US Business News

Stores, Gas Stations in Puerto Rico Close Down After Hurricane Fiona, Leaving Thousands Struggling to Find Supplies

Businesses in Puerto Rico have been impacted by the island’s struggle to restore power following Hurricane Fiona.

Due to the situation, an increasing number of supermarkets and petrol stations have shut down. In the end, the condition has raised concerns about the scarcity of food and gasoline.

Since there was a great demand for purchasing food and other things when the hurricane hit the country, many customers complained when store owners put up signs of temporary closures.

In addition, nearly a million customers in Puerto Rico are now without electricity.

When Betty Merced, a resident of Salinas City, needed to refuel her generator with diesel, she said it was challenging to find an open gas station. She was unable to locate a retailer that sold it, though.

“There are a lot of people with a lot of needs. If there is no diesel, we’re going to be very much in harm’s way,” Merced said.

Read Also: Skytrax Holds Annual Aviation Awards Spotlighting the Aviation’s Best

She claims that despite searching the entire city for diesel, she had no luck. She will thus travel to other towns like Santa Isabel in search of supplies. If unsuccessful, she would continue to other northern cities in search of a shop selling fuel to customers.

“I didn’t think we were going to be so many days without power,” added Merced.

Salinas residents were forced to scramble to locate supplies as petrol outlets closed. Thousands of people are vying for the supply, including Wanda Rios Colorado, a prominent community member.

Wanda described her experience with Hurricane Marios in 2017 and compared the current state of affairs, adding that everyone is having trouble getting enough fuel and food.

Additionally, it is now difficult to find pharmacies throughout the nation were open to customers. As a result, people who require medicine have grown increasingly apprehensive as a result of this.

 

No shortage of fuels, says the government

Although many residents spoke out about their struggles, the Puerto Rican administration disputes this.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, there is no gasoline supply. Instead, the current situation is just a system disturbance brought on by flooding, landslides, and the statewide blackout.

Officials added that the power outage prevented numerous gas stations from reopening around the country. Additionally, Edan Rivera, the secretary of consumer affairs, asserted that there was no justification for declaring a fuel scarcity in Puerto Rico.

Read Also: McDonald’s Announce its Happy Meal for Adults, Reigniting a New Generation’s Love for its Food

“There’s a peak in demand in the most affected areas, but it has been normalizing as trucks arrive,” he added.

“Some will say they have received less product, but it’s not that they’re getting less. They asked for a lot, and to err on the side of caution; they’re not being given everything they ask for.”

In addition, Rivera mentioned that a container ship was transporting about 300,000 barrels of fuel. It ought to allay many people’s worries about getting fuel for their generators and other uses.

Photo Credit: Andres Kudacki | TIME

Source: NPR

McDonald’s Announce its Happy Meal for Adults, Reigniting a New Generation’s Love for its Food

The leading fast food chain McDonald’s wants to target older customers with its new adult Happy Meal. And its package comes with a free toy.

As the company tries to put some twists on its usual offerings, McDonald’s announced that it would launch products tailored for adults but still retain the playful side of the Happy Meal, which is primarily packaged in red cardboard boxes.

But, of course, McDonald’s is not alone with the initiative.

A famous streetwear company teams up with McDonald’s for the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box package, which will be available to all participating stores this October 3.

“We’re taking one of the most nostalgic McDonald’s experiences and literally repackaging it in a new way that’s hyper-relevant for our adult fans,” said the McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer, Tariq Hassan.

“I can’t wait to give fans a unique piece of art and culture as we dive headfirst into the dynamic world of Cactus Plant Flea Market together next week. With menu favorites like the Big Mac and McNuggets at the center of this collab, this is another way we’re reigniting a new generation’s love for our food and the brand.”

Read Also: Bed Bath & Beyond Should Make its Choice, to Champion Through Crisis or Not

In a press release, McDonald’s said:

The Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, a first-of-its-kind collaboration made exclusively for McDonald’s fans by one of the most important brands in culture. 

