Post-Brexit trade deal between Boris Johnson’s government and Brussels on a knife-edge

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 7th Dec, 2020) London, Uk – –

Negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal have “entered the endgame” with the PM and EU president due to speak later.

By Greg Heffer, political reporter

Brexit trade talks go down to the wire with a phone call between Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this afternoon.

The prime minister was due to speak with the EU chief at 4pm (5pm in Brussels) to assess whether a post-Brexit trade agreement can still be reached.

Meanwhile, the government offered a concession to the EU and said it would drop the most controversial parts of its Internal Market Bill – which could break international law – following “good progress” in talks over Irish border arrangements.

This afternoon's phone call between Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen is their second within 48 hours, after they agreed over the weekend to make a “further effort” to reach a deal, despite months of deadlock on key issues.

Saturday's call preceded another day of negotiations, which continued late into the night.

However the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, was said to have been “very gloomy” about the prospects of a deal when he spoke to the bloc's national ambassadors on Monday morning.

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told RTE news: “Having heard from Michel Barnier this morning, really the news is very downbeat.

“I would say he is very gloomy, and obviously very cautious about the ability to make progress today.”

One EU diplomat said: “EU-UK negotiations have entered the endgame, time is running out quickly.

“Despite intensive negotiations until late last night, the gaps on level playing field, governance and fisheries are still not bridged.

“The outcome is still uncertain, it can still go both ways.”

Meanwhile, an EU source told Sky News they were “not expecting anything substantial yet” although they predicted “some more drama” and said trade talks were “moving in the right direction on fishing”.

Downing Street said on Monday that “significant differences remain on critical issues”, including fisheries, which was still being negotiated by the UK's team in Brussels.

The prime minister's official spokesman said: “Our negotiations are ongoing but we remain committed to trying to reach a free trade agreement, and that is what our team is there trying to achieve today, but we are clearly in the final stages now.”

The spokesman also said the UK government was “prepared to negotiate for as long as we have time available if we think an agreement is still possible”, after Mr Barnier reportedly told members of the European Parliament the deadline for talks succeeding is Wednesday.

In a bid to soothe tensions, the UK government also confirmed it would “be prepared to remove” two parts of the Internal Market Bill.

The draft legislation has been condemned by critics both in Westminster and across European capitals for allowing ministers to override the Withdrawal Agreement – the UK's divorce deal with the EU that was agreed last year.

The government has admitted the legislation could see the UK breach international law, but argue it is needed to protect the integrity of the UK and the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

Senior cabinet minister Michael Gove met with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic in Brussels on Monday.

Following their meeting, the UK government released a statement saying it could scrap the controversial parts related to state aid and export declarations.

The bill is being debated on on Monday in the Commons after the Lords took out the same sections, but the government is expected to successfully reinsert them – setting up a “ping pong” battle between the two Houses.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly told Sky News' Kay Burley those clauses would be reintroduced to the bill when it returns to the House of Commons today, with MPs set to vote on whether to keep or scrap the Lords' amendments this evening.

“It contains clauses that we may need to rely on and, if we do need to rely on them, better that they're there,” Mr Cleverly said.

“It's an insurance policy, like all insurance policies you'd prefer not to have to use it. But you would kick yourself if you need it and it isn't there.”A no-deal was unthinkable once – this week we'll find out if the PM is prepared to press that button

Asked whether it was worth risking the EU's anger by reintroducing the controversial legislation in full, Mr Cleverly replied: “Not having that in place would weaken our position and actually give an advantage to the EU negotiators.

“And, in a negotiation like this, it is really key that both parties negotiate hard – I'm sure the EU negotiators are negotiating hard, but so is David Frost (the UK's chief negotiator) and our negotiating team.

“We do it in a spirit of positivity, but we do want to get a deal that works for the UK, an agreement that works for the UK.”

The EU's national leaders will gather for a summit in Brussels on Thursday, which will come just three weeks before the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December.

The pound fell by more than two cents against the US dollar on Monday morning to just over $1.32 as investors grew more anxious about the possibility of a no-deal outcome.

It was a sharp reverse from market optimism over the talks last week which saw sterling climb above $1.35 for the first time this year.

Without a post-Brexit trade deal being agreed by the end of this month, the EU and UK are likely to have to trade on World Trade Organisation rules with tariffs imposed in both directions.

