Wintergreen Essential Oil Recalled As Packaging Was Not Child Resistant

Two companies have recalled Wintergreen Essential Oil saying the lack of child resistant packaging as required carries the risks of poisoning children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission stated.

Waldo, Wisconsin – based Capstone Holdings LLC is calling back about 2,935 units of Simply Earth Wintergreen Essential Oil that were manufactured in the United States.

Rowland Heights, California-based Tim Trading LLC is also recalling about 900 units of Emori Wintergreen 100% Pure Essential Therapeutic Grade Oil manufactured in China.

The products contain the substance methyl salicylate, which should be in child resistant packaging. But, the recalled products’ packaging failed to comply with this, posing a risk of poisoning, if children swallow them.

However, both companies haven’t reported any incidents or injuries related to the recalled products till date.

Capstone’s Simply Earth Oil is in 15 mL amber glass bottles with black caps. They were sold online at SimplyEarth.com and the Simply Earth store in Glendale, Wisconsin from September 2016 through September 2019 for about $12.

Tim Trading’s Emori Wintergreen Oil is in 10 mL amber glass bottles with black continuous thread closure. They were sold online at EmoriBeauty.com and Amazon.com from September 2017 through March 2020 for about $7.

Simply Earth offered a free child-resistant replacement cap, while Emori offers a full refund or replacement with a similar product.

In May, citing lack of child resistant packaging, Doral, Florida-based Sanvall Enterprises had recalled around 5,400 units of Rapid Alivio Pain Relieving Roll-On; Viva Doria recalled about 520 units of Viva Doria Wintergreen Essential Oil; and W8 Distributing recalled about 6,400 units of Jade Bloom Wintergreen and Birch Sweet Essential Oils.

Source: Read Full Article

Ghost from the past does not haunt Maggi anymore

In 2019, the growth in sales of the Maggi brand of products surpassed the pre-ban level of 2014, in terms of both volume and value. While, Nestle raised prices of Maggi products by an average 3.1 per cent, its volume rose by 9.6 per cent year-on-year.

In 2019, Nestle sold some 264,000 mt of Maggi products, compared to 254,500 mt in 2014.

The country’s largest food company, Nestlé India, has finally managed to exorcise the ghost of the Maggi crisis that bogged it down four years ago.

In 2019, the growth in sales of the Maggi brand of products surpassed the pre-ban level of 2014, in terms of both volume and value.

Data sourced from its annual report for the year 2019 show it sold around 264,000 tonnes of Maggi products during the year, compared to 254,500 tonnes in 2014.

In value terms, the firm had already surpassed the pre-ban level in 2018 at Rs 3,105 crore, compared to Rs 2,961 crore in 2014.

In 2019, it sold Maggi products worth Rs 3,500 crore.

The company follows a calendar year format for financial reporting.

The Maggi fiasco in 2015, when it was banned by the food regulator, had taken a toll on all its four broad business categories.

While, it managed to recover sales (by volume and value) in the other three categories, Maggi sales had lagged.

The crisis had also impacted its total volume uptake in the intervening years.

This was addressed by the recovery in sales of Maggi, which contributes the largest chunk to the firm’s volume uptake and is the second largest segment in terms of revenue, as total offtake in 2019 stood at 478,400 tonnes – higher than the 458,600 tonnes in 2013.

The firm, however, failed to grow all its categories.

Its beverages portfolio, represented by brands like Nescafe and Nestea, shrank by 2.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, by volume and value.

Its largest category by value – milk and nutrition – that contributes nearly 46 per cent to its top line, registered 9 per cent growth with a steep 7.5 per cent average price hike.

While, it raised prices of Maggi products by an average 3.1 per cent, its volume rose by 9.6 per cent year-on-year.

According to Edelweiss Securities analysis, in 2019, Nestle steadily “continued its nutrition, health and wellness journey through strong volume and mix-led growth.

“The company stayed in its path of growth, by investing in cutting-edge science and innovation and taking decisive steps towards renovation”.

The 71 new products that Nestlé introduced under brands like KitKat, Maggi, EveryDay, Cerelac, among others, contributed 3.4 per cent of its sales in 2019, it observed.

“By driving greater agility and rapidly adapting to the changing preferences of consumers, Nestlé brought meaningful differentiation, by improving taste, convenience and nutritional qualities of its products, which saw an increase in consumer trust,” said Abneesh Roy, executive vice-president, institutional equities, Edelweiss Securities.

