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UK SMEs lose £2.2bn as customers fall into administration during lockdown

Stockwood Strategy

SMEs across the UK are counting the cost of the lockdown as they prepare for a testing final quarter of 2020. Risktech business Nimbla , surveyed* 2,000 UK SMEs and found that £2.2bn in revenue (for goods and services provided during lockdown) has been lost because those customers fell into administration. A number that is set to increase dramatically over the course of the next year. More than a third (38%) of SMEs are still waiting to be paid an average of £59,013, for work they completed before the lockdown. Worryingly, a fifth (21%) of these companies believe they will never recover the full amount, losing on average £24,903 because those customers have gone into administration. Looking at the bigger picture, this is worth £2.2bn in revenue across all SMEs (with outstanding payments) that will not be realised. Lost time and revenue Businesses reported, on average, 6 invoices go unpaid every year with half of these worth £41,193 written off due to their customers becoming insolvent. Yet, surprisingly, only 4% of business owners take out trade credit or invoice insurance, which protects the supplier against their customers’ insolvency. Business owners do spend time thinking about a potential insolvency event with their customers. In the event that happened, most of them (83%) would continue trading but the impact on cash flow would lead to changes in asking customers for deposits, requesting shorter payment terms, declining larger projects and fear their credit scores falling. Business owners spend, on average, two weeks chasing an invoice payment which eventually was never paid because the customer became insolvent. Flemming Bengtsen, CEO at Nimbla commented: “The impact the lockdown has had on SMEs, who are the heart and soul of the UK economy, is astonishing. Many have survived several attacks during the pandemic and, now, knowing they won’t get paid for the work they did is another huge body blow. There could be more bad news on the horizon for smaller businesses as high street chains face difficulties and potential insolvencies.” Looking ahead Businesses anticipate making, on average, £263,000 revenue between now and the end of the year. However, as customers seek longer payment terms from 30 to 60 days to settle invoices, three in five (60%) business owners are nervous about not getting paid at all with expectations that one in six customers will become insolvent before the end of the year. This is a major issue as more than a third (36%) of businesses were heavily concentrated, reporting that more than two-thirds of their revenues came from a handful of customers. Overall, business owners reported 61% of their customers said they were doing well in terms of their revenue, going steady with sales and generally content with the business environment. Yet, business owners were sceptical about their buoyant spirit, with only a quarter (26%) believing what they say. Flemming Bengtsen added: “The current uncertain economic environment means doing business isn’t easy, it’s made all the more difficult with SMEs anxious about getting paid. Trading on trust and confidence has deteriorated. It is time, as a collective, to bring this back. Business owners cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand; they should protect themselves and insure against the potential insolvency of their customers.” ENDS Notes to the Editor *Research findings based on a survey of 2,000 UK companies (who are employers with a minimum turnover of £250,000) conducted for Nimbla in September 2020 by LM Research & Marketing Consultancy (Market Research Society approved partner and ESOMAR corporate member). About Nimbla Nimbla makes sure businesses get paid for their hard work, even if a customer becomes insolvent. Founded in 2016, the risktech company is on a mission to give SMEs the confidence to trade with a peace of mind using invoice insurance. Nimbla’s digital insurance platform backed by expert risk analysts, allows businesses to check a buyer’s ability to pay and insure individual invoices against non-payment in a fast and affordable way. This will enable business owners to safeguard against insolvent customers, expand into new and existing markets and secure better borrowing terms. The platform can be accessed directly ( www.nimbla.com ) and through partnerships with Barclays and Starling Bank. Based in London, Nimbla aims to bring the trade credit industry into the 21st century. Challenging traditional insurance models, the cover is flexible and adapts to fit your business — whether it’s a one-off invoice or multiple transactions. Contact Details Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 bilal.mahmood@nimbla.com Company Website https://www.nimbla.com/

October 06, 2020 04:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Construction industry rallies in rebuilding Britain, finds Skrap survey