It all starts with the box, which has been totally redesigned in Cactus Plant Flea Market’s signature style alongside McD’s iconic Golden Arches. 

The box will be available in-restaurant, in the drive-thru, by delivery or on the McDonald’s App starting October 3, while supplies last.

 

It is different than the Happy Meal

The classic Happy Meal contained smaller menus for children to consume.

However, since the adult Happy Meal is for older individuals, McDonald’s decided to put in more contents within the box, like a Big Mac or 10-piece McNuggets. Along with the main course are soda and fries.

And, of course, the highlight of every Happy Meal is the collectibles. Inside every Cactus Plant Flea Market Box is one of four figurines lovers will want to collect.

In addition, McDonald’s has included the mascots Hamburglar, Birdie, Grimace, and Cactus Body for this issue.

While McDonald’s is famed for its ambitious and big partnerships, the current collaboration marks the company’s first venture with brands.

Read Also: Job Market Sees Surge in Women Reentering the Labor Force, Economists says it’s a Good Sign

It can be recalled that the company collaborated with the world-renowned KPop Boy group BTS. With the artists, McDonald’s was able to garner billions of dollars for its Famous Orders campaign.

Going back two years ago, McDonald’s also launched a menu inspired by rapper Travis Scott. The package became popular among music lovers, leading to many stores running out of supply.

As part of the collaboration, McDonald’s will also make available shirts and merchandise from its partner, Cactus Plant Flea Market.

Photo Credit: McDonald’s

Source: CNBC

Maldivian Resorts Step Up to Combat Improper Waste Disposal and Spearhead Environmental Preservation

The Maldives is the lowest-lying nation in the world, with most of its islands only a few feet above sea level. According to NASA, 80% of the nation’s 1,200 islands situated in the Indian Ocean will be submerged in seawater by 2050, making it uninhabitable to most of its citizens.

However, this is not the only problem faced by the nation. Due to its pristine and alluring beaches and spots, Maldives is frequented by tourists from all over the world. Before the pandemic, Maldives had over 1.7 million tourists visiting every year.

While the number dwindled after the pandemic shut down travel industries, the trend is slowly gaining traction now that most nations almost thwart the pandemic.

Millions of tourists mean that the country faces issues relating to improper waste disposal. The tourism board of Maldives has continually echoed the call for individual responsibility in disposing of non-biodegradable wastes.

But that is not enough to entirely eradicate instances of improper waste disposal.

As a result, the rich corals of the nation have suffered. The treasure is especially important for the Maldives as it defines their identity. However, scientists surveyed the area in 2016 and discovered that climate change led to coral bleaching affecting more than 60% of Maldive’s pristine reefs.

“A large draw for tourism is the healthy ocean environment that visitors come to see. Clearly, this type of environment must be preserved in order to continue attracting high-spending tourism,” said James Ellsmoor, the CEO of Island Innovation.

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Tourism is a paradox

The tourism sector in the Maldives is the main driver of its economic growth. Frequent visits of tourists stimulate growth for local industries, mainly thriving in providing and selling goods and services. Simply put, Maldives’ 540,000 citizens highly depend on the tourism sector.

However, it is the tourism sector that is blamed for the damage it has caused to the environment.

For instance, resorts in the Maldives use an ample amount of energy to service their millions of clients every year. As a consequence, excessive waste is being thrown into the environment. Experts stress that the nation’s 150-plus resorts should ‘go green’ to preserve the environment.

“The high cost of importing fuel to power noisy, polluting generators simply does not make sense when compared to the much lower cost of solar, wind and battery storage,” said Ellsmoor.

In the face of this crisis, the Maldives government laid out its plans to fight for the environment. And by 2030, Maldives should reach national carbon neutrality. Next year, Maldives should ban all single-use plastics.

Fortunately, Maldivian resorts have joined the cause and are spearheading the move to attain sustainability, providing the same luxury-type service while protecting the environment.