Nestlé leads in seven of the eight market categories it is present in.

Cerelac (infant cereals), Nan and Lactogen (infant formula), EveryDay (tea creamer), Maggi noodles (instant noodles), Maggi pasta (instant pasta), KitKat, MilkyBar, and Munch (confectionary), and Nescafe (instant coffee) – are market leaders in their respective categories.

Maggi ketchup is second only to Hindustan Unilever’s Kissan, in the domestic market.

Experts said a slew of measures adopted in the past two years paid off.

Apart from strengthening urban distribution and services for all its brands, the firm focused on the rural market.

To add new consumers, the focus has been on improving penetration – adding new outlets and encouraging sampling by launching smaller pack sizes and pushing its products through region-specific promotional schemes.

As a result, the rural market share in Nestle’s sales surged to 25 per cent by end-2019 from about 10 per cent in 2015. It is now looking to generate 35 per cent of total sales from the rural market by 2022.

Another factor that helped was moving the organisation from a pan-Indian framework to a cluster one, dividing the country into 15 clusters.

This strategy of offering localised solutions also entails increased use of local media.

From banking on national media, the company has started using regional media vehicles.

The company credits the power of data analytics for much of its recent success.

Consequently, the India unit, which was already one of the 15 large markets for the Swiss food major, was the fastest growing one in 2019, Nestlé India’s chairman and managing director Suresh Narayanan said earlier.

Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

Source: Read Full Article

Sydney’s Open For Business Again. So Where Is Everybody?

For a fresh perspective on the stories that matter for Australian business and politics, sign up for our new weekly newsletter.

When Australia announced plans to restart its economy after the coronavirus shutdown, authorities worried Sydney would be flooded with cars as socially distancing commuters returned to work.

But more than a week after schools and many businesses reopened, emergency parking lots created to accommodate an influx of new drivers are nearly empty. Traffic levels are edging back to pre-lockdown levels, according to TomTom, yet there’s little sign of people taking to cars en masse. Nor are they piling back onto buses, with only limited reports of overcrowding.

The muted return of commuters in a country with comparatively few virus cases — there have been just over 100 deaths in Australia, compared to more than 20,000 in New York — may be early evidence of an enduring shift in behavior.

28,633 in BrazilMost new cases today

-8% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-0.​9157 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-2.​3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May


“We are seeing something different to a simple snapback,” said Jago Dodson, director of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. “The immediate imperative to rush the workforce back into corporate office towers in the CBDs is perhaps not as strong as you might imagine.”

If the virus changes working patterns to keep even a small proportion of people from commuting to city centers, it could help solve a problem that urban planners have failed to crack for decades. Outside of one-off events like the Olympic Games, policymakers have struggled to spread transport demand away from peak times.

“We’ve been trying since the 1940s to stagger start hours to reduce pressure on the transport network and it’s just never worked,” said Geoffrey Clifton, a transport expert at the University of Sydney. “9 to 5 is still 9 to 5.”

Shifting hours and more work-from-home jobs would mean more efficient use of the transport network, saving billions of dollars in investment, he said.

It’s not like Australians are hunkered down at home. More than eight out of 10 households in the nation own at least one car, one of the highest rates in the world, and suburban beaches and parks are buzzing. Pubs are preparing for a surge in thirsty clients this weekend.

At the same time, Apple Inc. data show that routing requests on June 2 for all travel were down nearly 60% from pre-virus levels.

“People just aren’t ready to return to work,” Clifton said. “I genuinely was surprised. I thought there would have been a lot more people going back.”

One factor is that some of the biggest job losses have been in sectors like retail and hospitality, which are concentrated in central areas, trimming the number of commuters. Another is that many offices are grappling with issues like lift capacity and seating plans and are staggering the return of staff. Some employers, after investing in remote-working technology, found productivity was better than expected and aren’t planning to return to the old ways.

Telecoms giant Optus says it will keep some staff at home permanently and Westpac Banking Corp. is also mulling a long-term shift.

It’s too soon to call the end of the office commute. Surveys suggest two or three days a week in the office is the ‘sweet-spot’ for many workers to balance the benefits of face-to-face interaction with those of working from home, said Libby Sander, an organization behavior expert at Bond University.

