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George Mason University wins grant for “return to work” pilot programs for antibody and diagnostic testing

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority

George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services and College of Science have been awarded a $100,000 GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Grant to establish critical infrastructure to improve COVID-19 symptom monitoring and tracking, and diagnostics and facilitate a safe return to work. The initiative will simplify workplace monitoring for symptoms and testing for the COVID-19 virus and antibodies and will improve how contacts are traced when the virus is detected. Capabilities such as effective and easy-to-scale methods for diagnostic and antibody testing and contact tracing are key to a safe return. The interdisciplinary project brings together epidemiologists, nurse researchers, health informatics specialists, and laboratory scientists to create a holistic return to work program that can be scaled up. Dr. Amira Roess, an epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Global & Community Health , is leading the project, which includes integration of symptom, exposure, and behavioral data with regular testing following exposures. Roess brings extensive experience in outbreak and emergency preparedness and response. She advises public and private organizations, including K-12 schools, judicial systems, universities, and businesses on how to safely resume operations. Dr. Lance Liotta, professor in the School of Systems Biology and co-director and co-founder of Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) is leading a team that developed a novel saliva-based antibody test, which is easier to use than other tests and has the potential for higher sensitivity and specificity than previous formats. “With breakthroughs in screening, surveillance, and testing, Mason faculty are leading efforts to fight COVID-19 in the region and around the country. The research happening here helps lay the groundwork for the economic recovery of Northern Virginia and the potential for developing commercially-available tests right here in the region,” said Dr. Aurali Dade, Mason’s interim vice president for research, innovation and economic impact. The pilot will focus on understanding the physical and mental health impact of COVID-19 on the workforce, especially among essential, front-line workers such as those in health care, first responder roles, education, and retail. The team plans to use the results to develop tailored stress management interventions and programs to enhance safe return to work for these populations. Leaders at the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Prince William Department of Economic Development voiced their support for the pilot initiative and the impact a widely available, non-invasive antibody test coupled with enhanced diagnostic testing can have on the region’s ability to resume key operations. Bringing a COVID-19 testing protocol to market in Northern Virginia could also have longer-term benefits to the region and its growing life sciences and information technology sectors. “This is an important effort to understand more about COVID-19 and its effects on the population, and I am delighted to see it moving forward,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority . “This effort also is the latest example of innovators in the Northern Virginia technology community collaborating to improve people’s lives, and we should be proud that this kind of discovery happens here.” "I'm so proud to call Mason one of Prince William County's own and I'm excited to see this study move forward," said Christina M. Winn, executive director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development . "It's such an important step in building confidence in our community and preparing our region for safely getting back to work." The GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Grant Program was created by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Growth and Opportunity for Virginia Board. George Mason University matched the grant with $50,000 in funding. "In creating the Economic Resilience and Recovery program, the GO Virginia State Board pivoted resources to focus on near term strategies to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic and this project is a perfect example of an innovative regional solution. This collaborative project leverages unique assets in Northern Virginia and we look forward to seeing the results of this pilot and its potential to inform reopening strategies," said Sara Dunnigan, deputy director, GO Virginia and Economic Development at DHCD. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a business and technology center. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest business district, the FCEDA maintains business investment offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv. Follow the FCEDA on Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn , Twitter and YouTube . The Prince William County Department of Economic Development’s mission is “to improve the County’s economic base by encouraging new businesses to locate in Prince William County, retain existing businesses and encourage existing businesses to expand.” The Department works hard to create a pro-business, globally-competitive environment that generates new, high-quality, and sustainable job opportunities for our citizens and engages in a broad portfolio of services, partnerships, and strategic alliances to benefit the business community and stimulate the economy. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development are members of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance . Other members of NOVA EDA are the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas and City of Manassas Park. Contact Details ALAN FOGG +1 571-213-5065 afogg@fceda.org Company Website https://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org

October 27, 2020 11:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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FABER DISTILLING ESTABLISHES FOUNDATION SUPPORTING VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES

