Small Business Update: Checking in after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday

CHICAGO (WLS) — Holiday shopping is in full swing and with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, some small businesses saw a bump in sales over the weekend.

But was it enough to offset the lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic?

“There’s still a good portion of people who just don’t feel comfortable coming in yet and we are negatively impacted by that,” said Richard Price, owner of the Alamo Shoes in Andersonville.

Their shelves are stocked – but the store is nearly empty because the small business just isn’t getting the foot traffic it once did before the pandemic.

But over the Black Friday weekend, things changed – for just a bit.

“Since we reopened in June, this past Friday and Saturday were the busiest days we’ve seen since June, so that is positive,” Price said.

But it’s still down in comparison to last year’s sales.

“Year over year, if we compared 2020 to 2019, I’m down about 40%,” Price said. “In those three days around Black Friday, we’re seeing around a 20% decrease in business.”

It’s a reality many local businesses in the area are facing. But some, like Bryn Mawr Jewelry, have a different story to tell.

“Without a doubt, we would not be where we are today without small business. Every sale puts food on our tables, that’s a fact,” Owner Scott Freeman said.

Freeman opened the store’s new location three weeks before the lockdown in March – but when he reopened a couple of months later, he was pleasantly surprised.

The same goes for this past weekend.

“Every day, I swear to God I have to pinch myself. Everyone’s been so supportive,” Freeman said. “People want to do something nice for themselves or nice for somebody else. I guess buy something that means a lot and will last the test of time.”

Though the coming weeks will be different for every small business – the message they’re sending is clear, they’ll need the communities’ help to survive.

“So many small businesses are closing and now more than ever small business really needs the support,” Freeman added.

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Lisa Snowdon shares wedding update after postponing big day

Lisa Snowdon standing next to a body of water: Hello! Magazine

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Hello! Magazine

They recently celebrated five years together, and presenter Lisa Snowdon could not be happier with her fiancé George Smart.

In April, the couple confirmed that they had to postpone their wedding – which was due to take place in Japan this year. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Lisa and George thought it best to celebrate with friends and family at a later date.

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However, in a new interview with HELLO!, the TV star confessed that they have been toying with the idea of making last-minute plans. Lisa said: “We sway between thinking: ‘Let’s do something on the spur of the moment,’ to: ‘We could have a big wedding.'”

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Lisa, 48, says their bond has never been stronger. Of her 40-year-old fiancé, she gushed: “He’s such a positive person, but especially in a year like this, when life has often felt so challenging, scary and strange, he’s got this incredible hope and enthusiasm that is such a terrific energy to be around.” She added: “He’s gorgeous, he’s fun and I love that we’re a team.

a close up of a man and a woman taking a selfie: lisa-and-george

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The couple have been engaged since 2017

“For a long time, I was kind of in limbo about what I deserved from a relationship,” reflected Lisa, who was 29 when she met George, when they were both working at MTV. They had “a little fling”, but it fizzled out and they lost touch – only to be reunited by a friend almost two decades later.

“It was only when I took time out to reassess what I’d been doing as far as relationships go – the kind of people I was attracting and how that made me feel about myself – that I could work out what I did want and channel that. That’s when George came back into my life.”

To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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Next-Generation Shopping, 2020 Update – Creating Immersive Experience for Consumers

New York, Nov. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — announces the release of the report “Next-Generation Shopping, 2020 Update – Creating Immersive Experience for Consumers” –

Retail has become increasingly digitized and integrated to create a more immersive experience for consumers. This trend captures the activities of bricks-and-mortar retailers, e-commerce, m-commerce, s-commerce, and how these channels can interact with one another to create an enhanced experience for consumers.

– Over half of global consumers say they are interested in products that are trending on social media.
– Almost a quarter of global consumers say they intend to spend more time shopping for groceries online.
– Over two thirds of global consumers say they are interested, to some degree, in products that save them time and effort.

