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DOGTV Launches First Original Program for Pet Owners, “Paws for Love”

DOGTV

DOGTV is premiering its first programming geared toward pet owners with a new docuseries that begins December 9. “Paws for Love” is a show that follows Nashville couple Sean and Christina Conlon — and their golden retriever therapy dog Nash — who sold 90 percent of their possessions to begin a quest to travel around America helping others through therapy dogs. In the Fall of 2019, they went through training and certifying Nash as a therapy dog. Immediately, they started serving around the Nashville area in schools, fire stations, and police stations. They saw people light up around Nash in a genuine and unique way, and knew therapy work was exactly what they were meant to be doing as a family. But once COVID hit, everything came to a screeching halt. Sean and Christina couldn’t serve with Nash any longer, but they knew they had to do something. So they launched Nashies, a single ingredient dog treat company that financially supports therapy dog organizations across the United States. However, they realized it wasn’t just a financial problem these organizations were facing in the pandemic, it was an awareness problem. And in a time where the world needed therapy dogs more than ever, they felt called to do something bigger and more hands-on. In late 2020, they sold 90 percent of their stuff, got an RV, and started traveling the U.S. on the @PawsForLove Tour, volunteering with Nash and creating positive, encouraging content to share on their social media that brings a smile to people’s faces. “We heard very clearly that we needed to shine a bright spotlight on the incredible work that these therapy dog organizations do day in and day out for our communities,” said Sean Conlon. “The reality is that every single one of us needs more love and compassion than we ever have before, and there’s a lot we can learn a lot from our canine companions. And we reacted by doing the only thing we could think to do because of how strongly we felt about this calling. “We sold 90 percent of our worldly possessions because we knew it would take money to accomplish this mission, and we knew it couldn’t wait, so we just started selling our stuff. What we began to realize is the stuff in our life was simply a weight that was holding us back, and was just sitting there idle. But we knew if we could turn that stuff into something that could impact others, we would happily part with it,” he said. The couple embarked on a 15-city tour starting in January 2021. “Paws for Love” tracks their journey through 10 weekly 30-minute shows starting on December 9, with new episodes every Thursday. Beke Lubeach, General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer of DOGTV, said the show is an ideal and entertaining foray into new territory for the network. “This is an incredible series that tells a wonderful story about the dedication of Christina and Sean to improving people’s lives,” she said. “We thought this was the perfect opportunity to expand the impact of DOGTV by telling their story as the first programming we have provided for pet owners. We look forward to sharing ‘Paws for Love’ with the DOGTV family over the coming months.” DOGTV will donate $1 per view of Episode 1 of “Paws For Love” up to $5,000 to the Alliance of Therapy Dogs Junior Handler Program. The program is aimed at educating the younger generations on the benefits of volunteering with their dogs so that they can learn early and have a life of service. Alliance of Therapy Dogs provides testing, certification, registration, support, and insurance for members who volunteer with dogs to visit hospitals, special needs centers, schools, nursing homes, and other facilities and events in their communities. Alliance of Therapy Dogs is a network of caring volunteers who are willing to share our special canines to bring smiles and joy to people, young and old alike across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. DOGTV is planning on rolling out new series for pet parents to watch on a quarterly basis over the next year — marking the first time the channel has aired television format shows for people. DOGTV is now available in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal and S. Korea via cable and satellite providers and Direct To Consumer through their app available on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, iOS and Android devices everywhere. The channel also has a robust online and social media presence as well. DOGTV’s approach toward pet enrichment is based on more than 60 scientific studies. The channel’s content is focused on behavior and how visual stimuli can impact it, ways to help dogs counter anxiety and stimulation and enrichment through music and sound. About DOGTV DOGTV is a 24/7 channel with programs scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone. Through years of research by some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems. To learn more about DOGTV or follow us on social media, please visit: Website: www.dogtv.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dogtv Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dogtv/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DOGTVWORLD NOTE: Interviews available with the Conlons — please contact Tom Evans to schedule Contact Details Tom Evans +1 602-448-5483 tevans@onadvertising.com

December 03, 2021 11:46 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Caring Pathways Acquires Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice and Integrative Medicine