The Faber Foundation

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania-based Faber Distilling Co . (Faber) shifted production of its high-quality vodkas, gin, and rum to the manufacture of hand sanitizer ( Faber Hand Sanitizer .) While many distillers have made similar adjustments, Faber scaled the production of its hand sanitizer to supply consumers as well as medical professionals and first responders when supplies were scarce. Continuing with its mission to put sanitizer and other personal protection equipment (PPE) into the hands of those who need it most, the company is announcing the launch of The Faber Foundation – a charitable organization. The mission of the Faber Foundation is to help combat the spread of COVID-19 by equipping those who need hand sanitizer and other PPE with these critical supplies – quickly and efficiently. “When the pandemic escalated in the United States, our founders rose to the challenge and converted a distillery into a hand sanitizer production facility. By producing millions of bottles and distributing nationwide, Faber Sanitizer helped fill the void during the sanitizer shortage of 2020. Now, our founders are turning their efforts to help those communities that are still struggling to obtain PPE,” explained Faber’s Director of National Accounts, Brenden Pakebusch. “More than 1,000,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and other PPE worth more than $2,000,000 is already slated for donation, and with greater cooperation, even more is possible.” The beneficiaries of Faber Foundation’s generosity include organizations, large and small, which work directly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross. Organizations that need sanitizer and PPE are encouraged to contact the Faber Foundation here: https://www.thefaberfoundation.com/inquiries As COVID-19 continues to disrupt public health and the economy, those wishing to support this cause are encouraged to donate here: https://www.thefaberfoundation.com/donate . “When Faber began manufacturing sanitizer, we responded to the immediate needs of so many organizations and individuals to obtain product. Although supplies have become more plentiful, challenges still remain in getting sanitizer into the hands of health professionals, first responders, and other essential workers who need it most,” Pakebusch continued. “The Faber Foundation is proud to meet these needs and welcomes the support of others wishing to participate.” The Faber Foundation ensures that donations are immediately deployed, getting essential supplies out in real time, with the cost of transportation and shipping also contributed. The Foundation does not assess any management or administrative fees, allowing nearly 100% of these donations to benefit nonprofit organizations and essential workers. “These are difficult times and helping ease anxieties by removing the obstacles of obtaining sanitizer and PPE to combat the spread of COVID-19 is essential,” said Pakebusch. “If you want to support something that will truly save lives and help to turn the tide of the pandemic, then the Faber Foundation is an efficient and effective organization that is already making a difference.” The Faber Foundation’s existing supply and access to hand sanitizer can reassure nonprofit organizations, school leaders, healthcare workers, and others on the front lines, that the hand sanitizer follows FDA guidelines, and will be available when they need it. Product is shipped directly in a variety of pack sizes as well as by the pallet load. To learn more about the Faber Foundation’s Hand Sanitizer and support global health, please visit https://www.thefaberfoundation.com . ### To schedule an interview with Faber’s Brenden Pakebusch please contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website https://fabersanitizer.com/

October 22, 2020 03:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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WEED AND WHISKEY NEWS BEGINS SEARCH FOR SHOW HOST, LAUNCHES AUDITION CONTEST.

W And W Digital, LLC

Jerry Joyner , executive producer at W And W Digital, LLC, discussed the announcement during a live broadcast from Dallas, Texas, on Friday, October 16th, 4:20 pm 2020. Do you want to get paid to talk about weed and whiskey? Well this might just be your dream job. Weed And Whiskey News has opened on-line auditions to find their show host. Joyner explained, “Rather than go thru a traditional Hollywood casting, we are launching a star search contest to find a super unique host. Once the individual submits their application and post their submission video, we will see what the world thinks and allow them to vote for their top three favorites. Next, we will narrow down the picks to the top six contestants, followed by a vote by celebrity judges. The final decision will be announced on weedandwhiskeynews.com . We want this process to move quickly, so there will only be a few weeks before we announce our new host(s). The complete audition process and qualifications can be found at weedandwhiskeynews.com/pickme .” “Perhaps the news will be delivered by a duo. If the chemistry and comedy works, we could be looking at a father and son combo or as non-traditional as a non-binary and a sock puppet! Anything is fair game for the audition.” You can find out more and submit your audition at weedandwhiskeynews.com . “ Weed And Whiskey News ®” will cover topics including: medical benefits, growing, products, cannabis strains, whiskey recommendations, infusion innovations, marijuana stocks, alcohol trends, the latest legalization legislation, comedy, special guests, music, celebrity cameos and believe me, there will always be a “twist” in our reporting. The weekly broadcast is free and will sustain the content thru a non-traditional advertising or product placement model. “When the first TV shows came out, each show had a single sponsor and we plan to partner with brands in the alcohol space like Alcanna, Constellation Brands, Great Northern Distributors, Heineken Molson Coors Brewing and marijuana brands like. Apothecanna, Caviar Gold, Marley Natural and Willie’s Reserve. These brands are congruent with the lifestyle of our audience”, shared Joyner. ###END### Weed And Whiskey News is a short format, fact based news show that engages audiences with smart comedy. The show includes a digital “watch party” to draw viewers and a 4:20 “countdown clock” to deliver bite sized news covering cannabis and spirit education, developing brands and strains, the latest tech, medical advancements and legislation. Weed And Whiskey News delivers content via streaming on the Weed And Whiskey News website along with Roku, Twitch, Weed And Whiskey TV & YouTube. Weed And Whiskey TV is an On-Demand TV Network, featuring original, highly-entertaining cannabis and spirit friendly programming. The vast majority of their original programming is only four minutes and 20 seconds in length and can be viewed on virtually any mobile device. Weed and Whiskey TV also streams curated music concerts, feature films, shows, and holiday specials. Twist one up, pour a whiskey...sit back, relax, and enjoy Weed And Whiskey TV. It's TV with a Twist! W And W Digital, LLC is an entertainment and media holding concern headquartered in Dallas, Texas. W And W Digital owns and operates the streaming TV Network, Weed And Whiskey TV. In addition to licensed feature films and episodic series, W And W Digital created and produces the following episodic series. “DI High”, “Higher Than Space”, “History Written in Stoned”, “In Luck” (filmed at Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion that coincides with SXSW), “Paper Bartender”, “Trailer Talks”, “Tequila Shots” and the soon to stream weekly news show “W And W News”. For More Information on W And W Digital, LLC contact: Jerry Joyner Contact Details Jerry Joyner +1 469-372-0816 info@weedandwhiskeynews.com Company Website https://www.weedandwhiskeynews.com