Stockwood Strategy

The construction industry is rallying from the aftermath of the lockdown as builders report steady workflow and recovering revenues, finds a survey* of 2,000 UK construction companies by Skrap , the on-demand construction hire specialist . Almost half of construction businesses (44%) reported that workflow has reached pre-lockdown levels. The bounce is such that almost a quarter (23%) of businesses felt they would hit at least 2019 revenue levels and possibly see a 20% increase. This is despite nearly two-thirds (63%) of businesses still waiting to be paid, on average, £47,784 for work they did pre-lock down. However, this is an improvement from June 2020 when they were waiting for £157,642. Of the work that is being done, building contractors are seeing the greatest demand from residential projects (48%) and public sector work (30%) such as roadworks and in schools. However, of those businesses seeing a partial slowdown in work, they pointed to the uncertain state of the economy which is delaying investment decisions. Construction industry business owner Jamie Herd, MD of Lords builders’ merchants commented: “We’ve seen sales of supplies increase steadily over the past 3 months and orders to the end of 2020 look good especially in London and the home counties. The government’s favourable loan schemes have boosted the cash flow of construction businesses to enable them continue their work and overall, there is a bullish mood that work is returning to normal in the industry”. Hussain Hilli, co-founder at Skrap commented: “Although building activity shrunk during the lockdown, this survey provides a cautious note of optimism for the construction industry. It’s not surprising this wave of optimism comes from residential work as people continue to work from home and consider their new needs. The decision to scrap stamp duty on homes below £500,000 has also got home owners active. Government policies are taking effect and builders are benefiting but a lot will rest on how investors see Brexit playing out on the UK economy”. 2020 expectations Boris Johnson’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ initiative is making a difference. Almost half of builders (46%) said they had benefited from the policy announcement and were expecting more contracts from this in the next few months. However, they do feel that investment in house building developments is being held back. This is chiefly down to investors being vary of valuations given the impact Brexit could have on the economy coupled with the lack of urgency from the government to support this crucial infrastructure need. Looking ahead to the end of the year, builders fear the biggest disruption to business will be a second wave of COVID19 cases leading to another mass lockdown impacting delivery and demand of projects. Brexit The majority of construction businesses are confident that there will be little fallout from a no-deal Brexit. They felt the Government would negotiate a good trade deal in time and it will be business as usual. However, they do feel the greatest concern in the run up to Brexit centres on workforce availability. This is understandable as up to a quarter (25%) of their workforce are non-UK nationals. Ends Notes to the editor * Research findings based on a survey of 2,000 UK construction companies (who are employers with a minimum turnover of £250,000) conducted in September 2020 by LM Research & Marketing Consultancy (Market Research Society approved partner and ESOMAR corporate member). About Skrap Founded in 2017, Skrap offers on-demand services for skip and construction hire resources. Every year almost 100m tonnes of construction waste is collected in the UK and construction businesses spend £5b in collecting this waste, and a further £15b on other hire services. Skrap intends to remove the hassle from ordering a skip and other construction hire needs to make this experience simple and user friendly. Skrap’s strategic ambition is to automate the entire construction hire supply chain across major cities globally over the coming years. Founders Marwan Field, Hussain Hilli and Ahmed Rao came across the problem while running a construction business where logistics were unorganised and fragmented; prices were asymmetric, and the marketplace of suppliers and brokers were doing everything manually. Contact Details Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 bilal@skrap.xyz Company Website https://www.skrap.xyz

October 06, 2020 03:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Brits spent over £2bn to replicate their coffee experience at home during lockdown