Reasons to Buy
– Gain insight into the different routes by which products can align with the Next Generation Shopping trend including examples of best-in-class innovation.
– Compare the presence of this trend in each industry across the FMCG space, and learn what the key opportunities are.
– Identify the innovation implications of Next Generation Shopping for your sector.
Read the full report:

About Reportlinker
ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need – instantly, in one place.


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‘Black Beauty’ review: Disney+ update an uplifting horse story

For more than a century, every generation has had its cinematic adaptation of “Black Beauty,” and while the new Disney+ version switches the genders of the magnificent horse as well as the young protagonist and moves the locale from the English countryside of the late 19th century to the American West of today, it’s thematically and spiritually faithful to Anna Sewell’s timeless classic, from the horse serving as narrator to the episodic nature of the storyline to the powerful and still-relevant message about humane treatment of animals — and the undeniably healing and lasting dynamic between human and creature.

I loved this movie. Yes, it’s an unapologetically sentimental, anthropomorphic, family-friendly, sugar-sweet story aimed squarely at the younger members of your brood — and stop me if you think there’s anything wrong with that. This is a beautifully uplifting film at a time we can all use a dose of old-fashioned, cynicism-free storytelling. Writer-director Ashley Avis and her production team have created a gorgeous, sweeping epic (please watch this on the biggest screen available in your house), with Kate Winslet voicing Black Beauty’s thoughts and feelings to heart-melting effect, the wonderfully talented Mackenzie Foy delivering a sublime performance as the girl who finds a kindred spirit in Black Beauty, and Iain Glen from “Game of Thrones” and “Downton Abbey” playing the most dashing and empathetic horse whisperer this side of Robert Redford.

“Black Beauty” isn’t one of those photorealistic movies with animals literally talking, e.g., the most recent versions of “The Lion King” and “Doctor Dolittle.” From the moment we meet the energetic and adventure-seeking mustang foal who will be named Black Beauty, roaming free in the wild with her mother and extended family, her thoughts and emotions are expressed through Winslet’s warm and comforting voice-over, similar to what Kevin Costner did as Enzo the dog in “The Art of Racing in the Rain” (2019) and Josh Gad did in “A Dog’s Purpose” (2017) and “A Dog’s Journey” (2019).

Jo’s uncle (Iain Glen), a horse trainer, takes in the wild filly who would late be called Black Beauty.

The first of many lump-in-your throat moments occurs when 21st century cowboys, complete with tracking helicopter overhead, round up the herd and Beauty is separated from her mother, never to see her again. Fortunately, the young filly winds up with the horse-loving, quietly noble and goodhearted trainer John Manly (even that name sounds like a Gary Cooper character), who believes wild horses can be broken in a humane fashion and should be treated with care and respect.

Just as Beauty is coming to terms with her new life, there’s another new arrival at the ranch: the teenage girl Jo Green (Mackenzie Foy), who lost her family as well when a tragic car accident claimed the lives of her parents. Alone and closed-off, a city girl in the country, Jo barely knows her Uncle Jack and wants nothing

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Chase Bank opens in Greenville; GSP travel update; Main Street news; online shopping tips | Greenville Business

The largest bank in America opened its first branch in Greenville last week.

Chase Bank is undergoing a five-year, local-market expansion that last year brought the banking behemoth to Clemson. After that first branch opened, Chase followed with a second branch this summer in Mount Pleasant.

The Greenville branch, at 652 Haywood Road, is the bank’s third location in South Carolina, and it has plans to open another four by year’s end, according to a company spokeswoman who contacted The Post and Courier last week.

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Going into 2021, three of Chase’s seven South Carolina branches will be in Greenville. The other two branches will be at 1221 Woodruff Road, site of a former Applebee’s restaurant, and 2 State Park Road, site of a former Wendy’s restaurant in the Cherrydale shopping center.

The bank already has 600,000 customers in South Carolina through credit-card accounts, mortgages and other loans, investments and existing checking/savings accounts that newcomers to the state have carried in with them.

