Some 8.4 million workers now covered by government’s furlough scheme

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 27th May 2020) London, Uk – –

Some 8.4 million workers are now covered by the government's furlough scheme, up from eight million a week earlier, the Treasury has said.

Claims for subsidies filed by employers rose to £15bn from £11.1bn, it added.

The scheme, brought in to mitigate the effects of coronavirus, allows employees to receive 80% of their monthly salary up to £2,500.

A similar scheme for self-employed workers saw 2.3 million claims made worth £6.8bn.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as it is known, differs from the furlough scheme because it is a grant paid out in a single instalment covering three months and amounting to 80% of average profit.

The furlough scheme, officially called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, was originally intended to last until the end of July, but has now been extended until the end of October.

  • What does it mean if I've been furloughed by work?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that it will continue to provide the same level of earnings, but has said the government will ask companies to “start sharing” the cost of the scheme from August.

Sources have told the BBC the Treasury still expects to be paying more than half the costs between August and October.

‘I'm one of the people who slipped through the cracks'

Marketing professional Sian Melonie, from Hackney in east London, is one of the many people who, through no fault of their own, are not in a position to benefit from the government's furlough scheme or its help for self-employed workers.

After 12 years in work, she decided to go self-employed last year and began working for a large cinema group.

She was due to start a fixed-term contract from 30 March, but that offer was withdrawn when the pandemic hit.

“l don't qualify for any support. I can't be furloughed and I don't qualify for self-employed benefits, because I'm new to it,” she told the BBC. “I'm one of the people who slipped through the cracks.”

But Sian says she is not angry and is using her savings to tide her over. “However, my concern is how much longer it goes on for, because l am essentially spending what l had saved for my self-assessment tax for later this year.

“I'm hoping things get back to normal and the economy can bounce back.”

Recent figures from the government's independent economic forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, indicate that the cost of the government's efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic is expected to hit £123.2bn.

The OBR expects annual borrowing to equal 15.2% of the UK economy, which would be the highest since the 22.1% seen at the end of World War Two.

It said it had increased its estimate because of the rising cost of the furlough scheme

Billionaire Boparan buys Carluccio’s brand and saves 800 jobs

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri, 22nd May 2020) London, Uk – –

bout 40 outlets – now shut because of Covid-19 – will close for good, with loss of 1,000 jobs

The billionaire Ranjit Singh Boparan has bought the Carluccio’s brand and 31 restaurants in a deal that rescues more than 800 jobs.

About 40 further outlets of the ailing chain, which called in administrators in March, will be permanently shut, with the loss of 1,000 jobs. All the Carluccio’s outlets are currently closed and its staff are on furlough.

Boparan, 53, has made his fortune in the food business and owns the Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains as well as Fox’s Biscuits and a vast supermarket chicken empire.

Phil Reynolds, a joint administrator of Carluccio’s and a partner at the corporate restructuring firm FRP, said: “The Covid-19 lockdown has put incredible pressure on businesses across the leisure sector, so it has been important to work as quickly and as decisively as possible in an extremely challenging business environment to secure a sale, which ensures the future of the Carluccio’s brand in the UK casual dining scene.”

The buyout of Carluccio’s marks the latest expansion of Boparan’s empire. He has been labelled the “chicken king” as he is the co-owner and founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, which supplies about a third of the chicken on UK supermarket shelves. The company, which also owns Fox’s Biscuits, was the subject of parliamentary and food watchdog inquiries in 2017 after a Guardian and ITV News undercover investigation into food standards at a 2 Sisters chicken plant.

Boparan’s interests also include the turkey producer Bernard Matthews and the upmarket Cinnamon Club restaurant in London, as well as Boparan Restaurants group, which operates 140 outlets across six chains.

Satnam Leihal, the managing director of Boparan Restaurant Group, said: “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow our restaurant group with quality brands. While it is an extremely challenging time for the sector, we believe quality hospitality businesses will recover in the long term as people return to eating out.”