October 21, 2020 06:45 AM Central Daylight Time

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Cyvatar Named Finalist in Computing Security Excellence Awards 2020

Cyvatar

Cyvatar today announced that it has been chosen as a finalist for the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Security Solution Award in Computing’s 2020 Security Excellence Awards . Computing celebrates the achievements of the IT industry's leading security companies, solutions, products, and personalities that keep every other part of the industry operating. Award categories include product-and project-related recognition, organizational achievements, and accolades for outstanding individual success. Computing selected Cyvatar for its cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) solution for SMEs , an all-in-one subscription-based offering that builds bespoke solutions for customers who are not large enough to invest in in-house security teams, do not have the runway to experiment with multiple security tools as they scale, or cannot compete against larger firms for the scarce number of skilled resources available. By pairing skilled security experts with market-leading technologies across the security spectrum and pricing based on consumption, Cyvatar can deliver guaranteed business outcomes and demystify the complexities inherent in cyber defense. “Every organization is different, but most vendors don’t treat them that way,” said Cyvatar Founder Corey White . “We work side by side with our customers--not across the table from them--to break down barriers that impede a strong protective posture and create a flexible, affordable environment that fosters positive security experiences. No other services provider matches the quality of our technology partners, the deep skills of our security experts, or the business outcomes we guarantee.” Cyvatar believes in the democratization of cybersecurity, ensuring that protection from breaches is accessible and affordable to SMEs--not just to enterprises with deep pockets and dedicated security teams. It also believes in teaching and training SMEs to get the most from every dollar they spend on cybersecurity without the shrouded black-box approach that requires vendor-specific support to operationalize. And Cyvatar lives its values. Its promise to SMEs states that it will never tell customers to buy unnecessary products or hire unneeded resources; will ensure customers make the best security investments for functionality and value; and will consistently deliver maintainable and sustainable business, compliance, and technology outcomes. What security challenges are you trying to solve? What barriers do you face? Visit https://start.cyvatar.ai/ to explore the ways Cyvatar can help. About Cyvatar Cyvatar.ai is a transformative cybersecurity company that operates at the intersection of our customers and technology to define what a cybersecurity solution should be: guaranteed business outcomes that are measurable. We break down barriers to create positive experiences for passionate companies globally. Cyvatar is headquartered in Irvine, California. Learn more at https://cyvatar.ai/ and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter . Contact Details KC Higgins +1 303-434-8163 kc@cyvatar.ai Company Website https://cyvatar.ai/

October 20, 2020 08:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence Announces Memorandum of Understanding with Parava Security Solutions LTD