“What we found is we had so many people moving, it’s such a desirable place to live, we have Chase customers moving to Greenville every day from California, New York, Chicago and other places,” said Mark Lucas, the Carolinas market director for wealth management.

Lucas is based in Charlotte, N.C., and Alfonso Hernandez is moving here from New Jersey to be Chase’s South Carolina market director.

“I stumbled upon the waterfall in the center of town,” Hernandez said. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful city. And equally beautiful people.”

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Chase already has a business banking branch in downtown Greenville, open since 2015, and previously made a $4.1 million New Market Tax Credit investment in the Highland Baking Co. project in Spartanburg.

Nationwide, Chase serves 61 million households.

“The theory here for us is when we open these locations, with that comes a litany of resources for clients and employees,” Hernandez said.

The Columbus, Ohio-based Chase had consolidated assets of $2.9 billion as of Sept. 30, according to the Federal Reserve. Bank of America has $2 billion, and Wells Fargo has $1.7 billion. Chase also has the largest number of domestic branches, at nearly 5,000.

The bank is hiring, Hernandez said. Entry-level jobs will pay $15 an hour plus benefits.

Holiday air travel update

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Passenger air travel seems to have reached a plateau the past few months as erstwhile travelers wait for widespread vaccines and reduced restrictions. Even during a pandemic, though, the holiday season gets people moving.

“The week looks good when you compare it to last week,” said Greenville-Spartanburg International President and CEO Dave Edwards on Monday. “It’s all relative. We’re still probably running about 50 percent of normal traffic when we look at the loads that are projected for this Thanksgiving week.”

GSP President and CEO Dave Edwards

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport President and CEO Dave Edwards, center, and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission Chairperson Minor Shaw, left,

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Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Tesla Rolls Out Firmware Update After Hacker Discovers Model X Security Flaw

A Belgian security researcher has discovered a flaw to overwrite and hijack the firmware of the key fobs in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model X, effectively allowing the hacker to steal and take control of the car that’s not on the latest software update, Electrek reports.

What Happened: Lennert Wouters is a security researcher at Belgian university KU Leuven. He claims to have a series of hacks that can get around the Model X’s improved cryptography security feature, unlocking the keyless entry system.

According to Wouters, the attack takes minutes to execute and requires inexpensive gear. He discovered and informed Tesla of the bug in mid-August.

Wouters published his findings after Tesla began to roll out an over-the-air software update version 2020.48 to all its Model X cars this week.

Why It Matters: Tesla has a good relationship with hackers and has a bug report bounty program, with a maximum payout of $15,000 after an increase in 2018. The Elon Musk-led company has ramped up its security team over the years and its relationship with hackers through participation in hacking conferences.

Model X key fobs hack is Wouters’ third Tesla hack in three years, according to ZDNet. He published two other Tesla hacks in 2018 and 2019.

Price Action: TSLA shares rose 6.58% to $521.85 on Monday.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Microsoft Edge update adds a built-in digital coupon tool

Microsoft Edge, the browser the company released earlier this year, has received new features in the latest software update, including built-in digital coupons. According to Microsoft, the browser tool will automatically find and alert the user to any coupons available when on a retailer’s website.

A number of browser extensions providing access to coupon codes are available, some more useful than others, but there’s that one big downside: they come from third-party sources. Microsoft is offering its users a new built-in coupon tool that functions similarly to extensions, alerting users when a coupon is available for the product they’re browsing.

Users can click on a blue shopping tag in the URL bar when alerted to see the available coupon codes. Assuming one is available, you can copy and paste it when checking out on the retailer’s website; there’s also the option to auto-populate the codes when checking out.

Microsoft has also launched what it says is a more proactive price comparison tool for Edge. The price comparison tool shows users other price options available from different retailers when they’re browsing products online using Edge browser.

As well, Edge has received a tab ‘enhancement’ that involves a tab page with new tools related to online shopping. Users who enable the feature will be able to access ‘Deals,’ a portal to discounts and other offers. Microsoft has also added a ‘Daily Brief’ option for seeing breaking news.

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