Read Also: After a Downturn, Bed Bath & Beyond Decides to Shut Some of its Facilities

Resorts are stepping up

Waste in the Maldives has historically received little attention until now. For decades, the tourism sector contributed to the massive volumes of trash released into the environment.

But with recent calls to protect and preserve the future of Maldives, several resorts and facilities have stepped up.

For instance, Soneva Resorts launched its program Eco Centro. The initiative gathers the resort’s waste and recycles around 90% of it.

Moreover, Soneva Resorts spearheads the Makers’ Place, which allows individuals to reimagine recycling and incorporate art into it, creating marketable art and products like glassware and wall tiles.

Another resort, Fairmont Maldives, began its Sustainability Lab this year. The lab would gather plastics gathered within the resort and those found within close proximity of the resort and remodels the plastic for reselling.

Participating Maldivians hone their artistic skills, earn, and protect the environment through the initiative. According to the Fairmont Maldives management, they aim to become the “first zero-waste-generating resort in the country.”

The company’s manager and resident marine biologist, Sam Dixon, said,”(We are) encouraging the next generation to care passionately about protecting the ecosystem and marine life that inhabits it.”

Photo Credit:  Parley Maldives

Source: CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond Should Make its Choice, to Champion Through Crisis or Not

Bed Bath & Beyond has been on a rollercoaster ride lately. It is hard not to understate the stress level that the company is going through, given the myriad of difficulties it has faced over a few months.

From its financial drought, massive layoffs, store closures, and the shocking death of the company’s financial chief, Bed Bath & Beyond will make a significant choice that would either help it survive or lead to its demise.

An analyst from Morningstar, Jaime Katz, said, “Will Bed Bath & Beyond reimagine itself and pull away from the brink, like Best Buy? Or will it continue to patch holes only to keep sinking, like Sears?”

“It sort of looks like a decision tree from where it is now. You know, our best guess is that it comes in somewhere in between,” the analyst added.

Before the crisis it is facing, Bed Bath & Beyond was an ideal company capable of defeating many of its competitors. In 2018, the business served its customers with over 1,500 stores across the country and during the recession, the performance of Bed Bath & Beyond exceeded expectations. As a result, it threatened other companies such as World Market, BuyBuy Baby, and many more.

Read Also: Job Market Sees Surge in Women Reentering the Labor Force, Economists says it’s a Good Sign

The store had ‘secret powers’

Bed Bath & Beyond employed different strategies that created the ‘magic,’ propelling it to its eventual entrepreneurial domination. It had 20% off coupons and other packages, which attracted a number of customers.

However, the primary reason why Bed Bath & Beyond raked in customers is its localization, meaning having the managers of each store choose the items available for selling in a specific branch. It became a custom-made store catering to local preferences.

“I remember seeing it very distinctively when I visited a Miami store. Right, when you walk in the doors was this wild, brightly colored, Disney-themed stuff — it was so Miami. And I thought this will never sell anywhere else,” said Amy Laskin, a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee.

 

The company did not adopt new trends

While Bed Bath & Beyond focused on the magic of its physical shops, the business landscape had changed, and many companies have already started to find their online identities, making their imprint on cyberspace.

As competitors Amazon, Wayfair, and Target, among others, found their way through online shopping, Bed Bath & Beyond struggled to compete with the online audience.

“I would go into one meeting, and it would be, ‘We need to be … the destination for home, more upscale, home decor, more furniture.’ The next conversation would be, ‘We need to be more competitive with Amazon. We need to be the destination with everything.’… The next thing you know, we were carrying diamond jewelry like Costco does,” shared Laskin.

There was an effort to create a Bed Bath & Beyond website, but it was unsuccessful. This left the company relying on its physical stores. H

owever, the market became more inclined to jump on the online trend and, as such, presented problems for a company that heavily relied on face-to-face marketing. As a result, in 2010, company sales started to drop.

