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UK SMEs forge ahead with cautious optimism as post-pandemic business confidence grows

Stockwood Strategy

Despite lingering anxieties about the pandemic and a variety of economic and commercial issues, the majority of SMEs believe it is now imperative to begin building back from the crisis. They are ready to step up their business investment, with ambitious plans for recruitment, renewal of equipment and machinery, and both domestic and international expansion. Fintech business lender MarketFinance asked 2,000 SME owners across the UK about their outlook for 2022 and beyond, gauging their short and long-term plans for business investment and growth. MarketFinance has today released a comprehensive research report of its findings. Confidence Analysis of the survey results has shown that business confidence amongst SMEs is improving, with many firms now focused on recovery and growth. With pandemic disruptions now largely settled, half of SMEs (48%) expect their turnover to stabilise or to increase over the next 12 months. Similarly, 50% of SMEs expect demand for their products or services to stabilise or to increase over the next six months. MarketFinance’s research has found that the majority of SMEs (63%) expect their business to grow over the next three years Investment With survival mode no longer a necessity and cash flow pressures beginning to ease, the vast majority of SMEs (70%) now feel confident enough to increase business investment over the next 12 months. A quarter of SMEs plan to hire new staff, while 24% expect to purchase new equipment and machinery. When asked how they were factoring borrowing into their investment plans, 23% of SMEs said access to a broader range of borrowing options could enable them to increase investment even further. Borrowing The research findings demonstrate that borrowing will play a key role in recovery and growth with 62% of SMEs saying that prudent borrowing could help them fund growth. However, three quarters (71%) of SMEs do not believe traditional banking products are the most obvious and convenient way to borrow for investment. Despite this lack of alignment between current finance needs and the options available through traditional routes, more than a third of SMEs (37%) are looking to take on new borrowing facilities. Growth With confidence high and a sense of having moved beyond recovery and into a new stage of growth, many businesses are looking forward to seizing a host of opportunities in 2022. Almost all SMEs surveyed (81%) plan to invest in sustainability, while 30% say they are considering merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the year ahead – more than twice as many as those primarily focusing on organic growth (14%). Over a third of businesses (34%) say they already sell overseas, or have plans to begin doing so. That figure is highest amongst the largest businesses surveyed (turnover between £5m and £6.5m) but even amongst smaller enterprises significant numbers are focused on export. Anil Stocker, CEO at MarketFinance, commented: “ It’s clear that the business environment has shifted and SMEs are looking ahead with a quietly confident and cautiously optimistic view. UK businesses intend to ramp up growth through domestic and international expansion, digital transformation and even M&A activity. But as they reset their post-pandemic goals for a post-pandemic, they’ll need to be confident of their funding base. Given that so many SMEs are looking outside of traditional routes in their search for finance, we’re particularly proud to have been accredited by the British Business Bank as one of the few alternative providers under The Recovery Loan Scheme. Schemes like the RLS are a golden opportunity for SMEs looking to gear up for growth, providing easily accessible funding at a lower cost across a wide range of products. We expect to see a large number of SMEs taking advantage of the scheme over the next 6 months as their growth and expansion efforts gain momentum and they invest in ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond.” About MarketFinance MarketFinance is a fintech business lender which believes that SMEs are building the world. By making finance frictionless, they’re solving the cash flow issues getting in the way of progress. MarketFinance uses smart technology to deliver better access to faster, more affordable finance; with one-to-one help whenever businesses need it. Since 2011, MarketFinance has advanced over £2.6 billion worth of invoices and loans, enabling thousands of UK businesses to bridge today’s funding gaps and fuel tomorrow’s big ambitions. MarketFinance is an accredited Recover Loan Scheme lender and has a wide-reaching network of strategic partners including Barclays Bank UK PLC, Tide, Equals Group and Ebury. MarketFinance is backed by Barclays Bank UK PLC, Mouro Capital, Paul Forster (co-founder of Indeed.com) European venture capital fund Northzone (invested in Klarna, iZettle and Trustpilot), Viola Capital and private equity group MCI Capital (also invested in iZettle, Azimo and Gett). Further information visit: www.marketfinance.com Contact Details MarketFinance Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://marketfinance.com/

December 01, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Monteverde’s Joins FreshEdge