England’s high streets returned to business after lockdown

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 2nd Dec 2020) London, Uk – –

Primark stores were some of first to open as Covid controls on non-essential shops eased

England’s high streets returned to business slowly and tentatively on Wednesday with queues outside some Primark stores as they became some of the first to open their doors at 7am.

Non-essential stores in England are reopening after the month-long lockdown brought in by the government in its latest effort to control the spread of Covid-19.

While there were reports of queues outside some Primark stores in Newcastle and Birmingham, only about 20 masked people queued outside Primark’s Oxford Street branch in London, with almost as many press photographers as shoppers.

A number of stores, including Forever 21, Schuh and several former tourist gift shops remain permanently closed on London’s main shopping street, which has been hard hit because tourists and commuters have been kept away by travel restrictions and the shift to working from home.

Standing in the queue outside the cut-price fashion store, which was still bringing in trollies full of Primark stock after the doors opened, Gabriella Abrile, 21, said “I’m so excited. It’s a very good store. I’m here to buy gifts.”

Several other shoppers said they were popping in on their way to work. Tracey Banks, 57, said she had been keen to get back into stores as “I’m old, I like to touch and feel things. I don’t like to just look at a picture.

“I’m going to get some Christmas pyjamas to make sure I get them before the mayhem starts. I’m surprised there is only a little queue. I expected it to be much bigger,” she said.

By Sarah Butler

Why These 3 Businesses Will Boom In 2021

Source: Practical Wisdom

2021 may be the most unpredictable year of the decade. No one knows how people are going to react to new business strategies; no one even knows what some of these business strategies will be. Reopening a business during COVID is like a game of chess: without a plan, you’ll lose. For all those that aspire to start a new business or invest in one, this video is for you.

UK shoppers preparing for Christmas earlier – says ASDA

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 17th Nov 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic British shoppers are preparing for Christmas earlier than ever before, supermarket group Asda said on Tuesday.

Asda, Britain's third largest grocer after Tesco TSCO.L and Sainsbury's SBRY.L, said it had already seen a surge in demand for Christmas products and “lockdown proof” festive goods.

“We have already seen a marked shift in buying patterns with customers stocking up their freezers and cupboards with festive essentials earlier than ever before,” said CEO Roger Burnley.

He highlighted sales of Christmas puddings up 71% year-on-year, and mince pies up 44%. Sales of Christmas trees were up 83% and festive lights by 57%.

Asda said there was also evidence customers were preparing for smaller Christmas gatherings, given current government restrictions on meeting friends and family. Sales of frozen turkey crowns, which typically serve three to four people, had increased by 230%.

Asda is currently owned by U.S. giant Walmart WMT.N.

However, last month the Issa brothers and private equity group TDR Capital agreed to buy a majority holding in Asda in a deal giving it an enterprise value of $8.8 billion.

The deal, under which Walmart will keep a minority stake, requires regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first half of 2021.

Asda said like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 2.7% in the third quarter to Sept. 30 – a slowdown from growth of 3.8% in the previous quarter.

Industry data has shown Asda's growth to be lagging that of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons MRW.L, partly reflecting Asda's lack of a local convenience store offer – a format that has proved popular with consumers during the crisis.

Asda is, however, performing well online, with sales soaring 72% in the quarter.

It expects rapid growth in online shopping to continue in the Christmas quarter and has increased the capacity of its grocery home shopping service to 765,000 weekly slots.

Asda has also extended its delivery trial with Uber Eats from 50 to 100 stores.

Separately on Tuesday Walmart posted a bigger-than-expected increase in quarterly same-store sales.

Reporting by James Davey

How SpaceX Made NASA Cool Again

Source: CNBC

NASA reached peak cool on July 20th, 1969 when it sent the first men to the moon. However, the agency's impact on society goes far beyond space. Some of the biggest advancements in technology started as NASA experiments, from GPS systems and Dustbusters to freeze-dried foods and laptop computers. But Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famous astrophysicist, says NASA partnering with Elon Musk's SpaceX is one of the biggest advancements the agency has made since the moon landing.

Model railway maker Hornby sales surge by 33% in lockdown

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

Model railway maker Hornby has seen its sales surge by 33% in the six months to the end of September, as more people took up hobbies in lockdown.

The firm, which also makes Corgi cars and Scalextric racing kits, said it had benefitted from families spending more time at home.

Not along ago, Hornby was “a company in chaos”, losing up to £10m a year, according to boss Lyndon Davies.

He hailed the firm's return to profit in a “time of adversity”.

