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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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RCG Ventures Taps Giovanni Cappellini to Lead Flex Employee Services

RCG Ventures

RCG Ventures (RCGV), a wholly owned subsidiary and venture arm of River Capital Group Holdings (River Capital), a leading family investment office, today announced that it has appointed Giovanni Cappellini as Managing Director of its portfolio company, Flex Employee Services (Flex). Founded in 2015, Flex Employee Services is the leading provider of national recruiting and enterprise staffing solutions. Prior to joining Flex, Cappellini served as the Senior VP of Sales and IT recruiting for Solomon Page Technology Partners. During his 18-year tenure with Solomon Page, Cappellini recruited hybrid, dynamic technologists for hedge funds, global financial institutions, boutique investment practices, and global management consulting firms. Cappellini also helped Solomon Page optimize outdated processes, build new offerings that drove significant ROI, and created a consistent, sustainable, hyper-growth model. In his new role, Cappellini is tasked with creating a next generation recruiting and staffing strategy, through which Flex provides talent and solutions to support the various Workforce and Human Capital Businesses and thousands of clients serviced through the RCG Ventures (RCGV) umbrella. “The strategy Giovanni will execute will be critical to the growth of Flex, RCGV and all of the family of companies that River Capital Supports” said Vince Puma, CEO of River Capital Group Holdings. As an ever-growing lack of skilled workers, a global pandemic, and a universal shift to hybrid working has manifested into a worldwide crisis, Cappellini will optimize overall business processes at Flex, empowering the company to operate with velocity while supporting dynamic scale. In addition, he will oversee the rebranding of the company’s identity and website to reflect its core strengths and strategy. “The global staffing shortage is an epidemic that will cripple economies if not addressed in the very near future,” said RCG Ventures Managing Partner, Jeff Kaplan. “The ability to tap into a population of thoroughly vetted professionals through Flex Employee Services is integral to RCGV’s active investment strategy, adding value that extends well beyond access to capital.” “The lack of qualified candidates for vacant positions in accounting, corporate finance, and IT has led many companies to outsource hiring of key personnel, creating a significant opportunity for Flex Employee Services,” said Cappellini. “I’m excited to join this all-star team because we not only help organizations overcome today's staffing challenges, but, with the support and backing of RCG Ventures, can also prevent future workforce issues from manifesting.” ABOUT FLEX EMPLOYEE SERVICES Founded in 2015 by River Capital Group Holdings, Flex Employee services is a leading provider of national recruiting and workforce management solutions. Through both strategic acquisitions and organic growth, Flex boasts a best-in-class leadership team of staffing and personnel management professionals. Headquartered in Manhattan, NY with offices nationwide, Flex Employee Services actively seeks out opportunities for continued growth, recruiting top talent that supports each River Capital Group subsidiary and partner. Visit www.flexemployeeservices.com for more information. ABOUT RCG VENTURES RCG Ventures (RCGV) is a wholly owned subsidiary of River Capital Group Holdings (River Capital), a leading family investment office. RCGV represents an active investment strategy that combines access to capital with management resources, infrastructure, an expansive global business network, and hands-on strategic guidance from an elite, tenured team of business, financial, marketing, operations, and capital markets leaders. Our target partners develop breakthrough innovations in blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, workforce services, Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and extended reality (XR). For additional information, please visit www.RCGV.com. ABOUT RIVER CAPITAL GROUP HOLDINGS Founded in 2013, River Capital Group Holdings (RCGH) is a leading family investment office headquartered in Manhattan, NY. In addition to funding, River Capital Group also offers strategic counsel, management resources, and access to its expansive network of capital markets, finance, and institutional investment professionals, without requiring partner companies to cede operational control. River Capital Group makes opportunistic investments in growth companies with investments ranging from five hundred thousand to $50 million. Specifically, RCGH identifies forward-thinking companies for which its capital, financial expertise, and relationships would add both significant quantitative and qualitative value. River Capital Group Holdings is industry agnostic with a track record of backing and supporting companies that deliver above average returns and exceed industry expectations. Invested capital is only that of River Capital Group Holdings’ principals. For additional information, please visit www.rivercapitalgroupholdings.com. Contact Details Mostafa Razzak JMRConnect: Shaping Influence® PR +1 202-904-2048 m.razzak@jmrconnect.net