Boparan is extending his empire as restaurants and pubs face intense financial pressure during the coronavirus crisis. UK operators have been closed since the end of March and will not be allowed to open to diners until at least 4 July, when the third step in the government’s lockdown easing plan is due to take place, if progress in tackling the virus allows. Even then, businesses are expected to have to operate with strict physical-distancing rules, which are likely to dramatically affect profits.

Carluccio’s was founded by the late chef Antonio Carluccio in 1999 and was owned by Landmark Group, a Dubai-based retail and hospitality conglomerate.

Restaurants that have been rescued

Beverley
Bluewater
Bristol, Cribbs Causeway
Cambridge
Cheshire Oaks
Chester
Chichester
Colchester
Derby
Kingston, Bentalls
Leamington Spa
Leeds, Trinity
London, Islington Development Kitchen
London, Marriott Heathrow
London, Marriott Regents Park
London, Richmond
London, South Kensington
London, St Christopher’s Place
London, St Pancras Station
London, Waterloo Station
London, Wimbledon
Manchester, Trafford Centre
Manchester, Piccadilly
Portsmouth
Reading
Sheffield
Solihull
Southampton
Stratford-upon-Avon
Walton-on-Thames
Dublin Dawson Street

By Sarah Butler 

15 Types of Rich People

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: What are the types of rich people? Are there different kinds of rich people? How do people get rich? What are the most common types of rich people? What kind of people get rich? Who are the types of people that get rich? How many types of rich people are there? What are the most common categories of rich people? How can you separate rich people in different categories? What are the commonalities between rich people? What type of rich people am I? What are some famous types of rich people? What are the different types of wealth? What are the types of wealthy individuals? How much money do you need to be rich? What are the different types of fortunes?

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann files a lawsuit against Japan’s SoftBank over $3bn deal

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 5th May 2020) London, Uk – –

Former CEO of office-sharing company accuses Japanese bank of abusing its power.

Adam Neumann, WeWork’s co-founder and former chief executive, has filed a lawsuit against Japan’s SoftBank, accusing it of abusing its power in order to terminate an agreement to buy $3bn (£2.4bn) of stock from him and other early investors in the office-sharing company.

SoftBank, which is run by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son who is also WeWork’s biggest investor, announced in early April that it was walking away from the share tender rescue deal hammered out last October to save WeWork from collapse.

It said at the time it had “no choice” but to scrap the rescue deal because WeWork had failed to meet several conditions. It also cited concerns about “multiple, new, and significant pending criminal and civil investigations”.

Neumann would have been the biggest beneficiary of the payouts to minority shareholders, as he was lined up to sell $970m worth of shares.

The lawsuit, filed in a Delaware court, said Softbank and its Vision Fund had let down Neumann and WeWork staff.

“Mr Neumann put his trust in [SoftBank and the Vision Fund] to be stewards of WeWork, which he — and thousands of others — had worked so hard to build,” the lawsuit said.

Neumann had upheld his end of the bargain, according to the filing, while WeWork’s Japanese investors had not.

“The abuses committed by [SoftBank] and SBVF [SoftBank Vision Fund] are so brazen that they have prompted legal action by a special committee of WeWork’s board,” the lawsuit added.

Responding to Neumann’s lawsuit, Rob Townsend, the SoftBank chief legal officer, said: “SoftBank will vigorously defend itself against these meritless claims.”

He added: “Under the terms of our agreement, which Adam Neumann signed, SoftBank had no obligation to complete the tender offer in which Mr Neumann – the biggest beneficiary – sought to sell nearly $1bn in stock.”

Neumann resigned as chief executive last September from the firm he co-founded in 2010, after scrapping plans for a stock market flotation. Investors balked at the company’s sky-high valuation. It had been valued at $47bn, despite losing $3bn in the past three years, but that valuation was slashed to $8bn by the time of the bailout in October.

SoftBank has been losing money on its investments and last week predicted a wider full-year loss of 900bn yen (£6.8bn). It expects to lose £5.3bn from its investment in WeWork alone.