Stockwood Strategy

Keen not to miss out on their regular coffee fix whilst working from home during the lock down, Brits spent a whopping £2.15bn on coffee machines and products to replicate their regular coffee experience. Coffee roastery Volcano Coffee Works surveyed Brits on their coffee habits and sought their expectations of coffee companies for International Coffee Day. The survey* revealed more than four in 10 (42%) admitted to drinking more coffee since lockdown - with almost a quarter (23%) drinking four cups a day - equating to over 112m cups nationally every 24 hours. With these sorts of figures, it should not be a surprise that 82% of coffee drinkers felt that they rely on good coffee to set them up for a productive day of work. Emma Loisel , Co-Founder and Chair at Volcano Coffee Works commented: “We’re more in love with coffee than ever, with consumption up and millions investing in recreating their caffeine fix at home. Coupled with working longer hours from home, it seems we’ve never been more reliant on coffee. And interestingly, it’s great to see the trends for ethically sourced coffee and that companies showing they care about people and the environment are more important than ever when it comes to purchase decisions.” Coffee is big business, the UK’s annual caffeine bill is £14.9bn. However, the study reveals this set to accelerate further - driven by ethical coffee drinkers - with more than three in five (63%) people willing to pay more for coffee if it benefits coffee farmers, up 18% compared to 2019. Emma Loisel continued: “Coffee could be a bell weather of things to come. Consumers are making themselves very clear, they want more from brands than just great products. 85% told us they expect the companies they buy products from to behave sustainably and ethically towards the environment and people.” “Perhaps this is one of the greatest silver linings from the lockdown, consumers have found their voice and if they continue to hold companies to account, they will drive change, faster than any government” added Emma Loisel . ENDS Notes to the Editor * Research based on a survey of 2,000 British people between 25th and 28th September 2020. Survey conducted by consumer research agency YourSay. About Volcano Coffee Works Volcano Coffee Works, founded in 2010, is an ethical and carbon neutral coffee roastery. They bring people great tasting coffees, whilst supporting the livelihoods of small hold farmers who grow their coffees. Their coffee is consumed in hotels, restaurants, cafes, and offices across the UK and Paris. Consumers can also buy coffee direct from their website. A team of 30 passionate people produce over 4,000 kgs of coffee every week, an average of 850,000 cups of Volcano Coffee Works delicious coffee is consumed each month. The business was founded on the belief that coffee can be a force for good. It all started with a coffee cart on the streets of West Norwood, now they have a state-of-the-art roastery in Brixton, where Volcano Coffee Works produces great tasting coffee that has a real and positive impact. Their ethical trading principles ensure that the entire supply chain and beyond benefits. They pay fair prices, committing to buy their farmer’s coffees on long term contracts, giving them security of income so they can invest in their farms and families. They support local community initiatives and are the Crisis Homeless Charity’s coffee partner, enabling consumers everywhere to support Crisis by buying Crisis Coffee here . Contact Details Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@marketfinance.com Company Website https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/

October 06, 2020 03:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Convey Services Launches Virtual Event Platform Exclusively for Sales & Annual Conferences

Convey Services

Convey Services , a SaaS solutions company, today expanded its Cloud Conventions product line by launching Cloud Kickoffs™ , an online portal solution exclusively for sales and annual conference management. Cloud Kickoffs brings elements of a live sales kickoff or conference into a virtual environment to promote engagement, make connections and support team interaction. It’s content-rich experience maximizes the effectiveness of virtual events for yearend or sales kickoff programs. “Canceling live annual meetings or sales kickoffs has become a reality, but it doesn’t mean that those events can’t be effectively executed virtually,” said Carolyn Bradfield, CEO of Convey. “In many ways you can achieve better, more focused results without the time and expense of bringing everyone together physically. Using Cloud Kickoffs, the management team can align the organization around a common strategy, allow remote teams to foster relationships and at the same time deliver and reinforce critical training. Cloud Kickoffs helps you deliver the tools needed to succeed and provides access to training and content long after the live event is over.” Cloud Kickoffs manages live and on-demand education, brings teams together for forum and roundtable discussions, promotes one-on-one connections and offers a platform for networking and social interaction. After a Cloud Kickoffs event is over, the portal can retain its structure, extend the life of content and training and easily be repurposed for virtual sales events throughout the year. A virtual kickoff event can be fully managed by Convey or by your sales or marketing team. “Sales staff or association members look forward to annual conferences because they value the insights, connections and opportunity to walk away energized with a clear focus for the coming year,” added Bradfield. “Cloud Kickoffs provides an efficient solution to bring teams together virtually, saving tens of thousands on logistics planning, travel and entertainment.” Cloud Kickoffs comes complete with templates for branding, delivering email messaging, creating attendee dashboards, setting-up live and virtual sessions and gamification while always tracking attendee engagement. It’s designed for the non-technical user and doesn’t require any coding or development. Participating partners and sponsors can have virtual booths that remain intact or can be refreshed for future events. Each portal has online training and a support database to answer frequently asked questions. Sales and event managers can experience Cloud Kickoffs by visiting https://cloudkickoffs.com or explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting https://cloudconventions.com or contacting info@cloudconventions.com . About Cloud Conventions Cloud Conventions is a Virtual Trade Show and Conference Platform from Convey Services that brings new capabilities to a marketplace looking for solutions to replace the thousands of live trade shows, annual conferences and association meetings cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. Originally launched as ConveyLive, Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, attendee registration, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity. Trade Associations and event managers can explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting https://cloudconventions.com or contacting info@cloudconventions.com or call 888-975-1382. Cloud Conventions™, Cloud Kickoffs™, Conduct™, One-Touch Email Share™, Hub & Spoke™, 360° Virtual Exhibit Hall & Lobby Experience™ and ListLock™ are trademarks of Convey Services LLC Contact Details Bruce Ahern +1 770-580-0810 bahern@conveyservices.com Company Website https://cloudconventions.com