Rotunda Capital Partners LLC

FreshEdge, a family of produce and specialty food companies backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, acquired Monteverde’s, a fresh produce distributor located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Monteverde’s operates out of a 61,500 square-foot facility. The addition expands FreshEdge’s footprint further into the eastern United States and provides space and logistical support to better serve its increasing customer base. Monteverde’s joins a growing alliance that includes Piazza Produce & Specialty Foods, Indianapolis Fruit, Get Fresh Produce, McCartney Produce, Leonardo’s Produce, Valley Produce, Vine Line, Garden Cut, CIBUS Fresh and Papania’s. FreshEdge now operates with 1,775 employees, approximately 731,500 square feet of warehouse space, and a fleet of more than 670 trucks. “We welcome Steve Monteverde and his dedicated team to the FreshEdge family of companies,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge. “Monteverde’s will be a great addition to our expanding group of ‘best in class’ fresh food distribution companies.” Terms of the deal, which closed on November 30, 2021, were not disclosed. The transaction strengthens the combined business’s presence in western Pennsylvania and the tri-state region that includes Ohio and West Virginia. “We are excited for this great company to join FreshEdge and look forward to continuing Monteverde’s ‘Tradition of Excellence’,” said Greg Corsaro, president and COO of FreshEdge. “By joining FreshEdge, Monteverde’s can continue to be locally managed while enjoying multi-regional distribution advantages and national procurement opportunities,” said Steve Monteverde, fourth-generation owner. Steve Monteverde, the Monteverde family, and Monteverde’s President Gloria Garofalo will continue to lead the company. FreshEdge is backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm focused on investments in founder and family held companies. Rotunda seeks to provide opportunities for management teams to reach strategic, financial, and operational objectives. Rotunda entered the food business in 2017 with the acquisition of Indianapolis Fruit and Piazza Produce. FreshEdge was created in 2019 when Get Fresh Produce joined the platform. Monteverde’s represents FreshEdge’s seventh acquisition since Rotunda’s initial investment. Together, Rotunda and FreshEdge intend to continue expanding FreshEdge by welcoming more companies into the group—all focused on high quality produce and specialty food products, along with exceptional service—to create a unique team of complementary entities. About FreshEdge FreshEdge was formed in 2019 through the combination of Get Fresh Produce (founded 1982) and the IF&P Foods family of companies, primarily comprised of Indianapolis Fruit (founded 1947) and Piazza Produce (founded 1970). Collectively, the three leading fresh food distribution companies have nearly 150 years of combined experience serving the grocery and food service industries. In addition, FreshEdge includes two Garden Cut branded fresh-cut processing facilities, a tomato re-packer, a USDA fresh kitchen (CIBUS Fresh), and two transportation companies. FreshEdge’s fleet resource includes more than 670 trucks servicing the Midwest and beyond from twelve facilities totaling approximately 731,500 square feet of warehouse space. Today, FreshEdge is one of the largest independent fresh food distributors in the United States and a category leader in providing both the foodservice and retail industries with fruit, vegetables, proteins, fresh grab-n-go offerings, dairy, floral, and specialty products. About Rotunda Capital Partners Rotunda Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests equity capital in established, lower middle market companies. Rotunda partners with management to build data-driven growth platforms within its targeted sectors, including value-added distribution, asset light logistics and industrial/business services. Founded in 2009, the firm has a long history of helping management teams achieve their goals for growth. The Rotunda team actively provides guidance and draws on deep industry and financial relationships to contribute to the successful execution of Rotunda’s companies’ strategic plans. The firm has offices in Bethesda, MD and Evanston, IL. For more information, visit www.rotundacapital.com. Contact Details FreshEdge Greg Corsaro +1 317-981-3440 gcorsaro@freshedgefoods.com Rotunda Capital Partners Jill Lafferty +1 847-280-1295 jill@rotundacapital.com Company Website https://www.rotundacapital.com

December 01, 2021 07:34 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Paralyzed Veterans of America says air travel often dangerous and inhumane for people with disabilities