November 30, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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DonorsTrust Celebrates Record-Breaking Donations On Giving Tuesday

Donors Trust

The team at DonorsTrust, a donor-advised fund (DAF) committed to encouraging philanthropic giving and protecting donor intent, is celebrating “Giving Tuesday” amid a record-breaking pace of donations. Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, is a global celebration of generosity. All are encouraged to help others and consider giving their time and resources. “DAFs remain positioned right now to serve the public good, especially in these continued uncertain times,” explained Lawson Bader, CEO of DonorsTrust. “Charitable contributions from DAFs met the challenge of 2020 for a multitude of charities and kept the pace going throughout 2021.” DonorsTrust is on pace to set a new record in 2021, already distributing grants totaling more than $140 million through mid-October. In 2020, DonorsTrust paid out more than $186 million to charitable causes. With an expected surge in additional giving around the holidays, the amount in 2021 is on track to be significantly higher. In 2019, DonorsTrust accountholders recommended $163 million in grants to 751 charities in nearly every U.S. state, representing an increase of 12% from 2018. DAFs are like a charitable savings account that provides donors more time to think about which charities to contribute to over time, all while their money is growing in the fund, increasing the impact of giving from both a timing perspective and amount, too. “Giving from DAFs is increasing as philanthropists look to give more, and more strategically – on Giving Tuesday and beyond - making up for the unanticipated needs and demands many non-profits are currently experiencing,” Bader continued. “Despite these fears and uncertainty from the pandemic and economic uncertainty, giving expectations were surpassed as donors continue to step up and support non-profit organizations.” DAFs provide a key source of income for charities. The charitable vehicle is growing in popularity, with nearly 1 million Americans utilizing DAFs to centralize and simplify giving. Low new account minimums make them the great democratizers of philanthropy – available to all, not just the privileged few. To learn more about how DAFs and DonorsTrust are making a difference, please visit http://www.donorstrust.org. ### Established in 1999 as a 501(c)(3) public charity, DonorsTrust is a community of donors devoted to creating a better future. Our donors support charities they believe protect our Nation’s constitutional liberties and strengthen civil society through private institutions rather than government programs. Our boutique size lets us offer our donors personal attention and advice that helps them achieve their philanthropic goals. We ensure that our donors’ intentions are protected and offer simple, effective, and tax-advantaged, ways to give. Since its inception, DonorsTrust granted over $1.6 billion to more than 4,000 charities that protect our constitutional liberties and strengthen civil society without government funding. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website https://www.donorstrust.org/

November 30, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Artificial Intelligence Capabilities Are Quickly Becoming Essential for Customer Experience Initiatives, According to Dash Research

Dash Network

Dash Research’s report, “Artificial Intelligence for CX Applications”, focuses on the market drivers and barriers surrounding the adoption and use of AI in CX platforms, applications, and programs, the general use case categories for AI, and several representative case studies detailing the use of AI to improve CX. The report also details current AI regulations, which generally focus on the proper collection and use of personal information. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become nearly ubiquitous across a range of industries and use cases. The customer experience (CX) discipline is no different, according to a new report from Dash Research; AI is being used across both customer-facing functions and in back-office systems and processes. This AI functionality is being integrated or incorporated into CX platforms and applications, with low- or no-code interfaces that allow CX, marketing, and sales professionals with little data science or computer coding experience to manipulate data and tune algorithms to support several different functions. According to Dash Research principal analyst Keith Kirkpatrick, the use of AI within CX can be classified under five broad categories: intelligent insights, predictions, preferences, recommendations, and automation. “Each step in the AI/CX continuum represents a progression of AI maturity and sophistication,” says Kirkpatrick. “As AI maturity increases, so does the required depth of integration of data sources within an organization, which can encompass customer and account data, product and service data, billing and fulfillment data, and service interaction data.” Dash Research analysis indicates that there are four key market drivers spurring the adoption and use of AI within CX initiatives: Increasing demand for customer-facing automation and assistants Higher demand for backend automation and intelligent analysis Growing appetite for data-led insights and customer journeys More value seen with deeper customer engagement However, while AI is becoming part of the very fabric of CX platforms, like any technology or approach, there are technical and operational barriers to complete market adoption. Dash Research finds that the key remaining market development barriers include: Limited scope or quality of data Lack of alignment between CX challenges and AI solutions Limited data governance policies and privacy concerns Regulatory issues Dash Research’s report, “Artificial Intelligence for CX Applications”, focuses on the market drivers and barriers surrounding the adoption and use of AI in CX platforms, applications, and programs, the general use case categories for AI, and several representative case studies detailing the use of AI to improve CX. The report also details current AI regulations, which generally focus on the proper collection and use of personal information. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website. Dash Research, the market intelligence arm of Dash Network, provides in-depth research and insights on the worldwide CX market including a comprehensive assessment of technology solutions, business issues, market drivers, and end-user dynamics across industry sectors. Dash Research’s global market coverage combines qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to provide a complete view of emerging business opportunities surrounding contact center technologies, customer data & analytics, customer data platforms, customer insights & feedback, customer relationship management, personalization & optimization, and employee experience. For more information, visit www.dashresearch.com or call +1.720.603.1700. Contact Details Dash Research Clint Wheelock +1 720-603-1700 press@dashnetwork.com Company Website http://www.dashnetwork.com