October 01, 2020 11:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Homegrown: UK premium CBD brand, Infused Amphora launches

Infused Amphora

British premium CBD wellness brand Infused Amphora launches today. Their product range includes a variety of vape cartridges designed to address and capture the needs and moods of society. Everything from tackling anxiety, muscular aches and stress to helping inspire, calm and focus minds. The cartridges were designed in collaboration with Vessel Brand, an industry leading California-based vape hardware company. The launch features four premium CBD-infused cartridges: INSPIRE : delivers an earthy and herbal vibe with lilac undertones, and a lemon-pepper nose. Allowing you to brainstorm, be unique, think differently or create a masterpiece. PEACE : combines a sweet woody flavour with a tickle of green peppercorn and a clean grapefruit finish. You will feel the embrace of a warm hug that removes the edge off stress. MEND : allows you to slip into a relaxing bath of sweet stone fruits, savoury herbs and a pine finish. Find relief from tension and release muscular aches and pains. ZZZ : offers the sensation of walking through a forest after the rain. Like the perfect cup of tea to be taken at bedtime - hints of juniper and lemon. Infused Amphora’s CBD products enhance health, wellness and help achieve personal lifestyle goals through their pesticide-free, non-intoxicating and THC-free CBD cartridges. All products contain two simple ingredients, 100% organic CBD distillate and plant-sourced terpenes. Products retail at £35 and are launching with a 20% discount at £28 each, for a limited time. All Infused Amphora products are rigorously third-party lab-tested* for content and purity. Angus Taylor, CEO of parent company, Infused Products International LTD, commented: “Infused Amphora is about creating an unmatched customer experience by offering easy to understand products that deliver a specific and predictable experience such as athletic recovery, sleep, inspiration, and tranquility. We are aiming to grow this international brand to 24 exciting products in 2021. We’re on track to build our own supply chain and will be able to quickly move high quality products to market that meet the needs of our customers. We will use the UK as a launch pad to expand and enter additional international markets, such as Brazil and India, next year”. On the partnership with Vessel Brand, Angus Taylor added: “As Infused Amphora thoughtfully considered its entry into the UK market, we intentionally sought out the best-in-class market partner, Vessel Brand, a company with complimentary visions of supporting mental and physical health through an exceptional customer journey. Premium CBD is at the core of our customer experience, it’s a crucial step of many that also includes third-party testing to guarantee compliance, education, premium hardware technology and unparalleled customer service.” James Choe, CEO and Co-Founder Vessel Brand, Inc. commented: "We are honoured to partner with Infused Amphora because of their dedication to quality product and their willingness to challenge the industry status quo by designing a better experience for every customer. We’re seeing countless CBD-related brands hitting the market but majority of them are battling for the customer’s attention with the same commodity offering, or in some cases, a step up with fancy packaging. “The customer experience needs to push well beyond this. ‘Premium’ in our eyes, has little to do with a price point and everything to do with delivering on a brand promise - the customer experience doesn’t end at the point of quality consumable product, that is just the beginning. The thoughtfulness to extend the experience to the battery that powers your oil, the control you have over your consumption, the way you charge and store your oil, and how you feel when you interact with their support team - that is what makes their offering compelling and that shared philosophy is what makes our partnership so strong” added James Choe . * Each product comes with a Certificate of Analysis from an accredited testing lab. Notes to the Editor For further information please contact the Amphora press office: Bilal Mahmood on b.mahmood@marketfinance.com or +44 (0) 20 3640 7759 and +44 (0) 771 400 7257. About Infused Amphora Infused Amphora is a premium CBD wellness brand formulated in the UK. It is owned by Infused Products International LTD, a global health-and-wellness product business. Infused Amphora is dedicated to providing all-natural, symptom-targeting and high-quality CBD products. Elevating users on their wellness journeys, each product is designed with a specific purpose, whether it’s sparking creativity, relieving stress, calming their thoughts before bed, or soothing muscle aches & pains. With only two simple ingredients (CBD distillate sourced from 100% organically grown hemp and plant-based terpenes to supply that beneficial entourage effect) we keep our customer’s health as our top priority. All of our products have zero harmful additives & solvents, are nicotine-free, pesticide-free, and THC-free to ensure no intoxicating effects, just pure bliss in every breath. Contact Details Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@marketfinance.com Company Website https://www.infusedamphora.com/