Caring Pathways

Caring Pathways announced it has acquired Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice and Integrative Medicine, a Virginia-based veterinary practice focusing on in-home hospice and palliative care for pets. Caring Pathways is a large family-owned practice based in Denver, and the first practice in the nation to achieve AAHA's Accreditation for end-of-life care. Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice was started in 2011 by Dr. Tyler Carmack and over the past 10 years has grown to serve her community with an amazing team. “We recognize there is more to do to meet the needs of our pet community, becoming part of the Caring Pathways family of veterinary practices will help us make crucial veterinary services more available and easier to access,” said Dr. Carmack. She continued, “The excellence of care that both companies have demonstrated over the past decade excited us to see what we can do together in the field of hospice and palliative care. Caring Pathways aligns with our mission and values so completely, we’ve joined forces to provide enhanced services to the Coastal Virginia community.” “When Caring Pathways initiated our national expansion strategy earlier this year, Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice was at the top of our list of quality practices to pursue,” said Jeff Lewis PhD, CEO of Caring Pathways. “We’re thrilled that the team at Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice is now part of our family. Their well-established expertise in hospice and integrative medicine will have a nationwide impact moving forward.” Caring Pathways will continue to pursue acquisitions of high-quality hospice and palliative care veterinary practices. Additionally, the company will launch practices in several new locations in 2022 to further the mission of providing the highest level of end-of-life care to families and their pets. About Caring Pathways Our mission is to serve the hearts and minds of pet owners by providing peaceful, compassionate end-of-life care for their pets with honesty, integrity, and respect in the comfort of their home. Please visit www.CaringPathways.com to learn more about our services and team. About Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice and Integrative Medicine Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice provides personalized holistic care for pets in the Hampton Roads area (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, & beyond). Our doctors focus on treating senior companion animals and those with terminal diseases in the comfort of your own home. Please visit www.hrvethospice.com to learn more about our services and team. Contact Details Caring Pathways Josh Lewis, Marketing Director +1 970-567-9594 Josh@CaringPathways.com Company Website https://caringpathways.com/

December 03, 2021 11:10 AM Eastern Standard Time

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True Colors Film Festival: A Feast of Firsts & Award-Winning Short Films & Dialogues All Free to Stream Globally

True Colors Film Festival

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 3 December 2021 - True Colors Film Festival (TCFF) returns from today offering audiences around the world free streaming of 20 short films and 4 Dialogues. Presented by The Nippon Foundation, the films present new and sometimes radical human perspectives about life and the pursuit of happiness. Highlights include: The world’s first Oscar-nominated film featuring a DeafBlind Actor, 2021 Oscar-nominated FEELING THROUGH and its ‘making of’ documentary, CONNECTING THE DOTS; Oscar-winning short films THE SILENT CHILD (2017) and HELIUM (2013); Official Selection of the Fashion Film Festival Milano from 13-18 January 2022, THE FUTURE IS NOW!, a True Colors Festival documentary. ON BEAUTY, inspired by the work of photographer and founder of Positive Exposure, Rick Guidotti, who challenges the ‘universal’ beauty standard espoused by the fashion industry. Dialogues: Hear first-hand from US director Doug Roland (FEELING THROUGH) and his cast Robert Tarango and Steven Prescod; Tunku Mona Riza (REDHA) from Malaysia who chats with Singaporean actor and educator, Aidli Mosbit; US director Amanda Lukoff (THE R-WORD), with sibling and self-advocates, Singaporeans Tasneem Majeed and Allan Cai; and US photographer Rick Guidotti with Tokyo-based photographer and multimedia artist, Lily Shu, and Singaporean actor and host Oon Shu An. “There’s no shortage of options for streaming movies on demand, but here you’ll discover a selection not found anywhere else; a one-stop shop of award-winning films and dialogues about Perspectives that will entertain, challenge and inspire,” says Audrey Perera, Executive Producer of True Colors Film Festival 2021. Shorts and Dialogues can be viewed around the world via Vimeo, Features can be watched on The Projector Plus by viewers across Asia, and the bonus program can be viewed on Filmbankmedia only in Japan and Singapore. For more information, visit the TCFF 2021 website. For updates, sign-up for the TCFF 2021 mailer. True Colors Film Festival 2021 is a free online event that launches on December 3, coinciding with International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). Now in its second edition, the first True Colors Film Festival, held in 2020, drew an audience of almost 8,000 from 39 countries. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp7ZhaKBBbc Contact Details Hana Kim +65 9272 6747 hana@lightyears-comm.com Michelle Theseira +65 9099 6840 michelle@lightyears-comm.com