November 30, 2021 05:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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International Association of Political Consultants Democracy Medal Presented to Women of Belarus at recent ceremony

International Association of Political Consultants

Former International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) President Sepp Hartinger accompanied by IAPC member Christoph Hofinger and Secretary General of the Austrian Journalists Club, Barbara Meister presented the Democracy Award to Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Veronica Tsepkalo and imprisoned Maria Kalesnikaya, who was not able to attend, for their work in the promotion of democracy in Belarus. The IAPC awarded the Democracy Medal in 2020 but due to the pandemic was not able to present the award until now. Mauroicio de Vengoechea, President of the IAPC said, “Individuals are at the heart of democracy and the political process. Through their actions, these three courageous women have demonstrated how to engage their fellow citizens in a positive, non-violent effort to bring about democratic change in their country.” In his remarks, Hartinger spoke of the fate of all fighters for democracy who are in political prison and thanked the women for their exemplary commitment to democracy. "This honor should not be a one-time effect, but the beginning of a closer cooperation to make democracy possible in Belarus and to strengthen it worldwide." In their speeches, Tsikhanouskaya and Tsepkalo expressed their gratitude for the award and particularly emphasized the solidarity that can be felt worldwide. About the recipients Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of the democratic forces in Belarus who, according to independent observers, defeated autocratic President Aliaksandr Lukashenka in the August 9, 2020 presidential election. She had entered the race after her husband was arrested for running for president. Lukashenka publicly dismissed her as a "housewife" and claimed a woman could not become president. Tsikhanouskaya united Belarus's democratic forces along with two other leaders ¬- Maria Kalesnikaya and Veronica Tsepkalo. After her forced exile, Tsikhanouskaya provoked unprecedented peaceful protests throughout Belarus, some of which were attended by hundreds of thousands of people. She visited more than 20 countries to rally support for a free Belarus. She is campaigning for the release of more than 500 political prisoners and peaceful change through free and fair elections. In her meetings with Chancellor Merkel, President Macron, President von der Leyen, President Charles Michel and other world leaders, she emphasized the need for a bolder response to the actions of the Belarusian dictatorship. Tsikhanouskaya became a symbol of the peaceful struggle for democracy and female leadership. Among dozens of other awards, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was honored with the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament. In 2020, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Lithuanian President Nauseda and Norwegian MPs. She was included in the TOP-50 most influential people by Bloomberg, in the top 12 most influential women by Financial Times and in the top 28 most influential Europeans by POLITICO. Veronica Tsepkalo One of the three leaders of the national democracy movement in Belarus. Together with Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Maria Kalesnikava, she managed to bring together an unprecedented number of people to protest against a regime that violates human rights, falsifies presidential elections and uses brutal violence against its citizens. The trio was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and has already received the International Democracy Prize and the Sakharov Prize. Currently, Veronica supports Belarusian women who have been victims of the regime's cruelty in recent months. Maria Kalesnikaya Kalesnikaya is a currently imprisoned civil rights activist in Belarus, political prisoner, and music educator and flutist. Through her relationships with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Veronica Tsepkalo and friendship with Viktar Babaryka, as well as political developments in her home country, she became a human rights activist and non-partisan politician. In 2020, she became internationally known for her role in the Belarusian opposition. In early September 2020, Kalesnikaya "disappeared" in Minsk in an as-yet unexplained manner; her family was able to report two days later that she was in state custody. In February, the prosecutor expanded the charges against her: she was alleged to have participated in a conspiracy to seize power in an anti-constitutional manner and to have founded and led an extremist association. For this she was sentenced to eleven years in prison. About the IAPC Democracy Award Since 1982, the International Association of Political Consultants has been a pioneer in awarding an organization or an individual who in the judgement of its membership has worked courageously to foster, promote, and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world through our Democracy Medal, the first international award of its kind. -30- Established in 1968, The International Association of Political Consultants is committed to fostering democracy and the democratic process throughout the world. Members span a variety of political backgrounds and activities fostering the growing and diverse profession of political consulting as well as the practical aspects of democratic elections. Contact Details IAPC President-elect Matt Klink +1 310-283-6267 matt@klinkcampaigns.com IAPC President Mauricio de Vengoechea devengo@icloud.com IAPC Communications VP-elect Marcel Wieder +1 416-907-2126 marcel@aurorastrategy.com Company Website https://www.iapc.org