September 30, 2020 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Fully Promoted® is Celebrating 20 Years with Nostalgic Business Campaign

Fully Promoted

Fully Promoted ®, the world’s largest branded products and marketing services franchise, is celebrating 20 years in business. The brand launched as EmbroidMe in 2000 as a small, family-owned business known for quality embroidered apparel and branded products. The brand was quickly recognized as the pioneer in the promotional products franchise. In 2017, after years of requests to provide more products and services to help businesses grow and get more customers, the brand became Fully Promoted powered by EmbroidMe. Fully Promoted is a one-stop destination for small and medium sized businesses looking for promotional products and branded apparel. While the brand always provided a wide range of products and services, specifically known for delivering “Cool Stuff and Awesome Results,” with the name change came additional custom apparel and promotional products to printing services, making the brand stronger than ever. Today, the brand has grown to over 300 franchise locations in more than 11 countries worldwide and has attracted some of the brightest and creative minds in the business. Each Fully Promoted location is independently owned and operated with knowledgeable individuals who will put together the best and most effective promotional products and marketing campaigns that have reached over a million customers over its 20 years. “I have been with the brand since inception and it’s been amazing to see how it’s evolved over the years. We truly have become the experts in branding and using promotional products in thoughtful and effective ways that benefit our clients,” said Mike Brugger, Fully Promoted brand President. “With decades of combined experience and global coverage, we have people all of all over the world helping businesses with quality promotional products, marketing ideas and embroidered apparel across every industry.” In 2019, the brand expanded further with the introduction Fully Promoted Office, providing customers more access and a host of quality services backed by the Fully Promoted name making it more convenient for customers. “With hundreds of locations in the United States and 20 years of experience, we are well positioned to meet customer demand for quality promotions and decorated apparel. The fact we embroider or print at many of our locations continues our 20-year trend of industry leading service,” added Brugger. Most recently, the brand launched its upgraded website to meet increased customer demand. The site allows customers to view products sold nationwide and pick them up at one of the local Fully Promoted locations. “We have a promotional product consultant available at all of our locations and chances are there is a location near you” said Brugger. As the site grows monthly, the Fully Promoted shopping platform will feature additional promotional products, and marketing ideas for businesses and organizations. A member of the United Franchise Group, Fully Promoted can access more than half a million promotional products . The company was formed by father and son team Roy and Ray Titus. To this day, Ray Titus continues the family legacy by holding the CEO position of United Franchise Group and consistently leading the company to reach new heights. Fully Promoted is currently seeking to partner with passionate entrepreneurs to become single or multi-unit franchisees. With a total investment as low as $85,000, Fully Promoted is a true turnkey investment with a well-developed business model. For more information on becoming a Fully Promoted franchise, visit FullyPromotedFranchise.com . About Fully Promoted Fully Promoted has 300 franchise locations across the globe. The brand operates a full-service branded products and marketing service business and is the place to attract customers. From promotional products and embroidery to expert printing services, Fully Promoted can help take businesses to the next level. Fully Promoted also offers an office-based model allowing franchisees to operate their business using a developed network of resources. To find the Fully Promoted nearest you, visit http://www.FullyPromoted.com . About United Franchise Group Led by Founder and CEO Ray Titus, United Franchise Group is home to an affiliated family of brands, including Signarama, Fully Promoted, Experimax, Jon Smith Subs, SuperGreen Solutions, Transworld Business Advisors, Accurate Franchising, Venture X, The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill, Network Lead Exchange and Resource Operations International (ROI). With over three decades in the franchising industry and more than 1,600 franchisees throughout the world, United Franchise Group offers unprecedented leadership and solid business opportunities for entrepreneurs. This advertisement is not an offer to sell a franchise. Any offer to sell this franchise will be made by a Franchisor Disclosure Document and only following registration by Embroidme.com Inc dba Fully Promoted in any state requiring registration prior to sale. In New York: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law. In California: These franchises have been registered under franchise investment law of the State of California. Such registration does not constitute approval, recommendation or endorsement by the Commissioner of business oversight nor a finding by the commissioner that the information provided herein is true, complete and not misleading. Contact Details Brittny Fuchs +1 561-812-6032 bfuchs@ufgcorp.com Company Website https://fullypromoted.com/