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/Uhqo8SsWXIM As the busiest travel season of the year kicks off, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is sounding the alarm about serious issues people with disabilities still face when traveling by plane. Broken wheelchairs, injuries from improper transfers to and from airline seats, and no access to in-flight restrooms are common problems paralyzed veterans, and others with disabilities, routinely experience when flying. Air travel remains decades behind public spaces on land, even 35 years after the Air Carrier Access Act mandated changes. PVA has been fighting for accessibility for all people with disabilities for 75 years and is asking the public to help push for change. On November 17, in conjunction with YourUpdate TV, Charles Brown, the national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America conducted a nationwide media tour to address these issues. Charles was critically injured two years ago after improperly trained airline personnel dropped him onto the jetbridge during a transfer from his wheelchair to an aisle chair to board the plane. The fall broke his tailbone and caused an infection that he barely survived. He spent months in the hospital recovering. Charles says he and other paralyzed veterans frequently experience horrendous conditions when they fly. “It is unacceptable that 35 years after the legislation was passed, someone in a wheelchair still can’t access a bathroom on an airplane and risks serious injury or death because airline personnel are not properly trained,” said Brown. “These are basic safety and civil rights issues, and every American should be outraged.” Accessibility issues affect 65 million Americans with disabilities, which could include someone in your family now or in the future, and this number will grow as the population ages. To learn more about accessible travel and to support PVA’s fight, visit pva.org/travel. About Paralyzed Veterans of America: For 75 years, Paralyzed Veterans of America has been the only Veterans service organization dedicated solely to helping Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), and diseases like MS and ALS. Our team of legislative advocates, architects, medical professionals, lawyers and other highly trained professionals strive to ensure that every Veteran regains the freedom, independence and quality of life they fought for. PVA is a major support system for our nation’s paralyzed heroes, their families and caregivers, ensuring quality healthcare, securing earned benefits, fighting for disability civil rights, making America more accessible, helping Veterans find meaningful careers, empowering them through sports, recreation and wellness programs, and funding both research and education in search for a cure and improved care and autonomy for individuals with paralysis. Operating more than 70 offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, PVA helps paralyzed Veterans and all people with disabilities live fuller, more productive lives. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

November 30, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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2021 Indigenous Taipei Fabulous Taipei is On

Indigenous Peoples Commission, Taipei City Government

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - Media OutReach - 30 November 2021 - 2021 Indigenous Taipei Fabulous Taipei events kicked off with "Campaign Naming and Theme Song Selection" and "Linban Song Competition" before reaching a climax on November 28, when the song and music performances and Youth Night took place via HANASPACE, where 20 groups performed consecutively for 8 hours, bringing the audience a most joyous Indigenous Taipei Fabulous Taipei. On top of Taipei indigenous associations, indigenous community colleges, university indigenous clubs, and Art Fly groups, Nov. 28 saw a total of 16 groups performing songs and dances featuring indigenous cultures. The evening was further packed with famous indigenous singer ABAO and Power Station, and award-winning indigenous band MAFANA, and Moteng Inku, pushing this year's Indigenous Taipei Fabulous Taipei events to the climax. Amongst the exciting program Nov. 28, the winners of "Campaign Naming", "Theme Song Selection", and "Linban Song Competition" of the year were announced, with the winner of "Linban Song Competition" invited to perform live on stage. Hope that more people recognize "linban song" (songs sung by afforestation squads in the past) as the music culture of urban indigenous peoples, understand the history and context of "linban song", and sing the songs of indigenous peoples in Taipei. Taipei City is vibrant with diversified cultures, and the contribution from indigenous peoples is what makes this city great. This year, Indigenous Taipei Fabulous Taipei has played creativity to the max, and the winning campaign name and theme song will become the brand and spotlight of future Indigenous Taipei Fabulous Taipei. After the song and music performances featuring culture and the Youth Night filled with indigenous power, the Taipei Indigenous Annual Expo will follow on December 1 at Ketagalan Culture Center. The series of events not only demonstrate the unique charism of indigenous peoples in Taipei but highlight Taipei as a city friendly to diversified cultures. Contact Details Johnson Wu piuscswu@gmail.com

November 30, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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College of DuPage and Nassau Community College Meet in Dec. 4 Inaugural NJCAA Division III Football Championship