Read Also: What a Stronger Dollar Means to Several Stakeholders in the United States

The pandemic happened

The need to migrate to the online sphere became paramount when the lockdowns were implemented. Cyberspace was convoluted with many new brands and stores selling a wide range of products that challenged traditional brands. However, Bed Bath & Beyond tried its best to catch up.

Ryan Cohen tried to help the company by buying a stake in the company earlier this year. For a time, the sales went up as Cohen’s followers on YouTube and Reddit flocked to the company for supplies. Unfortunately, along with the development was the eviction of the company’s CEO and other key players.

However, Cohen gave up his stakes, signaling another bump for the company. Following it was the closure of several Bed Bath & Beyond stores and layoffs. Ultimately it increased the fears of suppliers sending to the company.

“We remain concerned by the magnitude of the sales declines and believe it will be challenging to win consumers back in a softer economic climate,” said Christina Fernandez, an analyst.

Photo Credit: Emily Elconin

Source: NPR

Job Market Sees Surge in Women Reentering the Labor Force, Economists says it’s a Good Sign

Businesses have closed down due to the pandemic, and many people have lost their jobs. While the authorities rigidly implemented the lockdown regulations, people of all genders struggled to make ends meet.

However, many people are reentering the workforce as a result of the relaxation of the limitations. Here is what individuals think about the recent increase in women returning to the workforce.

Qynisha Jordan is glad to be heading back to work after spending most of her time with her children inside her home. Two years have passed since she quit her position as an account manager at PepsiCo Atlanta due to the pandemic.

“The best part has definitely been having conversations with adults and adult interaction. That’s been awesome,” she said.

“I vividly remember when the school called and said they were closing school. And from then on, I was at home. It was really difficult. I had three children who were doing three completely different things, all at the same time. It was a lot,” Jordan added.

In the wake of the epidemic, 2 million women, including Jordan, resigned from their jobs. Since women had a variety of responsibilities, including caring for their ill families, children, and other people, she waited for the ideal moment to return to the workforce like many others.

Read Also: What a Stronger Dollar Means to Several Stakeholders in the United States

Two and a half years ago, the widespread firing of women raised concerns among businesses. Businesses have to cope with a labor shortage as a result of employee departures, which might have a long-term negative impact on the economy.

Policymakers and economists were concerned that if the trend persisted, women might decide against getting back. The reverse occurred, though, and women are again getting back on track.

“Women had a very tough road to haul with kids working from home and with school being so uncertain. But we’re seeing that the pandemic did not do permanent damage to women’s attachment to the labor force,” said Betsey Stevenson, an economist from the University of Michigan.

 

Inflation leaves many with no other choice

According to statistics, there were more women seeking positions last month. In addition, 49 million women between the ages of 25 and 54 are reportedly reentering the workforce.

The number is higher than the number of people in February 2020, before the implementation of the lockdowns. Further, women of color and Latinas appear to outnumber all other genders in the category of job seekers.

Stevenson cited two main causes for the increase in women’s employment. Due to the return of face-to-face lessons, people now have more free time since kids are returning to school.

The high pace of inflation, which causes prices to rise, is factor two. In the end, women who don’t make enough money have to find other sources of income to offset the growing costs of food, gas, and other services.

Read Also: “The Woman King” Earns Big at the Big Screen, Impresses Watchers with Plot About Women Struggle

“People are being sort of pushed by the rising prices to think, ‘Ugh, my savings are getting hit a little bit too hard.’ And instead of being out there spending their money, they’re going back to work to earn money,” explained Stevenson.

“We needed to adjust to a new normal. Maybe one reason we’re seeing people go back to work is they’ve been trying to figure out how to adjust, and they’re reaching some conclusions about how to do it — how to balance it all.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Source: NPR

Monytize: A New Social Media Platform that Gives Back to the Community

Most individuals spend a lot of time online, especially on social media. And while social media has been a way for people to make a name for themselves or their brand, some think there should be a new type of social media site where users can have additional benefits while also giving back to the community. Enter the Monytize app. This newly developed app is an innovative new social media platform that transforms social media users into monetizers and philanthropists. 