September 28, 2020 05:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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MSC Cruises, Port Everglades, Matson, International Chamber of Shipping and Ocean Voyages Institute Among 2020 NAMEPA Marine Environment Protection Awards Recipients

North American Marine Environment Protection Association

Carleen Lyden Walker , Co-Founder and Executive Director of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), announced that MSC Cruises, Port Everglades, the International Chamber of Shipping for its Seafarer Welfare work, and Matson for Environmental Innovation are among the eight recipients of NAMEPA’s 2020 Marine Environment Protection Awards. Other recipients are: Ocean Voyages Institute, Sea Education Association, the U.S. Arctic Research Council and the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s Liz Burdock for the category of Individual. The Awards Program will be held virtually in conjunction with NAMEPA's Annual Conference on November 5th, which will focus on looking ahead to 2023 and preparing for the future. “Particularly in these turbulent times, it is uplifting to celebrate the accomplishments and positive actions of our maritime community,” stated Carleen Lyden Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of NAMEPA. “The marine industry works tirelessly to deliver more than 90% of the world’s goods and energy safely and with a keen eye to reducing its environmental impact. It is NAMEPA’s honor to highlight their efforts, along with community partners who share our values to “Save our Seas”. NAMEPA’s Marine Environment Protection Awards are given in recognition of an individual or organization’s innovative and extraordinary efforts to commit themselves to preserving the marine environment as exemplified by a commitment to programs which have specific objectives set for environmental performance and improvement. Eligible candidates include members of the commercial maritime industry, government agencies, educational organizations, innovation providers, ports, associations and individuals. Submissions are judged by the organization’s Board of Directors against the criteria behind the award. MSC Cruises is being recognized for its multifaceted environmental work throughout its fleet and organization. MSC Cruises has begun construction on up to 9 LNG powered ships which are being designed to be compatible with low carbon bio and synthetic fuels as they become available. Additionally, they completed the $200 million+ restoration of Ocean Cay in the Bahamas to its original, pristine state; and took meaningful steps to eliminate single-use plastics from their fleet. Matson is receiving the Environmental Innovation Award for the breadth, scope and investment in its entire environmental program, which includes innovative new technology, modernization of its fleet and terminals, participation in grants and clean-up programs, and detailed planning for long term future goals. In 2020 their vessel new build, vessel retrofit, and terminal improvement programs have all come to fruition, bringing Matson’s environmental program to its industry-leading position. Ocean Voyages Institute recently conducted two voyages into the Pacific Gyre (often referred to as the “Pacific Garbage Patch”) with a record setting haul of abandoned nets, fishing gear, and other plastic debris which collects in the gyre. The non-profit organization seeks to expand its program by partnering with the marine industry to increase the capture of these harmful pollutants. The first NAMEPA Marine Environment Protection Award was presented 13 years ago posthumously to the founder of the MEPA movement, George P. Livanos who created HELMEPA over 30 years ago due to his interest and concern for the marine environment. Since then, award recipients have included Maersk, Euronav, CLIA, Joe Cox, the Port of Los Angeles, International Seaways, the Port of Montreal, the OAS-CIP, American Salvage Association, NOAA and the New York Harbor School among others. The NAMEPA Annual Conference including a Leadership Roundtable panel will precede the Awards Program, consisting of senior leadership individuals from many of the of the award recipients. For more information on attending, contact NAMEPA . There is a charge to attend, but students, active mariners and government personnel are guests. Admittance is by reservation only and is limited. The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) was officially launched in 2007. NAMEPA is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. For more information, go to www.namepa.net. Contact Details Carleen Lyden Walker +1 203-255-4686 executivedirector@namepa.net Company Website https://namepa.net/

September 22, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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US companies spending billions each month to return staff back to work