COD Newsroom

The top-ranked College of DuPage Chaparrals (8-2 overall) take on the No. 2-ranked Nassau Community College Lions (6-3) of Garden City, N.Y., Dec. 4 in the debut of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III Championship at the Red Grange Bowl. The inaugural championship game, which kicks off at noon at COD’s Bjarne Ullsvik Stadium on COD’s Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., offers a rematch against the top two teams in the division. The Chaps, under first-year head coach Matthew Rahn, enter the championship having won five straight games after suffering a 17-15 loss at Nassau on Oct. 16. The Chaps outscored their opposition 195-53 in those five games with three victories over NJCAA Division I opponents. “For our program, our kids and our staff, this is a huge opportunity to showcase and enhance our brand on a national level,’’ Rahn said. “We’re pleased that the NJCAA got it right in terms of a match-up between ourselves and Nassau. The two programs’ schedules mirror each other with a majority of games against Division I programs. It’s going to be a great game for all involved.’’ The Lions, coached by Jamel Ramsay, opened the season with five straight victories, then closed the season with losses in three of their final four games including a 9-7 loss to No. 6 and unbeaten Division I Monroe College. The Chaps feature the No. 1 rushing offense in the country, averaging 209.9 yards a contest. Sophomore Darrell Smith (Kankakee, Kankakee High School) leads the team in rushing with 744 yards on 109 carries with three touchdowns. Teammate Taveon Porter (Chicago, Bremen High School) follows at 454 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns. Nine Chaparrals have scored touchdowns on the ground. Three Chaps have surpassed 600 yards in all-purpose yards. Smith leads with 815, followed by Porter (748) and sophomore halfback Chase Mendoza (Saginaw, Michigan, Swan Valley High School), who has 124 yards rushing, 355 receiving, 101 on punt returns and 65 kickoff return yards for 645 total yards. Freshman quarterback Brooks Blount (Waukesha, Wisconsin, West High School) threw 80 of 137 passing and needs one more yard to break 1,000 through the air with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. Against Ellsworth College on Nov. 12, he rushed for three touchdowns in the first quarter of a 44-28 victory. Sophomore wide receiver Lazerick Eatman (Chicago, Immaculate Conception High School) leads the Chaps in receiving with 26 receptions, 382 yards and four touchdowns. Freshman Matthew Brown (Aurora, West Aurora High School) joins Eatman and Mendoza as the other receiver with at least 300 yards (23 catches for 319 yards). Sophomore defensive end Tom Trieb (Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove High School) has been a force all season long, ranking second in the division in sacks (13) along with 53 tackles. Freshman linebacker Chase Graham (Sterling, Newman Central High School) leads the Chaps in tackles with 55. The Chaps allowed just 244.9 yards per game, ranking second in the division. As noted, the two programs played Oct. 16 with the host Lions defeating the Chaps 17-15. The Lions took the lead for good on a 30-yard field goal with 12:30 remaining in the game. COD had four possessions in the final 12-plus minutes, but could not sustain a drive. Porter led the Chaps’ ground game with 142 yards on 10 carries and had 251 all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns. The national championship game recognizes the feats of the late Red Grange, one of football's all-time greats and arguably the game's greatest all-time offensive player. The Wheaton native, nicknamed the "Galloping Ghost" and the "Wheaton Iceman," is a charter member of both the Pro (1963) and College (1951) Football Halls of Fame. His single-greatest feat remains almost fantasy — scoring four touchdowns in the opening 12 minutes versus Michigan in the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium dedication game on Oct. 18, 1924. All told in that game, Grange was responsible for six touchdowns against the Wolverines and totaled 409 all-purpose yards. Grange went on to earn three All-American honors at Illinois and became the first major signing by Chicago Bears owner and head coach George Halas. Later that year, Halas took Grange and the Bears on a coast-to-coast tour in which the club played 16 games in nine weeks. That effort is thought to have saved the National Football League and fortified Grange as a household name in America, among the likes of such legends as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey. “College of DuPage is proud to continue its tribute to the legendary Red Grange and honored to have been selected as host of the inaugural NJCAA Division III championship game,” said COD President Dr. Brian Caputo. “The opportunity to play in this debut game is a testament to the strength of our football program. Our players have seen tremendous success this season and the College is behind them as they get set to take on Nassau.” College of DuPage is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV and North Central Community College Conference (N4C). The College’s Athletics program offers nine men’s and nine women’s sports teams each year, including outdoor track and field, indoor track and field, cross country, football, volleyball, golf, basketball, tennis, baseball, softball and soccer. Home games are generally played on the Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd. Official Merchandise FineDesigns is the official merchandiser for the NJCAA Division III Football Championship at the Red Grange Bowl. To pre-order any of the merchandise, use this website link. Game notes Although this is first national championship game for the division, the Red Grange Bowl provided a venue for both COD and Nassau post-season action. The Chaps were unbeaten in three appearances, the last during the 2019 season — a 14-0 victory over Itasca Community College. The Lions played in 2018 against Northland Community College and earned a resounding 46-6 victory. Tickets Tickets are $10 and are available for sale (cash only) at the point of entry. The game will be livestreamed at www.njcaa.org with Jim Tirey providing the play-by-play. Contact Details Mark Reinhiller +1 630-942-3761 reinhillerm@cod.edu