By Julia Kollewe

Barclays get 200 applications in one minute for bounce back loan

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 4th May 2020) London, Uk – –

Businesses can apply for loans up to £50,000 from Monday under a new Treasury scheme – and are already in big demand.

Barclays' UK boss Matt Hammerstein said the bank got 200 applications for so-called bounce back loans in the first minute after they launched at 9am.

The scheme offers smaller amounts than the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

They are designed for small firms, and to speed up the application process.

Under CBILS, loans of up to £5m are available for companies with a turnover of less than £45m.

However, the loans have come in for criticism by some businesses, especially smaller ones. Banks can often apply their usual lending criteria, which makes it harder for smaller enterprises to qualify while locked down.

On Thursday, the number of CBILS loans agreed was 8,638, down from more than 9,000 the previous week. Of 52,807 loans applied for, almost 28,000 have still to be approved.

Banks have been criticised for delays in handing out loans but have blamed the heavy workload, the need to complete the necessary credit checks and a shortage of staff.

The government insists these new, bounce back, loans will be easier to apply for. However, UK Finance, which represents banks, emphasised that firms should “think very carefully before taking on new debt”.

Who can apply?

While the loans are aimed at smaller businesses and sole traders, with £2,000 to £50,000 on offer, there is no limit on the size of business that can apply.

To qualify, a firm must have been trading on 1 March this year and not have been in financial difficulty. In other words, the loans are not intended to bail out failing businesses.

While these are early days, business leaders have been generally positive about the bounce-back scheme. It “offers real hope” for small firms, says Mike Cherry, head of the Federation of Small Businesses.

When will the money be available?

Businesses should apply through the bank with which they have a business account. The Treasury says funds should then be available “within days”.

Borrowers answer seven questions on an online form including information about turnover, tax details, bank account and how the lockdown and Covid-19 has impacted your business. Applicants do not have to provide security and personal guarantees.

Fifty banks have been accredited to provide the loans – the same ones that provide CBILS. However, the expectation is that because of the simplicity of the process, banks will transfer the money far quicker than CBIL loans.


Despite the stress, Rachel Sweet is staying positive

The lockdown hit just as Rachel Sweet's one-year-old business was entering its busiest trading period. She also had expansion plans. The bounce-back loans could prove a lifeline, she says, and her application is going in straight away.

Bath-based Sweet Drinks sells, promotes and organises tastings based on produce from the West Country. With the summer season and big outdoor events approaching, “we were thinking about taking the business to the next level”.

She estimates she lost 60% of her business when lockdown effectively closed the events season. Rachel says: “Given all the hurdles and rejections we were reading about with the business interruption scheme, we decided to wait a little.

“This new scheme looks much more suitable for us. We've got enough money to cover out costs for a while.”

Six months ago she was thinking of taking out a big bank loan to fund expansion, financing that would have come with a hefty interest rate. That could have made the current situation worse.

The stress levels are high, she says. “But luckily I'm a glass-half-full person, so I'm staying positive and just trying to do my best given the business environment.”


What are the terms?

The government will cover the cost of fees and interest for the first year. Businesses will only begin repaying the loan after 12 months.

All lenders will charge a flat rate of 2.5% and the loans will last up to six years.

This bounce-back rate is likely to be lower than most CBILS as they are less risky. The government is guaranteeing 100% of the loan from lenders if the firm defaults. With CBILS, the guarantee is 80% of the money.

Both the Treasury and banks are keen to emphasise that they are loans that need to be repaid. The tax authorities have promised close inspection of all loans given.

What if I've already applied for a loan under CBILS?

You can still apply for one of these new loans. You can switch your CBILS application to a bounce back one if it was under £50,000.

Or, if you already have a CBIL you can convert it, the Treasury says. Applicants do not have to stay with existing lenders.

The major High Street banks will provide the bulk of the loans. But 50 lenders that have been approved to offer bounce-bank loans include peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle and specialist small business backers.

