Sabre88 Supports Small Business Saturday

It is that time of year again, folks! As we round the Thanksgiving corner and break into one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, don’t let Black Friday and Cyber Monday distract you from the opportunity to support our country’s small businesses on Small Business Saturday, observed on Saturday, November 30th this year.

What is Small Business Saturday? Simply put, it is a day to support small businesses and communities throughout the country. The idea is that, as consumers, we play a key role in facilitating the success of our nation’s small businesses.

Small Business Saturday was the brainchild of the credit card giant American Express, who set out to promote this idea to help our communities thrive and stay vibrant. According to their website, since it started in 2010, consumers have reported spending an estimated $103 billion across all Small Business Saturdays combined.

Sabre88 is proud to be a small business supporter. Sabre88 believes that in order to be a member of a sustainable community both locally and globally it is important to participate in and contribute to ongoing activities within that community.

As a small business, we at Sabre88 are tremendously thankful for the support of our customers and clients. The successes and achievements we have made over the last ten years would not have been possible without said support.

Pass on the support this Saturday, as it goes beyond the material goods or services purchased. Whether dining at a local café or finding a new niche clothing shop in town, any contribution will be felt by the families and communities in which those small businesses reside. Join the movement and Shop Small!

Author: Paul McVeigh


Federal Government Launches Online Scam Reporting System

The Social Security Administration and Inspector General launch an online form to report Social Security-related scams.

These scams—in which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems—skyrocketed over the past year to become the number one type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration.

Social Security and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will use the new online form to capture data that will be analyzed and used to identify the source of the scams. Officials said the end goal is to disrupt the scammers and reduce the number of scam victims reported.

“We are taking action to raise awareness and prevent scammers from harming Americans,” Social Security Commissioner Saul said. “I am deeply troubled that our country has not been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

You can report any type of phone scams, including live calls, robocalls and text scams. You can also report email, mail and in-person scams.

“Awareness is our best hope to thwart the scammers,” said Inspector General Ennis. “Tell your friends and family about them and report them to us when you receive them, but most importantly, just hang up and ignore the calls.”

Social Security employees do occasionally contact people–generally those who have ongoing business with the agency–by telephone for business purposes.  However, Social Security employees will never threaten a person, or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.  In those cases, the call is fraudulent and people should just hang up.

 Generally, the agency mainly calls people who have recently applied for a Social Security benefit, someone who is already receiving payments and requires an update to their record, or a person who has requested a phone call from the agency.  If a person is not in one of these situations, they normally would not receive a call from the agency.

Social Security will not:

·       Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.

·       Contact you to demand an immediate payment.

·       Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

·       Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.

·       Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.

·       Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.

If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, in most cases Social Security will mail a letter.  If a person needs to submit payments to Social Security, the agency will send a letter with instructions and payment options.  People should never provide information or payment over the phone or Internet unless they are certain of who is receiving it.

 The Social Security OIG will also continue to take reports of fraud, waste, and abuse in Social Security’s programs and operations.  A separate online form for those reports remains available at their website.

Author: Prasanna Haresh Patil



Company included in Initiative for a Competitive Inner City Ranking; list to be published in Fortune

Newark, November 15, 2019 – The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) announced that Newark’s Sabre88 LLC has made the 2019 Inner City 100 list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in America based on revenue growth.

The list was revealed at the 2019 ICIC National Conference in Boston on November 13. The full list is available on Fortune’s website here. Sabre88, led by CEO Robert Cottingham Jr., was ranked 52 based on its five-year growth rate of 113.82%. Its 2018 revenue was $27,730,226.

“It is a great honor to be included on the IC100 list,” said Robert Cottingham Jr. “It is gratifying and rewarding to be recognized alongside national leaders from so many industries.” 

ICIC is a national Boston-based nonprofit created by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter in 1994 on the premise that under-resourced communities have vast, untapped potential, purchasing power and labor markets, which can only be realized by small business owners who are growing and creating high-quality jobs. Over the past 25 years, ICIC has built a foundation for inclusive economic prosperity, proving Porter’s theory time and again.