“We have observed hitherto successful and profitable companies worldwide crumbling under the pressure [of the pandemic], with losses, closures and tumbling share values.

“Yet we have not only weathered this shattering storm, our sales have increased by 33% in the first half of 2020, moving Hornby back into profitability.”

Parts of the Hornby business that performed strongly over the past six months included Airfix, its model aeroplane brand, and Humbrol, which makes specialist paints for modelling.

Mr Davies said the company had seen a big jump in online sales, as customers sought comfort from uncertainty in products “they know and love”.

He said boredom was another driver: “People want to do things, they don't want to sit there watching the TV for the day.”

He said the firm entered the year with “no idea” how the business would be impacted by the pandemic.

All of the firm's offices had to close at various points, and it lost several weeks of shipments due to supply chain issues.

Despite this, sales climbed to £21.1m in the period from £15.9m last year. That's given Hornby a net profit of £200,000, turning around a £2.5m loss in 2019.

Shares in the firm surged almost 30% on the back of the strong results.

Wider ranges

Lockdown isn't the only reason behind Hornby's changing fortunes. After a complete restructuring of the management team in 2017, the company widened its range, introducing train sets tied to well-known brands such as Harry Potter and Paddington Bear.

Back to the Future-themed cars have been “the biggest selling Scalextric cars for 10 years”, Mr Davies added.

The firm has also embraced new technologies. A century after its first clockwork locomotive was introduced in 1920, the company's model trains and racing cars can now be controlled by mobile phone apps using bluetooth.

“These brands have been misunderstood for the past 5-10 years, but in the last year we've brought them alive again,” Mr Davies said.

10,000 Black Interns scheme a push to improve workplace diversity

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 27th Oct 2020) London, Uk – –

NHS, Linklaters and PwC among companies pledging to cumulatively hire 10,000 black interns as part of campaign

The NHS, the law firm Linklaters and the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers are among the large companies that have promised to cumulatively hire 10,000 black interns amid a push to improve the diversity of the UK’s professional industries.

Businesses who sign up to the #10000BlackInterns programme will offer paid internships in sectors that have struggled to increase their ethnic diversity to match the broader UK population.

Companies or other organisations from education, healthcare and advertising have already signed up to the scheme, alongside accountants and the legal profession.

In the insurance industry Zurich has already signed up, while in the banking sector Credit Suisse has said it will take part alongside the recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

The scheme has received backing from the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s largest business lobby group, as well as the former prime minister David Cameron and Lady Amos, a Labour peer.

It follows the successful launch of a smaller scheme, 100 Black Interns, in August, targeted at the “chronic under-representation of Black talent” in the investment management industry. More than 200 investment companies have signed up to the earlier initiative.

Both campaigns were started by the same team of former investment industry professionals.

The campaign intends to hire a chief executive and trustees shortly as it gains more partners, with the aim of rolling out the internships over the course of 2020 and 2021. Those interns will then commit to mentor and sponsor future interns on the programme.

Cameron said: “This initiative will help build a more inclusive economy that works for everyone. We are encouraging leaders from British industry and professional services to champion the effort in their sector.”

Amos, a former diplomat, said: “It is so powerful to see leading players in different sectors pulling together to address the under-representation of Black talent in such a tangible and sustainable fashion. Of course there is so much more to do, but this programme is a great step in the right direction.”

By Jasper Jolly

KFC to create 5,400 jobs in the UK and Ireland despite some outlets in covid restricted areas

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 23rd Oct 2020) London, Uk – –

KFC says it plans to add 5,400 jobs in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2020, despite many of its outlets being in areas affected by Covid restrictions.

The fast food chain has 965 restaurants across the UK and Ireland.

The company says some of the new jobs will be funded by the UK government's Kickstart scheme, which is designed to help young people.

The 16-24 year old age group has been disproportionately hit by job losses in the pandemic.

The new jobs come at a time when the UK's hospitality sector is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Local lockdowns and restrictions have forced many restaurants, bars and pubs to close, or work at reduced capacity, prompting Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce new measures to prevent mass job losses, when the furlough scheme ends in November.

The unemployment rate in the UK rose to 4.5% in the June-to-August period, the highest level in three years.

But amongst 16-24 year olds who are able to work the figure is 13.5%.

“This year is going to be even more challenging for young people looking for job opportunities,” said Paula Mackenzie, general manager at KFC for the UK and Ireland.

“But we know that all the skills the hospitality sector teaches – the importance of hard work , delivering great service and working as part of a team – will hugely help them in the long run.”