‘Loans, not grants'

Steven Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, told the BBC the affordability checks would “be lighter”, but firms should still “think very carefully about their ability to repay the loan”.

Despite the government guarantee, banks are required to first chase firms for money if they do not repay the loan. That means seizing assets and pursuing business owners through the courts.

Mr Jones said: “These are loans, not grants, so if a business is already indebted and taking on further debt, they should think carefully before making an application.”

The British Chambers of Commerce has said that about 30% of its members say they cannot afford to take on more debt.

100% state-backed loans for small firms approved by Chancellor Rishi Sunak

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 27th April 2020) London, Uk – –

Small firms are to get access to 100% taxpayer-backed loans after they raised concerns about slow access to existing coronavirus rescue schemes.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons the scheme would start next week, offering firms loans up to £50,000 within days of applying.

It aims to unlock a backlog of credit checks by banks amid fears many small firms could fold before getting loans.

The scheme requires filling in a two-page self-certification form online.

The loan terms mean that no capital or interest repayments will be due for one year. Instead, the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months.

Banks have come under fire for delays in handing out loans, but have blamed the heavy workload, need to complete the necessary credit checks, and a shortage of staff.

Underwriting the loans removes the risk that banks will not get their money back, which Mr Sunak hopes will speed up the application process. The new “microloan scheme” would provide a “simple, quick, easy” solution, he told the Commons.

Analysis, Faisal Islam, economics editor:

The chancellor said: “Never before have we been able to do something of this magnitude in such a short space of time.”

It's not the end of the economic rescue schemes. They are needed in this “new normal” for the economy – which looks set to last for months.

For now, the priority is public health, and controlling the pandemic.

Without public confidence in that, consumers will not go to shops, workers will not return to offices.

In another significant change, firms applying for the new loans will now only have to prove that they were viable in the past before the crisis, not that they will viable after the crisis. Companies have complained they struggled to prove their future potential with some much uncertainty over the economic environment.

The chancellor had come under pressure to underwrite all loans, not just those up to £50,000. But he said he was not prepared to do this as he needed to balance the risk to the taxpayer with the needs of small businesses.

He said: “I've heard some calls for the government to underwrite all our loan schemes with 100% guarantees. I remain unconvinced by the case for doing that universally.

“We should not ask the ordinary taxpayers of today and tomorrow to bear the entire risk of lending almost unlimited sums to businesses who may, in some cases, have very little prospect of paying those loans back and not necessarily because of the impact of the coronavirus.”

Earlier this month the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, said that slow bank emergency lending “had to be sorted out” and that taking on all the risk from banks could “unblock” the schemes for small business especially.

‘Transformational'

Unlike the existing loan scheme, banks will not retain any of the risk for these loans, which could stretch into the billions or tens of billions depending on how long the crisis lasts.

Business leaders welcomed the move, with Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn calling it transformational for small firms.

“Sole traders, micro-firms and entrepreneurs will now have a simple route to fast finance to stay afloat, without red tape or time-consuming checks,” she said. “Thousands of businesses could be saved by this lifeline. Banks now need to continue their work in overdrive to get the loans flowing faster.”

And the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry, said it would “give hope to thousands” of firms.

“To date, the existing interruption loan scheme has not been working for the small firms that make-up 99% of our business community.

“The decision by the chancellor to listen to our recommendation for a 100% guarantee on smaller loans, alongside the creation of a new fast-track system for those applying for them, will give hope to thousands.”

Worlds Top 10 Most Demanding Businesses

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: Which are the most demanding businesses? What are the most stressful factors about a business? How to relieve stress? What are the most successful small businesses? What are the most successful small businesses in19? What are the most needed businesses? What is a good business to start in 2020? Can I start a business with no money? What businesses are in demand? Why is it so hard to start a business? What business I can do from home? What is the easiest business to start? Which startups are profitable? Which home-based business is most profitable? What businesses have the highest profit margin? What business can I start with 5000? What business can I start with 10k? What business has the highest margins?