November 24, 2021 04:12 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Investis Digital Releases Connect.IQ Special Report on Virtual Events

Investis Digital

Investis Digital, a leading global digital communications company, released its special Connect.IQ report on Virtual Events that evaluates five trends that are influencing the future of virtual and hybrid events as businesses learn how to make them better with key lessons learned during the pandemic. To uncover these trends, Investis Digital: Reviewed hundreds of companies to uncover how they’re approaching virtual events. We started with the top-scoring publicly traded companies based on our 2021 Connect.IQ Global 100 Report. Surveyed members of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) to understand how IR and Corporate Communications executives are using virtual events to support their business needs. Interviewed virtual events analysts and studied additional research from both Forrester and Gartner. Using its proprietary Connect.IQ methodology, Investis Digital reviewed over 300 criteria that create an effective digital presence, including the use and integration of virtual events into their IR and corporate communications regime. In addition to the survey and analyst research, they studied what is driving stakeholder expectations and the way industry leaders support the needs of their stakeholder audiences with virtual events. “At a time when audiences are raising their expectations for what virtual events can deliver, businesses that place a higher priority on engagement and content will have a distinct advantage over those that do not”, said Frank Persia, US Director of Webcasting, Investis Digital. “This report is a playbook for key decision-makers on how they can get the most from their virtual and hybrid events.” The report also uncovers, hybrid events are becoming more commonplace and according to Gartner, by 2023, 60% of businesses that pivoted to virtual events will incorporate physical real-time/real-space experiential elements into marketing experiences. To access the full report, click here. Investis Digital has been at the forefront of digital communications for two decades. Over time we have gained deep sector knowledge, invested in leading technologies, and built lasting and trusted relationships with more than1600 global companies, including Ascential, Anglo American, Rolls-Royce, Fruit of the Loom and Vodafone. Through a proprietary approach we call Connected Content™, we unite compelling communications, intelligent digital experiences, and performance marketing to help companies build deeper connections with audiences and drive business performance. We tell brand stories through strategic and engaging content that meets your audiences at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. We build and run intelligent websites and digital experiences that are rapidly deployed and strategically measured, underpinned by our secure, world-leading Connect.ID technology and 24/7 service. We find the audiences that matter most through powerful performance marketing solutions that optimize and amplify your brand across all touchpoints. This unique blend of expertise, technology and “always on” service allow clients to trust that their digital footprint and brand reputation is secure and protected 24/7 by our dedicated team of 500 digital experts across 9 global offices. To learn more on how Investis Digital has been powering digital communications since 2000, please visit: www.InvestisDigital.com Contact Details MaryAlina Vettichira-Mathew +1 646-766-9040 MaryAlina@investisdigital.com Company Website https://www.investisdigital.com

November 24, 2021 09:32 AM Eastern Standard Time

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100 Houstonians in Harris and Ft. Bend Counties Awarded a Total of $1 Million Through Comcast RISE, National Initiative to Support Small Business Owners