The government's Kickstart scheme, which KFC says will fund some of the new jobs, pays employers £1,500 for every 16-24 year-old they train. It is aimed at young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The new posts will be in addition to the 4,300 new recruits the fried chicken chain says it has taken on since the first lockdown in March.

12 Black Owned Luxurious Resorts & Hotels

Source: Black Excellence Excellist

Between versatile AirBnb’s, luxurious resorts, intimate boutique hotels, all-inclusive stays, and cozy bed-and-breakfast properties, Black Travelers have countless options for accommodations when traveling within the states. There is a hotel for every type of experience a traveler could want, and with enough research, you can even support black hospitality entrepreneurs in the process.

Gulfstream Private Jet Flight from London to Dubai

Source: Sam Chui

In January Sam flew in a Gulfstream IV private jet on a scheduled charter flight by Jetsmarter from London Luton to Dubai DWC. This is a video of the 6.5 hours inter-continental private jet flight and you get to see the difference to commercial flying.

Gravity Industries Aerodynamic Jet Suit Latest Flight Test

Source: Gravity Industries

Latest wing testing and the evolution of our aerodynamic control at speed with the #JetSuit never stops at Gravity. Here with the awesome Benjamin Kenobi chasing with his Inspire drone.
With a rich family history in Aviation, former Oil Trader & Royal Marines Reservist, Richard Browning, founded pioneering Aeronautical Innovation company, Gravity Industries in March 2017 to launch human flight into an entirely new era. The Gravity #JetSuit uses over 1000bhp of Jet Engine power combined with natural human balance to deliver the most intense and enthralling spectacle, often likened to the real life Ironman. Gravity has to date been experienced by over a billion people globally and covered by virtually every media platform. The Gravity Team, based in the UK, have delivered over 100 flight & Speaking events across 30 countries including 5 TED talks.

Labour request furlough extension for pubs and bars to be granted

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 8th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Blanket approach to ending scheme will mean a wave of closures, says shadow minister

Labour has warned that many pubs and bars will be forced to close unless the government agrees to extend the furlough wage support scheme, which is due to be withdrawn next month.

Night-time hospitality businesses have struggled as punters remain cautious about heading back to their local and Labour warned that the sector would suffer a wave of closures unless it received further help.

“Pubs are a vital part of our high streets and social fabric in communities up and down the country,” said Lucy Powell, the shadow business minister. “They have been hit hard by the pandemic, and Tory indifference and incompetence over many years means that many have gone to the wall.Advertisement

“Ministers’ blanket approach to ending the furlough scheme further threatens the future of many more. The furlough scheme must be extended for hard hit sectors to save jobs now.”

Labour, which reckons 5,500 pubs and bars have closed since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, is also calling for funds leftover from the government’s business grant scheme to be funnelled into a new Hospitality and High Street Fightback Fund to help ailing businesses.

Figures released last month showed that sales at pub, restaurant and bar chains halved in July compared with last summer. Trade in bars was down almost two-thirds (63%) and pubs saw a 45% slump in the first month that businesses were able to reopen after the government eased lockdown restrictions.

Last month, the British Beer and Pub Association said more than a third of pubs failed to break even in July, and a quarter of pubs and bars were uncertain their businesses would still be viable by March next year.

“With our pubs grappling with the ongoing challenge of returning to the trading levels they were at before the lockdown, hundreds of thousands of jobs hang in the balance,” said Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA. “A sector specific extension of the furlough scheme would be greatly welcomed by our sector.”

While the BBPA threw its weight behind an extension of the furlough scheme, industry figures have also identified other areas where the government could help.

Publicans have expressed bitter complaints about the financial impact of the“beer tie” arrangement that governs the relationship between large pub companies that own thousands of pub premises and the tenants who run the business.

Many publicans also expressed dismay after alcohol was excluded from the government’s six month VAT cut from 20% to 5% designed to stimulate the hospitality industry. More than 60% of the UK’s 47,000 pubs are “wet-led”, meaning they make more money from alcohol than food. Pubs are also facing huge rent bills with nearly all of the major pub companies opting to defer their demands, or offer a discounted rate, instead of cancelling payments as business has dried up during the pandemic.

Pubs, bars and restaurants also no longer enjoy the extra custom the government’s highly successful eat out to help out scheme brought in during August.