December 03, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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COMCAST'S INTERNET ESSENTIALS PROGRAM AND SERJOBS ANNOUNCE TECHNICAL SKILLS TRAINING PARTNERSHIP AND $30,000 DONATION

Comcast Houston

Comcast's Internet Essentials program today announced the award of a $30,000 financial grant and donated 1,000 laptops to SERJobs, whose mission is to help individuals from low-income communities transform their lives through education training, employment, and financial empowerment services. The grant and donation are part of a new partnership to fund technical skills training and readiness certifications for clients of SERJobs. This program will offer digital skills training opportunities, including Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Excel and professional development. “SERJobs is excited to celebrate 10 years of Comcast's Internet Essentials program,” said Sheroo Mukhtiar, CEO, SERJobs. “The Workforce Development Rally highlights the importance of digital literacy in our increasingly virtual world—especially as technology and the needs of our economy evolve. We are grateful to Comcast for their ongoing partnership and support of SERJobs’ and our members.” The announcement is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities; and coincides with the 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, which has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people to the Internet at home – most for the very first time. Comcast’s expanded eligibility for Internet Essentials, now including all Federal Pell Grant recipients within its service area, will enable even more students to stay connected as they continue to pursue degrees at colleges, universities, and technical schools. “Ten years is a remarkable milestone, signifying an extraordinary amount of work and collaboration with our incredible community partners across Houston,” said Toni Beck, Vice President of External Affairs, Comcast Houston. “Together, we have connected hundreds of thousands of people to the power of the Internet at home, and to the endless opportunity, education, growth, and discovery it provides. Our work is not done, and we are excited to partner with SERJobs to ensure the next generation of leaders in Houston are equipped with the technical training they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.” Comcast’s top priorities are connecting people to the Internet at home, equipping safe spaces with free WiFi and working with a robust network of nonprofit community organizations, city leaders, and business partners to create opportunities for low-income Americans. As the nation’s largest internet provider, Comcast supports cooperation between communities, businesses and non-profit organizations to enhance digital equity. Comcast’s $1 billion commitment will include investments in several critical areas, including: additional support for the Lift Zone initiative, which establishes free WiFi access in 50 community centers in Houston, and 1,000+ community centers nationwide, for students and adults by the end of 2021; new laptop and computer donations; over $100,000 in digital equity grants for local Houston nonprofit community organizations to create opportunities for low-income Houstonians – particularly in media, technology, and entrepreneurship; and continued investment in the company’s landmark Internet Essentials program. Project UP & Comcast’s $1 Billion Commitment to Advancing Digital Equity: For over a decade, connecting more people to the Internet and the technology they need to participate and excel in an increasingly digital world has been a core focus for the company. Looking toward the next ten years, Comcast is building on that foundation and expanding its impact through Project UP, a comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities. Backed by a $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people, Project UP encompasses the programs and community partnerships across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky that connect people to the Internet, advance economic mobility and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators. For more information on Project UP and the latest news on efforts to address digital inequities visit https://corporate.comcast.com/impact/project-up. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, Peacock, NBC News, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. About SERJobs: SERJobs Houston, a regional affiliate of SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc., is a nonprofit organization empowering individuals to transform their lives through education, training, employment, and financial empowerment services. Founded in 1965 as a volunteer job bank for Hispanic veterans, SERJobs has evolved, and now operates offices in Houston, Galveston and Fort Bend. SERJobs serves individuals in 13 Texas counties and assists more than 4,000 members access better opportunities every year. For more information, visit serjobs.org Contact Details Comcast Foti Kallergis +1 832-986-0196 Foti_Kallergis@comcast.com SERJobs Christi Vasquez +1 832-890-3606 Company Website https://houston.comcast.com/

December 02, 2021 09:01 AM Central Standard Time

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How One Artist Merged Man and Machine