Sir Richard Branson warns Virgin Atlantic will fold without aid

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 20th April 2020) London, Uk – –

Sir Richard Branson has warned that airline Virgin Atlantic needs government support to survive.

The boss of the Virgin Group said he was not asking for a handout, but a commercial loan, believed to be £500m.

In an open letter to staff, Sir Richard said: “Many airlines around the world need government support and many have already received it.

The plea comes as Virgin Australia, the country's second largest airline, faces going into administration without aid.

Sir Richard wrote in his letter that without UK government support for Virgin Atlantic “there won't be any competition left and hundreds of thousands more jobs will be lost”.

Virgin Atlantic – which is owned jointly by Sir Richard and US carrier Delta – has reportedly asked for £500m in aid. However, according to an FT report last week, the request has been rejected by the Treasury.

It said the airline had not done enough to show it had explored other options to bolster cash before asking for state aid.

Government support

In his letter to staff, Sir Richard said: “We will do everything we can to keep the airline [Virgin Atlantic] going – but we will need government support to achieve that in the face of the severe uncertainty surrounding travel today and not knowing how long the planes will be grounded for.

“This would be in the form of a commercial loan – it wouldn't be free money and the airline would pay it back (as EasyJet will do for the £600m loan the government recently gave them).”

He pointed out that Virgin Atlantic started with one plane 36 years ago, before adding: “Over those years it has created real competition for British Airways, which must remain fierce for the benefit of our wonderful customers and the public at large.”

Sir Richard offered to inject £250m into the Virgin Group last month, with most of that going to the airline.

Earlier this month, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Heathrow airport and Manchester Airports Group sent letters to the government highlighting the importance of Virgin Atlantic to the UK's manufacturing supply chain.

Australia struggles

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Virgin Australia – in which Sir Richard holds a stake of around 10% – is close to going into administration after being refused help by the Australian government.

The carrier has been forced to cancel nearly all of its flights during the coronavirus crisis and been unable to restructure its debts.

The Australian government refused a request from the company for a A$1.4bn (£720m) loan.

The airline – which employs about 16,000 – is part-owned by Sir Richard along with Etihad, Singapore Airlines and China's HNA.

“The brilliant Virgin Australia team is fighting to survive and need support to get through this catastrophic global crisis,” Sir Richard said.

“We are hopeful that Virgin Australia can emerge stronger than ever, as a more sustainable, financially viable airline.”

He warned: “If Virgin Australia disappears, Qantas would effectively have a monopoly of the Australian skies. We all know what that would lead to.”

Sir Richard also addressed the fierce criticism he has faced in recent weeks over his tax situation.

Critics have pointed out he has paid no UK income tax since moving to the tax-free British Virgin Islands 14 years ago.

Sir Richard is the 312th richest person in the world with an estimated $5.2bn fortune, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index.

“I've seen lots of comments about my net worth – but that is calculated on the value of Virgin businesses around the world before this crisis, not sitting as cash in a bank account ready to withdraw,” he said.

“Over the years significant profits have never been taken out of the Virgin Group, instead they have been reinvested in building businesses that create value and opportunities.”

Turning to the question of living abroad he said: “Joan and I did not leave Britain for tax reasons but for our love of the beautiful British Virgin Islands (BVI) and in particular Necker Island, which I bought when I was 29 years old, as an uninhabited island on the edges of the BVI.

“Over time, we built our family home here. The rest of the island is run as a business, which employs 175 people.”

By Simon Read Business reporter

How Rachel Lim’s mom’s savings helped build a multimillion-dollar fashion empire

Source: CNBC

32-year-old Rachel Lim’s multimillion-dollar women’s clothing line Love, Bonito is using technology to reinvent retail. CNBC Make It’s Karen Gilchrist met with the formidable fashionista to hear how she bet her mom’s savings on her big dream.

3 Lifestyle Changes you can make to be Rich after this Lockdown

Source: Success Secrets

Often time, what happens to us doesn't determine our results. Instead, it is how we react to what happens to us that does. We are experiencing a terrible period all over the world now due to the global pandemic. While similar things are happening to millions of people, how we react to this situation should be different, especially what we do with our time behind the doors during this Lockdown.