“The office is not dead,” said Andrea Roberts, national head of leasing at real estate company Knight Frank Australia. “The return to work has been slower than expected, absolutely. But the office might even become a more important amenity and culture hub. People need something to bring them together.”

It’s been a similar cautious return in other Asian cities. In Hong Kong, the major banks sent back only between a third and half of their staff when restrictions first started to lift. In Singapore, Citigroup Inc. said it plans to keep 88% of its 8,500 employees at home until July.

Limited returns could be vital to enforcing social distancing on trains and buses. In the past, 60% to 80% of those working in Sydney’s city center arrived by public transport, according to the Institute for Sensible Transport. Depending on how strictly social distancing is enforced, between 50% and 85% of the normal 600,000 peak-hour commuters would need to find an alternative, researcher Elliot Fishman estimates.

“There just isn’t enough car parking capacity to absorb the extra, say, 200,000 cars that could potentially be headed for central Sydney at peak hour,” Fishman said. “It could bring traffic congestion beyond anything we’ve ever seen in this country.”

Keeping some of those cars from coming in each day could be one lesson to learn from the pandemic.

“We’ve been fairly slow in transitioning our urban transport systems to a more sustainable mode,” said Dodson at RMIT. “Now is the time when we could really start to accelerate that transition.”

Source: Read Full Article

Chemicals firm BASF biggest beneficiary of UK coronavirus loan scheme

The German chemicals company BASF has emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the Bank of England’s emergency coronavirus loan scheme, borrowing £1bn in cheap government-backed funding.

Threadneedle Street revealed for the first time the names of 53 big companies that have borrowed £16.2bn between them, amid rising pressure on the government to place tougher conditions on firms that receive state-backed support.

The list of businesses benefiting from the cheap funding, which is designed to help businesses weather the economic storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic, included many with a sizeable carbon footprint.

According to campaigners, about a fifth of the emergency loans were made to firms with heavy carbon emissions in aviation, oil and car manufacturing, prompting criticism for the government.

Ministers’ have previously made assurances that the government would prioritise a green economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Alongside BASF the list of major overseas companies receiving support backed by the British state also included the German pharmaceuticals company Bayer, the French luxury brand Chanel and the Japanese carmakers Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

BASF employs about 850 people in Britain at eight plants across the country, producing farming pesticides and chemicals for the car industry.

Chanel, which has received £600m, said it had its global headquarters are in the UK and it had 1,600 people working in the UK. A spokesperson said:”We have chosen not to access government furlough schemes but as a large employer which has seen all of its boutiques shut by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have accessed the Bank of England facility. The loan will be repaid within the next 12 months.”

First announced in March by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, among his flagship financial support measures as the coronavirus crisis intensified, the Covid corporate financing facility (CCFF) is run by the Bank of England on behalf of the Treasury. It is open to firms regardless of where they are headquartered.

Companies – and their finance subsidiaries – that make a “material contribution” to the UK economy are able to participate. However, the Bank and the Treasury have not published precise details over how it approves firms to be part of the scheme.

As many as 152 businesses have been approved to access the emergency funding, which could expand to nearly £68bn if necessary. The scheme works by Threadneedle Street buying up the bonds of companies with newly created public money, then lending the funds to the firms at interest rates understood to be around 0.5% and possibly less in some cases.

Against a backdrop of mounting pressure on ministers to attach more conditions to the use of public money and state guarantees, the Bank and the Treasury last month blocked firms from paying out large bonuses to executives and dividends to investors until they have repaid their loans.

Faced with the grounding of flights around the world, most of the biggest airlines operating in Britain have accessed the facility EasyJet and Ryanair hav borrowed £600m each, while British Airways has taken £300m and Wizz Air has borrowed £300m.

Although receiving taxpayer support, both Easyjet and BA have announced plans to make thousands of job cuts given the scale of the impact from Covid-19.

Both have stated that the money will be used simply to boost cash reserves and maintain liquidity during lockdown and hoped-for recovery. Although staff have been furloughed and fleets grounded, the airlines estimated they were still burning through cash at between £30m-60m a week.

Virgin Atlantic, majority owned by the billionaire Richard Branson, who has faced questions over whether his companies should receive public funds due to his personal tax status, is reported to have been turned down for a £500m loan.