Huma

Getting businesses back up and running and employees back to work is critical to the US economic recovery. However, there’s confusion between employers and anxiety for workers returning to work. Digital health and therapeutics company Huma asked 5,000 US employees and 2,000 US employers about their views on returning to work. Only one in five businesses feel suitably informed on the specific policies/procedures they need to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. Yet employers are spending loads of money to reopen workplaces safely. Employers estimate that they will spend $3.4 billion per month overall, and $61.23 per employee each month to ensure employee health and safety. Nearly 9 in 10 employers (86%) have instituted new hygiene protocols, updated workplace layouts, and have a smaller workforce. While employers are readying the workplace, they have not planned for managing COVID-19 cases. Few employers have made accommodations for managing COVID-19 exposure. Only one-fifth of employers have updated sick leave policies (22%) or communications policies for exposure (19%). Economic realities are scaring employees more than health and safety risks Shockingly, two-thirds of employees believe their health and safety could be compromised in the workplace. Despite these fears, most employees are eager to get back to work, with over half of workers (52%) ready to get back to work today. Of those employees who have already returned to their workplace, only one in four (27%) employees are confident in the measures in place to ensure their safety and wellbeing. What’s driving employees’ concerns are interactions with other people, with respondents citing their co-workers’ hygiene (17%) and commuters (25%) as two of the three factors they were worried about, along with the workplace environment (21%). What causes the greatest fear for nearly three-quarters (72%) of employees is their coworker’s hygiene, which they rank as the single most significant factor in COVID-19 transmission at the workplace. Managing employee health for a safe workplace Employers have invested in the physical workplace, but have not put systems in place to manage employee health and COVID-19 case communications to ensure safer workplaces. Overwhelmingly, two-thirds (67%) of employees would be willing to do a daily symptom check-in with their employers, and the majority (75%) would be comfortable with employers tracking their symptoms. Moreover, nine in ten businesses (87%) are comfortable monitoring their employees' symptoms. This research shows that there’s a willingness on both sides to manage employee health, yet few are doing so. Dan Vahdat, founder and CEO of Huma, commented : “What this research identifies are the concerns of employers and employees in managing health and safety at the workplace during the COVID-19 era. Employers are spending millions to create a safe work environment, but not on solutions to manage employee health.” “Employers need new solutions and guidance on how to manage their health and wellbeing of their employees and provide assurance that they are prepared for COVID-19. Without new solutions to help manage workplace safety, businesses and the economy are going to take longer to recover.” Digital health and therapeutics company Huma is helping businesses and employees return to work safely. Huma Health Shield gives employees an easy-to-use mobile app to confidentially self-report their symptoms, track vital signs, and see their exposure risk. Employers have access to a secure web-based portal to see their workforce’s overall health while still protecting employee privacy. Ends Notes the editor Research findings based on a survey of 5,000 US employees and 2,000 US companies conducted in September 2020. About Huma Huma partners with scientists, technologists, and healthcare professionals to understand, treat, and ultimately prevent ill health. Giving knowledge and power to those with medical conditions, while saving clinicians time, energy, and valuable resources. Because, by collectively benefiting from the data we individually generate, we can all live our longest, fullest lives. www.huma.com Contact Details Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 bilal.mahmood@huma.com Company Website https://huma.com/

September 16, 2020 09:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Get your next visa in 60 seconds with Atlas

Atlas Visa, Inc.

Over 97% of travelers feel that applying for visas is the most stressful part of travel planning. From figuring out what’s required to filling up lengthy forms, preparing a visa application takes 6 hours on average. The current process also involves several physical touch points such as getting photos and applications notarized in-person. In a covid-impacted world, travelers are actively seeking digital alternatives that do not involve such interactions. Atlas , a San Francisco-based startup, is on a mission to fix this problem. Its revolutionary mobile app cuts down the time taken to prepare a visa application to under 60 seconds. It does so by automating all aspects of visa preparation - from form filling, to generating supporting documents as well as providing expert guidance. Atlas works by asking travelers a few simple questions about themselves and their travel plans, and generates a complete visa application in real-time. In addition, travelers are able to book visa appointments, notarize their documents remotely, and get AI-powered expert assistance. Founder and CEO Mohak Nahta says “visas are a prerequisite to travel but wasting hours on visa preparation is inherently prohibitive for the modern-day traveler. Atlas is doing for visas what TurboTax did for taxes.” Mohak draws from years of experience in leading the development of successful internet products, and sits on the panels of prominent technology-focused events. Atlas is the only application of its kind on the Apple App Store and has fundamentally reshaped visa preparation infrastructure. The app is currently out in the United States, and will be rolled out internationally in the coming months. Atlas makes it simple for travelers to prepare their visa applications. Contact Details Atlas Newsroom +1 847-757-3428 contact@atlasvisa.co Company Website https://www.atlasvisa.co/

September 15, 2020 07:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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