Jon Isaacson joins Caleidoscope Communications

first_imgJon Isaacson joined Caleidoscope Communications as the company Controller. Isaacson was previously employed locally by RingMaster Software and lived and worked in Oregon where he was the Controller for the Mandala Agency for ten years. Jon graduated from the University of Connecticut, lives in South Burlington, and serves as a soccer referee for northern Vermont youth leagueslast_img

Vermont Small Business Development Center names Linda Rossi State Star

first_imgVermont Small Business Development Center names Linda Rossi State StarVtSBDC State Director, Lenae Quillen-Blume, announced that Linda Rossi has been selected as the 2008 State Star of Vermont Small Business Development Center.Linda Rossi, is the Assistant State Director for VtSBDC and responsible for state-wide marketing and public relations as well as strategic projects.”I am pleased to make this announcement and to recognize Linda for extraordinary contributions throughout Vermont”. Linda was chosen for her passion for the organization, her professional presence, and her unsurpassed respect and support for all of her VtSBDC associates. She has a strong commitment to VtSBDC and its strategic plan, execution and as well as branding of the organization as we move into the future. “It is an honor to accept this award, and to have the opportunity and pleasure to interact and support today’s business owners, tomorrow’s leaders, while collaborating with other champions of economic development.”Linda will be recognized for this honor at the national ASBDC conference in Chicago, IL in September. America’s Small Business Development Center Network is a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. It is the Small Business Administration’s largest partnership program, providing management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their own businesses. With about 1,000 centers across the nation, the SBDC network assists approximately 725,000 small businesses every year in face-to-face counseling and training, in addition to assisting hundreds of thousands more small businesses through fax-on-demand and e-mail.last_img read more

Eagle Creek Pack-It System: Don’t Leave Home Without It

first_imgThe idea of adding more to my usually already overstuffed luggage while packing was so counter intuitive I found myself questioning my “open-minded” trait that has always served me well in the past.For my last few trips I finally caved, as it were, to trying the Eagle Creek Pack-It system. A series of little baggies (they call them Cubes and such) to pack your clothes, accessories and whatever else you find yourself taking along. While packing I continued to baulk as I put my t-shirts in one Cube, socks and underwear in another. Pants, sweatshirts, gloves, everything had a place. There are even “Folders” for dress shirts and pants (of which I rarely, but on occasion need to pack) to keep them from getting wrinkled up and ready to wear upon arrival.Then it clicked. While compressing one of the cubes to get it zipped up it dawned on me how, despite the extra fabric the cube introduces to the packing, it keeps my clothes compressed and out of the way for more items to be packed.Aside from the compression the cubes bring to the packing process, I’ve always appreciated having my bag organized. Even when backpacking I like to use stuff sacks to keep smaller items like socks, gloves, extra long johns and the such from exploding out of my pack and onto the wet and/or dirty ground as I rummage to find something. The same applies to my suitcase now. And, if for some reason immigration and customs decides to pull me aside for a full bag inspection, I won’t suddenly have unmentionables scattered across the inspection table and falling onto the floor as I have seen some other poor souls suffer.This sense of organization has been adopted by the many kinds of gear I find my self lugging across the globe for various projects like GoPro and other photography accessories, climbing gear, water sports gear and more. It looks like I’ve retained staying “open-minded” after all.My only gripe would be for Eagle Creek to provide more color options to distinguish one bag of gear from another. Some of the cubes have little mesh windows and that’s a good start, but not always the most effective. I’m currently working on a good labeling system without using a sharpie on the bag and having to cross it out each time I use that bag/cube/etc for something else. Got any ideas?last_img read more

