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Cortera Launches First Community for Small Business Credit Reporting at DEMOfall 09

Boca Raton, Florida and DEMOfall 2009, San Diego, California (PRESS RELEASE – September 26, 2009) — Cortera, a community-driven business information company, today unveiled the Cortera Credit Exchange, http://www.cortera.com, a new online service that, for the first time, blends business credit report data with user generated payment experience reviews and ratings from companies’ business partners. Designed to reinvent business credit reporting and improve the cash flow needed to fuel small businesses, the service represents the first ever community approach to commercial credit and financial data, part of the seven billion dollar (US) business information market . And by providing unprecedented transparency into the payment and credit behavior of tens of millions of public and private businesses – virtually every business in the US — it offers a social response to the lessons of the recent credit crunch. As a result, small businesses can tap into the collective knowledge of their peers to make the informed decisions necessary to manage credit risk, attract favorable payment terms, optimize cash flow, and capitalize on an economic recovery.

Businesses rely on credit reports when evaluating clients, suppliers, and partners as the ability to pay bills in timely manner has a direct impact on cash flow. But such reports, available from a handful of content providers, often prove cost prohibitive for many small businesses. In addition, the majority of credit bureaus base their credit ratings on a handful of a company’s financial transactions — typically payment experiences with only the largest of suppliers and businesses — ignoring millions of interactions with small businesses that could provide a more holistic view of a business’ payment behavior.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the nation’s economy, representing tens of millions of companies and 99 percent of all US businesses. Yet their payment behavior – the very action that determines credit viability and yields favorable payment terms — remains virtually invisible to potential business partners,” said Jim Swift, CEO of Cortera. “This lack of transparency, combined with steep costs, too often leaves small businesses more vulnerable to risk than their larger counterparts and less attractive to potential business partners.”

The Cortera Credit Exchange is designed to harnesses the power of the small business community’s collective payment experiences, fundamentally shifting the way business credit is evaluated and providing greater visibility into a company’s financial interactions. Tapping its database of over 20 million public and private company locations in the United States based on thousands of trade payment contributors — covering over $150 billion in accounts receivable information — Cortera pulls this data together to provide a foundation for a specific credit report. It then complements this baseline credit information with the same types of ratings and reviews features that people have embraced on popular retail, travel, and dining sites, all focused on helping credit professionals to easily share their payment experiences while learning from the experiences of others. These community capabilities include:
• the ability to review and rate a specific business using the popular 5-star scoring methods found on many community websites
• the ability to write personal payment experience reviews and commentary
• the ability to report payment history information including total balance, high balance, amount past due, days beyond terms and other key metrics
• the ability to contact specific reviewers for further follow-up and peer-to-peer references
• a distribution of ratings by industry and rating type

“Credit professionals have long relied on the experiences of their peers to make informed decisions and minimize credit risk. From the critical importance of one-to-one references to the presence of local and industry-specific credit groups, they have always engaged in a collective, community approach,” said John Pomilio, Vice President, Customer Financial Services, XTRA Lease – A Berkshire Hathaway Company. “Cortera has the potential to reinvent the credit reporting industry by bringing the credit community approach to the Web and thus delivering the kind of insight not possible with traditional credit bureau approaches alone.”

“The launch of the Cortera credit community represents a fundamental shift in the way business information is created, consumed and used to inform decisions,” said Chris Shipley, Executive Producer of the DEMO Conferences. “By tapping the experiences of small businesses, Cortera is poised to join the select few disrupters who embrace community to forever change the rules of established markets.”

Basic credit reports, including community payment reviews and ratings, on companies contained within the Cortera Credit Exchange are free, with additional premium information available for $3.00 (USD) per report or via unlimited premium access plans starting at $29.00 per month. More information on pricing and plans is available at: https://start.cortera.com/company/dispatcher/signupstep1

Additional details of the Cortera Credit Exchange are available by visiting Cortera’s station at DEMOfall 09 (Station #17) or by visiting the www.cortera.com.

About Cortera

In a sea of business information providers, Cortera is different. With over 15 years of experience serving finance professionals, Cortera combines premium business information and innovative tools with a fresh community approach to commercial credit. It represents the first community for small business credit reporting and a fundamentally new way to capture the collective insight of millions of financial transactions. As a result, small businesses can make smarter, informed decisions to ensure optimal cash flow while attracting more favorable payment terms from existing and potential business partners.

For more information on Cortera, please visit http://www.cortera.com/.

About DEMO

Produced by Network World Events and Executive Forums, the semi-annual DEMO conferences focus on emerging technologies and new products, which are hand-selected from across the spectrum of the technology marketplace. The DEMO conferences have earned their reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow\’s cutting-edge technologies, and have served as launch pad events for companies such as Palm, E*Trade, Handspring, and U.S. Robotics, helping them to secure venture funding, establish critical business relationships, and influence early adopters. Each DEMO conference features approximately 70 new companies, products and technologies. For more information, visit www.demo.com.

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

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