Comcast Houston

Comcast today announced the 100 recipients of the Comcast Rise Investment Fund grants. Each small business will receive a one-time $10,000 grant from the fund. More than 100 businesses in the area will also receive technology and marketing resources. The recipients are among nearly 6,700 entrepreneurs nationwide who have been selected through the Comcast RISE program, which provides marketing, technology, and capital support to small business owners. “We are proud of all of our small businesses, the impact they have in Fort Bend County is invaluable. Many of our business owners, particularly our minority owned businesses, have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and require a wide range of support to help their businesses survive,” stated Fort Bend County Judge KP George. “The Comcast Rise Investment Fund Grant provides these business owners with the critical financial lifeline and the resources needed so they can sustain and grow their businesses.” Through Comcast RISE, the company also announced it is on track to support 13,000 small businesses by the end of the year with marketing or technology support such as a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity services from Comcast Business. “Since we launched Comcast RISE a year ago, we have assisted more than 200 small businesses throughout the Houston area with either marketing, technology, or monetary grants. This round of Comcast RISE grants will provide even more small business owners of color with the resources and tools they need to thrive,” said Ralph Martinez, senior vice president for Comcast’s Houston region. “We look forward to empowering their success.” To further build on the program’s success and provide support to even more small businesses, Comcast also announced today a major expansion to eligibility, enabling all women-owned small businesses nationwide to apply. This expansion recognizes and seeks to help address the persistent inequities women continue to face in accessing the resources and funding that are critical to success. Comcast RISE and the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, initially launched as a response to help small businesses owners of color hardest hit by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, continue to focus on uplifting small businesses, ensuring they continue to prosper in an ever-shifting post-pandemic economy. “As we continue to rebuild and emerge from the effects of the pandemic, small businesses will continue to be the backbone of our economy – and we must take every opportunity to help them thrive,” said Dave Watson, President and CEO, Comcast Cable. “Looking forward, this expansion will enable Comcast RISE to further empower and strengthen even more small businesses that are the heart of our local communities across the country.” In the year since its inception, Comcast RISE has awarded more than $11 million in grants and $50 million in in-kind support for marketing and technology services, impacting more than 6,700 entrepreneurs of color in 432 cities across 34 states. By the end of 2022, 13,000 businesses across the country are expected to benefit from the Comcast RISE initiative, either through the grant program or from the resources provided through Effectv and Comcast Business. In addition to the financial and business support services provided, a key part of the program is ensuring the long-term sustainability of businesses. To help address this, Comcast invests in and partners with organizations such as Ureeka to provide ongoing mentorship and resources to help small businesses succeed over the long-term. Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment, is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion to programs and partnerships that will reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. The program will continue to be open to racially and ethnically diverse small business owners and the expanded Comcast RISE eligibility to all women-owned businesses will be effective on January 16, 2022. More information and the applications to apply for either the grant program or marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com. To help drive outreach and awareness about Comcast RISE and provide additional support, training and mentorship, Comcast has also awarded $50,000 in grants to local community partners – Houston Hispanic Chamber, Houston Black Chamber, Empresarios Latinos Foundation, Houston LGBT Chamber, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston Women’s Foundation and East End Chamber of Commerce. 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 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, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, 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 Comcast Business Comcast Business offers a suite of Connectivity, Communications, Networking, Cybersecurity, Wireless, and Managed Solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next. Powered by the nation’s largest Gig-speed broadband network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and one of the leading service providers to the Enterprise market. Comcast Business has been consistently recognized by industry analysts and associations as a leader and innovator, and one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social. About Effectv Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps local, regional and national advertisers use the best of digital with the power of TV to grow their business. It provides multi-screen marketing solutions to make advertising campaigns more effective and easier to execute. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Effectv has a presence in 66 markets with nearly 35 million owned and represented subscribers. For more information, visit www.effectv.com. Contact Details Comcast Foti Kallergis +1 832-986-0196 Foti_Kallergis@comcast.com Comcast Misha McClure +1 832-547-6783 Misha_McClure@cable.comcast.com Company Website https://houston.comcast.com/

November 23, 2021 09:31 AM Central Standard Time

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U.S. Government Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit for $1 Million After Suicide Outside Georgia VA Medical Center