Campaigners and many MPs have called on the government to ensure its bailout schemes take greater account of the environmental impact of the companies benefiting from them, as well as their tax status and employment practices.

Also among high-carbon businesses benefiting from the scheme were oilfield companies Baker Hughes, with a £600m loan, and Schlumberger, with £150m.

Fiona Nicholls, climate campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the government was letting down the public and going against its claims that the recovery would be green. “Airlines have been given exactly what the chancellor, the prime minister, economists and the public said they should not be given – billions in cheap and easy loans to keep them polluting, without any commitments to reduce their emissions or even keep their workers on the payroll.”

Several household names from the UK high street are also among firms borrowing from the scheme. The bakery chain Greggs has borrowed £150m, while Marks & Spencers took £260m and fast fashion online retailer Asos has secured £100m. John Lewis and the luxury fashion house Burberry have each borrowed £300m.

It is understood the loan to Burberry was undertaken as a contingency measure in the case of a protracted period of store closures. Asos said it had borrowed money as a precautionary measure to give it flexibility through an uncertain period. “At the same time, we raised capital from our shareholders to further support the business,” it said in a statement.

The construction firm JCB, owned by the billionaire Bamford family, who were prominent Tory donors and Vote Leave backers, has secured a £600m loan. The company described the loan support as insurance and “prudent financial management”.

Others included Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur and the brewer Youngs. The National Trust charity has also benefited, with £30m in help.

Source: Read Full Article

Spanish Puig snaps up Charlotte Tilbury makeup empire

The celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has handed a control of her namesake makeup and skincare empire to a Spanish fashion and fragrances business in a deal that could have valued the company at up to £1bn just seven years after she started it.

Tilbury, 47, personally owned between half and 75% of the company until signing a deal with the Barcelona-based Puig will likely have handed her a cash payout worth tens of millions of pounds. The Spanish firm also owns brands including Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier and Nina Ricci.

Tilbury will continue to own a significant stake and to act as chairman, president and chief creative officer – but will no longer be the biggest shareholder.

The deal is likely to have generated a big payday for other investors in the brand too, including the photographer Mario Testino, the model Stella Tennant and Wendi Murdoch, the entrepreneur and former wife of Rupert Murdoch .

However Charlotte Tilbury declined to comment on which shareholders had cashed out and which had stayed in.

The London-born makeup artist grew up on the Spanish island of Ibiza with her artist parents. She rose to fame working on Vogue shoots with supermodels including Kate Moss before developing products such as Pillow Talk lipstick and Magic Cream moisturiser.

Charlotte Tilbury eyes £500m payout as makeup firm goes up for sale

Her celebrity clients are thought to include Amal Clooney and Penelope Cruz and Tilbury’s tips learned from years in the trade have helped her build a big social media presence.

Puig, a family-controlled firm, is thought to have fought off rival bids from corporate giants including Unilever, the consumer goods company whose brands include Dove and Ben & Jerry’s, and large beauty corporations including France’s L’Oréal and Japan’s Shiseido Corporation.

The deal rides on a trend for personality-led makeup ranges that have won over the Instagram generation and provided heavy competition for traditional cosmetic brands.

In November last year, Kylie Jenner sold a 51% stake in her beauty business to the CoverGirl owner Coty, in a deal that valued the reality TV star’s company at about $1.2bn (£965m).

The luxury conglomerate LVMH, owner of brands including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon, is the backer of Rihanna’s Fenty beauty empire.

Tilbury said: “I’ve always dared to dream and create magic through beauty. I’m proud to be joining forces with Puig in a strategic partnership that will help us achieve our limitless ambitions. We’ve reached a pivotal point in our growth since launching seven years ago, and we’re looking forward to unlocking new opportunities with Puig, which is the perfect partner as we build an iconic brand to last.”

Source: Read Full Article

ABIO Jumps On Joining COVID-19 Drug Fray, GMAB Hits Trial Goal, IMRA On Watch

Today’s Daily Dose brings you news about ARCA biopharma joining the battle against COVID-19; Genmab’s positive results from amyloidosis trial; MacroGenics’ regulatory update related to breast cancer drug candidate Margetuximab and Simulations Plus receiving the FDA grant award.

