 22%.

Hunger is complex and exacerbates other issues faced by underserved communities. Estimates show that hunger results in more than $4 billion of additional annual healthcare costs for Florida, and more than $126 million on the Treasure Coast, through increased illness and decreased academic achievement.

Food insecurity is a compounding issue, creating ripple effects that weaken the labor force and limit the academic potential of children. Yet, as the pandemic continues, hunger relief organizations in the Treasure Coast and across the country are facing ongoing challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to address this issue, such as increased demand for their services and rising food prices.

As members of the Treasure Coast community, it’s important that local business leaders are aware of vital organizations like the Treasure Coast Food Bank, that are lifelines to residents who may not know where their next meal is coming from.

Solutions exist to bridge the hunger gap, including community cohorts, school programs, and awareness campaigns to connect those in need to available resources, but programs like these need financial support — estimates indicate more than $1.4 billion more per year is needed to adequately meet food needs in Florida.

While the magnitude of need and funding requirements may seem daunting, they are surmountable when people work together. Supporting health and wellness has always been part of Bank of America’s commitment to the communities it serves. Bank officials are happy to share that the Treasure Coast Food Bank has received $25,000 in honor of their employees who shared that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Nationally, the bank has committed $10.6 million in donations to local food banks.

The impact of the donations is sizable, meaning that its booster donations will provide thousands of meals to Treasure Coast residents across the three counties Bank of America serves. The bank has been a longtime partner of the Treasure Coast Food Bank, donating more than $265,000 to the organization and participating in volunteer efforts, including warehouse sorting and packing as well as Better Money Habits presentations.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bank of America has also provided support across the region to the hunger relief efforts of House of Hope, Sarah’s Kitchen of the Treasure Coast, and the Council on Aging of Martin County.

Furthermore, the bank donated 398,000 masks, 1,122 hand sanitizers, 202,000 pairs of gloves and other PPE equipment to help local nonprofits address critical issues affecting the community beyond food insecurity.

Today the financial institution applauds its employees who participated in its shared commitment to protect and serve their communities. It also encourages the Treasure Coast’s business community to find ways to support both employee and community wellness. We all win when we work together to create a better tomorrow for Florida today.

See the original article in the print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 19, 2022|

Bank of America offers digital resources to help Entrepreneurs start and grow their Businesses

Bank of America offers digital resources to help Entrepreneurs start and grow their Businesses

New secured credit options, including a credit card and credit line, and the Start a Business Center digital experience demonstrate ongoing commitment to helping small businesses succeed

BOA Logo



Bank of America announced the launch of the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card, Business Advantage Secured Credit Line and the Start a Business Center – its latest products and resources for entrepreneurs looking to start a small business or build their business’ credit history.

“Bank of America is committed to providing small business owners with innovative solutions and advice that can help them grow their business and establish long term financial wellness,” said Sharon Miller, president of Small Business and head of Specialty Banking and Lending at Bank of America. “These latest offerings are designed to empower entrepreneurs by providing them with access to resources that will help them to start or strengthen their businesses.”

Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

As small business owners continue to navigate a challenging business environment, the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card provides a new tool to help them establish, strengthen or rebuild their business credit – all while providing cardholders with the benefits that matter most to their business.

The new credit card is available now and has no annual fee. Benefits include:

  • Client-determined credit line from $1,000 to $10,000
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no annual rewards earn cap
  • Preferred Rewards for Business eligibility, providing access to a wide range of valuable rewards, benefits and savings – all with no fee to join or participate

Secured Business Advantage Credit Line

Additionally, Bank of America will offer a Secured Business Advantage Credit Line for small business owners, scheduled to launch later in 2022.

The credit line includes:

  • Client-determined credit line from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Convenient access to funds via online banking, convenience checks and linked Visa card
  • Annual renewal fee of $150

“Straightforward and convenient access to capital is crucial to ensuring small business owners have the resources they need to succeed,” said Chris Wong, Small Business Products executive at Bank of America. “With the launch of the new Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card and Secured Business Advantage Credit Line, Bank of America remains committed to helping our 11 million business owner clients build and strengthen their business credit.”

Start a Business Center Digital Experience

Bank of America has also introduced a new resource to assist clients with starting a new small business. The Start a Business Center digital experience guides existing small business clients and aspiring business owners on exactly how to start and run their new business. It also offers an exclusive discount on business formation for Bank of America clients through Incfile.1

The digital experience offers resources such as business plan templates, partners for critical services and access to Bank of America Small Business specialists. Clients can utilize tips and considerations on topics such as writing a business plan, business legal structures, marketing strategy and business financing options.

To view our small business resources, download the Bank of America app or visit

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,200 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with more than 54 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.



Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]


Mar. 28, 2022|

Florida SBDC IRSC holds Digital Marketing Bootcamp

Florida SBDC IRSC holds Digital Marketing Bootcamp


The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) is conducting a pilot for their Digital Marketing Bootcamp kicking off on Monday, January 31, 2022 at 8 a.m. on the IRSC Pruitt Campus in St. Lucie West.  