November 29, 2021 01:30 PM Central Standard Time

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Nintendo Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Gifts the Whole Family Can Share And Enjoy

YourUpdateTV

The holidays are almost here and that means spending more time with family and loved ones. With a vast library of games, there is something for everyone on the Nintendo Switch family of systems this holiday season. This includes multiplayer titles that the whole family can play together*, in addition to fun games and experiences you can enjoy on your own. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/S7FY8Dfrjj8 With the Nintendo Switch family of systems, everyone has the choice of a system that best fits their needs and play styles. Nintendo Switch can be played on the TV or taken on the go for portable play, while Nintendo Switch Lite is a dedicated gaming handheld system great for those who love playing in handheld mode. Nintendo Switch – OLED Model has a similar overall size to the Nintendo Switch system, but with a larger, vibrant 7-inch OLED screen with vivid colors and crisp contrast. Here are some of the Nintendo Switch games people are talking about this year: In Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain, you’ll go brain-to-brain with others in a series of fun, family-friendly activities that are sure to test your mental mettle. Everyone can play together at varying difficulties, so a kid can hold their own against an adult in this battle of the brains. The full game launches on Dec. 3, but if you want to try your hand at some mind-tickling challenges today, a free demo is available right now in Nintendo eShop or download directly to your Nintendo Switch from the official website. In Mario Party Superstars, available now, roll your dice and race to get the most stars (and sabotage your opponents) on five different game boards and take on 100 classic minigames fit for the whole family. You’ll have a blast in this all-star funfest filled with some of your favorite characters from the Super Mario series. Want to play with far-off friends and family? All modes can be played locally* and online**. If you’re looking to wind down from holiday travel or get-togethers, take a look at the Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl games. Experience the nostalgic story from the Pokémon Diamond Version and Pokémon Pearl Version games in an adventure reborn on the Nintendo Switch system, available now. Or escape to a deserted island and create your own paradise as you explore, create and customize in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game, out now. In the new paid downloadable content Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise *** you’ll travel to a chain of charming islands in an archipelago where you can design the dream vacation homes of your clients, decorate island facilities – like a school and a restaurant – and discover new ways to create and personalize. This Black Friday, Nintendo is offering a great value with a Nintendo Switch bundle with the digital version of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game and a three-month individual membership to Nintendo Switch Online ****. For a suggested retail price of $299.99, that’s the price of a Nintendo Switch system, with a game and a 3-month Nintendo Switch Online membership at no extra cost. Additionally, several Nintendo Switch games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Maker 2, Paper Mario: The Origami King, Kirby Star Allies, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, ASTRAL CHAIN and Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition will be available for $20 off their suggested retail price. There will also be deals on the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and Ring Fit Adventure games. Starting on Nov. 21,, while supplies last, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be available at a suggested retail price of $59.99 (a savings of $40*****) and Ring Fit Adventure will be available at a suggested retail price of $54.99 (a savings of $25*****). For more information, visit Nintendo.com/holiday. *Additional games, systems and/or accessories may be required for multiplayer mode. Games, systems and some accessories sold separately. **Any Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online features. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online ***Full version of game required to use DLC. Sold separately. ****Offer valid 11/27/2021, while supplies last. Included Nintendo Switch Online membership auto-renews at the end of three months. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online *****Savings based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Actual discount may vary. About Lilliana Vasquez: Lilliana is a trailblazing interviewer, style expert, and author. The enterprising star has curated a career that began from a small blog, to being seen by millions daily on numerous platforms including TODAY, Access Hollywood, The Wendy Williams Show and most recently as the first and only Latinx host of "Steve Harvey." Lilliana has always been passionate about giving back and actively advocates on issues such as education, health, immigration, and economic empowerment. She also embraces and welcomes her responsibility as a role model for others in the Latinx community who aspire to work in television. About Nintendo: Nintendo Co., Ltd., headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, has created franchises that have become household names worldwide, including Mario ™, Donkey Kong ™, The Legend of Zelda ™, Metroid ™, Pokémon ™, Animal Crossing ™, Pikmin ™ and Splatoon ™, through its integrated hardware and software products. Nintendo aims to deliver unique, intuitive entertainment experiences for everyone, manufacturing and marketing video game devices such as the Nintendo Switch ™ family of systems, developing and operating applications for smart devices, and collaborating with partners on a range of other entertainment initiatives like visual content and theme parks. Nintendo has sold more than 5.1 billion video games and over 800 million hardware units globally. From the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System ™ more than 30 years ago, through today and into the future, Nintendo’s continuing mission is to create unique entertainment that puts smiles on the faces of people all over the world. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at https://www.nintendo.com/. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