The Kirby Foundation

Nestled in Loveland, Colorado, is artist Paul Kirby’s studio. Inside that studio stands a 10-foot by 10-foot AI-powered robot named Dulcinea, capable of producing masterful paintings with exquisite brushwork in the manner of the Renaissance virtuosos. Kirby created Dulcinea, named after a character in Don Quixote, as his partner, muse and medium — a delicate dance between man and machine. Unlike other efforts to recreate art with artificial intelligence, Kirby didn’t design Dulcinea to think like a human being. He designed her to paint like a human being, relying on both his artistic skills and his coding prowess in a process he calls “ fusioneering, ” the pursuit of a single vision while combining multiple passions or interests. “My mission was to combine my expertise and passion for technology, science and invention, with my love of art and aesthetics,” said Kirby. Now Dulcinea has a different mission. In hopes to inspire others, Kirby produced a film documenting Dulcinea’s creation and his 40-year journey to embody fusioneering. Entitled “ Brushstroke,” the short documentary film chronicles the pain and passion that fueled him, his work, and Dulcinea’s creation. In his story, we realize that art and science can become one, that our disparate strengths can all work together and that a steadfast commitment to our dreams will make them a reality —no matter how unconventional. "While I remain passionate about creating in collaboration with Dulcinea," he says, "my focus for the work has changed. She stands as a role model now, the manifestation that anyone can carve out a unique path for themselves by cultivating and combining their strengths and passions.” The film has been included in both the Vail Film Festival and the Portland Film Festival, with more appearances scheduled for early 2022. Viewers can also watch “Brushstroke” by visiting Kirby’s website: www.thefusioneer.com. The Kirby Foundation Guided by the belief that all of us can fuse our interests, skills and passions into a unique vision of innovation and purpose, The Kirby Foundation inspires others through the example of its founder Paul Kirby. He was the first "fusioneer," combining his interest in science, technology, and art to create Dulcinea, a 10-foot by 10-foot, AI-powered, painting robot. Unlike efforts to recreate art with artificial intelligence, Dulcinea — using paints, brushes and canvas — creates singular masterpieces based on Kirby’s vision, artistry and coding skills. Today the foundation’s vision is to encourage and empower all to become "fusioneers" and pursue their dreams. Learn more about Kirby's vision and the work of the foundation at www.thefusioneer.com. Contact Details Center Reach Communications Tracy Henderson +1 720-989-3530 tracy@centerreachcommunication.com Company Website https://thefusioneer.com/

December 02, 2021 09:13 AM Eastern Standard Time

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A world first: SmartFrame and Adobe-led CAI work in collaboration to validate image provenance and protect images from misuse online