Venezuela: Parliamentary Elections Move Forward Despite International Pressure

first_imgBy Diálogo November 05, 2020 The Nicolás Maduro regime insists on holding parliamentary elections on December 6, despite pressure from the international community to postpone them, in addition to persistent uncertainty about the logistic viability of conducting the voting.According to the former Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, Milos Alcalay, Maduro’s purpose is “to destroy the legitimate National Assembly [AN]” and remove Juan Guaidó from the presidency of that institution.Guaidó maintains his position not to participate in the parliamentary elections, which he describes as fraudulent due to the illegitimate appointment of National Electoral Council (CNE, in Spanish) officials — something that fell under the AN — and the unconstitutional 66 percent increase in parliamentary seats, among other electoral irregularities. “To participate in an electoral fraud is to legitimize the dictatorship. For a free and democratic process to exist, it requires […] conditions that are not in place today in Venezuela,” Guaidó told the nongovernmental organization Transparencia Venezuela.Sanctions and negotiationsOn September 4, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned officials of the Maduro regime for undermining the democratic order in Venezuela and interfering in the electoral process in an attempt to prevent free and fair parliamentary elections from taking place in December.“An unfair and unfree parliamentary election will only deepen Venezuela’s crisis. All those who seek to deprive Venezuelans of a democratic future should consider themselves on notice — the U.S. will stand firm against authoritarianism,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter.The sanctioned individuals include Reinaldo Enrique Muñoz Pedroza, the country’s attorney general; as well as Indira Maira Alfonzo Izaguirre and José Luis Gutiérrez Parra, both CNE officials.Subsequently, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned five political leaders on September 20 for taking part in a scheme to rig the December parliamentary elections by “placing control of Venezuela’s opposition parties in the hands of politicians affiliated with Nicolás Maduro’s regime, undermining any credible opposition challenge to that regime,” the institution said in a statement.For its part, the European Union (EU) sent a diplomatic mission to Caracas in late September in an attempt to postpone the elections. However, it did not achieve its goal.The Maduro regime’s decision “only serves to worsen the political situation in Venezuela,” Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said before the European Parliament.“The EU cannot even consider sending an election observer mission,” he said.For Roberto Abdul, a representative of the civil organization Súmate, which monitors Venezuelan elections, the risks of conducting an electoral campaign and voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic are enormous. In addition, due to the quarantine, the electoral schedule was delayed.One of the most sensitive issues relates to voting machines. After a fire in the CNE warehouses in March, at least two-thirds of the machines were rendered unusable. The regime announced that the import of 15,000 machines, with an unknown voting system, is underway.“There is no certainty at all. The [CNE] officials themselves have shown concerns about the process going forward,” Abdul said.last_img read more

Mosquito-borne Chikungunya Virus Infects 3 Long Islanders

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Officials are sounding the alarm about the growing national threat of another mosquito-borne tropical virus known as Chikungunya, which recently infected three Long Islanders, who contracted it while traveling abroad.News of the local residents’ infections came last week shortly after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of Chikungunya to be contracted within the continental United States, in Florida. That came seven months after the virus was first confirmed in the Western Hemisphere. Before that, Chikungunya had been found only in Africa, Asia, Europe, India and the Middle East.“Chikungunya has now officially reached Long Island, and the feds must act before this debilitating virus spreads further and takes hold in New York,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), calling on the CDC to issue a health alert and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to declare a public emergency. DHS referred a call to the CDC, which issued a statement last week saying it is working on a health alert.An average of 28 cases Chikungunya had been reported annually in the nation from 2006 to ’13, mostly from travelers returning from Asia. But, as of July 22, nearly 500 cases were reported in the US and its territories—including 30 cases in New York State.Chikungunya—pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya —means “that which bends up” in Makonde, a language spoken in the African nation of Tanzania, where it was discovered in 1955. The rarely fatal virus causes symptoms such as severe fevers, arthritic-like joint paint, muscle pain, headaches, joint swelling and rashes.The symptoms are similar to dengue fever, another mosquito-borne disease that was confirmed to have arrived in New York State last fall that officials have been warning about. It does not spread from person to person, but is carried by the Asian Tiger mosquito—the same breed that carries dengue fever.Researchers are hunting for a Chikungunya treatment. Recovery lasts about a week, but long-term joint pain occurs in some patients. Infected patients are recommended to wear bug spray in order to keep mosquitoes from biting them and passing it to others.Schumer said a CDC alert would prepare doctors and nurses on how to diagnose the virus. A DHS would allow federal agencies to take actions such as increase inspections at ports and other efforts similar to those used as the swine flu outbreak, he said.“Chikungunya has been on the U.S. public health radar for some time,” said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases. “We are working with international public health partners and with state health departments to alert health care providers and the public about this disease, equip state health laboratories to test for it and to detect cases to help prevent further spread.”CDC officials believe Chikungunya will behave like dengue fever, which has seen sporadic cases but not widespread outbreaks. But, the spike in Chikungunya-infected travelers entering the nation increases the chances of local transmission.The three LI patients were taken to North Shore University Hospital, where they were treated by Dr. David Hirschwerk, associate chair of infectious disease.last_img read more

