November 29, 2020

International Business

TOKYO — Sixty-year-old Yashiro Haga is folding his Tokyo noodle ramen shop after 15 years in December, unable to overcome the prospect of a lasting customer slump due to the coronavirus crisis.

“The flow of people has changed due to the coronavirus,” Haga said, standing behind the counter of his ground-floor shop, Shirohachi. “Customers aren’t coming in and queuing up outside shops any longer.”

The pandemic is damaging Japan’s “mom-and-pop” restaurants—including noodle shops like Haga’s—at a growing rate, despite evidence the government’s massive effort to stave off bankruptcies is working in other sectors of the economy.

Hurt by deflationary pressures and growing competition in the run-up to the now-delayed Tokyo Olympics, noodle bars are particularly prone to the economic malaise the pandemic triggered in the service sector.

Small and mid-sized businesses like Haga’s noodle bar employ about 70% of Japan’s workers and account for 99.7% of the total number of Read the rest


Rishi Sunak is facing calls to scrap corporation tax and overhaul “largely toothless” foreign takeover rules in an attempt to boost British industry through Brexit and the pandemic.

The Independent Business Network, which has positioned itself as an alternative lobby group to established players such as the British Chambers of Commerce, also said that the pound should be “maintained at a competitive exchange rate”.

The chancellor’s spending review tomorrow provided a platform for “greater co-ordination and focus” around expanding the UK’s trade with the world, it said.

Business leaders who endorsed Brexit in 2016, including John Longworth, a former director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, and John Mills, who founded JML, established the IBN to seize on the opportunities they believe could be created by leaving the European Union.

It called corporation tax a “disproportionate administrative burden” for companies, and added: “Without corporation tax, businesses will have more cash … Read the rest


The General Services Administration ascertained Monday that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from President Donald Trump’s administration and allowing Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over on Jan. 20.

Trump, who had refused to concede the election, said in a tweet that he is directing his team to cooperate on the transition but is vowing to keep up the fight.

Administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, citing, “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.” Michigan certified Biden’s victory Monday, and a federal judge in Pennsylvania tossed a Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday seeking to prevent certification in that state.

Yohannes Abraham, the executive director of the Biden transition, said in a statement that the decision … Read the rest


Data Replication Benefits for Businesses with Many Databases

Data replication software consolidates and shares data between many locations to boost the availability, accessibility, and efficiency of informational assets. In the process, each system is bolstered with resilience and reliability as mistakes from manual duplication are cut and resources saved. And, beyond that, there are many more benefits to data replication, but they sometimes require incredible investment when done in-house. However, when you use data replication software like the Rapidi Replicator, you’re set to enjoy the full, fast benefits of more integrated data.

Currently, with a series of databases siloed, you may experience data entry errors, difficulty in accessing information, and losing chances to gain the most insight possible from your sources of truth. Sometimes in developing data replication, organizations will turn to their in-house IT and technical teams. When they do, many don’t realize these data replications can often Read the rest


LONDON — Dividend payouts by the world’s biggest firms in 2020 will fall by 17.5%–20%, equivalent to some $263 billion, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, a report on Monday forecast, but could rebound strongly next year.

Although the prediction by investment firm Janus Henderson represents a smaller dividend drop than some had feared at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be the biggest since at least 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Dividends are a major source of income for both public and private pension funds, but companies trying to cope with the coronavirus cut them by $55 billion, or 11.4%, in the third quarter after a $108 billion 22% plunge between April and June when uncertainty over the course of the pandemic peaked.

“Our best case now sees a fall of -17.5% to $1.20 trillion on an underlying basis. Our worst case Read the rest


Boris Johnson is to announce the return of Christmas shopping, gyms and outdoor sport across England as the government prepares to lift lockdown.

The prime minister will set out details today of a three-tier system of restrictions to come into force on December 3. He is expected to say that non-essential retail sales can resume across England, enabling people to do their Christmas shopping even if they live in high-infection areas.

Mr Johnson’s cabinet met last night to sign off the plans. In a victory for exercise enthusiasts, gyms are expected to reopen and outdoor sport will be allowed in all tiers.

The 10pm curfew on restaurants and pubs is likely to change to 11pm. Households will still be banned from mixing indoors in higher-infection areas, including hospitality venues and private homes.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, is hoping to conclude talks this week with the devolved governments in … Read the rest


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Low-paid service workers were the most likely to see their jobs cut during the pandemic. That lopsided economic blow has created something of a K-shaped economy, where the poor are worse off while the affluent, in many cases, are seeing their net worths increase thanks to a record stock market.

But is the uneven COVID-19 economy translating into a divided holiday season? To find out, Fortune and Civis Analytics teamed up to survey 10,063 adults in the U.S. between September 11 and November 9.*

As a whole, holiday spending should look a lot like 2019. Among all U.S. adults, 29% say they plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year, 30% plan to spend less, and 41% plan to spend about the same as they … Read the rest


Efficient customer support is the backbone of any business. Today, when all the companies are going online, a customer support team’s requirement is even more.

Though the online services offer convenience to the customers, the customers miss the tangible or visible customer service. Hence, most customers prefer to have an online service with a good or reliable customer support team. 

Let’s start with basics. Every popular website and mobile app are including numerous features like one-click call, live chat, email, call back etc. You can choose them all, or only required for your business one. But all of them should have a live person behind. It’s easy to find the team for the app development, moreover when you can rely on the details shared in the article on how  to create a shopping app from RiseApps. But it’s hard to get the live person with needed skills behind. 

Thus, while Read the rest


Coca-Cola Philippines has extensively scaled up its e-commerce presence to better respond to consumers whose needs and shopping behavior have altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With transportation and mobility affected, the Company has ensured that it can continue to serve people with its portfolio of beverages just a few clicks away.

Coca-Cola’s e-commerce website was first launched in 2015. To meet the constraints of the pandemic and to adapt to homebound Filipinos’ needs, the Company accelerated its digital and e-commerce roadmap—strengthening existing infrastructure and opening new channels to connect with the market. Thus, demonstrating agility as a total beverage company, with consumers always top of mind.

Coca-Cola products have been accessible online through its e-commerce website — — since 2015. With the constraints of the pandemic, the Company ensures that its products remain available within a click’s reach by strengthening its existing platform and partnering with food
Read the rest ...

A UK book publisher says congestion at Felixstowe Port has left it with no books to sell in the lead up to Christmas.

Colin Hoad and Matt Green run a publishing company, Idesine, which has 4,000 books stuck on a ship that has been trying to dock since 31 October.

They are one of many businesses encountering problems importing goods.

Importers say congestion issues at UK ports have led to shipping firms quadrupling their freight costs.

“People are contacting us saying they’ve paid for books on pre-order as gifts, and we ultimately can’t guarantee delivery,” Mr Hoad said.

Delays at Felixstowe have been caused by a surge in import traffic as companies increased orders after the initial lockdown and some looked to stockpile goods before the end of the Brexit transition period.

The pandemic has made matters worse as large orders of PPE added to the backlog of containers on … Read the rest