Monytize launched the app’s beta version on September 1, 2022, to a global audience, giving international celebrities, artists, influencers, brands, universities, entrepreneurs, and athletes a new platform where they can affect change in the world. Here, content creators will be compensated each time their content is purchased, making it an excellent incentive for using the app. But aside from that, what sets Monytize apart from other social media platforms is that they will also donate a portion of their sales to charities, schools, hospitals, churches, and other nonprofit organizations around the world.

Monytize is a social media platform, so it also has features familiar to most online denizens, such as unique profiles, in-app messaging for socializing and networking, and sharing content like photos and videos. The platform also offers movies, music, and video games. The platform aims to revolutionize how content is created and shared and allow creators to help a good cause while earning income for themselves. 

Content creation is not as easy as most people think it is, and most creators do not receive adequate monetary compensation for the work that they put out into the world. The Monytize app intends to change that. Monytize is an invite-only app that pays everyone when content is purchased on the platform. An example would be online game streamers. Usually, these creators spend hundreds or even thousands on game and gear purchases, but they may not receive enough profit in relation to their online views. They can easily earn passive income when they share their content on Monytize. 

The developers behind Monytize believe in championing worthy causes, and they know that most people would like to give back to the community as well. This is why they have chosen to donate a part of the platform’s profits to charities. Recently, this app has partnered with a South African Company called Social WIreless which offers free internet services to communities in Johannesburg.

Monytize aims to become a game-changer in the entertainment industry, and they are continually adding new content to their platform in the same vein as other streaming platforms. But instead of making users pay a monthly subscription fee, they have created an ecosystem where profits are recirculated and redistributed to the users and creators. All forms of content are welcome on the Monytize platform, including photos, videos, music, books, and games. Currently, the app developers are looking for distribution partners to provide a wider audience for original movies, new music, indie video games, and authors. 

Monytize is the latest project of serial entrepreneur Terrell Samuels. This CEO is also known as a prolific film producer and marketing expert. Taking everything he knows about these two industries, he has created Monytize as a new way to use social media for a more significant positive impact. Terrell shared, “I created Monytize so everyone can have the opportunity to be the catalyst for change in their communities and in the world.”

Monytize just secured a lead investor in their Series A round of funding. Alex and John Ruiz of Ruiz Investment Family Office out of Miami, FL has committed to leading Monytize’s Series A round of funding as they are catching global momentum.

Monytize is available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Electric Vehicle Sales Top Expectations, IEA says it Could Hit an All-Time High

Photo Credit: Roger Kisby

Sales of electric vehicles are surging, and they could hit an all-time high if the trend continues. The International Energy Agency is impressed with the development and said more work needs to be done by other sectors to ensure that the planet will reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The IEA updated its Tracking Clean Energy Progress and reported positive responses among several sectors in terms of reducing carbon emissions. However, the agency emphasized that there should be “stronger efforts” from the sectors if the goal is net zero emissions by the middle of the 21st century.

According to IEA, global electric vehicle sales doubled in 2021, representing almost 9% of the total sales in the car market.

“(2022 was) expected to see another all-time high for electric vehicle sales, lifting them to 13% of total light-duty vehicle sales globally,” said the IEA.

The organization reported that in 2021, the total sales of EVs hit 6.6 million. In addition, during the first quarter of 2022, EV sales topped records and recorded sales totaling 2 million which is a 75% increase in total sales from the same quarter in 2021. If this continues, the IEA is confident that the country is well on its way to reaching another milestone by 2030 and possibly hitting the mark by 2050.

“(It is) not yet a global phenomenon. Sales in developing and emerging countries have been slow due to higher purchase costs and a lack of charging infrastructure availability,” said the IEA.

Read Also: UK Government to Cut Taxes from Corporations, Entities to Brace for Recession

More needs to be done

They noted that despite the positive outlook in electric vehicle sales, there are other regions to be considered. Other countries are not yet on track to achieving the target that they have placed.