November 29, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Actor and Comedian Kevin Hart Is Osmo’s Chief Kindness Officer for the Holidays

Osmo

Award-winning STEAM brand Osmo announces that actor and comedian Kevin Hart is Osmo’s Chief Kindness Officer for the holidays. As Chief Kindness Officer, Hart brings joy to children and parents across the country, bringing them smiles, holiday cheer, in addition to a very big surprise. Hart, using all his “heart,” recently delivered holiday cheer to three household heroes via an unexpected video call, telling them they won a complete collection of STEAM starter kits and games by Osmo, in addition to a tablet. The three lucky parents, who entered into Osmo’s holiday giveaway in November but had not received any notification of final result, were incredibly surprised and overwhelmed by the actor’s call telling them “ you won!” As a father of four including two toddlers, Hart loves to see his children engaged in STEAM technology, which helps them learn core subjects, while they play. About Osmo Osmo is an award-winning STEAM brand whose products are used in over 50,000 classrooms and 2.5 million homes. It is building a universe of hands-on play experiences that nourish the minds of children by unleashing the power of imagination. The company brings physical tools into the digital world through augmented reality and its proprietary reflective artificial intelligence. Osmo is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and is part of BYJU’S, a global leader in online learning. Learn more at PlayOsmo.com. For information about its educational division, Osmo for Schools, visit schools.playosmo.com. Contact Details Carolyn Kamii Carolyn Kamii PR +1 310-251-0550 carolynkpr@gmail.com Company Website http://www.playosmo.com

November 29, 2021 09:00 AM Pacific Standard Time

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ThriveFantasy Builds on Growth Strategy Through Multi-Faceted Equity and Promotional Partnership with PokerGO

ThriveFantasy

ThriveFantasy, the leading player prop daily fantasy sports and esports platform, announced today it has signed a multi-faceted deal with PokerGO, the #1 poker content platform in the world. PokerGO provides exclusive coverage of the biggest live poker tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, the U.S. Poker Open, and the Poker Masters. As part of the agreement, PokerGO will become a strategic investor in ThriveFantasy and provide the platform with a host of cross promotional, advertising, email marketing and other means to access the company’s large and active user base to offer prop daily games. PokerGO joins a number of strategic investors including Cardinal Sports Capital, Inc. in helping to complete ThriveFantasy’s latest investment round of $3 million. “We’re so excited to work with PokerGO as both a strategic investor and promotional partner, as we continue on our growth track,” says Adam Weinstein, founder and CEO of ThriveFantasy. “This partnership will extend our audience base to a new level. There is a natural connection and affinity among poker players to play daily fantasy sports and we can’t wait to engage, so that ThriveFantasy can become a go to destination for them.” “PokerGO is pleased to become a strategic partner of ThriveFantasy,” said Mori Eskandani, President of PokerGO. “ThriveFantasy shares in the passion of offering industry-leading products to its users, and the company is an ideal fit for the PokerGO audience because its offerings are fun, engaging, and innovative. Adam and the entire ThriveFantasy team are doing great things with their product, and we look forward to showcasing ThriveFantasy on the PokerGO platform through a wide variety of promotional and marketing efforts.” Some specific aspects of the promotional partnership will include: Co-branding on PokerGO events Advertising on NBCSN Unique Giveaway promotions Social Media engagement Co-branded email campaigns About ThriveFantasy ThriveFantasy is a Daily Fantasy Sports and Esports App for Player Props. Thrive eliminates the countless hours of research users have to spend, by only focusing on the top-tier athletes that have the biggest impact on the game. Follow ThriveFantasy on Instagram (@ThriveFantasy), Twitter (@ThriveFantasy) and Facebook (ThriveFantasy). Download the app today via the App Store and Google Play. App Store https://apps.apple.com/us/app/thrivefantasy/id1240062484 Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appster.p2f&hl=en_US Contact Details Michael Adorno madorno@hotpaperlantern.com Company Website https://www.thrivefantasy.com/