Read on…

1. ARCA Jumps Into COVID-19 Drug Fray; Stock Explodes Over 300%

ARCA biopharma Inc. (ABIO) has decided to evaluate AB201, a potent, selective inhibitor of tissue factor, as a potential treatment for COVID-19 associated coagulopathy and the related inflammatory response.

COVID-19 associated coagulopathy or CAC is one of the most serious adverse effects seen in COVID-19 patients.

The Company anticipates filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for AB201 with the FDA in the third quarter and initiating late-stage clinical testing in the second half of this year.

As of March 31, 2020, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of only $6.7 million.

ABIO closed Thursday’s trading at $19.21, up 386.33%.

2. Genmab ANDROMEDA Trial Hits Key Goal

Shares of Genmab A/S (GMAB) closed at an all-time high of $30.97 on Thursday, thanks to positive topline results from its ANDROMEDA trial.

ANDROMEDA is a phase III study of subcutaneous Daratumumab in combination with Cyclophosphamide, Bortezomib, and Dexamethasone (CyBorD ) for patients with newly diagnosed light-chain (AL) amyloidosis.

Janssen Biotech Inc. obtained an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize Daratumumab from Genmab in 2012.

The ANDROMEDA study, conducted by Janssen, met the primary endpoint of the percentage of patients with hematologic complete response. Patients in the study treated with Daratumumab in combination with CyBorD had a 53.3% hematologic complete response compared to 18.1% of patients who were treated with CyBorD alone.

GMAB closed Thursday’s trading at $30.97, up 4.31%.

3. Imara Gearing Up For The Big Event

Shares of Imara Inc. (IMRA) continues to gain momentum as the Company gears up to present interim data from the ongoing phase IIa study of IMR-687 in patients with sickle cell disease at the 25th Annual European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress to be held virtually June 11-21, 2020.

Enrollment in the IMR-687 phase IIa clinical trial in sickle cell patients was completed in January of this year, with top-line data expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

IMRA closed Thursday’s trading at $32.38, up 11.27%.

4. MacroGenics To Face FDA In December; No Panel Review

MacroGenics Inc. (MGNX) has been notified that the FDA has no plans to hold an AdComm meeting to review the Company’s Biologics License Application for Margetuximab, proposed for the treatment of patients with pre-treated metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer in combination with chemotherapy.

The regulatory agency’s final decision date set for Margetuximab review remains unchanged, which is December 18, 2020.

MGNX closed Thursday’s trading at $23.00, down 0.61%.

5. Simulations Plus Secures Grant Award

Shares of Simulations Plus Inc. (SLP), a developer of drug discovery/development software, touched an all-time high on Thursday, following the receipt of a new Grant Award from the FDA.

The Company has been awarded a new funded cooperative agreement for up to $400,000 over three years to develop physiologically based pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PBPK/PD) approaches to support interspecies translation for ocular drug delivery in GastroPlus.

GastroPlus is a mechanistically based simulation software package that simulates intravenous, oral, oral cavity, ocular, inhalation, and dermal/subcutaneous absorption, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics in humans and animals, according to the Company.

For its second quarter of fiscal year 2020, the period ended February 29, 2020, net revenues increased 22.2% to $10.3 million from $8.5 million in the year-ago period. Net income for the recent second quarter increased to $2.2 million from $2.1 million in the year-ago quarter while earnings per share remained unchanged at $0.12 per share. The second-quarter results were reported last month.

SLP closed Thursday’s trading at $48.43, up 22.61%.

6. Stocks That Moved On No News

Organogenesis Holdings Inc. (ORGO) closed Thursday’s trading at $4.61, up 33.24%.

IDEAYA Biosciences Inc. (IDYA) closed Thursday’s trading at $9.40, up 22.64%.

Flexion Therapeutics Inc. (FLXN) closed Thursday’s trading at $11.65, up 12.83%.

NantKwest Inc. (NK) closed Thursday’s trading at $6.61, down 12.80%.

Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRCA) closed Thursday’s trading at $12.20, down 11.98%.

Source: Read Full Article

U.S. Stocks Close Lower Following Late-Day Pullback

After seeing strength for much of the session, stocks came under pressure in the final hour of trading on Thursday. The major averages pulled back off their highs of the day and into negative territory.

The major averages climbed off their lows going into the close but still ended the day in the red. The Dow fell 147.63 points or 0.6 percent to 25,400.64, the Nasdaq slid 43.37 points or 0.5 percent to 9,368.99 and the S&P 500 dipped 6.40 points or 0.2 percent to 3,029.73.