“Inner City 100 companies are forces of economic opportunity, optimism and transformation in their communities, and Sabre88 LLC is a shining example,” said ICIC CEO Steve Grossman.  “It leads the way in innovation, job creation and economic revitalization and it’s an honor to recognize the company’s leadership.  In addition to excellence in business, these pioneering entrepreneurs have demonstrated a deep commitment to and passion for their local communities, which significantly impacts the well-being of their local economies.”

ICIC’s Inner City 100 list has long celebrated entrepreneurship in under resourced communities. Since its inception, ICIC’s list has recognized over 1,000 companies. The 2019 winners employed 8,743 people as of 2018. The Inner City 100 program opens doors for other budding entrepreneurs from under resourced communities and stimulates inclusive economic prosperity through recognition, networking and learning.

2019 Inner City 100 by the numbers:

  • Average growth rate of 227% between 2014 and 2018
  • Represent 47 cities in 25 states
  • Created 4,299 new jobs in the last five years
    • 86% of those jobs are full-time
  • On average, 33% of employees live in same neighborhood as the company
  • Average company age:  17 years
  • Average 2018 revenue:  $12.2 million
  • 31% of companies are women-led
  • 38% of companies are minority-led
  • Represent 19 industries

2019 Inner City 100 and Sabre88:

This year, Sabre88 celebrates its sixth time being recognized on the ICIC’s Inner CIty 100 list. In fact, having been on the list 5+ times, Sabre88 is recognized in the ICIC’s Hall of Fame. This is no small feat, as Lauren Cataldo of the ICIC states, “being part of the Hall of Fame is truly an impressive achievement! We were so happy to recognize Sabre88 during the National Conference for its continued growth, and for being on the list six times!”

As of 2019, 1,023 Inner City 100 winners have been recognized. Of those winners, only 92 have been recognized as Hall of Fame winners.

To add perspective to the gravity of this achievement, only 46 companies have ever been recognized on the Inner City 100 list six times. Fewer than 4.5% of companies to make the list have done so six times as Sabre88 now has.

CEOs from the winning companies were invited to the 2019 ICIC National Conference. The event provided an opportunity to network and learn from current ICIC program participants, small business alumni and other high-growth small business owners. Past winners have reported connecting with multi-million-dollar investors as a result of appearing on the Inner City 100 list and attending the conference.

Inner City 100 Methodology: The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than the surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, and awards the 100 fastest growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2019, companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2014 and 2018.

About ICIC:

ICIC is a national nonprofit founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs to create jobs, income and wealth for local residents.

Through its research on inner city economies, ICIC provides businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. Now in its 25th year, the organization supports urban businesses through the Inner City 100, Inner City Capital Connections, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and Santander Bank’s Cultivate Small Business program.

Learn more at or @icicorg

Government Agencies Need “Data Hunters” to Improve Performance

Faced with exponential data growth, stakeholders in both the public and private sectors struggle to effectively sort, analyze and leverage data to improve systems and services. In this new ecosystem of big data, many IT pros are turning to advanced analytics solutions, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to help offload some of this data analysis burden and fundamentally change the way we interpret and use data. 

For the federal government, though, in order for these AI capabilities to be effectively implemented, agencies will require additional resources to locate the data most relevant to improving services and advancing missions. This is where data hunters can play a key role.

What is a data hunter?

Data hunters look for external sources of data that can be combined with internal information to generate new insights and optimize processes for the federal government. Often disguised under several different job titles including data acquisition specialists and data scouts, data hunters are those who have a firm grasp of agencies’ needs or challenges and then move to analyze that data accordingly.

Hunters use their knowledge of both the agency and the external environment to identify which new—often external—data sources could be helpful in addressing a particular issue. They then apply their practical skills to get the data and/or develop the new data streams and make them available to the organization, making them an upstream partner of data scientists and analysts.

Data hunters also play a critical role in data governance and management. Because of their role making data discoverable, data hunters can provide the feedback required to make sure that data is maintained securely, which is a primary concern for most government entities. They also need to be able to explain these issues to others to ensure that data quality is maintained. Finally, they need the skills to manipulate and manage data themselves to the required standards.

