Starbucks, home of the $4 latte, is moving into poor areas

In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, photo, Belith Ariza, a barista trainer at Starbucks, opens the doors to the community meeting space at a local Starbucks Community Store, in Phoenix. The effort will bring to 100 the number of “community stores” Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015. The coffee shops are profitable, he said, and have the same menu as regular Starbucks stores. Brett Theodos, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who studies economic development, said he has


In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, photo, Belith Ariza, a barista trainer at Starbucks, opens the doors to the community meeting space at a local Starbucks Community Store, in Phoenix.
The effort will bring to 100 the number of “community stores” Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015.
The coffee shops are profitable, he said, and have the same menu as regular Starbucks stores.
Brett Theodos, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who studies economic development, said he has
Starbucks, home of the $4 latte, is moving into poor areas Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, shops, opened, areas, moving, store, open, latte, poor, stores, community, local, coffee, company, starbucks


Starbucks, home of the $4 latte, is moving into poor areas

In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, photo, Belith Ariza, a barista trainer at Starbucks, opens the doors to the community meeting space at a local Starbucks Community Store, in Phoenix.

Starbucks has a point to prove: There’s more to the company than selling $4 lattes to rich people.

The Seattle-based coffee giant that has cultivated a reputation for being socially responsible said Thursday it is expanding its effort to put more coffee shops — and create more jobs — in poor neighborhoods.

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. Each store will hire local staff, including construction crews and artists, and have community event spaces. The company will also work with local United Way chapters to develop programs at each shop, such as youth job training classes and mentoring.

The effort will bring to 100 the number of “community stores” Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015.

“All of these programs are with the intent of being purposeful and profitable,” said John Kelly, Starbucks executive vice president of public affairs and social impact.

Starbucks opened its first community store in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2016, two years after the riots that broke out over the shooting of an unarmed black man by police. It has opened 13 other locations since then, including stores in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans and Jonesboro, Georgia. Another one will open this spring in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Starbucks estimates the shops have created more than 300 jobs.

The project could help the company overcome lingering mistrust in some communities after the furor that erupted in 2018 when two black men waiting to meet someone in a Philadelphia Starbucks were arrested for not ordering anything. Starbucks mandated racial bias training at its 8,000 company-owned stores in response to that incident.

Kelly said the stores reflect Starbucks’ core belief in responsible capitalism. The coffee shops are profitable, he said, and have the same menu as regular Starbucks stores.

Prices vary, but not by much. A grande coconut milk latte in Ferguson costs $4.95, according to Starbucks’ app. Six miles away, a Starbucks in University City charges $5.25 for the same drink. In Jonesboro, a grande coffee is $2.25. It’s $2.45 at a Starbucks in downtown Atlanta.

“This is not charity. These are successful stores,” Kelly said, acknowledging neighbors’ skepticism. “We’re defying a lot of the stereotypes and we’re proud to do so.”

Brett Theodos, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who studies economic development, said he has visited Starbucks’ community stores in Chicago and Baltimore. Both were in areas that wouldn’t typically attract a Starbucks, he said, and seemed to be providing a service — and, more important, jobs — that those neighborhoods wouldn’t otherwise have.

“I can’t think either of a retailer, especially one that has more of a discretionary, higher-end purchase, being willing to push into neighborhoods and markets that have less purchasing power,” Theodos said. “Starbucks usually appears when a neighborhood has the purchasing power to support it.”

He also applauded Starbucks’ plan to add community rooms in the stores, since low-income neighborhoods often don’t have many places to gather.

But he thinks the impact will be limited. One Starbucks store won’t cause a neighborhood to gentrify, he said.

The program is unusual for a big chain. Starbucks has one advantage: Unlike McDonald’s, which relies on franchisees, Starbucks owns its standalone U.S. stores and can open them wherever it wants to.

Panera Bread opened a few pay-what-you-can cafes starting in 2010, but all have closed. They weren’t profitable.

Starbucks said most of the 85 shops will be new, while some will be existing stores that have been remodeled. The company will consider various factors, including youth unemployment rates and low household income, in deciding where to build them. It will give priority to economically distressed areas.

Starbucks works with the community stores closely to help them succeed. One in Trenton, New Jersey, was struggling to stay open on weekends when there was less traffic from state government. The store manager decided to start an open mic night on Saturdays, which is still going strong 18 months later. The store also draws in customers with events like “Coffee With a Cop.”

Starbucks has also learned lessons from previous efforts. In 1998, the company worked with former basketball star Magic Johnson to open stores in urban neighborhoods, but some struggled and closed. Kelly said its new stores are more connected to their communities from the beginning, starting with the hiring local contractors to build them, and are drawing help from local groups like United Way.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, shops, opened, areas, moving, store, open, latte, poor, stores, community, local, coffee, company, starbucks


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Google to acquire Irish retail tech start-up Pointy

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O keynote session at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on May 7, 2019. Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday said it plans to acquire Pointy, an Irish retail start-up that helps traditional brick and mortar retailers list inventory online, for an undisclosed amount. “Over the past several years we’ve developed a very close partnership with Google,” Pointy founders Marks Cummins and Charles Bibby said in a release. “It became clear that


Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O keynote session at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on May 7, 2019.
Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday said it plans to acquire Pointy, an Irish retail start-up that helps traditional brick and mortar retailers list inventory online, for an undisclosed amount.
“Over the past several years we’ve developed a very close partnership with Google,” Pointy founders Marks Cummins and Charles Bibby said in a release.
“It became clear that
Google to acquire Irish retail tech start-up Pointy Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: jessica bursztynsky
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, pointy, founders, retail, local, store, tech, inventory, close, google, online, irish, acquire, startup, retailers


Google to acquire Irish retail tech start-up Pointy

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O keynote session at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on May 7, 2019.

Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday said it plans to acquire Pointy, an Irish retail start-up that helps traditional brick and mortar retailers list inventory online, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks, Google said in a press release.

Retailers use Pointy’s software to automatically track store inventory. That information is then displayed on Google’s “see what’s in store” section, and on a Pointy page, so customers can find specific items that are in-stock near them.

“Over the past several years we’ve developed a very close partnership with Google,” Pointy founders Marks Cummins and Charles Bibby said in a release. “It became clear that we shared the same vision of how technology can improve local retail businesses.”

Pointy has raised $19 million so far in venture capital, the company disclosed in July 2018.

“By joining forces, we will be able to help people discover local stores and products on a much larger scale,” the Pointy founders wrote. “We think this is the right way to accomplish what we set out to do – to bring the world’s retailers online and give them the tools they need to thrive.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: jessica bursztynsky
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, pointy, founders, retail, local, store, tech, inventory, close, google, online, irish, acquire, startup, retailers


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Blow to Amazon as Seattle passes new political spending restrictions

The Seattle City Council passed a bill Monday that establishes new restrictions on corporate donations in local elections, delivering a blow to the likes of Amazon. The bill prohibits companies from spending money on city elections if at least 5% of their stock is owned by foreign investors. Lorena Gonzalez, City Council president and the bill’s author, said the campaign finance restrictions would result in a “big shift” in how corporations can influence local elections. The Seattle City Council


The Seattle City Council passed a bill Monday that establishes new restrictions on corporate donations in local elections, delivering a blow to the likes of Amazon.
The bill prohibits companies from spending money on city elections if at least 5% of their stock is owned by foreign investors.
Lorena Gonzalez, City Council president and the bill’s author, said the campaign finance restrictions would result in a “big shift” in how corporations can influence local elections.
The Seattle City Council
Blow to Amazon as Seattle passes new political spending restrictions Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-13  Authors: annie palmer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, political, restrictions, blow, passes, city, council, local, spending, amazon, elections, seattle, foreign, influence, tax


Blow to Amazon as Seattle passes new political spending restrictions

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attends a commemoration ceremony held in front of Saudi consulate on the first anniversary of his murder, in Istanbul, Turkey on October 02, 2019.

The Seattle City Council passed a bill Monday that establishes new restrictions on corporate donations in local elections, delivering a blow to the likes of Amazon.

The bill prohibits companies from spending money on city elections if at least 5% of their stock is owned by foreign investors. Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle, would fall under that umbrella, as foreign investors hold at least 9% of its stock, according to Reuters.

Lorena Gonzalez, City Council president and the bill’s author, said the campaign finance restrictions would result in a “big shift” in how corporations can influence local elections.

“We have an epidemic of big money in our elections, and this step helps to address the appearance and risk of corruption in our local elections,” Gonzalez said. “Essentially, this legislation closes a loophole that previously allowed foreign persons to use their ownership in a corporation to influence political activity.”

Representatives from Amazon weren’t immediately available for comment.

Amazon poured a record $1.5 million into Seattle’s city council races in 2019, hoping to elect a number of candidates viewed as more friendly to businesses. By comparison, Amazon donated just $130,000 to city council candidates in 2015.

Amazon’s effort largely failed when socialist candidate Kshama Sawant was reelected last November. Sawant pushed for a “head tax” on the city’s largest companies, such as Amazon, with the goal of using it to fight Seattle’s housing crisis. The Seattle City Council approved the tax in May 2018, only for it to be repealed a few weeks later, after intense pressure from Amazon and other businesses.

Seattle is the second city to pass restrictions on foreign influence in local elections, following in the footsteps of St. Petersburg, Florida, which passed a similar ordinance in 2017.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-13  Authors: annie palmer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, political, restrictions, blow, passes, city, council, local, spending, amazon, elections, seattle, foreign, influence, tax


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

How to help victims of the Australia bushfires

Wildfires have ravaged the southeast states of Australia over the past few months, with officials warning that they are likely to get worse during the continent’s summer months, compounded by devastating drought conditions and record-high temperatures. The blazes have destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed at least 24 people, according to local officials. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, which is fighting the blazes, stated on its website that the best way to help relief and evacuation eff


