Tag: Covid

Covid Crimestoppers hotline launches to catch business loan fraudsters

The UK government has launched a Covid fraud hotline, after being criticised for failing to act on warnings about fraud risks linked to emergency business loans.



a hand holding a cell phone: Photograph: Yui Mok/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

The hotline, run by Crimestoppers, allows the public to leave anonymous tips about suspected fraud linked to the government’s emergency Covid loan and grant schemes for UK businesses. That could include identity theft to obtain loans, false grant claims and the use of so-called mule bank accounts to cover the tracks of money launderers.



a hand holding a cell phone: The public is being asked to report suspicions, such as of identity theft to obtain government loans.


© Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
The public is being asked to report suspicions, such as of identity theft to obtain government loans.

The government has been criticised for failing to act on warnings about potential fraud linked to the bounce-back loans scheme (BBLS), which was designed to distribute cheap loans quickly of up to £50,000 to small businesses.

Related: Organised crime in UK

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Here’s How One Retail Business Pivoted During Covid

In response to COVID stay-at-home restrictions, consumers are increasingly turning to the internet to purchase household furniture and decor items. While this trend is bad news for the growing list of retailers closing doors such as Pier 1 and Sur La Table, it presents a tremendous opportunity for ecommerce retailers–especially those that help consumers filter through millions of options and then deliver the products through a direct-to-consumer model that keeps costs down.

Alfred Chehebar, founder of Genius Pack and CEO of Genius Brands LLC, a portfolio of digitally native ecommerce brands, is breaking into the online furniture market by launching ObjectsHQ, a direct-to-consumer furniture company promising “a new kind of ecommerce experience for modern furniture.”

The Market for Online Furniture Sales

The U.S. market for online household furniture is booming with annual revenues of $45.7 billion and annualized growth of 15.9% between 2015 and 2020, according to IBISWorld. But the

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McConnell slates October revote on GOP COVID relief plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he’s scheduling a procedural vote on a GOP COVID-19 relief bill for next week

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he’s scheduling a procedural vote on a GOP COVID-19 relief bill next week, saying aid to hard-hit businesses shouldn’t be held up by gridlock involving other aid proposals.

The Kentucky Republican says the first item of Senate business when the chamber returns next Monday will be a procedural vote on a scaled-back aid bill. Democrats filibustered a GOP-drafted aid bill last month and recent talks on a larger deal between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., fell apart this past weekend, probably for good.

“Democrats have spent months blocking policies they do

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Senate to Vote on ‘Targeted’ COVID Relief Bill as ‘First Order of Business’ after Recess

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) announced on Tuesday that the Senate will debate a “targeted” economic relief legislation once lawmakers return from recess on October 19.



Mitch McConnell wearing a suit and tie: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 30, 2020.


© Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 30, 2020.

Congress has approved over $4 trillion in economic aid to businesses and individuals since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Attempts to pass another round of aid have stalled, however, with the Democrat-led House and Republican-led Senate unable to agree on a price tag for new legislation. The House passed a $2.2 trillion relief bill earlier this month, but Senate Republicans have attempted to keep the number under $1 trillion.

Senator McConnell indicated that certain relief programs could be supported by Republicans without passing comprehensive legislation.

“There is no excuse for Democrats to keep blocking job-saving funding for the Paycheck

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Sonoma County to bolster COVID strategies; looks to successes of other Bay Area counties

Concerned about the lack of progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Sonoma County, local officials are considering a multi-pronged strategy to slow transmission rates, including trying to replicate some of the successes of other Bay Area counties.

The initiative surfaced Monday as Sonoma County leaders braced for the release of another disappointing set of statistics Tuesday expected to show the county has again fallen short of state metrics to further ease restrictions on local business activity.

The county is expected to remain in the purple zone, the most restrictive of the state’s four-tier reopening process. Saddled by a growing number of new coronavirus cases, the county continues to be the only county in the Bay Area that has not advanced to a less restrictive stage.