The late-day pullback on Wall Street was attributed to President Donald Trump announcing plans to hold a news conference about China on Friday.

China has recently stepped up efforts to curtail Hong Kong’s independence, raising concerns that Trump may announce new measures that ramp up recent tensions with China.

The strength seen for much of the day came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a continued decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended May 23rd.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped to 2.123 million, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 2.446 million.

Economists had expected jobless claims to fall to 2.100 million from the 2.438 million originally reported for the previous week.

With the decrease, jobless claims pulled back further off the record high of 6.867 million set in the week ended March 28th.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a separate report showing a substantial decrease in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of April.

The report said durable goods orders plunged by 17.2 percent in April following a revised 16.6 percent nosedive in March.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to plummet by 19.0 percent compared to the 14.4 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

Housing stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 3.9 percent.

The weakness in the sector came after the National Association of Realtors released a report showing a steep drop in pending home sales in the month of April.

Significant weakness was also visible among banking stocks, as reflected by the 3.6 percent nosedive the KBW Bank Index.

Computer hardware, energy and semiconductor stocks also saw considerable weakness on the day, while strength remained visible among utilities, pharmaceutical and chemical stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 1.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries showed a modest move to the downside over the course of the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 2.5 basis points to 0.705 percent.

Source: Read Full Article

A Minneapolis Restaurant Owner Protects His Community

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Rashad West got the restaurateur bug more than a decade ago, while moving up from washing dishes to manning the woks at a Chinese restaurant. After college, where he quarterbacked for a Division Two football team, he sold his sneaker collection—for $18,000—to help fund his first restaurant. Today, West and his wife own eight-employee Asian restaurant Dragon Wok, in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis. Their business is across the street from the spot where George Floyd was killed in police custody on May 25. West, 30, provided footage of the incident from his video security system to the media. On June 2, he spoke with Bloomberg Businessweek about navigating life as a black business owner in a city with a deadly policing problem. This interview has been edited.
 

 

When I learned about what happened to George Floyd, I went to the restaurant and checked the security cameras. I don’t know how many times you’ve seen or heard stories of countless, pointless murders of black men. It’s ridiculous. We’ve seen this happen too many times. People always ask, how do we know he wasn’t struggling beforehand? Maybe he had a bad interaction with the police. As soon as I saw him get handcuffed, I realized there was literally no threat posed to the officers: He wasn’t struggling, he wasn’t doing anything that would warrant his treatment. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.

I said, OK, people have to see this part. I want to give his family and the community the opportunity to see it. As a black man, I’m sick and tired of people trying to make excuses for why this happens to us. There’s no excuse. We can comply with the police and do everything they ask us to do, and something could still happen to us, regardless. Floyd did everything they asked him to do and yet, they still ended up killing him. I just wanted to give people who don’t have to live in this skin some insight. At the end of the day, there’s still a target on us.

If you’re in a position of responsibility—if you have a business in the community, for example—and something unjust happens in your sight or on your cameras, in my opinion, you owe it to the community that keeps your doors open to show them the truth and to keep truth protected.

We opened Dragon Wok in the Powderhorn location in March because we outgrew our old location in the Kingfield neighborhood. We knew the neighborhood was going to come with some challenges, but we needed the space. We have over 3,000 square feet now.

We moved right as the coronavirus prevention measures started hitting small businesses. We didn’t get a chance to do our grand opening. We bought all this new equipment, had all this custom furniture made, and then the city said, ‘You can’t have anybody in your dining area; it’s got to be takeout only.’ That was the same week that we planned on opening.

Minneapolis is a city of restaurants and bars. I asked myself: How’s it going to work for 80% of the businesses in Minneapolis? How are we going to get through this to start, and on the other end of it, how is it going to change the whole dynamic of running restaurants? What’s the adjustment going to be? It’s forcing us to be way more innovative way faster than we ever thought we would have to be. But restaurant owners are a very crafty group. No one is going to give up without a fight. 

Luckily, our business model is similar to Chipotle and Jimmy John’s, but with the quality of a higher-end Chinese restaurant. We’re built on takeout and delivery. You can order online or call to get an order in under an hour. The dine-in part was new. Our customers were already used to just doing takeout and delivery. That kind of saved us. It was a blessing.