“Areas not on track include improving the energy efficiency of building designs, developing clean and efficient district heating, phasing out coal-fired power generation, eliminating methane flaring, shifting aviation and shipping to cleaner fuels, and making cement, chemical, and steel production cleaner,” they added.

The 2015 Paris Agreement tried to assure that member-countries of the United Nations were on the same page in combatting climate change, with the goal to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.”

The vision could only be possible if human-made carbon emissions were cut.

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The IEA is positive

Despite the current energy crisis challenges, the IEA is positive that countries will not back down on their commitments. However, while optimistic, IEA executive director, Faith Birol, said he will still practice caution and firmly oppose any backward developments in the campaign for net zero emissions.

“There are more signs than ever that the new global energy economy is advancing strongly. This reaffirms my belief that today’s global energy crisis can be a turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system,” he said.

“But this new IEA analysis shows the need for greater and sustained efforts across a range of technologies and sectors to ensure the world can meet its energy and climate goals.”

Along with the report from the IEA are debates and discussions related to the climate goals of countries and the energy crises that countries face, especially since Russia has cut off its gas supply in several countries, forcing others to change their dependence on fossil fuels.

In response, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres ruled firmly against using fossil fuels and announced that the agency would work hard to scramble upon nations that will back down from the climate change commitments.

“Polluters must pay. And today, I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies,” he said.

“That includes the banks, private equity, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution. Of course, fossil fuels cannot be shut down overnight. A just transition means leaving no person or country behind. But it’s high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice.”

Source: CNBC

Skytrax Holds Annual Aviation Awards Spotlighting the Aviation’s Best

Photo Credit: Satair

Since the lockdowns began, the aviation sector has suffered substantial harm. It has been more than two years since Covid-19 shut down several corporate activities, most notably the travel sector, generating losses in the trillions of dollars to date.

Aviation firms have started to regain their footing now that limitations have been loosened, but even that presents a significant challenge for the majority. Flight delays and cancellations are a common occurrence for many businesses following widespread layoffs and structural changes brought on by the pandemic. In addition, airline passenger satisfaction is poor, according to the United States.

While waiting for another hectic holiday season, the world is now enjoying more leisurely travel months. The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 launched in London to recognize organizations that have overcome all difficulties as aviation firms make the most of the remaining months to be ready for the travel season. Since 2019, the event has not taken place in a face-to-face setup.

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The best in the aviation sector

Located in the UK, Skytrax is a website that rates and reviews airports and airlines. Over the past year, millions of customers have undertaken Skytrax’s 14 million surveys in 100 different nations. The findings of millions of surveys completed between September 2021 and August 2022 served as the foundation for this year’s prize winners.

An enduring Hall of Famer, Qatar Airways, was successful in overtaking the competition. Its rating marks its seventh time winning the prize since the award-giving organization began conducting the polls in 1999. In addition to winning Best Airline, Qatar Airways also won eight more awards, including Best Business Class Set, Best Business Class Lounge Dining, and more.

AirlineRatings.com accorded Qatar Airways the top rank in addition to the firm’s accolades from Skytrax. According to Akbar Al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, the efforts of every employee are necessary for the firm to be successful.

“To win these awards in the same year that we celebrate our 25th anniversary is even more rewarding,” he said.

“Consistent service, consistent product, consistent attention to passengers and absolute dedication from everyone that works in the airline.”