Last week, the government revealed that at least 100m meals were eaten by diners taking advantage of the scheme, which gave 50% off the price of a meal up to a maximum of £10 per head on Mondays to Wednesdays. The government has said the success of the scheme meant it would cost more than the £500m Rishi Sunak set aside in the July mini-budget.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “We have stood by pubs and the communities they serve throughout the pandemic, providing targeted support for the sector including business rates holidays and cash grants of up to £25,000.

“The coronavirus job retention scheme will have been open for eight months from start to finish – with the government helping to pay the wages of over 9.6 million jobs so far. And support doesn’t end in October with the furlough bonus paying £1,000 per employee for those brought back to work and kept in employment into 2021.”

By Mark Sweney

Astronaut Jeanette Epps To Become The First African American Onboard The International Space Station

Source: TDIB

NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps will join astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada as a crew member on the first operational flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), announced NASA. The six-month expedition, which is planned to launch in 2021, will make Epps the first Black woman to live and work in space for an extended period of time. Epps responded to her new assignment in a Twitter video, saying she’s “looking forward to the mission” alongside Williams and Cassada. NASA assigned Williams and Cassada to the Starliner-1 mission in August 2018. The spaceflight will be the first for Cassada and third for Williams, who spent long-duration stays aboard the space station on Expeditions 14/15 and 32/33.

Top 10 SKILLS To Learn For Your FUTURE

Source: Alux

In this Alux.com video we'll try to answer the following questions: What are the best skills for the future? Which are the best skills to learn in 2020? How to upskill? Which skills are best to learn? Which skills are evergreen? Which are the best skills to learn for the future? Which skills are future proof? What is the best skill to learn in 2020? What are the top 10 job skills? What skills are employers looking for in 2020? What skills do you learn in 2019? What skill can I learn in 3 months? What is the best skill to learn?

How 1-800-Got-Junk Became A $500 Million Empire

Source: CNBC

When Brian Scudamore told his parents he was dropping out of college to become a full time junk collector, they told him he was throwing away his future. At just 19, he set out to build his own business. The idea for a junk removal service came to Scudamore while staring at a pile of garbage in a McDonald’s parking lot. Today he’s created a multi-million brand and through his unconventional success, he’s become the poster child of encouraging anyone thinking about starting a business to “just get out there and start one.”

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Lake Como Italy – Amazing Luxurious Villas

Source: Architecture

The Amazing Luxurious Villas of Lake Como Italy For Two Thousand Years, Lake Como in Northern Italy, Has Been Described as One of the Most Beautiful and Romantic Places in the World. Lake Como’s Shoreline is Comprised of Antique Villages and Stunning Historic Villas, Some Are World Famous and Some Not So Well-known but No Less Stunning, These Villas Are a Wonderful Opportunity to Go Back in Time and Experience the Life of the Wealthy European and Noble Families Who Lived There, the Famed Novelists Who Wrote, the Composers Who Created, the Artists Who Painted, and the People Who Fell in Love, All Inspired by the Charm of This Special Italian Paradise. Villa Erba The Fabulous Villa Erba Was Built in the 19th Century by Luigi Erba, Located in Cernobbio, on the Shores of Lake Como, the Building Was Designed in Accordance With the Standards of the Italian Mannerism. Its Ancient Park Offers a Delightful Botanical Walk Amongst Trees, Groups of Flowering Shrubs, and Elegant Multicolor Flower Beds on the Lakefront, Providing a Wonderful Sight of Lake Como. Villa Erba is Currently the Location of Many International Events and Conferences. People Can Rent the Ground Floor Halls of the Villa in Order to Organize Events of Any Kind, Such as Weddings, Conventions, Meetings, and Exhibitions. Villa Del Balbianello Villa Del Balbianello Stands on the Tip of Peninsula Overlooking Lake Como With Some of the Most Exclusive Views. Perched Atop a Wooded Peninsula in the Village of Lenno, the Villa Del Balbianello Was Built at the End of the 18th Century on the Ruins of a Franciscan Convent, in the 1970s It Was Owned by Guido Monzino, an Explorer and Alpinist. His Collection of Artifacts From the North Pole, Mount Everest, and Beyond is Displayed in the Villa Along With African and Pre-columbian Art, the Villa is So Alluring, That It Was a Film Location for Great Movies Like Star Wars and James Bond. Villa La Cassinella A Stunning Historic Villa Perched on a Secluded Peninsula in the Western Shore of Lake Como With Beautiful Gardens and Magnificent Views Villa La Cassinella Was Built at the Turn of the 19th Century, Surrounded by a Beautiful Landscape, the Villa Represents the Pinnacle of Luxury on Lake Como, Sharing the Punto Di Lavedo With the Historic Villa Balbianello, and Offering Its Unique and Suggestive View of the Lake Como’s Gold Coast. The Spacious and Perfectly Manicured Gardens Complement the Estate's Idyllic Setting on the Edge of Lake Como. Villa Pliniana A Stunning 16th Century Italian Palazzo Set on 18 Waterfront Acres, Built for Count Giovanni Anguissola, Governor of Como, Who Decided to Transform the Fresh Spring and the Surrounding Land Into an Iconic Location. Villa Pliniana is One of the Oldest and Most Beautiful of Lake Como’s Villas, It Stands Alone, Looking Out Across the Waters of the Lake, While Behind It a Majestic Waterfall Divides the Mountainside in Two. The Grounds of the Villa Contain an Example of a Rhythmic Water Spring, the Imposing Facade With Four Orders of Windows is Lightened Through the Elegant Porch, the Interior Halls Are Furnished With Elegant Furnitures, Decorations, Works of Art and Relics.