Edinburgh office market

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Guide for SMEs: how to start selling on Amazon

first_imgBoth Basic and Professional plans are subject to additional costs such as referral fees – a percentage of the total sale price based on category. For example, the referral fee for beer, wine & spirits is 10%. However, these fees have been temporarily reduced on essential supplies during the pandemic.FulfilmentBusinesses can choose to send out orders themselves. Like Megan Jones, founder of energy drink brand Xite, some sellers may plump for the Merchant Fulfilled option if they want “more control over quality and delivery”.  The next step up is the Professional Plan, which has a subscription fee of £25 a month. This plan is more suited to growing businesses as there is no limit on the number of products you can sell. The Professional account also gives sellers access to a larger number of categories. There are upwards of 20 categories that don’t require approval from Amazon, and certain categories that require approval for both Basic and Professional sellers: these include beer, wine & spirits and beauty. But there are also certain categories that are only available to Professional account holders, including grocery.  Source: Lavolio/Geoff PughLavinia Davolio, founder, LavolioSelling plan: ProfessionalFulfilment: Fulfilment by Amazon with a Prime optionWhy did you decide to start selling on Amazon? My business is now officially selling only on Amazon – all of our other channels has been affected by Covid-19. We used to have our physical shop, supply wholesale, weddings, and fulfil our own website.“Once the lockdown started, and we had to close our physical store, also our wholesale customers had to close (no more orders), and I felt that it was not safe to have my team come into work, having to use public transport and having to go to the post office. Therefore I took the decision to allow customers to buy Lavolio only on Amazon marketplace, using FBA.How did you find the process of setting up on Amazon? It does take time, and I have personally invested much time in perfecting my listings, but also in getting to know the system and making sure that my brand is protected. Lavolio has a brand page with our story and a video explaining the product, and my products have hundreds of positive reviews. These have been incredibly useful to entice a new client to try something like my confectionery without having tasted it before.How do your sales compare to your usual online sales?  I believe the pandemic is having two effects on our sales – one is that we are feeling the rally of people around small businesses, they want to help us, and we have been inundated with messages of support from our customers. Two is the fact that people during a lockdown are looking for affordable treats that feel really luxurious and my chocolate and confectionery really fit the bill.My bestselling line is a tin of nutty and chocolatey confectionery called Nutty Forest which retails at £12.50. This year we sold three times what we have sold last year in the same period for Easter. Overall, on Amazon, we are more than doubling our revenues of last year.Is this something you would continue with after the pandemic? Lavolio will hopefully be able to reopen our physical store in London once the lockdown is lifted, and reopen our own website. At the same time, we will be definitely continuing to use the Amazon marketplace as a platform to reach more customers and to sell internationally. The pandemic is likely to change customer behaviour in the longer term, and more people will continue to use the online channels that they are now using out of necessity. We see our future as a strong D2C brand selling mainly online. Guide for SMEs: how to access government support during the coronavirus crisis Another option is Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). This allows businesses to take advantage of Amazon’s fulfilment network across the UK and internationally. It also offers a range of benefits such as wider customer reach and Prime delivery. Products will also earn the advantage of an FBA badge, which Amazon says is favoured by customers “due to the promise of superior delivery, customer service and returns”. Businesses using FBA simply send their stock to Amazon, who will then deal with storage, delivery, customer service and returns. There is no charge to start using FBA, but picking, packaging and storage fees are charged per unit based on size and weight. Q&A: what the sellers sayTwo