December 1, 2020

Our mission to make business better is fueled by readers like you. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.

In early March, a data-savvy employee at the game studio Blizzard Entertainment started taking a hard look at rising number of U.S. COVID-19 cases, which then numbered in the low hundreds.

“We were able to do some math and say, looking at the China and Italy data, this is going to affect us very dramatically,” says J. Allen Brack, Blizzard’s president.

Within days, Blizzard, a unit of gaming giant Activision-Blizzard, asked groups of its designers, programmers, and other staff to work from home temporarily. They thought of it as a test, meant to refine the organization and infrastructure needed to keep creating video games, just in case things got really bad.

And of course, things got really bad.

“It was pretty damned fast,” says Blizzard executive John Hight. … Read the rest


In my last article on Cost Effective Marketing Strategies for small businesses I discussed how you can use Mass Media on a small budget very effectively. Established businesses can also benefit from developing a Business Plan to attract further funding, manage rapid growth, or reevaluate the company’s vision and goals. As businesses are competing in an ever increasing competitive environment, controls over performance are essential in driving the company in the most profitable direction possible. Control is the process of assuring that organizational goals are achieved, which usually involves five key steps: setting up the standards of performance, measuring actual performance, comparing actual performance with planned performance, deciding whether any deviations are excessive, and determining the appropriate corrective action needed to bring actual performance into conformity with planned performance. Obamacare has not been implemented, so for the last six years the country has been in flux on healthcare. Adding the … Read the rest


(11-16-2020, Shanghai) On November 14, 2020, USI (SSE: 601231) held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Vietnam Facility in Dinh Vu Industrial Zone (“DVIZ”) located in Hai An District, Haiphong City, Vietnam. City officials including Nguyen Duc Tho, Municipal Party Committee Member and Vice Chairman of Haiphong City People’s Committee, Nguyen Tong Quan, Deputy Chief of Office of Haiphong City People’s Council, Le Trung Kien, Member of the Standing Committee, Haiphong City Party Committee and Head of Haiphong Economic Zone Authority, Bui Ngoc Hai, Deputy Head of Haiphong Economic Zone Authority, Bruno Johan O. Jaspaert, General Director of Dinh Vu Industrial Zone Joint Stock Company, attended the ceremony to witness the facility’s milestone moment.

On December 12, 2019, USI’s board of directors approved an investment for a manufacturing facility to be set up in Vietnam and, established the Universal Scientific Industrial Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary, for that purpose. With a … Read the rest


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


Get life insurance quotes from multiple carriers. Competing for Convenient Insurance’s business are other independent agents, and captive agents offering their particular ‘brand’ of products and services (examples are Fall State and State Barn). At an increasing rate, more insurance carriers are enticing newer clients over the web and with new apps – even eliminating the need for traditional behind the desk appointments. These internet based insurance carriers can pose the largest threat to Convenient Insurance if they do meet or keep pace with the technology requirements. Likewise if Convenient Insurance can keep up the pace, the market potential is limitless. I have raised three sons, cared for aging parents, volunteered in my church and my local community, have lived carefully when it comes to money – I have no credit card, school loan, or vehicle debt. Paid them all off and raised the boys – by myself as their … 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