Details of the county’s new plan are still taking shape. Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer, said the new strategies range from

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COVID second wave fears spur grocery stockpiling

By Aimee Picchi, Special to USA TODAY
Published 10:15 a.m. ET Oct. 12, 2020 | Updated 11:10 a.m. ET Oct. 12, 2020

CLOSE

The coronavirus pandemic has caused toilet paper shortages and long lines, but panic buying is not a new phenomenon and it certainly isn’t helping.

USA TODAY

Leslyn Hall says she and her husband plan to stock up on groceries later this month. At the back of her mind are concerns about disruptions in supplies if there’s another COVID-19 surge, as well as potential unrest surrounding the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“We talked about doing a big shop like we’re going into quarantine,” says Hall, 53, of Burlington, Vermont. On the list: enough basics such as milk, beans and rice to last for two to three weeks.

Hall, a consultant, points out that her local grocery stores struggle to keep their shelves fully stocked and have shortages of 

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Business Development in the Time of COVID

Overview

Time: (30 minute session)

Cost: Complimentary

Sponsored by:

ON DEMAND

This event is available for on-demand viewing. If you have previously registered click here to login using the email you registered with. 

When lawyers can’t meet with clients face to face, how are they still developing business? During times of uncertainty, the key to successfully adapting business development is to lean into opportunities, be flexible, and communicate quickly and often.

Learn what strategies lawyers have undertaken, ranging from the well-known increased use of video chats to more advanced methods like increased use of data analysis. Legal experts will prognosticate which of these methods will stick post-pandemic.

Interested in the entire series? Check out other sessions!

Join this webcast to learn how to empower your legal team to seamlessly collect data from communication platforms. Key takeaways include:

Join this webcast to gain a deeper understanding of:

  • Strategies for developing business
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Trump administration’s latest Covid relief proposal to Dems gets closer, but hurdles remain

WASHINGTON — Details of the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion offer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Covid-19 relief legislation obtained by NBC News reveal that they have moved closer to the Democrats’ position — but major hurdles still remain.

The new offer increases the topline number, adds money for food, mortgage, and rental assistance, increases the amount for federal response to the pandemic, unemployment insurance, and direct payments to Americans.

Pelosi, D-Calif., told her members in a letter Saturday morning that the proposal is “insufficient.”

And on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Republicans on Saturday expressed their deep displeasure with the administration’s price tag of nearly $2 trillion in a phone call with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to three sources familiar with the phone call.

Any deal would have to pass the Republican-led Senate and time is running out

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Trump Wants ‘More Money at His Discretion’ in Latest COVID Stimulus Proposal: Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested there are still several disagreements between House Democrats and the Trump administration on the latest coronavirus relief package, writing that Donald Trump “wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold” in a letter to Democratic colleagues Saturday regarding the president’s latest proposal.



a person wearing a suit and tie: Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, leaves after her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 8.


© Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, leaves after her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 8.

“When the President talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers,” Pelosi wrote. “At this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities, and Democrats are awaiting language from the Administration on several provisions

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For This Haunted House Business, Halloween During Covid Is Extra Scary

The zombies have been practicing at home. They stand before mirrors, screaming and grunting through their masks. “They want to make sure they are loud enough,” says Jennifer Condron. “That people can hear their snarls.”

Condron is the founder of New York City-based BulletProof Productions, whose centerpiece is Bane Haunted House, transplanted last year to Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood from New Jersey. Most Halloween attractions aren’t much creepier than Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Bane, rated by BuzzFeed as one of the nation’s scariest, is more like the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. The gore is cinematic, the spaces tight and disorienting. Visitors are separated from their parties and forced to undergo the terror–which includes crawling, sliding, and spinning in the dark–alone.

In this uncertain season, Halloween business owners like Condron are enduring their own kind of terror. Just 25 percent of small-size haunts are opening this year, according to the

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