Bertling Law Group

The estate of a Navy veteran, who died by suicide after he was denied medical treatment at a Department of Veteran’s Affairs medical center, recently negotiated a $1 million settlement with the U.S. government as compensation for the 35 days of pain and suffering the veteran experienced before his death. The lawsuit, filed by the Bertling Law Group on behalf of the estate of Gary Steven Pressley, continues against Bobby Dodd Institute, an independent contractor responsible for operating the switchboard at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center. The lawsuit alleges that Pressley’s family notified an employee of Bobby Dodd Institute that Pressley was in the parking lot with a loaded gun and intended to shoot himself. The lawsuit states that employee Elaine Carswell did not call the onsite VA police who could have reached Pressley in minutes with officers trained to deescalate such situations. Pressley died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the parking lot of the VA Medical Center. According to the lawsuit, Pressley’s referral to a pain specialist was never scheduled and he experienced excruciating pain after being denied pain medication previously prescribed by a community pain specialist. Pressley took his own life after his VA primary care physician negligently reduced his pain medication and failed to ensure he saw a new community pain management specialist in a timely fashion. Pressley’s referral to the pain specialist was never scheduled because the VA employee responsible for processing the appointment was overworked, overwhelmed and her department was understaffed. Pressley was honorably discharged from the United States Navy with an exemplary record following a tragic car accident that left him with serious injuries to his legs, hip, pelvis, and back. He required assistance to walk and managed considerable pain daily. He had previously been seen by a community pain specialist who was referred through the VA and his life had improved considerably. The community pain specialist stopped treating veterans because the VA was not paying for her services. Pressley was furthering his education and making plans to lead a long and healthy life when the VA failed to assign him a new pain specialist. His condition deteriorated because he did not receive needed prescription pain medicine for several weeks. He reached a breaking point on April 5, 2019 and shot himself in the chest. According to attorney Peter Bertling, Pressley’s death was imminently preventable. “Gary Steven Pressley served his country admirably and had been on a path to lead a long and happy life before the negligence of the Bobby Dodd Institute brought his life to a tragic close,” said Bertling. “Had Ms. Carswell paid attention to the family’s direct warnings, Pressley would still be here today.” Bertling Law Group can help you access all available resources for compensation. Prior to providing veteran advocacy, our attorneys spent three decades defending hospitals, nurses, and doctors accused of wrongdoing, helping to spare insurance companies millions of dollars in unsubstantiated damages. We now use that insight to help injured patients recover the damages to which they are entitled. More information is available at 844-295-7558 or BertlingLawGroup.com Download a copy of the complaint here and at www.LawsuitPressRelease.com. Contact Details LawsuitPressRelease.com John P. David +1 888-859-6637 john@lawsuitpressrelease.com Company Website https://www.bertlinglawgroup.com/

November 22, 2021 01:44 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Velocity Global’s 2022 Work In Progress Report: Businesses and talent benefit from distributed work