Wildfires have ravaged the southeast states of Australia over the past few months, with officials warning that they are likely to get worse during the continent’s summer months, compounded by devastating drought conditions and record-high temperatures.
The blazes have destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed at least 24 people, according to local officials.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, which is fighting the blazes, stated on its website that the best way to help relief and evacuation eff
How to help victims of the Australia bushfires Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-06  Authors: alicia adamczyk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, rescue, south, local, blazes, officials, victims, australia, help, wildlife, months, wales, bushfires, koala


How to help victims of the Australia bushfires

Wildfires have ravaged the southeast states of Australia over the past few months, with officials warning that they are likely to get worse during the continent’s summer months, compounded by devastating drought conditions and record-high temperatures. The blazes have destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed at least 24 people, according to local officials. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, which is fighting the blazes, stated on its website that the best way to help relief and evacuation efforts is to donate money, rather than physical items. Here are some organizations to contribute to:

How to help wildlife

An estimated half billion mammals, birds and reptiles have died from the fires, according to reports, including potentially 30% of the region’s koala population. Entire species are under threat of being wiped out completely. Local wildlife nonprofits are working every day to protect and care for animals affected by the blazes, including: WIRES, a wildlife rescue nonprofit helps rescue native animals

World Wildlife Fund Australia is focusing on koala conservation

RSPCA New South Wales helps rescue and treat pets and wild animals

How to help general recovery efforts


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-06  Authors: alicia adamczyk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, rescue, south, local, blazes, officials, victims, australia, help, wildlife, months, wales, bushfires, koala


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Travel trend 2020: Mekong River cruises are booming — here’s why

Mekong River cruises are booming, particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam. In 2020, at least 10 river boats — some quite luxurious — will cruise the lush and navigable lower Mekong. In 2003, he began offering cruises on the lower Mekong, and in 2015 to Vietnam’s Red River and the upper Mekong in Laos and China. The 48-passenger Mekong Pandaw. Two boats do seven-night cruises on the lower Mekong — the 48-passenger Mekong Pandaw and the 56-passenger Tonle Pandaw — starting at $2,596.50 per person, wh


Mekong River cruises are booming, particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam.
In 2020, at least 10 river boats — some quite luxurious — will cruise the lush and navigable lower Mekong.
In 2003, he began offering cruises on the lower Mekong, and in 2015 to Vietnam’s Red River and the upper Mekong in Laos and China.
The 48-passenger Mekong Pandaw.
Two boats do seven-night cruises on the lower Mekong — the 48-passenger Mekong Pandaw and the 56-passenger Tonle Pandaw — starting at $2,596.50 per person, wh
Travel trend 2020: Mekong River cruises are booming — here’s why Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-30  Authors: heidi sarna
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, person, meals, scenic, travel, mekong, getty, cruises, heres, booming, local, pandaw, river, boats, 2020, trend


Travel trend 2020: Mekong River cruises are booming — here's why

Mekong River cruises are booming, particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam. In 2020, at least 10 river boats — some quite luxurious — will cruise the lush and navigable lower Mekong. Most resemble the river boats of Europe, staffed with chefs who prepare authentic regional fare and local guides who share cultural histories as well as personal stories.

Why go by water?

Cruising the Mekong — one of Asia’s longest rivers — is a safe, convenient and pampered way to explore the region. “I loved the idea of a Mekong River cruise because having no familiarity with Southeast Asia, I found it less intimidating to be on a cruise,” says traveler, Julia Steinmetz, who cruised with Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours in late 2018.

A coconut plantation in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Cuongvnd | Getty Images

River cruises typically offer one or two daily excursions, such as village walks, temple and monastery visits, and workshops to see how traditional trades are plied. Transport is often by local sampan or tuk-tuks, affording a close-up peek into rural life along the Mekong’s tributaries. “Our guests’ best souvenirs come from interacting with the local communities — for example, enjoying an ox cart tour and visiting local silk-making facilities or bustling fish and insect markets,” says Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways river cruises.

One of the longest rivers in Asia, the Mekong is more more than 2,700 miles long. Sangkhomhungkhunthod | Getty Images

A day is typically spent docked at Cambodia’s bustling capital city of Phnom Penh to see the gilded royal palace, vestiges of French colonial architecture and the city’s sprawling markets. Others focus on Phnom Penh’s dark history during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, paying a visit to the haunting Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields.

Traditional cruises

One company stands apart with its traditional-style boats that pioneered river cruising in Southeast Asia. For some 25 years, Pandaw has offered in-depth, exploratory adventures on beautifully rustic open-deck boats built to resemble the Irrawaddy flotilla paddle steamers that cruised the river more than a century ago. Scotsman and Burma scholar Paul Strachan launched a river boat on Burma’s Irrawaddy River in 1995, and so Pandaw was born. In 2003, he began offering cruises on the lower Mekong, and in 2015 to Vietnam’s Red River and the upper Mekong in Laos and China.

The 48-passenger Mekong Pandaw. Courtesy of Pandaw

Pandaw’s fleet of 17 nearly identical two-and three-deck boats carry from 10 to 60 passengers and are made of teak and hardwoods with brass detailing. The expansive and breezy outdoor space invites passengers to soak up life on the river. Two boats do seven-night cruises on the lower Mekong — the 48-passenger Mekong Pandaw and the 56-passenger Tonle Pandaw — starting at $2,596.50 per person, which includes all meals and excursions. Both carry bicycles and offer massage services. For a shorter option, the 60-passenger Indochina Pandaw offers three-night cruises between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh, starting at $1,125 per person.