Read Also: Fossil Fuel Companies Should be Taxed Higher says U.N. Secretary General

The list of prizes and their winners, as released by Skytrax, is as follows:

The world’s top 20 airlines in 2022

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Emirates
  4. ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  5. Qantas Airways
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Turkish Airlines
  8. Air France
  9. Korean Air
  10. Swiss International Air Lines
  11. British Airways
  12. Etihad Airways
  13. China Southern Airlines
  14. Hainan Airlines
  15. Lufthansa
  16. Cathay Pacific
  17. KLM
  18. EVA Air
  19. Virgin Atlantic
  20. Vistara

World’s Best Cabin Staff

Singapore Airlines

World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness

ANA All Nippon Airways

World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge

Plaza Premium

World’s Best Business Class Lounge

Virgin Atlantic

World’s Best Leisure Airline

SunExpress

World’s Best Low-Cost Airline/Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia

AirAsia

Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe

Ryanair

Best Low-Cost Airline in North America

Southwest Airlines

Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa

FlySafair

World’s Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline

Scoot

World’s Best in Class Airlines

The World Best First Class Airline: Singapore Airlines

The World’s Best Business Class Airline: Qatar Airways

The World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline: Virgin Atlantic

The World’s Best Economy Class Airline: Emirates

Source: CNN

UK Government to Cut Taxes from Corporations, Entities to Brace for Recession

Photo Credit: Sky News

The United Kingdom government unveiled its own plan to combat the nation’s deteriorating economic situation under the leadership of newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss. The proposal offers tax breaks and investment incentives that might support economic development despite the current challenges that individuals and companies confront.

The new government’s strategy for action was handed out to the House of Commons in a meeting with Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng. Further, Kwarteng established a 2.5% rate of economic development during the upcoming months, saying that authorities wished to conduct a fresh approach for a new age concentrating on growth.

“We believe high taxes reduce incentives to work, deter investment and hinder enterprise,” Kwarteng said.

The U.K. government listed its plans, which include:

  • The U.K. government revealed a list of their plans which include:
  • Cancellation of a planned rise in corporation tax to 25%, keeping it at 19%, the lowest rate in the G-20.
  • A reversal in the recent 1.25% rise in National Insurance contributions — a tax on income.
  • A reduction in the basic rate of income tax from 20 pence to 19 pence.
  • Scrapping of the 45% tax paid on incomes over £150,000 ($166,770), taking the top rate to 40%.
  • Significant cuts to stamp duty, a tax paid on home purchases.
  • A network of “investment zones” around the U.K. where businesses will be offered tax cuts, liberalized planning rules and a reduction in regulatory obstacles.
  • A claim-back scheme for sales taxes paid by tourists.
  • Scrapping of an increase in tax rates on various alcohols.
  • Scrapping of a cap on bankers’ bonuses.

According to recent projections, in four to five years, the tax reduction will total £45 billion.

Read Also: Reimagining Capitalism, Patagonia Founder to Give all Company Revenue to Combat Climate Change

“It’s half a century since we’ve seen tax cuts announced on this scale,” the Institute for Fiscal Studies director, Paul Johnson, said.

Against the U.S. dollar, the value of the pound fell to a 37-year low, suggesting another uphill task for the country. According to the Bank of England, the country’s economy will most likely experience a recession in the third quarter of 2022. The statement was made simultaneously as interest rates rose by 50 basis points.

 

It might not be the best solution

The U.K. government’s suggestion may cause long-term treasury issues. Since then, the government has said that it will cover the electricity costs for businesses and households, which may put more pressure on it to incur foreign debt. The U.K. needs more than £100 billion in spending in only two years.

Over expectations, the government spent more money last month. As an illustration, the government is spending a total of £11.8 billion in August, which is rather more than was anticipated. Government debt was £6.5 billion less in the same month last year.

According to Minister Kwarteng, among the G7 countries, the U.K. has the second-lowest debt-to-GDP ratio. As a result, the government should develop methods that can substantially diminish the country’s debt.

Read Also: After a Downturn, Bed Bath & Beyond Decides to Shut Some of its Facilities

The plan causes seismic effects

The initiative by Truss was dubbed “seismic” by the director of tax policy, Chris Sanger.

“The reversal of the decision to deny VAT rebates for travelers leaving the U.K., only implemented on leaving the E.U., and the introduction of a new super-powered special economic zone, reinforce the message that the U.K. wants to attract foreign direct investment and travelers. In essence, the government is doubling down on growth, providing tax cuts across the board,” said Sanger.