Interoperability Clearinghouse

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Center of Excellence ( CMMC COE ), hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public-private partnership serving the public and private sectors for more than 15 years, is proud to announce a Memorandum of Understanding with Parava Security Solutions Ltd in the UK, and the establishment of the CMMC COE EU. This unique partnership will extend efforts to advance the goals and objectives for improving the cyber and supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD) global Defense Industrial Base (DIB) network of contractors, suppliers, and vendors. The executed MOU establishes a cooperative agreement between Parava Security Solutions Ltd. and CMMC COE to partner in the furthering of their respective and complementary missions and objectives regarding the adoption, use, and expansion of CMMC based cybersecurity practices for the DIB contractor community and the information and communications technology community creating a broader CMMC ecosystem to improve security and resilience. Specific actions will include: The co-development of CMMC advisory services, cyber training and education programs to accelerate CMMC certification, increase cyber adoption and improve cyber protection & resilience. Co-sponsor symposiums, training programs and podcasts leveraging their combined cyber and IT expertise. Host regular working groups, with other partners, to enable collaboration and communications. Source qualified CMMC/ cyber professionals to serve as cyber advocates. Establish an independent Industry Cyber Security Advisory Council with peer organizations to advise and educate leaders across government and industry on the continued evolution and effectiveness of CMMC. The CMMC-COE ( www.cmmc-coe.org ) and the CMMC COE EU ( https://cmmc-eu.com/ ) will focus on bringing together the many disparate cyber and national security communities of interest to reduce complexity, improve awareness, and accelerate industry effort to become more cyber resilient against the growing threats from nation states and criminal enterprises. The CMMC-COE partner network will share a wide range of capabilities from member organizations, including; cyber standards frameworks, education, solution architectures, cyber mentoring, workforce, and other elements needed to scale to the demands of the entire DIB market place in the US and abroad (approximately 400,000 contractors). The CMMC-COE is establishing both a Market Place and Knowledge Clearinghouse that includes resources supporting the overall effort, including white papers; tutorials; recorded webcasts; presentations; and more.. to help reduce the cost and burden on small/medium size contractors already struggling from the impact of COVID. “This is a momentous occasion for us” , said Mr. John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence , “Our European center will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD) beyond North America”. For more information on the CMMC COE, please visit Americas: http://cmmc-coe.org email info@CMMC-COE.org or call +1-703-863-3766 Europe: https://cmmc-eu.com/ email andy@cmmc-eu.com or call +44 (0) 7734 113952 For more information on Parava Security Solutions, Ltd., please visit https://www.parava.org/ About Us ---------- CMMC-COE.ORG is a unique non-profit public-private partnership, with a vision to accelerate Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMM) adoption, and reduce time & cost for security compliance for our partners by leveraging commercial best practices, CMMC standards, and innovative solutions for a measurable success. Our mission, focused on DOD mission objectives, cost containment and expeditious CMMC compliance, is to help the DIB improve cyber posture and resilience, and simplify its acquisition. The CMMC-COE is hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public/private partnership (P3) chartered in 2007 as an honest broker to reach outside the confines of the Federal IT advisories that lack dynamic reach into the Global IT Market, and dedicated to the adoption of commercial IT management standards of practice and innovations emanating from the Global IT market. Team IT-AAC has already demonstrated the value of its decade long investment, and provides a unique value to agencies seeking to achieve accelerate the transformation of legacy processes and systems. Our Just-in-Time SMEs apply an innovative suite of Technology Business Management and Agile Acquisition Processes needed to assure the business value of commercial IT. The Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH), is the managing partner that make up the 24 NGO/SDO organizations that make up the IT-AAC. ICH provides the contract vehicles, clearances, and critical resources proven to guide sustainable, measurable and repeatable processes needed to drive better investment decisions as the speed of mission need, while aligning existing processes, methods and workforce with IT reform mandates contained in Clinger Cohen Act, FITARA, IT MGT Act, EO13838. Parava is a cyber security advisory firm, with experience in providing strategic, tactical, and operational cyber security, risk oversight, and assurance services to Government agencies and private companies in Europe. For more information on Parava Security Solutions, Ltd., please visit https://www.parava.org/ For more information on the CMMC COE EU, please visit https://cmmc-eu.com/ Contact Details Bob Dix +1 703-975-6633 bob.dix@it-aac.org Company Website https://cmmc-coe.org

October 19, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Weed And Whiskey News launched by W And W Digital, LLC