Luxury cruises

If your idea of adventure is returning from a fascinating but sweaty day of touring to a posh cocoon for a massage and soak in the pool, while a waiter trots over your favorite libation (included in the fare), then consider the all-suite 68-passenger Scenic Spirit. Debuting in 2016, the elegant river boat has a five-star-hotel vibe and emphasizes dining, with elaborate lunch buffets, multi-course dinners and a generous choice of wines. The boat also boasts a gym, plus a roomy spa with sauna and steam room.

The deluxe suite on the Scenic Spirit. Courtesy of Scenic

A 10-night cruise starts at $4,695 per person and includes three nights in a luxury Siem Reap hotel, meals, open bar, butler, multiple daily excursions and special entertainment, such as an Apsara dance performance against the backdrop of a 12th-century Angkor Wat temple.

Angkor Wat. Sakchai Vongsasiripat | Getty Images

Meanwhile, Scenic’s more moderately-priced and less-inclusive sister line, Emerald Waterways, has the brand new 84-passenger Emerald Harmony, with seven-night cruises starting at $2,195 per person, including all meals, one daily excursion and wine and beer at lunch and dinner. Another company, AmaWaterways, offers the 124-passenger AmaDara. Built in 2015, the boat is styled with French colonial-style interiors, glossy teak paneling and carved wood furniture. As it is on the Scenic Spirit, dining is a highlight; likewise there’s a pool, small gym and spa.

The Chef’s Table restaurant on the AmaDara. Courtesy of AmaWaterways

Excursions are immersive, from a blessing at a Buddhist ceremony in an ornate temple to sightseeing tours that include rides in sampan boats, trishaws, tuk-tuks and even ox carts. Seven-night AmaDara cruises start at $1,399 per person, and include daily excursions, meals and beverages including wine with lunch and dinner.

Before You Go

Understand

Controversies exist on the Mekong that aren’t on most tourists’ radars. China’s push to build dams for hydropower and sand exportation to other nations impact water flow, fishing, agriculture and communities. Meanwhile, climate change is blamed for erratic rainfall and unpredictable river levels, and pollution is a growing concern. In an effort to help the latter, river cruises such as Pandaw and Scenic have replaced plastic water bottles with glass bottles in rooms and refillable bottles for excursions.

Two boys swim in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Hadynyah | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-30  Authors: heidi sarna
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, person, meals, scenic, travel, mekong, getty, cruises, heres, booming, local, pandaw, river, boats, 2020, trend


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Even amid the affluence of tech capital in Silicon Valley, local news struggles

What they no longer have is a thriving landscape of local daily newspapers. Ownership changes and consolidations have left the region known as the East Bay with just a single daily newspaper. But the East Bay — among the wealthiest and highest educated regions in the country — shows that no place is immune to the struggles of the traditional news industry. That includes backing for news sites in the East Bay, where many of the tech giants’ employees live. The East Bay Times won its own Pulitzer


What they no longer have is a thriving landscape of local daily newspapers.
Ownership changes and consolidations have left the region known as the East Bay with just a single daily newspaper.
But the East Bay — among the wealthiest and highest educated regions in the country — shows that no place is immune to the struggles of the traditional news industry.
That includes backing for news sites in the East Bay, where many of the tech giants’ employees live.
The East Bay Times won its own Pulitzer
Even amid the affluence of tech capital in Silicon Valley, local news struggles Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-28  Authors: janie har
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, google, struggles, bay, amid, tech, valley, local, richmond, facebook, affluence, capital, daily, city, east, newspaper, business, silicon