SmartFrame Technologies

SmartFrame Technologies, the first-to-market image-streaming technology provider, today announced the world’s first test of end-to-end image authentication and protection in collaboration with the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI). It’s estimated that over 2.5 billion images are either stolen or have their copyright infringed every day, which robs content creators of their livelihood and empowers those intent on spreading fake news and misinformation on social media platforms and elsewhere online. With trillions of digital photographs readily available online, no meaningful protection, and the proliferation of easy-to-use editing software, image theft, manipulation, and misrepresentation has become a very real threat to our society. That’s why SmartFrame has been working with the Adobe-led CAI to create a solution that combines robust image protection with provenance authentication, fit for a digital world that has become like the Wild West when it comes to image theft and misuse. Putting the technologies to the test The CAI is showcasing what the eventual future of trusted image capture for consumers will look like through use of a prototype device. This device uses Truepic’s groundbreaking native integration of hardware-secured photo capture, powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 865 5G Mobile Platform. The device was given to renowned photographer David Yarrow, who shot to fame with his iconic image of soccer player Diego Maradona holding aloft the World Cup in 1986, to test out the enhanced end-to-end image authentication and protection systems resulting from the collaboration between SmartFrame Technologies and the CAI. “The shoot was in Dinokeng Game Reserve with Kevin Richardson, who’s known as the lion whisperer,” says Cameron Yarrow, who was part of the production team on the shoot. The aim was to create a powerful portrait of a lion’s face. However, wild animals don’t always pose for photographs, so having Kevin on hand was key. By selecting ‘Secure Mode’ on the CAI-enabled device, the team could easily attach essential data to the image at the point of capture, proving the image’s origin. It’s also possible to add further details to this through the CAI function found within image-editing software, recording edits made in post-production. Such seamless integration meant the process of creating the image was exactly the same as what the team was already used to. The difference became apparent when publishing the image as a SmartFrame, as demonstrated in the link below. With a simple tap of the info icon in the top-left-hand corner of the SmartFrame, it’s possible to view the image’s attribution and history data, with the option of viewing further details on a dedicated verification page. The CAI data function combines seamlessly with SmartFrame’s interactive image-streaming interface. This new way to display images online supports high-quality images up to 100MP in resolution, and uses a wide range of immersive functions to present them in all their glory. These include a full-screen viewing mode, together with the ability to zoom in to explore the finest details, all without affecting page-loading times. More importantly, however, SmartFrames provide advanced security against image theft. Dragging and dropping is made impossible, while right-clicks and screenshots are met with image-obscuring copyright warnings. Furthermore, built-in captions ensure permanent attribution. This not only helps to prevent image piracy, but also raises awareness of copyright restrictions. Through the use of deterrent messages, users are reminded that the image they are viewing is subject to copyright and are instead encouraged to share it legally using the Embed and Share functions. By sharing images in this way, they will carry all the enhanced viewing and security features, together with permanent attribution and CAI provenance data outlined above, wherever they are embedded. This means publishers can benefit from increased engagement and dwell times, image owners can monitor and control their valuable assets, and users can enjoy an extra level of protection against disinformation, leading to a higher level of trust. This pioneering collaboration is taking sure steps towards a safer online environment. Rob Sewell, CEO of SmartFrame Technologies, comments: “This marks the beginning of a new era in image publishing, where users have greater transparency and photographers can once again ensure their art is being used in the way it was intended. By working together, we can create a digital world where it’s okay to believe what you see.’’ Read more about the test and see the first ever CAI-enabled SmartFrame here SmartFrame applications outside of image protection: SmartFrame offers numerous additional benefits, such as its in-image contextual and cookie-less advertising system. Content owners can capitalise on the interest in their images and get paid when these are viewed, while publishers can embed images on their sites and gain a share of the revenues from the display of these ads. Advertisers, meanwhile, can reach new and relevant audiences, with ads that are contextually targeted to the image content, webpage and location of the viewer, all within a highly viewable premium ad unit placement. About SmartFrame Founded in 2015, SmartFrame Technologies is a London-based software provider with an aim to redefine the digital image standard. Its SmartFrame platform allows content owners and brands to protect their assets and present them in the best possible way, while also allowing publishers to source and embed high-quality images, and for everyone involved to generate new revenue streams by way of in-image advertising. About Adobe Adobe is the global leader in digital media and digital marketing solutions. Our creative, marketing and document solutions empower everyone – from emerging artists to global brands – to bring digital creations to life and deliver immersive, compelling experiences to the right person at the right moment for the best results. In short, Adobe is everywhere, and we’re changing the world through digital experiences. About the CAI The Content Authenticity Initiative is a group working together to fight misinformation and add a layer of verifiable trust to all types of digital content, starting with photo and video, through provenance and attribution solutions. We’re creating a secure end-to-end system for digital content provenance through open-source development, cross-industry collaboration, and interoperability of tools. Additional image access information. To get images associated with the article follow link below: https://smartframe.io/blog/smartframe-and-cai-working-together-to-validate-provenance-and-improve-image-protection/ Contact Details SmartFrame Technologies Jill Kent +44 7760 470309 info@prsuperstar.co.uk

December 02, 2021 06:10 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Oprah’s Favorite Things with Gayle King and Adam Glassman