Before we closed temporarily, out of respect for George Floyd’s memorial and in solidarity with our community, we had gone to a skeleton crew. I’m a cook, too, so I’d been in the trenches almost every day. I was working double shifts, from about 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. I wanted to make sure people who have been with us the longest have some security. You have to look out for people and put yourself last right now. You want the business to survive so you can bring them back. 

We didn’t apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. We’ve gone through so much, and we haven’t used any bank loans. We’ve always self-financed and just grinded it out. I pretty much sacrificed my early 20s working. I’ve been with my wife since I was 17, so that helped as well. I literally took every dollar I made and put it right back in the business, just to keep things going. We think we can make it without the loans.

The governor gave June 1 as the date restaurants could reopen. But the guidelines were 50% capacity. You can only have seating outside. You have to have a new sanitation system plan written up to show the health department if it visits your restaurant. We had been planning to add a bar to our restaurant; that’s almost impossible right now.

We don’t have a reopening date. We’re just trying to give the community time to heal and show our support. Things will never be the same. It really hits home when something like this happens directly across the street. You stop thinking about the restaurant and start thinking about the community.

When I think about what happened, I think: It doesn’t matter what my stature is in the city. It could’ve been me. Even if you comply, if you get the wrong officer that day, you never know what is going to happen to you. That’s something I’ve been dealing with my entire life. It’s been very sobering.

The peaceful protesting and the memorial is right on the intersection in front of our restaurant. The neighborhood is very protective of the buildings. They are not allowing anyone in who gives them a sense that they’re seeking violence. They want people who are spreading love and positivity. The whole front of my restaurant is windows. Our windows are not boarded up. We haven’t been touched. Other parts of Minneapolis definitely have been ran through. Those people are not the peaceful protesters. Those people are not thinking about George Floyd when they’re breaking these windows and going in places and stealing things. It changes the narrative and takes away from groups that are trying to force change in a way that everybody will be safe in.

People are going to put peaceful protestors and looters into one broad group, but they’re two completely different groups of people. There are a lot of outside people coming in and taking advantage of the situation. These are not our local people. Why would we destroy our Dollar Store? Why would we destroy our AutoZone? There are literally no grocery stores left in South Minneapolis. It’s just sickening.

I would like to hope that these businesses have the insurance to cover the damages. A lot of people have their entire life savings put into these businesses. We go to ours every single day; it’s our second home. Some people are there more than they’re home. It literally is your life. So when people destroy that, you’re taking away the lifeline for an entire family. For many, their store has been in their family for generations. Now it’s gotten completely wiped out: Plans to sell it to retire or fund their kids’ education, or pass it on to their kids, just completely taken away.

I don’t think the looting is going to continue, because most of the things were destroyed in the first two days. The community is coming out and sweeping up and helping these business owners clean up all the glass all over the ground. The community is not standing for more destruction. We’re not allowing this to continue. It has to end.

 

Source: Read Full Article

LVMH Reviews Tiffany Prospects After Luxury-Goods Demand Craters

LVMH’s board has discussed its planned $16 billion purchase of Tiffany & Co. amid reports that the deal might need to be reworked as the Covid-19 pandemic and protests in U.S. cities cloud the jeweler’s prospects.

The Louis Vuitton owner said directors met Tuesday to examine the agreement. LVMH ruled out buying Tiffany shares on the open market even though they trade at a 15% discount to the agreed price of $135 a share.

The French company said its board “focused its attention on the development of the pandemic and its potential impact on the results and perspectives of Tiffany & Co. with respect to the agreement that links the two groups.”

While analysts have said the jeweler complements LVMH’s business, the deal has created headaches for LVMH. Tiffany’s reliance on the U.S. market makes it more vulnerable in the face of the Covid-related economic fallout and rising social unrest.

Since the deal — the largest in the luxury-goods industry — was reached in November, the virus outbreak has decimated demand. The political fallout from the death of George Floyd additionally risks weighing on consumer appetite, and Tiffany shares fell to $114.24 Wednesday.

LVMH shares were little changed early Thursday in Paris.

Investors have applauded the acquisition of Tiffany as a way for the luxury giant to better compete with Richemont-owned Cartier for leadership in the global jewelry market. However, Tiffany shares started dropping in March, when people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that LVMH was considering buying shares on the open market and examining possible legal hurdles to the idea.