Even amid the affluence of tech capital in Silicon Valley, local news struggles

The cities and suburbs on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay are home to 2.7 million people, a world-class University of California campus and bedroom communities for Silicon Valley that produce median incomes 50 percent higher than the national average. What they no longer have is a thriving landscape of local daily newspapers. Gone are the Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times, The Daily Review of Hayward, The Argus of Fremont and the Tri-Valley Herald, among others. All had tens of thousands of readers during their heyday and served communities populous enough to be among the largest cities in many other states. Ownership changes and consolidations have left the region known as the East Bay with just a single daily newspaper. The East Bay Times, based in Walnut Creek, attempts to cover a region nearly the size of Delaware with a fraction of the staff of the former dailies. The growing number of places across the country with dwindling or no local news options has been associated with mostly rural and lower-income areas, places that have little resilience to counter the trend among readers and advertisers to go online. But the East Bay — among the wealthiest and highest educated regions in the country — shows that no place is immune to the struggles of the traditional news industry. “It is really shocking that the place with the demographics and the business and the universities and the progressiveness, that this is a news desert … ” said U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, a Democrat who represents a significant part of the East Bay. The former small business owner started his political career on the Concord City Council nearly three decades ago, where he recalls seeing at least one reporter in the front row of every meeting. DeSaulnier is so concerned about the state of local news that he has backed legislative action in Congress to support it. One of those bills targets what he and others believe is a main culprit of the industry’s woes — the big tech and social media companies that profit from the content news outlets produce without adequately sharing the profits. Facebook and Google, among the most prominent of those targets, say they are not to blame for the news industry’s downfall and have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to boost local news and help develop new business strategies. That includes backing for news sites in the East Bay, where many of the tech giants’ employees live. But some wonder if that philanthropy is too little, too late. In Fremont, Dan Smith used to have two copies of The Argus delivered daily, one to his family’s funeral home for the obituaries placed on behalf of clients and the other to his home, where he turned to sports and comics. But Smith, 60, no longer subscribes to a daily newspaper, after The Argus turned into a weekly insert to cover a community of nearly 240,000 people, where one of the local employers is electric car maker Tesla. “Where does one go for local coverage, high school sports? What’s going on with the city and the politics, and what’s happening around the community?” he said. “How can I be part of my community if I don’t know what’s going on?” Former journalists, civic leaders and others in the East Bay lament the loss of the community coverage that was once the staple of local dailies, many of which competed for scoops in towns where coverage areas overlapped. In Richmond, a working-class city of 110,000 dominated by Chevron and its oil refinery, Mayor Tom Butt recalls a time when two reporters were posted full-time in the press room in the basement of City Hall. “And everything that happened in the city of Richmond showed up in the newspaper the next day or two, a detailed, blow-by-blow account of every city council meeting, every planning commission meeting,” Butt said. Today, coverage of Richmond falls largely to two online publications. The graduate journalism school at the University of California, Berkeley, staffs Richmond Confidential, which goes on hiatus during summer and winter breaks. The city’s largest employer, Chevron, runs the other through a public relations firm. The Richmond Standard posts stories about crime, high school football and community events. It also provides “a voice for Chevron Products Company on civic issues.” The website has posted stories about a Chevron workforce program, its employees and philanthropy, including an article about Chevron taking kids to an Oakland A’s game.

Heat rises from stacks at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. Getty Images

A few miles down Interstate 80, Martin Reynolds gazes up at the 22-story Tribune Tower that defines the Oakland skyline and was home to the Oakland Tribune for decades before the paper was sold and its headquarters moved. The Tribune’s nameplate with fancy gold script remains over the building’s main entrance. The 142-year-old Tribune was the first African American-owned major metropolitan daily, and its staff took pride in its deep connection to the racially mixed city of over 400,000. The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Its reporters scoured the city’s neighborhoods and institutions, and they filled the front page with Oakland-based stories, said Reynolds, who started as an intern and became editor in 2008. They also tried out new ideas in the digital age, such as blogging about life inside one of the city’s most dangerous zip codes. “We were just out there covering stuff all the time,” said Reynolds, 51. “We even had a Berkeley bureau.” But ownership consolidated and newsrooms shrank. The Digital First-owned Bay Area News Group eventually announced it would collapse the East Bay’s daily papers into one. “There was a time when newspapers were so powerful and so meaningful and so influential to the community,” Reynolds said. “To have lost that is a shame.” Digital First has a record of consolidating newspapers and trimming staff, but it also has said that its business model keeps local journalism alive. The company staffs reporters throughout the region and has separate regional sections on the East Bay Times’ website. The East Bay Times won its own Pulitzer in 2017 for its coverage of a fatal warehouse fire in Oakland. Even then, it wasn’t long before cutbacks resumed. Bay Area News Group Executive Editor Frank Pine said he understands the loyalty people have for the newspapers they grew up with, but said there is no way to turn back time. The East Bay Times has collaborated with other publications in efforts to beef up local reporting, including a recent in-depth project about law enforcement officers with criminal convictions. The news group also received a grant from Google to test a premium, ad-free service for subscribers. “Our business — the business of news — continues to be distressed, and we’re doing our level best to stabilize that business and make it sustainable into the future,” Pine said. The loss of so many daily news outlets in this relatively well-to-do region has a ring of irony: Much of the East Bay’s wealth and growth is due to tech giants — Apple, Facebook and Google — whose headquarters are a mere bridge crossing away on the other side of San Francisco Bay. The dominance of Facebook and Google, which rake in the majority of digital ad dollars, is a key reason the traditional news business has been struggling through a period of layoffs and readership decline. Apple’s iPhone conditioned people to abandon print and seek information with a swipe of a screen. Since the iPhone debuted in 2007, employment in U.S. newspaper newsrooms has dropped by nearly half, according to the Pew Research Center. David Chavern, president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, said Google and Facebook can solve the crisis affecting the news industry by paying more for content and sharing more data about the people who click on it. “The fact of the matter is that both Google and Facebook control everything about the news experience, and yet they don’t want to compensate the people who create that content,” he said. Newspaper ad revenue was $50 billion in 2005, according to the Pew Research Center. Today, it’s $14 billion. Representatives of Google and Facebook reject the suggestion that their companies are responsible for the decline of newspapers, saying business models, readership and the way society operates changed dramatically. They say they are making it easier for people to subscribe and are offering grants, partnerships and training programs to boost local news, but draw the line at sharing digital revenue at the levels news executives want. “It’s not about providing artificial props to models that frankly are no longer valid,” said Richard Gingras, vice president of news for Google. “It’s not a healthy thing if you’re dependent on other sources for revenue to allow you to do your journalistic work.” Google drives an invaluable amount of traffic to news sites, he said, and shares revenue with publications that use its advertising technology. Campbell Brown, a former television journalist and current head of global news partnerships at Facebook, said publishers she talks to want to be less dependent on platforms such as Facebook. “We have to find new business models,” she said. “But it has to be something that’s sustainable over the long term.”