Velocity Global

1,000 surveyed tech leaders say distributed work increases productivity and diversity Most remote talent to remain untethered to an office post-pandemic Tech leaders desire to increase remote work for themselves 72% utilize a distributed workforce but face hurdles to expand it Remote and distributed workforces are here to stay due to the mutual benefits to both businesses and talent according to a new study from Velocity Global, the leading provider of global employment solutions. The 2022 Work In Progress — The State of Distributed Work: Tech Sector published today touts multiple benefits of distributed work, shows optimism for growth in the tech sector, but also names challenges for businesses to increase their global workforce. More than 1,000 U.S. and UK tech company decision-makers participated in the study and 72% say their business utilizes a substantial distributed workforce; 59% say more than half of their workforce is remote, and 61% of U.S. tech leaders report more than half of their remote workers will remain that way for the foreseeable future. “The world of work is forever changed. The global pandemic accelerated the desire to work from anywhere, and it lit a fire for employers to embrace a truly distributed workforce,” said Velocity Global founder and CEO Ben Wright. “The untethered nature of work was on the rise before COVID-19, but the tailwinds accelerated this new way of work as businesses tapped into new talent pools and workers themselves embraced a new freedom. Neither is going back - this change is here to stay.” Despite the growth of distributed and remote work, businesses cite several challenges to embrace the change even further. “This dramatic shift accelerated faster than the legacy ecosystem built to support the employment infrastructure was capable of handling,” added Wright. “We remove the roadblocks to grow businesses and connect employers and talent to simply get work done anywhere and anyhow.” Organizational and personal benefits of remote and distributed work Remote work refers to talent working at a location other than a company-owned office. Related to the concept of remote work is distributed work, in which companies employ talent that is located in multiple locations domestically or internationally. The majority of companies (72%) employ a distributed workforce and 79% of these organizations’ talent also works remotely. Respondents who utilize a distributed workforce report clear advantages: 95% say a distributed workforce model benefits their company by increasing productivity (54%), securing top talent (40%), and building a more diverse team (37%). Respondents indicate talent prefers remote work for similar reasons, reinforcing the mutual benefits. Interestingly, 3 in 4 of the tech leaders themselves work remotely at least one day per week and desire to increase the amount of time they work remotely. “Business leaders are people too, and they see the benefits in their personal life as well to their broader organization,” said Wright. “Flexibility and mobility are now must-haves for workers fresh out of school or in upper management, and lead to greater productivity and long-term talent retention. It’s a win-win.” Optimism for growth with an untethered workforce The increase in remote and distributed work drove unprecedented demand in the tech sector and organizations feel optimistic about expansion. The survey reports 96% are very or somewhat confident about their company’s financial growth over the next year, and 83% believe their industry will grow as well. That growth is realized by a remote and distributed workforce that mostly will not return to an office. More than half (54%) of respondents say 51-75% of their remote workforce will remain remote over the next year. Roadblocks create disconnect between employers and talent The data indicates a brewing dilemma regarding remote work. Talent and businesses both recognize significant benefits, but logistical challenges drive businesses to initiate a return to the office for some. The implications for this disconnect are great, considering the difficulties of finding skilled talent and employees’ desired flexibility. One factor contributing to that discord is the lack of involvement of talent in the decision to return to the office. Eighty-seven percent of organization leaders say their company decides whether remote talent transitions back to working at a company-owned office, as opposed to it being a joint decision. Only 12% report that both the company and talent make that determination. Tech leaders point to a pivotal moment for distributed work as both businesses and talent desire the benefits. The pandemic increased distributed work for most tech businesses, and 43% will maintain their current distributed workforce. However, the next stage is in question: 21% say they will expand their distributed workforce, 26% plan to reduce it. These decision-makers cite several forces that challenge their ability to grow their distributed workforce domestically and internationally, particularly among U.S. companies. Ninety-three percent of U.S. tech leaders say they do not have plans to expand their domestic distributed workforce. They point to recruiting, legal registrations in other states, and managing multiple vendors among other challenges. The growth of international distributed work faces similar roadblocks. Again, 93% of U.S. and UK tech leaders say they do not plan to expand their worldwide distributed workforce, adding foreign entity set-up, global payroll and immigration challenges to a similar list of difficulties. “The same friction comes up over and over again. Finding the right talent tops both lists and businesses want to tap larger talent pools across the country and the world,” said Wright. “Add in the bureaucracy of global regulation and the multiple vendors to navigate it on disparate platforms, and businesses get skittish. We built an end-to-end platform that removes all of this friction because the data is clear: employers and talent just want to work with anyone, anywhere, and anyhow.” Click here to download the full report: 2022 Work in Progress — The State of Distributed Work: Tech Sector. Methodology To gather the data in this report, Velocity Global surveyed 506 U.S. and 505 UK business leaders in the technology industry (e.g., software, hardware, and IT) who are employed at companies with 50–1,000 employees. The respondents work in a wide range of technology subsectors, including technology, media, and telecom; biotech; mortgage technology, property technology, and real estate technology; insurance technology; cryptocurrency; cybersecurity; and more. Respondents are in director-level and higher positions, including C-suite officers and business owners. Their job functions include human resources, finance, legal, IT/ technology, and operations. About Velocity Global Velocity Global accelerates the future of work beyond borders. Its global work platform simplifies the employer and employee experience to employ any talent anywhere with just a click through its proprietary cloud-based workforce management technology, backed by personalized expertise and unmatched global scale. As the largest global Employer of Record (also known as International PEO) in 185 countries and all 50 United States, more than 1,000 brands rely on Velocity Global to build global teams without the cost or complexity of setting up foreign legal entities or state registrations. The company offers additional services including Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce, and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors. Velocity Global was named a “Leader” in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall. Founded in 2014, the company has hundreds of employees across six continents. For more information visit velocityglobal.com. Contact Details Velocity Global John Hall +1 720-650-4348 news@velocityglobal.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

November 19, 2021 07:02 AM Mountain Standard Time

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