Data hunters are already an important part of many data enterprises in the private sector. A recent webinar from Forrester explored experience with data hunters among IT professionals and found that nearly one-third of those on the webinar said that their organization already had at least one data hunter role. Almost half (44%) said that they had a formal process for sourcing external data. Though this sample is not likely to be representative of the entire IT industry, it certainly demonstrates early adoption of the new job role in the private sector and is likely indicative that the trend will soon move to the federal government, if it has not already.

The Path Forward for Advanced Computing in Federal Government

Following the executive order on artificial intelligence and the launch of, the federal government is in a position to leverage cutting-edge technologies to keep pace with citizens’ needs. To effectively incorporate AI and ML technologies, however, agencies will require data hunters to look beyond their traditional boundaries for data insights.

Data hunting can also help solve challenges for federal benefits programs such as eligibility verification. The government can take a “recipient-centric” approach that incorporates contextual information from outside sources, in accordance with privacy regulations, to understand when changes in a recipient’s life may have altered their needs. Or in social services for example, child welfare caseworkers assigned to families with children at risk of abuse or neglect can make better-informed decisions when data external to the agency—like school records, birth records and law enforcement/emergency services—can be brought to bear to augment their internal data.

The ability to combine internal and external data to glean deeper insights has myriad applications in the public sector and will shape the way that the federal government’s services are delivered moving forward.

Author: Prasanna Haresh Patil


Sabre88 – Hats Off to the Veterans

In order to commemorate the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” which marked the end of World War I, the United States sets aside November 11th each year to honor those who have served their county. Veterans Day, previously known as “Armistice Day,” is a federal holiday reserved as a special time to express our gratitude for the sacrifice that was made by our brothers and sisters both past and present for our safety and freedom.

Sabre88 prides itself on holding firm to its core values, all of which our Veterans embody. From our Veterans we see unrivaled and inspirational teamwork and service to the community, we see cutting edge technology and efficient communication, and we see accountability. This time of year, all of us at Sabre88 tip our caps to those who have sacrificed everything so that we can continue to honor and serve our customers and each other. We would like to express our sincerest gratitude for the incredible men and women whose actions have protected our freedoms and kept us safe.

At this time, we are proud to honor our very own Sabre88 Veterans:

Charlie Cernat

Taylor Collins

Jim Hansel

Kathleen Hull

Howard Johnson

Robert Lightfoot

Lekeisha Mosley

Ron Oliver

Brian J. Schweikert

Daylyn Whitley

On behalf of all of us here at Sabre88, Thank You for Your Service. Our hats are off to you!

Author: Paul McVeigh


Tammy Duckworth and Jim Risch Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Promote Small Business Contracting Throughout the Federal Government

U.S Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) which exist within each federal agency to maximize contracting opportunities for small businesses.

Since many federal agencies have failed to fully empower their OSDBUs and comply with the Small Business Act, the Small Business Contracting Accountability Act would require those non-compliant agencies to submit a report to the House and Senate Committees on Small Business and Entrepreneurship detailing why the agency is not compliant, as well as the specific actions that the agency will take to comply. Duckworth serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

 “Small business are our nation’s job creators and primary investors in our local economies, which is why it’s critical they have a strong voice within our federal agencies,” Duckworth said. “I’m glad to be working with Senator Risch on this bipartisan bill that would help enforce existing law designed to enable small businesses across the country better access contracting opportunities with the federal government.”  

“Many Federal agencies are required by law to maximize opportunities to contract with America’s small businesses. When agency officials fail to comply with the law, they should have to answer to the authorizing committees,” said Risch. “I am proud to introduce the Small Business Contracting Accountability Act of 2019, a bipartisan, common-sense approach that will level the playing field for small businesses and hold Washington bureaucrats accountable for failing to meet reasonable standards.”

Under the Small Business Contracting Accountability Act, any non-compliant agency would have 120 days upon the enactment of this legislation to submit their report, or 120 days after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) submits another report on agency OSDBU compliance to the Committees, whichever is later. If GAO issues another of these reports, this legislation will also apply should the GAO find agencies non-compliant. GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information.

Author: Prasanna Patil