November 29, 2021 10:01 AM Eastern Standard Time

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HowToBet.com continues to deliver great picks through it’s HowToBet Podcast

HowToBet.com

So, you have finally figured out about How To Bet. Or maybe you still have not heard about the National Football League betting podcast that is taking the country by storm: How To Bet. The show, co-hosted by Daryl Fein and Sean “The Genius” Miller, enters its 14th week Wednesday as Fein and Miller talk all about Week 13 of the NFL. The podcast, with the accompanying shorter shows, such as the Parlay Power Plays of the Week, Top 5 Bets of the Week, and NFL Betting Lines- Odds and Line Comparison, as well as the new NCAA Football and over under segment, have all proven to be big hits as the NFL gears up for the middle part of the 2021 campaign. “I think we have been pretty successful with the show so far,” Miller said. “The picks have been good, we have had some interesting guests. But the main thing for us is, I think we have been able to put out a good product that is equal parts entertaining, informative, and on point. The How to Bet podcast is only going to get better each week.” Along with the podcasts, Miller also posts stories on the How to Bet website for the Thursday Night Football Bets, the Sunday Night Football Bets, the Monday Night Football Bets, and an overview of the whole week’s upcoming NFL Betting Lines, including all the opening lines and the current spreads, so bettors can have up to date lines all the way up until kickoff. One of those things Miller spoke about was the new total plays, underdog or plus-money wagers, and the proposition (prop) bets. They debuted in the stories for Week 5, and have kept the popular segment going. “Yeah, I think that is something that Daryl and I talked about over the last couple weeks,” Miller said. “Many people bet on the NFL games in different ways: you might bet on the underdogs, while I usually like to take the favorites. But there are so many ways to win money playing the NFL. “The other thing about the prop bets and the parlays, for example, is that you don’t need to hit as many to win more money. The prices are higher, so if you play them well, you can do really well, like we did last week on the Bills.” Fein and Miller have been taking the questions from watchers and listeners as well, and have tried to showcase a different part of sports gambling each week. Since there are still so many people that are new to online sports betting, with that number increasing weekly as new states legalize gambling, there will always be someone that is tuning in for the first time, trying to gain some insight to win some money. “I think that is what we have to remember,” Miller said. “For every person that has been betting on NFL games since they were running to Columbia Bagels to get the Sunday Daily News 20 years ago, there is another that has just found an interest in sports betting. I think that is the good thing about this show: we are able to do a good job picking the games- well, most weeks, I like to think- but we also give people other options. “Of course, we have the parlay part of the show, and that is my favorite way to bet on games, whether it is the NFL or Premier League. But we spoke about teasers last week, and this week we have some great props. I have to thank everyone for watching so far, and I hope they all keep tuning in to How To Bet.” So tune in every Wednesday to the How To Bet podcast, so we can all learn how to be a better bettor. About HowToBet.com HowToBet.com offers one of the world’s most comprehensive betting guides that can be accessed via a user-friendly web app. Its mission is to help make online betting safe, fun and as easy as performing a search on the web. There are already more than 400+ how-to guides freely available, all written by seasoned betting professionals. More guides are being added on a weekly basis in a continued effort to educate anyone interested in what is now a $199 billion betting industry. For more details, visit: https://www.howtobet.com/about-us/. About Raketech Raketech was founded as an online poker affiliate that focused on lead generation for the Scandinavian market. Today, Raketech is an award-winning iGaming affiliate company with its sights set on areas that the team finds fun, exciting, and important. Raketech also powers HowToBet.com, a reliable, user-friendly, educational gambling site providing "Data-Driven Betting Guides" in all its forms. Contact Details Cristian Campan +45 50 30 42 66 cristian.campan@raketech.com Company Website https://www.howtobet.com

November 29, 2021 07:45 AM Eastern Standard Time

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