NEW WAYS TELEDENTISTRY CAN HELP YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS?

TELEDENTISTRY THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE

Some people may think, teledentistry means searching the Web for information that might help a patient. Others may think, it is partaking of online continuing education courses. These two activities are not Teledentistry, they are actually Web surfing and distance learning.

Teledentistry, on the other hand, is a combination of telecommunications and dentistry, involving the exchange of clinical information and images over remote distances for dental consultation, treatment planning and in some cases certain treatments as will be discussed below.

The term “Teledentistry” was first used as far back as 1997, and was defined as – The practice of using video-conferencing technologies to diagnose and provide advice about treatment over a distance.

Click the following link below to read more

QLM Teledentistry

HOW CAN TELEDENTISTRY HELP YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS?

TELEDENTISTRY THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE

Some people may think, teledentistry means searching the Web for information that might help a patient. Others may think, it is partaking of online continuing education courses. These two activities are not Teledentistry, they are actually Web surfing and distance learning.

Teledentistry, on the other hand, is a combination of telecommunications and dentistry, involving the exchange of clinical information and images over remote distances for dental consultation, treatment planning and in some cases certain treatments as will be discussed below.

The term “Teledentistry” was first used as far back as 1997, and was defined as – The practice of using video-conferencing technologies to diagnose and provide advice about treatment over a distance.

Click the following link below to read more

Teledentistry – QLM TeleDent

Hundreds of loans have been made under UK coronavirus scheme – Treasury

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Wed, 1st April 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Hundreds of loans have been made under an emergency scheme launched last month to help small and medium-sized companies get access to bank credit during the coronavirus crisis, a spokesman for Britain’s finance ministry said.

“There are hundreds of these loans that have gone out,” the Treasury spokesman told reporters when asked about reports of companies struggling to use the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. “Cash has very much gone out the door.”

By William Schomberg

Retailers seeing overwhelming demand in trade due to coronavirus

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 30th Mar 2020) London, Uk – –

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, many retailers are seeing trade collapse, but others are overwhelmed by demand.

“We're as busy as at Christmas time,” says the owner of an online coffee business, “we're selling double.”

An outdoor games supplier is in the same position: “We've sold out of table tennis tables – they're the new loo roll.”

While families are stuck at home, they’re keen to find ways of keeping their minds and bodies active, well-fed and refreshed, as their purchasing choices reveal.

So, what's booming?

1. Bicycles and exercise gear

Whether for exercise or for a safer means of travel, bicycle sales are speeding up.

“People are thinking, I want to have independence,” says Will Butler-Adams, chief executive of the folding bike company, Brompton.

“I think sales in the UK across the industry are probably up around 15%.”

Meanwhile, the London Cycle Workshop is twice as busy as normal, servicing older bikes for customers trying to avoid public transport or “just looking for something to do”.

Retailer Halfords is also reporting a rise in sales of exercise bikes, saying: “People who are not able to get out still want to exercise indoors.”

Toby Clark, from Mintel market research, says his teams are seeing reports of “really high sales of home exercise equipment, as people try to compensate for the fact that they now can't get to the gym”.

John Lewis backs that up. The department store has seen a “significant uplift” in home gym equipment and other fitness products.

2. Outdoor and indoor games

Games supplier Andy Beresford says his entire stock of outdoor table tennis tables is sold and a delivery due this week is pre-sold.

“I've sold 124 tables in the last week, he says, “In the same week last year, I sold just 15.”

Orders took off when the government said schools would have to close.

Andy, whose business Home Leisure Direct is based just outside Bristol, has sold an “awful lot” of pool tables as well.

His pool table stock has halved from 500 to 250.

3. Home and garden items

Phil Jones of JustSeed in Wrexham, which sells a wide range of plant seeds, says he had to stop taking orders after a rush for staples including carrots, lettuce, beans and tomatoes.

“It's just the sheer volume,” he says, “We're catching up with a massive surge.”