This is a three-day program offered to participants at no-cost. The class will take place on three Mondays starting January 31 2022 and runs up until Monday, February 14 2022. The FSBDC at IRSC does plan to bring this program to other counties throughout 2022.

This program is designed for Treasure Coast business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing students and others wanting to strengthen their digital marketing strategy. The focus will be on creating a positive digital presence on social media and establishing a digital marketing strategy. 

In this course participants will learn: 

  • What a buyer’s persona is and how you can create one for your service or product
  • Drafting a marketing plan 
  • Implementing your marketing plan on social media 
  • Defining your target market 
  • Tailoring your marketing message
  • Creating a call to action
    & more!

To register or inquire about this program please visit: 

These courses will be facilitated by FSBDC at IRSC Digital Media Consultant, Leanna Haag, who earned her Bachelors of Science & Administration with an emphasis in Marketing at the University of Central Florida. She garnered valuable marketing experience working for such corporations as Jeppesen and Allstate Insurance, primarily working in the roles of Marketing Coordinator to develop and execute tactical marketing plans at the regional and national level. With a desire to become an entrepreneur, Leanna started See Level Marketing in 2009 to service local businesses on the Treasure Coast struggling to manage their online presence. She has had the privilege to work with businesses of all types, including local government, to improve their search engine ranking with website development and search engine optimization, internet advertising, email marketing, online directories and development of tactical internet marketing plans. She is proud to recently take on the role of Digital Consultant with the FSBDC to begin the recovery process for local businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact your local Florida SBDC at IRSC at [email protected] or call (772) 336-6285 with questions regarding this program and others.


DMB Logo

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email mailto:[email protected]com  [email protected]

Jan. 25, 2022|

Bloomberg Terminals come to IRSC

IRSC Business and Finance Students Gain Edge with Addition of Bloomberg Terminals


Students studying at Indian River State College now have access to the platform used by the world’s leading banks, corporations and government agencies to view real-time global financial data, news feeds and messages. The College has installed 12 Bloomberg Terminals, providing students with unparalleled coverage of markets and securities with information across asset classes—from fixed income to equities, foreign exchange, commodities and derivatives.

IRSC’s implementation of the Bloomberg Terminals brings the real world of business and finance into the classroom. IRSC is one of more than 1,000 academic institutions globally—but the only one on Florida’s Treasure Coast—to integrate Bloomberg into the curriculum for its business and finance degree programs. The new IRSC Bloomberg Financial Lab will also be used for financial literacy programs and Bloomberg certification courses, which the College expects to begin later this year.

“The opportunity to bring Bloomberg to our students provides an unparalleled resource in developing valuable financial and analytic skills that will differentiate and improve their competitiveness in the job market,” explains Dr. Prashanth Pilly, Dean of the IRSC Business Division. “Integrating classroom teaching with the real-world data, news and analytics available on the Terminal better prepares our students for futures in the business and finance industries.”

IRSC’s subscriptions to the Bloomberg Terminal will serve as a resource for both students and professors. It will enable students to become familiar with tools used in financial services, reinforcing classroom theory, while professors can use it to further their research.

“When a student comes to IRSC, they can expect a best-in-class education, and our Bloomberg Finance Lab is another example of the outstanding resources that are freely available to them,” shares IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “At IRSC, students from every academic discipline have the opportunity to sharpen their financial literacy to help them succeed personally and professionally.”

Students of varying levels and study areas can familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of finance through the lens of the Terminal by taking Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC). Upon completing BMC’s Core Concepts modules, learners receive a certificate of completion that can be added to their LinkedIn profiles and resumes to show their knowledge of both the markets and the Terminal.

A ribbon-cutting for the new Bloomberg Finance Lab is scheduled for Wednesday, February 23, at 10:00 a.m. in the Brown Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.


Bloomberg at IRSC




Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email mailto:[email protected]com  [email protected]

Jan. 25, 2022|

Pharus Group expands ecosystem of services

Leading FL-based full-service business management advisory firm launches new suite of services with the unveiling of nine new business units to help customers nationwide.
Jul. 19, 2021|

Intraprenuers are vital employees if a company is going to succeed

Internal Intraprenuership. If you’ve not heard the term, it’s time you get familiar with it as it could save your company or organization
Jul. 19, 2021|

Restaurants need to adopt technology to help survive effects of pandemic

To survive revenue disruption and other financial challenges, restaurants need to find ways to adapt into the technology-driven future of meal ordering and delivery that seems to be here to stay.
Jul. 19, 2021|

New leaders need to be effective in today’s work environment

Business owners, leaders and managers have had to adapt their leadership and management styles and models to accommodate today’s different work models: working full time in the office; hybrid — working in the office as well as remote; working remote full time.
Apr. 30, 2021|

Florida small businesses are resilient, even in face of hurdles presented by pandemic

Small business owners are nothing if not intrepid. They demonstrate their flexibility no matter what situation arises. Their resiliency has never been more apparent than in recent months as they encountered setbacks related to COVID-19.
Feb. 24, 2021|

Do employers have the authority to require vaccinations?

Recent announcements regarding the availability of vaccines for the COVID-19 virus have been both exciting and concerning for some employers and employees.
Feb. 24, 2021|