Director General Shevaun Havilland of the British Chambers of Commerce expressed enthusiasm for the strategy. However, this might only happen if the plans guarantee growth and provide an infrastructure that allows company expansion.

“The introduction of investment zones also has the potential to finally deliver on the Government’s long-standing promise to level up, if the scheme is truly UK-wide.”

Havilland cautions, however, that the government should draw lessons from the past and calibrate the plans to ensure that the investment zones are accurate from the start. If the program is not properly implemented and drafted, it will merely hamper new economic activity.

Source: CNBC

Reimagining Capitalism, Patagonia Founder to Give all Company Revenue to Combat Climate Change

Photo Credit: New York Times

The founder of the firm Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, declared that he would be contributing all of the company’s profits to the effort to fight the climate catastrophe. According to the declaration, the Chouinard family will not make money from the business. Instead, a portion of Patagonia’s profits would be given to groups and causes that support environmental initiatives, land protection, and biodiversity conservation.

The Chouinard family established Patagonia 50 years ago, and since then, it has provided clothing to a variety of merchants. According to the New York Times, the corporation has a $3 billion market value.

The company’s statement claims that regular operations would continue and that worker wages would remain the same. In addition, partner businesses and organizations would get the funds that were not reinvested or used for maintenance and other running costs. For instance, Patagonia founded the Holdfast Collective and Patagonia Purpose Trust, two cause-focused nonprofit organizations and trusts.

Holdfast Collective now owns 98% of the company’s non-voting stock, while Patagonia Purpose Trust has all voting stock, accounting for 2% of the total number of shares.

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Patagonia wants to reimagine capitalism

It’s high time for society and business to rethink capitalism, according to a message published on Patagonia’s website:

“While we’re doing our best to address the environmental crisis, it’s not enough. We needed to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis while keeping the company’s values intact. One option was to sell Patagonia and donate all the money. But we couldn’t be sure a new owner would maintain our values or keep our team of people around the world employed.”

Another path was to take the company public. What a disaster that would have been. Even public companies with good intentions are under too much pressure to create short-term gain at the expense of long-term vitality and responsibility.

Truth be told, there were no good options available. So, we created our own.”

When everything is set up, Patagonia estimates generating and donating more than $100 million annually. Additionally, the amount will change based on the business’s profitability and client spending patterns.

Patagonia sells a wide range of goods, including equipment for outdoor adventures like camping, fishing, and rock climbing. Additionally, the business offers different types of outdoor clothing and foods and drinks made using sustainable ingredients.

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Patagonia will stay competitive

According to Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert, the company’s objective could only be achieved if it maintained its previous behavior and kept operating, potentially even more vigorously, its revenue-generating machinery.

“I think what people fail to understand about Patagonia, both the past and today and the future, is that we are unapologetically a for-profit business,” Gellert stated.

“We are extremely competitive. The Chouinards are extremely competitive about the business. We focus on making high-quality products, standing behind that product for the usable life of it. We compete with every other company in our space, aggressively. I don’t think we have lost that instinct.”

Gellert claimed that the family debated making the announcement for years before deciding to do so. He continued by saying that while the company’s owners intended to fully devote the business to a humanitarian purpose, there was also a focus on building a framework that would uphold and maybe even strengthen Patagonia’s present fiscal values.

According to Gellert, despite the newly-enforced agreement, Patagonia pays its taxes and will keep doing so.

“We are a company that very much believes in that. We are a company that has avoided complex structures both in the U.S. and globally to sidestep taxes. We are actually one of the few companies that have lobbied consistently and publicly for higher taxes, particularly in support of climate legislation,” explained Gellert.

As the globe struggles to combat the impacts of the climate catastrophe, Patagonia is one of the few businesses beginning to reexamine what capitalism means. The business’s website now reads, “Earth is now our only shareholder.

Source: CNBC