Campbell Brown speaks onstage at the Peabody-Facebook Futures Of Media Awards at Hotel Eventi on May 19, 2017 in New York City. Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-28  Authors: janie har
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, google, struggles, bay, amid, tech, valley, local, richmond, facebook, affluence, capital, daily, city, east, newspaper, business, silicon


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

China’s greatest risk is not opening up the market to foreigners, government researcher says

Hector Retamal | AFP | Getty ImagesBEIJING — China’s biggest risk lies in keeping the local market closed to foreigners, a government research fellow said Thursday. Regarding the risk of opening up to the outside, I think not opening up is the greatest risk. “Regarding the risk of opening up to the outside, I think not opening up is the greatest risk,” Zhao Jinping, a fellow at the Development Research Center under the State Council, told a group of foreign reporters Thursday. Increased protecti


Hector Retamal | AFP | Getty ImagesBEIJING — China’s biggest risk lies in keeping the local market closed to foreigners, a government research fellow said Thursday.
Regarding the risk of opening up to the outside, I think not opening up is the greatest risk.
“Regarding the risk of opening up to the outside, I think not opening up is the greatest risk,” Zhao Jinping, a fellow at the Development Research Center under the State Council, told a group of foreign reporters Thursday.
Increased protecti
China’s greatest risk is not opening up the market to foreigners, government researcher says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-27  Authors: evelyn cheng
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, companies, financial, foreigners, local, market, researcher, opening, development, chinas, greatest, chinese, risk, china, foreign, zhao


China's greatest risk is not opening up the market to foreigners, government researcher says

A general view shows the skyline of the Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai on December 16, 2019. Hector Retamal | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s biggest risk lies in keeping the local market closed to foreigners, a government research fellow said Thursday. Trade tensions with the U.S. have put pressure on China to respond to long-standing complaints that key local industries are off-limits to foreign companies, and that domestic players have an unfair advantage in China’s state-controlled economy. Beijing has acted swiftly this year. Authorities rushed to pass a new foreign investment law in March.

Regarding the risk of opening up to the outside, I think not opening up is the greatest risk. Zhao Jinping Development Research Center

About six months later, regulators announced that foreign companies can take full ownership in key parts of the financial industry at least a year earlier than expected. The new measures roll out Jan. 1, which is also the effective date of the foreign investment law. “Regarding the risk of opening up to the outside, I think not opening up is the greatest risk,” Zhao Jinping, a fellow at the Development Research Center under the State Council, told a group of foreign reporters Thursday. That’s according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.

Risks and uncertainty

Zhao noted a worrisome backdrop of economic uncertainty worldwide and fears of a split in global technological systems between China and the U.S. Increased protectionism against Chinese companies also poses a big risk for their development, Zhao added. This year, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration put Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and several other major Chinese technology companies on a blacklist that essentially prevents them from buying from American suppliers.

In this environment, Chinese companies are under pressure to innovate even more than before, said Zhang Yuyan, director and senior fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a major government-affiliated think tank. He noted that the direction of investment in China might change, and speed up the country’s technological development. Some analysts have previously noted how pressure from U.S. trade tensions could help China accelerate a needed shift away from heavy state control, toward more market-oriented and efficient systems. Allowing more foreign companies into the local market could help as well. Along with environmental issues and poverty alleviation in rural areas, Zhao named risks from the financial system as a major concern for China. Greater presence of foreign institutions in the domestic financial market is expected to help the local industry adhere better to international standards. The so-called reform and opening up will also likely draw more capital into China, while it’s less clear how easily funds can leave the country.

Government policy to hold steady

Official, but highly doubted, GDP figures showed third quarter growth of 6%, missing expectations and at the low end of authorities’ 6% to 6.5% target for this year. The four economists at Thursday’s event generally agreed that China’s economy could grow at a pace of about 6% next year. However, they emphasized how next year would not likely be worse than 2019, especially if the uncertainty of trade tensions is removed. They also did not predict significant changes in government policy.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-27  Authors: evelyn cheng
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, companies, financial, foreigners, local, market, researcher, opening, development, chinas, greatest, chinese, risk, china, foreign, zhao


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

This overlooked local trend will drive Chinese stocks higher in the new year, says China-focused ETF issuer