What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:

LVMH has reiterated its mid-April message of not dipping into the market to buy Tiffany shares, and we believe the deal will complete this year.

— Deborah Aitken, senior analyst

LVMH Sticks to Tiffany Agreement, No Dipping in Downturn: React

LVMH responded at the time that it was currently bound by an agreement not to buy Tiffany stock on the open market. On Thursday it reiterated that it is not considering such a step.

Women’s Wear Daily reported earlier this week that LVMH’s the planned deal is on shaky ground. Tiffany would be worth $60 to $75 a share if LVMH walks away, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Binetti wrote Wednesday.

Source: Read Full Article

China approves decision to enact Hong Kong national security law

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Two of Hong Kong’s biggest retail banks are backing a controversial national security law that would drastically broaden China’s power over the financial hub.

HSBC (HSBC) and Standard Chartered (SCBFF) on Wednesday signaled support for the bill drafted by Beijing that will be imposed upon the city in coming months. The lenders joined other major businesses in Hong Kong voicing support for the law.
HSBC posted a photo on Chinese social media showing Asia Pacific CEO Peter Wong signing a petition supporting the law’s implementation. HSBC’s London press office confirmed the authenticity of the post.

    “We respect and support laws and regulations that will enable Hong Kong to recover and rebuild the economy and, at the same time, maintain the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’,” the post said, referring to the governing principle that gives the city political and legal freedoms unavailable in mainland China.
    HSBC hits pause on mass layoffs after profits plunge by nearly 50%
    HSBC is headquartered in London, but was founded in Hong Kong and has a major business presence in China. The bank’s statement comes nearly a week after former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying blasted HSBC for its silence.

    Leung took to Facebook (FB) on Friday, calling on HSBC to publicly voice its support for the law. He said the bank should know “which side of the bread is buttered.”
    Hong Kong and China are by far HSBC’s biggest moneymakers. Last year, the divisions pulled in enough money to wipe out losses in the United Kingdom and keep the company profitable.
    HSBC’s Hong Kong listed shares rose 1.6% on Thursday, outperforming the city’s broader Hang Seng Index (HSI), which slumped 0.1%.
    Fellow UK-based lender Standard Chartered also weighed in on Wednesday, saying in a statement that China’s proposed national security law for Hong Kong “can help maintain the long-term economic and social stability” of the city.
    The proposed national security law would ban sedition, secession and subversion against Beijing in Hong Kong, which last year was roiled by anti-government protests calling for greater democracy and more autonomy from mainland China. Last week, China’s rubber-stamp parliament approved a proposal to impose the law on the city’s behalf, bypassing Hong Kong’s legislature via a rarely used constitutional backdoor.
    The law also would enable Chinese national security organs to operate in the city “to fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law.”
    Leaders in the United States and Britain have criticized the introduction of the law as undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. The proposal also briefly rattled markets last month, sending the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) to its worst day since 2015. And US firms have expressed concern about what the law could mean for the city’s future as a global business hub, particularly after Washington responded by signaling an intent to end its special economic and trading relationship with Hong Kong.
    Even so, HSBC and Standard Chartered are among a growing list of top businesses in Hong Kong that have come out in a show of support for the contentious legislation.
    Jardine Matheson, one of Hong Kong’s oldest British trading houses, issued a full-page advertisement on Wednesday in pro-Beijing newspapers Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po, which have strong ties to the Chinese government.
    “Establishing the legal framework that upholds national security is very important. It ensures that Hong Kong continues to attract investment, enhance employment opportunities and protect people’s livelihood,” the company said.
    Swire Pacific (SWRAY), one of Hong Kong’s richest family-owned business empires, and billionaire Li Ka-shing, founder of telecom and retail conglomerate CK Hutchison, have also voiced support for China’s move.
    Swire said that “the enactment of national security legislation will be beneficial for the long-term future of Hong Kong as a world-leading business and financial centre.”
    “It is within each and every nation’s [sovereign] right to address its national security concerns,” Li, of CK Hutchison, said in a statement issued last week.

      “Meanwhile, [Hong Kong] has the mission-critical task to fortify its citizens’ faith and maintain international trust in the constitutional principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems,'” he added.
      — Alexandra Lin contributed to this report.
      Source: Read Full Article