FINANCE

American Express launches financing program for small and medium-sized businesses

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — American Express announced it is launching American Express Merchant Financing, a program that provides qualified merchants with quick and simple access to cash for their business needs. The launch comes as small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) struggle with access to capital in today’s tight credit economy.

With the initiative, eligible merchants now have the opportunity to leverage their relationship with American Express to tap into a convenient and hassle-free source of capital, which is repaid automatically through settlement charges and accompanied by low fixed fees.

American Express Merchant Financing is specifically designed for SMBs that meet a basic set of criteria, including generation of $100,000 to $10,000,000 in American Express charge volume per year, a minimum two-year merchant tenure with American Express and no prior account delinquencies. The program offers two lending options — monthly and annual — for accessing capital.

Unlike traditional commercial lending vehicles, American Express Merchant Financing products provide cash within three business days of enrollment, include an automatic repayment process based on the merchant’s American Express Settlements and require no personal guarantee. Currently, the program is open to qualifying businesses in good standing with American Express.

Click here for more information.

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OPERATIONS

Staples to offer Martha Stewart-branded office products

BY Staff Writer

Framingham, Mass. — Staples has partnered with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to create a new line of home office items that have female appeal.

The line, to be called Martha Stewart Home Office, will be made by Avery Dennison Corp. and will include some 300 products. The items will make its debut in Staples stores in early 2012.

“To manage works in progress and keep accurate records, it helps to have a good system of organization and well-designed products that are as functional as they are beautiful,” said Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, in a statement. “I am happy to be working with Avery Dennison and Staples to offer consumers affordable, quality products that will inspire them to enhance, improve and brighten their home office environment.”

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OPERATIONS

Toys ‘R’ Us to make more than 40,000 holiday hires

BY Staff Writer

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us said Thursday that it will hire more than 40,000 employees to staff its U.S. stores and distribution centers this holiday season. In addition, employment opportunities will be available at the company’s 10 distribution centers, including the newest facility in McCarran, Nev.

Toys “R” Us’ 2011 holiday hires are in line with previous years, when the company hired between 35,000 and 45,000 seasonal workers.

Hiring for positions launched this week and continues through November.

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