W And W Digital, LLC

W And W Digital, LLC is an entertainment and media holding concern headquartered in Dallas, Texas. W And W Digital owns and operates the streaming TV Network, Weed And Whiskey TV. Jerry Joyner, executive producer at W And W Digital, LLC, discussed the announcement at 4:20pm CST on Tuesday, September 30, 2020. Joyner shared the intent of the newly launched news program. Weed And Whiskey News will cover topics including: medical benefits, cannabis strains, alcohol trends, infusion innovations, legalization, film, music and celebrity cameos in our reporting. "We call it “News with a Twist”. Surely, you get it?”, exclaimed Joyner. The news show provides a unique format as well. The show will stream each Friday at 4:20pm CST and each segment will run 4 minutes and 20 seconds. The broadcast can be seen thru Roku, Twitch, Weed And Whiskey TV, YouTube and on WeedAndWhiskeyNews.com. After ingesting four minutes and twenty seconds of twisted content, the show will go on with a special musical guest performance followed by an episode from one of the W And W Digital original series such as “Higher Than Space” or “History Written In Stoned” that currently streams on Weed And Whiskey TV. In addition to licensed feature films and episodic series, W And W Digital created and produces the following episodic series. “DI High”, “Higher Than Space”, “History Written in Stoned”, “In Luck” (filmed at Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion that coincides with SXSW), “Paper Bartender”, “Trailer Talks” and “Tequila Shots”. ###END### Weed And Whiskey News is a short format, fact based news show that engages audiences with smart comedy. The show includes a digital “watch party” to draw viewers and a 4:20 “countdown clock” to deliver bite sized news covering cannabis and spirit education, developing brands and strains, the latest tech, medical advancements and legislation. W And W News delivers content via streaming on the W And W News website along with Roku, Twitch, Weed And Whiskey TV & YouTube. Weed And Whiskey TV is an On-Demand TV Network, featuring original, highly-entertaining cannabis and spirit friendly programming. The vast majority of their original programming is only four minutes and 20 seconds in length and can be viewed on virtually any mobile device. Weed and Whiskey TV also streams curated music concerts, feature films, shows, and holiday specials. Twist one up, pour a whiskey...sit back, relax, and enjoy Weed And Whiskey TV. It's TV with a Twist! W And W Digital, LLC is an entertainment and media holding concern headquartered in Dallas, Texas. W And W Digital owns and operates the streaming TV Network, Weed And Whiskey TV. In addition to licensed feature films and episodic series, W And W Digital created and produces the following episodic series. “DI High”, “Higher Than Space”, “History Written in Stoned”, “In Luck” (filmed at Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion that coincides with SXSW), “Paper Bartender”, “Trailer Talks”, “Tequila Shots” and the soon to stream weekly news show “W And W News”. Contact Details Jerry Joyner +1 469-372-0816 info@weedandwhiskeynews.com Company Website https://www.weedandwhiskeynews.com

October 15, 2020 07:00 PM Central Daylight Time

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Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Center of Excellence (COE)

Interoperability Clearinghouse

The Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public/private partnership serving the public sector, announced the establishment of a new Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMMC) Center of Excellence (COE) intended to advance the goals and objectives for improving the cyber and supply chain security and resilience of the Department of Defense (DoD) global Defense Industrial Base (DIB) network of contractors, suppliers, and vendors. The CMMC-COE will focus on bringing together the many disparate cyber and national security communities of interest under one roof to reduce complexity, improve awareness, and accelerate industry effort to become more cyber resilient against the growing threats from nation states and criminal enterprises. The CMMC-COE partner network will be sharing a wide range of capabilities from member organizations, including; cyber standards frameworks, education, solution architectures, cyber mentoring, workforce, and other elements needed to scale to the demands of the entire DIB market place in the US and abroad (400,000 contractors). The CMMC-COE establishes both a Market Place and Knowledge Clearinghouse that will include resources that support the overall effort, including white papers; tutorials; recorded webcasts; presentations; and more that will help reduce the cost and burden on small/medium size contractors already struggling from the impact of COVID. For more information on the CMMC COE, please visit http://cmmc.coe.org email info@CMMC-COE.org or call 703-863-3766 About Us ---------- IT-Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC) a public/private partnership (P3) was chartered in 2007 as an honest broker to reach outside the confines of the Federal IT advisories that lack dynamic reach into the Global IT Market, and dedicated to the adoption of commercial IT management standards of practice and innovations emanating from the Global IT market. Team IT-AAC has already demonstrated the value of its decade long investment, and provides a unique value to agencies seeking to achieve accelerate the transformation of legacy processes and systems. Our Just-in-Time SMEs apply an innovative suite of Technology Business Management and Agile Acquisition Processes needed to assure the business value of commercial IT. The Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH), is the managing partner that make up the 24 NGO/SDO organizations that make up the IT-AAC. ICH provides the contract vehicles, clearances, and critical resources proven to guide sustainable, measurable and repeatable processes needed to drive better investment decisions as the speed of mission need, while aligning existing processes, methods and workforce with IT reform mandates contained in Clinger Cohen Act, FITARA, IT MGT Act, EO13838. Contact Details Bob Dix +1 703-975-6633 bob.dix@it-aac.org Company Website https://cmmc-coe.org

October 12, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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

Stockwood Strategy

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

October 06, 2020 04:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Construction industry rallies in rebuilding Britain, finds Skrap survey

Stockwood Strategy

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

October 06, 2020 03:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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