So says KraneShares’ Brendan Ahern about his bullish forecast for Chinese stocks in 2020, which he’s attributing to the largely overlooked strength of the consumers who are fueling the world’s second-largest economy. “From just an economic perspective, the trade war has been an inhibitor to growth,” Ahern said Wednesday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.” Alibaba’s recent secondary share listing in Hong Kong confirmed both the company’s strength and the appetites of its customers. As investors increasingly ta


So says KraneShares’ Brendan Ahern about his bullish forecast for Chinese stocks in 2020, which he’s attributing to the largely overlooked strength of the consumers who are fueling the world’s second-largest economy.
“From just an economic perspective, the trade war has been an inhibitor to growth,” Ahern said Wednesday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.”
Alibaba’s recent secondary share listing in Hong Kong confirmed both the company’s strength and the appetites of its customers.
As investors increasingly ta
This overlooked local trend will drive Chinese stocks higher in the new year, says China-focused ETF issuer Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-21  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, higher, etf, chinafocused, local, chinese, china, investors, hong, drive, ahern, trend, stock, stocks, overlooked, trade, listing, issuer


This overlooked local trend will drive Chinese stocks higher in the new year, says China-focused ETF issuer

Chalk it up to the Chinese consumer.

So says KraneShares’ Brendan Ahern about his bullish forecast for Chinese stocks in 2020, which he’s attributing to the largely overlooked strength of the consumers who are fueling the world’s second-largest economy.

“From just an economic perspective, the trade war has been an inhibitor to growth,” Ahern said Wednesday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.”

But as the chief investment officer of his firm, which manages a suite of China-focused exchange-traded funds under the credo that “the relationship between the United States and China will be the most important economic partnership of our lifetimes,” Ahern says the trade war’s overhang on the Chinese stock market could soon dissipate.

“The consumption side of China is alive and well, as evidenced by Singles Day, by U.S. multinationals doing business [in China], so, I think as the cloud goes away, you’re going to see investors come back into the China equity market in a big way. We’re already seeing that,” he said.

Ahern may just be right. Singles Day, Alibaba’s online shopping holiday, raked in $23 billion in sales in its first nine hours and a record $38 billion in total. Competitors JD.com and Pinduoduo also reaped billions of dollars in sales.

Alibaba’s recent secondary share listing in Hong Kong confirmed both the company’s strength and the appetites of its customers. The blockbuster listing marked one of the largest share offerings in 2019, second only to Saudi Aramco’s trillion-dollar IPO, according to FactSet.

“Alibaba went and listed in Hong Kong…because, one, the local investors know Alibaba has nothing to do with the trade war. It has no revenue here,” Ahern said. “It’s growing like gangbusters and yet, investors, because it has a China name, didn’t want to hold it.”

Next year will bring another “major catalyst for the stock” when Alibaba is included in the Stock Connect program, which links mainland China’s Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, enabling investors to more easily trade stocks across those borders, Ahern said.

“Mainland China still can’t buy the Hong Kong listing. That will happen, probably, in Q1 of next year,” he said. “Big, big move once that happens.”

In short, “the Chinese consumer is alive and well,” and “they’re leapfrogging over the big-box retailer, big-box mall” by shopping online, Ahern said. “That’s what we want to hold.”

KraneShares’ CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) does just that. Up over 30% for 2019, its top holdings are a mix of U.S.- and China-listed stocks including Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan Dianping, Baidu, and JD.com.

As investors increasingly take note of China’s “consumption story,” KWEB and even KraneShares’ broader China ETF, the Bosera MSCI China A-Share ETF (KBA), should see more traction, Ahern said.

“KWEB holds those companies that are the transmission engines” for Chinese e-commerce and the growth of China’s economy, Ahern said. “So, we’re very positive for both of these trends going forward.”

KWEB closed up about 0.5% Friday, while KBA fell by roughly one-tenth of 1%.

Disclaimer


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-21  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, higher, etf, chinafocused, local, chinese, china, investors, hong, drive, ahern, trend, stock, stocks, overlooked, trade, listing, issuer


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

House passes bill to lift $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions

It also calls for the elimination of the SALT cap in 2020 and 2021. The 2018 overhaul of the tax code placed the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions. Costly on the coastsSan Francisco Compassandcamera | Getty ImagesNew York, New Jersey and California are among the states where taxpayers are feeling the brunt from the $10,000 SALT cap. Among New Yorkers who itemized in 2017, the average SALT deduction claimed was $23,804, according to the Tax Policy Center. Controversy over the SALT cap also has spurr


It also calls for the elimination of the SALT cap in 2020 and 2021.
The 2018 overhaul of the tax code placed the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions.
Costly on the coastsSan Francisco Compassandcamera | Getty ImagesNew York, New Jersey and California are among the states where taxpayers are feeling the brunt from the $10,000 SALT cap.
Among New Yorkers who itemized in 2017, the average SALT deduction claimed was $23,804, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Controversy over the SALT cap also has spurr
House passes bill to lift $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-20  Authors: darla mercado
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, lift, states, jersey, bill, tax, cap, york, local, deduction, salt, taxpayers, state, 10000, passes, taxes, house, deductions


House passes bill to lift $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions

Busakorn Pongparnit | Moment | Getty Images

The Democratic-controlled House passed a bill on Thursday that would do away with the $10,000 limit on the itemized deduction for state and local taxes for two years. Legislators narrowly voted in favor and did so largely along party lines: 218 to 206. The measure, dubbed the “Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act” or HR 5377, proposes increasing the so-called SALT cap to $20,000 for married taxpayers who are filing jointly in 2019. It also calls for the elimination of the SALT cap in 2020 and 2021. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-N.Y, along with Reps. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., marked the latest effort by blue states to fight back against certain provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The 2018 overhaul of the tax code placed the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions.