Two of the biggest seed companies, Marshalls and Suttons, have stopped answering the phone.

For some buyers, there is a worry about fresh vegetables running short, but Phil says many are just looking for an activity.

“They've been meaning to do the veg patch for years and it's something educational to do with the kids,” he adds.

Another specialist retailer, Franchi Seeds, has taken down its website temporarily, saying “people are panic buying”.

Indoors, more people are taking up sewing and knitting as a way to beat the boredom of confinement.

London-based department store Liberty says sales of sewing accessories are currently up 380% on last year, while purchases of their craft kits have risen 228%.

4. Reading matter

Another pursuit that’s popular with people who have time on their hands right now is settling down with a good book. And perhaps surprisingly, fictional accounts of epidemics are in great demand.

At number two in Amazon UK’s chart of most sold books of the week is The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz. Although it was written in 1981, it describes a virus called Wuhan-400, in what appears to be an uncanny prediction of the coronavirus.

Another novel that is selling well is The Plague by French author Albert Camus. UK publisher Penguin says its sales in the last week of February were 150% up on last year and it is reprinting the book. Its sales have also risen sharply in France and Italy.

5. Electrical goods

As supermarket bosses have been telling us, there is collectively £1bn more worth of food in our houses than before the stockpiling rush started.

But where does it all go? You have to have somewhere to store it.

As a result, freezers and fridges have zoomed up the list of products people are searching for on online marketplaces.

There is a rush for laptops as well, also for office equipment, because many are finding that slouching on the sofa is not the best way to work.

Dixons Carphone said it had seen very good sales of equipment for home working (laptops, printers), for home entertainment (TVs, gaming consoles) and for home living (fridges, freezers, kitchen appliances), with same-store sales up 23%.

6. Coffee

Rave Coffee, selling exotic coffees from an industrial unit in Cirencester, is having to take on more staff to cope because demand has doubled.

“We have 11 members of staff and need another five,” says Vikki Hodge, who runs the business.

“People were buying our coffee for their office supply, now they are getting it at home,” Vikki explains.

“Where I had one office ordering, I might get 10 people ordering from their living room.”

Small firms ‘struggling'

But even the businesses doing well in the crisis remain in danger.

Andy from Home Leisure Direct says he has stopped taking orders for table tennis tables after factories closed in France, Spain and Italy.

“I think we'll go into lockdown before the end of the week,” he says, “I'll mothball the business.”

Andy has 40 staff, many of whom will have no work to do, so he is planning to apply for government funding to help with the wages.

Vikki from Rave Coffee is acutely aware that the businesses surrounding her on her industrial park in Cirencester are having to shut down.

“I can see the worry on their faces. They are small businesses struggling,” she says.

She believes keeping going is not just about providing more jobs. It's about providing funding for the firms which need help.

“We will pay our VAT and PAYE on time,” Vikki adds, “It goes in the pot to help them.”

By Simon Gompertz and Robert Plummer

How Automakers Are Working With Music Composers To Replace The Sound Of Engines In Cars

Source: BI


The increase in electric vehicles and hybrids on roads has also increased the risk of collision with pedestrians and cyclists. Since we have become used to the sound of engines alerting us to a car's presence, the silence of electric cars has caused safety concerns. To mitigate this risk the U.S. and Europe have passed a new regulation that requires EV's to emit a sound while driving under 18.6 mph or 30 kph to replace the sound of an engine. Automakers like BMW, Volkswagen, and Nissan are working with music composers to design sounds for their EVs. A composer from Man Made Music group guides us through their process of designing the sound for the Nissan LEAF.

The 27 Year Old Living On $615K A Year In Seattle

Source CNBC

Todd Baldwin is a 27-year-old who lives just outside Seattle, WA and brings in $615,000 a year. His day job is in commercial health insurance and earns him $150,000 per year before commission. He owns 6 rental properties with his wife Angela that net $12,500 per month. Here's where his money philosophy comes from and how he chooses to spend, or not spend it.