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Gymshark former delivery boy sportswear firm now worth over £1bn

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 14th Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

A 28-year-old former pizza delivery boy has done a deal which values his sportswear company at more than £1bn.

Ben Francis started Gymshark from his parents' garage in 2012 when he was 19 years old, studying by day and working for Pizza Hut by night.

Mr Francis told the BBC he is now worth a “frightening” amount though he declined to provide details of the deal.

But based on a £1bn value, Mr Francis' stake in Gymshark is worth £700m.

US private equity firm General Atlantic is taking a 21% share in the clothing business, which is based in Solihull. It will allow Gymshark to expand internationally, especially in the US, where it has most of its customers.

Mr Francis started the firm because he couldn't find sportswear that appealed to him.

Enlisting the help of his brother, and a group of friends, he bought a sewing machine and screen printer, and started to make gym vests and t-shirts.

Embracing social media

His brother and most of those friends are still a part of the business today, which has 499 staff and offices in the UK, Hong Kong and Denver, Colorado. It manufactures all over the world.

A large part of the sportswear firm's success is due to its significant social media following. It has 4.6 million followers on Instagram.

“We were one of the first businesses in the world to sponsor influencers,” Mr Francis said. “Equally, we were one of the first businesses to really double down and invest in social media.”

But the coronavirus crisis has also helped.

“Commercially, it's been quite good in the sense that people are shopping more online and people are running, cycling and doing home workouts more than ever before,” he said.

But he acknowledged that it has been hard on his staff.

He is yet to decide what he will do with his newly-realised wealth but he does think he's earned a short break.

“I will have this weekend off,” he said.

“I cannot remember the last time I was up any later than 05:30 or 06:00 so tomorrow morning, I will have a lie in, for one, and I will walk my dog and just chill out.”

However, he remains focused on worldwide expansion.

“This is my one true passion and the thing that I've truly dedicated my life to,” he said.

“So all of my mindset right now is about continuing to develop this brand into a truly, truly global phenomenon.”

By Philippa Goodrich and Dan Ascher

Why Noma Was Voted One Of The World’s Best Restaurants

Source: BI

The original Noma opened in Copenhagen 15 years ago, surprising guests with its inventive offerings, like dishes disguised as herb pots. Noma was voted number one restaurant in the world four times. But not too long ago, Chef René Redzepi shut everything down. And this latest move could give them back the title.

15 Reasons Why Real Estate is the Best Investment

Source: Alux

In this Alux.com video we'll try to answer the following questions: Is real estate the best investment? Why do rich people invest in real estate? How to invest in real estate? Which is the best investment? What is the best investment to get rich? Is Real estate a good investment? Why do people invest in real estate? How to become a real estate investor? How much money do you need to invest in real estate? What are some simple ways to invest in real estate? What is the average return of real estate? Where are the best real estate opportunities right now? How to make money by investing in real estate? Top 10 Ways to invest in real estate? Top 10 reasons to invest in real estate? How to become a millionaire by investing in real-estate? How to become rich by investing in real estate? What is the best investment you can make? Is the real estate market still a good investment? What are the biggest real estate investment opportunities right now? Is buying land a good investment? What are the tax benefits of investing in real estate? How to increase the value of a property? Why should I invest in property? Is buying property a good investment? How to earn passive income by investing in real estate? How to get a property loan, to refinance and invest in real estate?

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