“This has been a high priority for Democrats in the House since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed,” said Nicole Kaeding, vice president of policy promotion at the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. “The concern has been over the impact of the limit on individuals in high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California,” she said. Though the bill is unlikely to get much further in the remaining weeks of the year, there’s always the possibility it may return in 2020. “There is no chance that this bill is getting through the Senate, but I think Democrats will continue to talk about the impact of the SALT deduction,” Kaeding said. Legislators in support of the bill plan to continue pushing. “This is going to continue to be an issue that comes up every year until we pass and sign it into law,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. “It’s a hit to so many parts of the country, a tax hike for my district and for a lot of us in the Northeast and on the coasts.” “I’m not willing to give up on this version [of the bill] until we actually do everything we possibly can to convince the Senate to include it,” he said.

Costly on the coasts

San Francisco Compassandcamera | Getty Images

New York, New Jersey and California are among the states where taxpayers are feeling the brunt from the $10,000 SALT cap. Among New Yorkers who itemized in 2017, the average SALT deduction claimed was $23,804, according to the Tax Policy Center. New Jersey itemizers wrote-off an average of $19,162 on state and local taxes that year, while Californians claimed $20,451, the Center found. These states are also home to some of the highest income taxes in the nation. Meanwhile, New Jersey residents are paying some of the highest property taxes. Controversy over the SALT cap also has spurred litigation by the affected states. New York, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey have filed suit against the Treasury Department and the IRS, asserting that the SALT deduction limit was unconstitutional. Separately, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are also fighting the Treasury Department and the IRS in court over the agencies’ move to block workarounds established by the three states.

Rising tax rates


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-20  Authors: darla mercado
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, lift, states, jersey, bill, tax, cap, york, local, deduction, salt, taxpayers, state, 10000, passes, taxes, house, deductions


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Why Starbucks and other international chains are way less popular than local coffee shops in Vietnam

Vietnamese coffee drinks are brewed with robusta beans, which have a sharper, bitter flavor and higher caffeine content than more mild arabica beans. Robusta beans are available all over Vietnam, whereas arabica beans are served in most Western coffee outlets. Local chains charge less for coffee, adapt more quickly to new trends and have a huge footprint. Among the international chains trying to grow in Vietnam, Starbucks stands out, despite its high price tag. What are international coffee chai


Vietnamese coffee drinks are brewed with robusta beans, which have a sharper, bitter flavor and higher caffeine content than more mild arabica beans.
Robusta beans are available all over Vietnam, whereas arabica beans are served in most Western coffee outlets.
Local chains charge less for coffee, adapt more quickly to new trends and have a huge footprint.
Among the international chains trying to grow in Vietnam, Starbucks stands out, despite its high price tag.
What are international coffee chai
Why Starbucks and other international chains are way less popular than local coffee shops in Vietnam Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-19  Authors: marilyn haigh
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, way, chains, robusta, price, vietnam, popular, coffee, tea, shops, international, beans, local, starbucks


Why Starbucks and other international chains are way less popular than local coffee shops in Vietnam

As the world’s second largest coffee exporter, Vietnam knows its coffee. The country is famous for a thick, heavy brew sweetened with condensed milk.

Vietnamese coffee drinks are brewed with robusta beans, which have a sharper, bitter flavor and higher caffeine content than more mild arabica beans. Robusta beans are available all over Vietnam, whereas arabica beans are served in most Western coffee outlets.

The middle class is growing in Vietnam, and the market for specialty coffee and tea shops in Vietnam is worth more than $1 billion, according to Euromonitor International.

Local Vietnamese chains are expanding faster and performing better than their international counterparts. Local chains charge less for coffee, adapt more quickly to new trends and have a huge footprint.

Australian chain Gloria Jean’s Coffee exited Vietnam in 2017. Among the international chains trying to grow in Vietnam, Starbucks stands out, despite its high price tag.

“We observed that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not been doing well in Vietnam,” said Grace Chia, senior analyst at Euromonitor International. “Coffee Bean is not as affordable as local players like Highlands Coffee, and [it doesn’t] offer the seasonal drinks or … special events that Starbucks has that justifies its premium price point.”

That makes Vietnam a prime target for international expansion for global chains. But global coffee chains are struggling in Vietnam.

What are international coffee chains doing to stand out in Vietnam? Watch the video above to find out how they’re competing in the $1 billion market.

Watch more:


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-19  Authors: marilyn haigh
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, way, chains, robusta, price, vietnam, popular, coffee, tea, shops, international, beans, local, starbucks


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post