small business owners talk us through their experience setting up and selling on Amazon during the pandemic. This is the third instalment of our free Guide for SMEs series, which aims to provide practical, actionable information for small food and drink brands. Find out how small businesses can raise funding during the coronavirus crisis here.,From pubs, restaurants and bars to gyms and cafés, many routes to market were cut off overnight when the UK lockdown was announced in March. Britain’s small businesses were hit hard by this loss, especially those that don’t yet have a presence in major grocers. To counter this, SMEs have been ramping up online delivery, with some setting up web shops for the very first time. But another option for those wanting to expand their online reach is to become an Amazon marketplace seller. It’s clearly a popular move – the online giant says it has welcomed more than 7,000 new sellers in the UK since the start of the year. But is it worthwhile? And how does it work? Here we break down the process from setup to fulfilment, and hear from some business owners who’ve done it themselves.Choosing an accountPotential marketplace sellers begin by choosing which type of account suits their needs. They can choose a Basic Selling Plan, which has no setup fee but gives Amazon a 75p per-item fee on each unit sold. The Basic account is aimed at those who plan to sell fewer than 35 items per month, so would suit small businesses testing the water on the site. Al Shariat, director, Coconut MerchantSelling plan: ProfessionalFulfilment: Fulfilment by AmazonWhen did you start selling via Amazon and why? When we started, back in late 2014, we wanted to find a way of getting to customers. The traditional route for F&B startups is to hit retailer buyers and also hit the streets. However we faced two initial challenges faced by other brands: limited resources, and that we needed to prove to buyers we had a brand following.Amazon became an avenue to achieve this. We were able to get to customers, prove our following and our position against competitors. Within months we went from zero sales to number one in our category. This is something unique as there are no gatekeepers. It’s an objectively clear platform and despite the size and budgets of our competition, we were outselling everyone and we could prove it. Online, we could be as large or bigger than F&B giants.Why did you choose your selling plan and fulfilment method? We are on the Professional plan because it gives us access to the full suite of Amazon resources. We also use FBA as our main fulfilment method. This allows us to sell across all the European marketplaces using one inventory pool, have fast delivery which is a standard in the industry, and get more sales – our sales increased by 25% when we first switched, however this now creates a 400% uplift.Let’s remember, Amazon is also one of the world’s best logistics companies – it’s always good to make the most of this to leverage towards our own sales.How did you find the process of setting up on Amazon? There is a stringent KYC process, which is understandable. We then mapped things out slowly as at the time there wasn’t as much support. I have seen recently though that Amazon have a lot of account managers for brands that are new to the platform, to help them understand the selling process. This is very good as it would potentially save people months of slow slog figuring out the ropes.How have your sales on Amazon been affected by the pandemic? Being in the Core Grocery category, our sales have picked up considerably as we are trading at four times our usual trading volumes. Having had the brand history on the platform and experience, we have been able to provide customers with a clean, consistent experience and have been working hard to maintain stock levels within the Amazon FCs. This has enabled us to provide strong support to our bricks & mortar and independent retail partners.Would you recommend selling on Amazon to SMEs struggling during coronavirus? Yes – the future of retail is omnichannel, both distribution channels need to work hand in hand. The pandemic provides an opportunity to pivot, learn and grow. Due to general restrictions, customers are looking online and so brands should look to spaces like Amazon as a method of assisting their customers. We are much larger now, but if your resources are limited, you can leverage Amazon’s logistical expertise, and the millions of users browsing their site each day to open up a new distribution channel.last_img read more