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/5zdxoXdJxYg 2021 marks the 25 th anniversary of Oprah’s Favorite Things and Gayle King, co-host of " CBS Mornings " and editor-at-large of Oprah Daily and Adam Glassman, creative director of Oprah Daily conducted a nationwide media tour to discuss highlights from this year’s list. Spotlighting small businesses and the inspiring stories of the owners behind the products has been part of the mission of Oprah’s Favorite Things from the very start. This is the biggest list ever with 110 items and most of the items selected are from small businesses, women-owned brands or companies owned by people of color. Some of the highlights include: Rebel Girls Books, Crayon Case Notepad iShadow Palettes, Fab Fête White Corn & Truffle Cheese Soufflé, Henry Masks and Oprah’s The Life You Want Planner. Part weekly planner, part intention journal, this beautiful book created by the Oprah Daily editors and Oprah will inspire you to make self-reflection and setting intentions a daily practice—and help you answer the ultimate question, “How do I become more of me?” Starting in January 2022, Oprah will host monthly livestream events exclusively for Oprah Daily Insiders to guide us through each of these topics. We’ll have surrounding content and conversation on OprahDaily.com every single day to support your journey. Oprah Daily Insiders receive unlimited access to OprahDaily.com, as well as special deals and discounts on Oprah-related events, access to their favorite stories and interviews from the magazine archives of O, The Oprah Magazine, and the chance to connect with other readers. Access to the membership program is $50, which also includes a subscription to the new O Quarterly. We have more fun surprises planned in the coming months so head to OprahDaily.com to join now or become an Oprah Daily Insider here. You can pick up the Winter Issue of O Quarterly featuring Oprah’s Favorite Things on newsstands now or head to OprahDaily.com to sign up to be an Oprah Daily Insider or shop the list on Oprah Daily and Amazon. To see the full list of items please visit https://www.oprahdaily.com/oprah-favorite-things-2021. For more information, visit oprahdaily.com/oprah-favorite-things-2021 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. About Oprah Daily: Building on the mission and legacy of O, The Oprah Magazine — which for two decades guided its loyal audience toward living their best lives — Oprah Winfrey and Hearst Magazines introduced Oprah Daily, which includes OprahDaily.com, a new destination with thoughtful digital storytelling; O Quarterly, a new print edition that will publish four times a year; and Oprah Daily Insider, a special membership-only community, where readers can connect live with Oprah other O personalities, including Editor-at-Large Gayle King, Creative Director Adam Glassman and more. Follow Oprah Daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

December 01, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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iTradeNetwork Features Blue Book Ratings and Scores in iTradeMarketplace

iTradeNetwork

As a recently established Blue Book Registered Developer, iTradeNetwork, the food and beverage industry’s largest network with over 8,000 food and beverage trading partners, is delivering real-time access to Blue Book Ratings and Scores through the iTradeMarketplace platform. Now iTradeMarketplace users who are also Blue Book Services subscribers can view a company’s Blue Book Rating and Blue Book Score within the iTradeMarketplace platform. This integration provides maximum efficiency for end-users to view critical Blue Book information before a business transaction. “As we worked with our produce customers to build the iTradeMarketplace features, we repeatedly heard the need to have quick, easy access to Blue Book Ratings and Scores. This integration delivers on that vital industry need,” said Nathan Romney, chief product officer of iTradeNetwork. “We welcome iTradeNetwork as a Blue Book Registered Developer,” said Mark Erickson, Senior Vice President of Blue Book Services. “Our mission is to provide Blue Book content where, when and how members need it. So, the arrangement with iTradeNetwork is a very good fit and provides a useful complement to the suite of content, analytics and tools now available via Blue Book Online Services.” A free 30-day trial of the data integration is available for iTradeMarketplace users who do not currently subscribe to Blue Book Services. About Blue Book Services, Inc. Since 1901, Blue Book Services, Inc. has been the leader in providing the domestic and international fresh produce and exempt transportation industries with timely, accurate and reliable credit and marketing information. Produce suppliers, buyers, brokers and transporters alike rely on Blue Book ratings, reports, and information to make safe, informed and profitable business decisions. Blue Book Service also includes a full range of dispute resolution services, including collections, mediations, and arbitrations. About iTradeNetwork iTradeNetwork, Inc. is the leading global provider of supply chain management solutions for the food and beverage industry. Built upon deep industry expertise, a rich data foundation and the industries’ most extensive trading partner network, iTradeNetwork’s collaborative solutions allow distributors, manufacturers, operators, retailers, suppliers and wholesalers of all sizes to reduce cost, grow revenue and strengthen trading partner relationships. Today, iTradeNetwork’s growing customer list includes more than 8,000 companies globally. For more information, visit: www.itradenetwork.com. Media, please note: Visual assets, including photos, are available. To interview ITN’s CEO Rhonda Bassett-Spiers or for other interview requests, please contact Robin Carr at (415) 971-3991 or itn@landispr.com. ### Contact Details Landis Communications Inc. Robin Carr +1 415-971-3991 itn@landispr.com Blue Book Services, Inc. Jeff Lair +1 630-668-3500 jlair@bluebookservices.com Company Website https://www.itradenetwork.com/

December 01, 2021 07:51 AM Pacific Standard Time

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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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