January 15, 2021

Business insider

New company formations grew by more than 13 per cent in 2020 as Britain was hit hard by the pandemic.

There were a record 772,002 businesses registered at Companies House last year, compared with 681,704 in 2019, according to official data gathered by the Centre for Entrepreneurs.

After a dip around the time of the first national lockdown, every region experienced continual growth in business start-ups from June onwards, even through further lockdowns and restrictions intended to contain Covid-19.

There was marked growth in the creation of companies related to the crisis, including the manufacturing and retail of medical goods, which increased by 111 per cent and 146 per cent, respectively, compared with 2019.

Workwear manufacturing rose by 166 per cent, while disinfecting services increased by 229 per cent. New retail businesses have increased by 60 per cent, including 43,217 online shops, marking a rate of growth of 105 per … Read the rest


Malaysia’s king declared a nationwide state of emergency for the first time in more than half a century, suspending parliament in a move that allows embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to avoid facing an election until the pandemic is over.

The emergency decree gives Muhyiddin’s administration more power to tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases, including over the operations of private hospitals, and may allow the police and military to assist in public health measures. The ringgit and the country’s main stocks index declined after the announcement, which came a day after Muhyiddin imposed a two-week targeted lockdown in most of the country starting Wednesday.

In a briefing on Tuesday, the prime minister said he may introduce measures like price controls to prevent economic sabotage. An independent committee would be established to advise the king on the duration of the emergency, which was set to expire on Aug. 1 unless … Read the rest


Flo, Calm, and MyFitnessPal are the most popular health apps in the world in 2020, according to the Health App Index from Uswitch, a UK-based comparison website. Half of mobile app users relied on health and fitness apps in order to achieve their fitness goals before the pandemic. That number rose to 75% after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. 

The index gathered data from the Apple App Store, search engine optimization company Ahrefs, and analytics company SimilarWeb from December 12 to 20, 2020, to find out the world’s most popular health apps. 

To determine a seed list to use, Uswitch took the top 20 free health apps from the Apple App Store in 20 countries and gathered the 15 most popular apps across each. These apps were analyzed using their average app store ranking, yielding a list of the most popular apps, and then scored 1 to 15 based Read the rest


Online supermarket Ocado has become the first big retailer to warn of shortages of some products.

It told customers in an email that there may be “an increase of missing items and substitutions over the next few weeks”.

Staff sickness and self-isolation means some food producers are cutting the number of product lines they offer.

While customers might not get their exact product choice, plenty of food should be available, Ocado said.

“Staff absences across the supply chain may lead to an increase in product substitutions for a small number of customers as some suppliers consolidate their offering to maintain output,” a spokesperson said.

The news comes after a rush of online food orders for supermarkets, as shoppers try to stay at home after the new lockdown started.

Within a couple of hours of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation on Monday, shoppers reported problems with Sainsbury’s and … Read the rest


Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has landed on the cover of the February issue of Vogue magazine, but her team says there’s a problem: the shot of the country’s soon-to-be No. 2 leader isn’t what both sides had agreed upon, her team says.

Instead of the powder blue power suit Harris wore for her cover shoot, the first African American woman elected vice president is instead seen in more casual attire and wearing Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, which she sometimes wore on the campaign trail.

Harris’ team was unaware that the cover photo had been switched until images leaked late Saturday, according to a person involved in the negotiations over how Harris would be featured on the cover. Harris’ office declined comment and the person spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity.

Subscribe to The Broadsheet, a daily brief for and about the world’s most powerful women, delivered free to your Read the rest


Singapore’s government plans to create urgent legislation to formalize the use of virus contact-tracing data in investigations of serious crimes.

Legislation will be introduced in the next sitting of parliament in February to limit the use of the data to probes of seven categories of serious crimes, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office said in a statement Friday. Those will include murder, terrorism, kidnapping, and serious sexual offenses, it said.

The move comes amid concerns over privacy issues in the city-state’s TraceTogether contact-tracing program designed to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“We acknowledge our error in not stating that data from TraceTogether is not exempt from the Criminal Procedure Code,” the office said.

TraceTogether is being used by 78% of Singapore’s population. According to its website, the program does not collect data about individual GPS locations, Wifi, or mobile networks being used. But a clause about data Read the rest


Ahead of the Self Assessment tax return deadline on 31st January, experts answer some of the most searched for questions on the topic.

With 110,0001 searches for ‘Self Assessment’ in the UK every month, specialists from Chartered Accountancy practice, Sheards Accountancy has compiled a list of eight of the most common Self Assessment related queries and answered them for those preparing their tax returns for the end of January.

How to pay Self Assessment tax? – 1,000 monthly searches

The deadlines for paying your tax bill are usually 31st January for any tax you owe for the previous tax year and your first payment on account and then 31 July for your second payment on account. Payments need to be made to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by the deadline. If you fail to pay on time, you’ll be charged interest and may have to pay a penalty.

The time … Read the rest


Rescue teams in Indonesia are gearing up for day two of their search for the missing Boeing Co. jet carrying 62 people that at least one agency has characterized as a crash after uncovering debris that are “strongly suspected” to be part of Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182.

The plane lost radio contact shortly after taking off from Jakarta Saturday afternoon. The country’s search agency said the debris found in the Java Sea is similar to those circulating earlier on social media, and its efforts Sunday will include both air and sea, and also underwater. A local news organization said authorities received a report of a plane crashing on a nearby uninhabited island in an area north of the capital city.

The likely accident has once again pushed the nation’s aviation industry into crisis mode. The Southeast Asian nation has had a spate of plane crashes in the past decade, including … Read the rest


By Beatrice M. Laforga, Reporter

Foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines in October fell to the lowest level in six months, amid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections overseas, according to the central bank.

FDI net inflows shrank by a quarter to $423 million from $561 million a year earlier, the second straight month of yearly decline, according to data sent by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno via Viber on Friday.

The October inflows were the lowest since $314 million in April, when many parts of the country and the rest of the world were locked down at the height of the pandemic.

Restrictions have been eased since the second half of last year, but local quarantine and physical distancing measures remain.

“The slowdown in FDI during the month may be attributed in part to concerns over the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the … Read the rest


International media group Capital Business Media has relocated its UK content marketing and SEO division to Ireland in response to the UK’s exit from the EU on January 1st.

The group, owners of the Business Matters magazine and this website, which also has offices in London and New York, will now deal with all client content marketing and SEO needs through a new Irish company, Inscriptio.

The decision to relocate the division to Ireland was made to ensure that there are no compliance and GDPR issues in line with the UK now not being covered by EU Data Protection and GDPR laws.

As part of the new trade deal, the EU did agree to delay data transfer restrictions for at least another four months. This enables personal data to flow freely from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK.

However, at the end of this four-month window, … Read the rest