Nigeria Starts Construction of Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos

first_imgNigeria’s government has launched the construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos, pledging to provide the needed support for the project.Located at the center of the Lagos Free Trade Zone, the deep sea port will feature three container berths, one dry bulk berth and three liquid berths. It would be capable of handling up to 2.7 million TEUs on an annual basis.Port developers are also expected to undertake dredging of the port channel to a depth of about 16 meters in an effort to accommodate larger ships.The USD 1.5 billion project, which is expected to be finalized in 2020, would deliver one of the largest sea ports in the region, Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, was cited as saying during the inauguration ceremony, held on March 29.The port would enable Nigeria to maintain its position as a leading maritime hub in the West Africa and Gulf of Guinea Maritime Domain.The development of Lekki Deep Sea Port has been conceptualized on the basis of a significant gap in projected demand and capacity. Market studies indicate that the demand for containers is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.9% up to 2025. The capacity shortfall for container terminal facilities in Lagos was projected to reach up to 5.5 million TEUs in 2025.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Mixed views on proposed lifejacket law 6 September 2013Plans to make lifejackets compulsory for kids could one day apply to everyone.Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga has introduced a member’s bill to Parliament that would make wearing a lifejacket compulsory for children up to 15 on boats 6 metres in length and under.The proposal only relates to youngsters up to 15 but Mr Lotu-Iiga say he expects a select committee to examine whether it should be extended to all ages.There are on average 17 recreational boating deaths a year.“Even though lifejacket wearing rates have increased markedly in recent years, many boat users still do not wear lifejackets regularly,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.“As a consequence fatalities that could have been avoided on our waters continue to occur. Analysis of boating accidents shows that capsizes and other events are often unexpected and boat users have little or no opportunity to put on their lifejackets.“I have seen this first-hand in my own electorate of Maungakiekie where a father and his 7-year-old son tragically drowned in the Manukau Harbour in May of last year.“Their dinghy capsized and sadly they were not wearing lifejackets.” read more

Potters ruin Sherwood’s Villa debut

first_img The winger was brought down by Ron Vlaar – who was sent off – to win it for the Potters at the death. Scott Sinclair had headed Villa in front only for Mame Biram Diouf to level just before the break. Defeat kept the hosts in the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League and underlined the job Sherwood has to keep them up. He made his mark on the team by dropping Ashley Westwood and Tom Cleverley as Carlos Sanchez, Carles Gil, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Kieran Richardson, Sinclair and Brad Guzan returned. Jonathan Walters was back for Stoke after a knee problem with Asmir Begovic recalled after being rested in the FA Cup against Blackburn with Marc Wilson, Erik Pieters and Stephen Ireland available after injury. Sherwood had promised endeavour and goals in his pre-match programme notes but it was a quiet start from both sides. Neither took control of the game but Villa got the early goal Sherwood craved when Sinclair, who scored his first goal since 2012 last week, opened the scoring. Stoke wanted a foul after Sinclair and Phil Bardsley tangled from a corner but the ball fell to Fabian Delph who whipped a delightful cross in from the left for Sinclair to glance past Begovic from 12-yards. Ciaran Clark’s fine tackle denied Walters and Diouf fired straight at Guzan as Stoke responded but the teams cancelled each other out. Villa negotiated any problems without causing Stoke any of their own with Christian Benteke well marshalled by the visiting defence. If some Villa fans expected the floodgates to open after Sinclair’s fine header they were left disappointed with the spark leaving the the hosts. And the game was ambling towards half-time only for Stoke to level out of the blue seconds before the break. Walters teed up former Villa misfit Ireland and his cross was powered in by Diouf from seven yards. It was a shock to the hosts’ system and Ireland drilled over after the re-start with Villa still recovering from the late first-half blow. The disappointing Benteke remained isolated and unable to make a decisive impact while Sherwood replaced the ineffective Gil with Andreas Weimann. Combative and unflustered Stoke started to scrap Villa out of the game and, while there was little quality from either side, the visitors had the impetus. Guzan punched away Walters’ angled volley yet there was nothing to suggest either side would grab a winner. Villa lacked the skill or know-how to unlock Stoke again although Begovic tipped over Agbonlahor’s header with two minutes left. But Villa imploded in injury-time when Vlaar’s poor touch allowed Moses to steal the ball and burst into the area. Vlaar scythed the forward down, was sent off, and Moses then beat Guzan to snatch the win. Stoke dramatically spoiled Tim Sherwood’s debut as Aston Villa boss after Victor Moses’ injury-time penalty gave them a 2-1 win at Villa Park. Press Associationlast_img read more