Day: June 17, 2020

Why a recession can be a good time to start a business

What do General Motors, Burger King, CNN, Uber and Airbnb all have in common?

The were all founded during economic downturns.

GM launched in 1908, when the US economy was in turmoil after “the Panic of 1907” financial crisis. Meanwhile, Burger King flipped its first patty in 1953, when the US was again in recession, and CNN started its news broadcasts in 1980, when US inflation hit almost 15%.

For both Uber and Airbnb, they set up business during the global financial crisis of 2007-09.

These examples show that many of the best, and longest-lasting, companies are set up during downturns, according to Dane Strangler, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Centre, in Washington DC. He says that the difficult economic backdrop makes them both tougher and more nimble for years to come.

Airbnb launched in August 2008

“There’s this trial by fire idea,” he says. “If you get

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Old-School Money Advice You Shouldn’t Follow Anymore

If you don’t know much about money, you don’t have to look far for advice. You can always learn from personal finance articles, books and videos or from money-savvy friends and family.

Although there’s no short supply of guidance, money rules can shift over time. For that matter, some old-school advice should be taken with a grain of salt. Here’s what the experts said is some of the worst money advice.

Last updated: June 17, 2020

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Most people need a mortgage to purchase a home. However, financing a house entails paying thousands of dollars in interest. To reduce interest charges, some borrowers come up with a plan to pay off their mortgages early by making extra payments.

This advice isn’t bad in itself, but according to Paul Moyer, the founder of SavingFreak.com, this advice doesn’t make the same financial sense in our current low-interest environment

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‘My employer broke the furlough rules’

“Initially I didn’t know how to feel, but it only took about five or ten minutes’ worth of research to realise that no, you definitely couldn’t work in any capacity.”

Steve (not his real name) is 27 and works in manufacturing in County Durham. His employer told him that he had been furloughed but he later received a message from his boss asking him to log on and work.

Under the furlough scheme, which was brought in to minimise unemployment due to the coronavirus crisis, the government pays 80% of staff salaries up to £2,500 a month. But once an employee has been furloughed, they cannot do any work that would help their employer make money.

Nevertheless, HM Revenue and Customs has told the BBC that it has received more than 3,000 reports of furlough fraud since April.

After Steve learned that he was not allowed work while on furlough,

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These products won’t protect you from coronavirus. But they will make you laugh

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis of the unknown. Our understanding of the disease and the best ways to fight it seem to change from week to week. This murky information environment creates opportunities for entrepreneurs offering the promise, if not always the reality, of safety.

You can find many of those entrepreneurs on crowdfunding sitessuch as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where catchy-sounding ideas can go viral on the basis of nothing more than a demo video, raising millions of dollars from would-be customers eager to be first in line.

Right now, if you’re so inclined,, you can throw your cash at a mask that only covers your nose, or a wearable plastic bubble, or a keychain to touch elevator buttons for you.

But would you actually be backing something made of science, or just something science-flavored?

We rounded up some of the most questionable innovations and presented them to Paula

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Administration seeking to roll back tech company protections

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department proposed Wednesday that Congress roll back long-held legal protections for online platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, putting down a legislative marker in President Donald Trump’s drive against the social media giants.

The proposed changes would strip some of the bedrock protections that have generally shielded the companies from legal responsibility for what people post on their platforms.

“When it comes to issues of public safety, the government is the one who must act on behalf of society at large. Law enforcement cannot delegate our obligations to protect the safety of the American people purely to the judgment of profit-seeking private firms,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.

The legislative changes would ensure that the internet companies’ legal immunity becomes an incentive for them “to be responsible actors,” Barr said. They “are targeted at platforms to make certain they are appropriately

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False Info Spreading About July 4th, Fireworks: MD Fire Marshal

MARYLAND — A fake online poster about the Fourth of July and social distancing is circulating across social media platforms, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The poster claims that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has issued a directive regarding a specific way to handle sparklers, along with time limits on when people can celebrate outdoors.

“This poster is simply fake and was produced without the authority of the governor’s office or the Office of the State Fire Marshal. We would not direct citizens on a specific time to be outside and recommend the latest CDC guidelines on how to properly socially distance,” the state fire marshal’s office said in a news release. “Due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, many applicants have elected to not hold most outdoor displays; however, citizens are permitted to use legal fireworks in approved areas.”

As

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New York firm helps small businesses emerge from the COVID-19 crisis

Jessica Larios’ baby arrived a few weeks before her due date at the end of February.

The owner of Bella’s Event – an event planning business in Yonkers, New York, specializing in rentals and sales of all things party-related from wedding gowns to quinceañera dresses, table linens and party supplies – Larios could not afford to take time off during one of the busiest months for bookings.

In a haze of feedings and caring for the baby, Larios plowed through her work. Less than a month later, things ground to a halt as the coronavirus pandemic took hold – and cancellations poured in.

Jessica Larios owns Bella’s Events, which specializes in rentals and sales of everything party-related, such as quinceanera dresses, in Yonkers, N.Y. The Acceleration Project, a nonprofit consulting firm, helped Larios navigate the loans process and adapt her business by moving it online.

“I was so worried

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11 Tips on How and When to File an Amended Tax Return

Everyone makes mistakes. And sometimes you don’t even realize your errors until well after they’re made. But what if you suddenly realize there’s a mistake on a tax return that you filed months (or years) ago? Or what if there’s a new development that affects the amount of tax you should have paid on a previous return? What do you do now? Whether the mistake or development is in your favor or the government’s, filing an amended tax return is often the next step.

Filing an amended return isn’t particularly difficult, but there are a few things you should know about the process before getting started. It also helps to be familiar with some of the more-common occurrences that can trigger the need for an amended return (in addition to just a mistake). That way, you’ll know to check your previously filed return if and when they happen. Because every … Read More

Pandemic Delays U.S. Citizenship for Thousands of Potential New Voters

Carsten Kieffer, who moved to the United States from Denmark in 2007, applied for citizenship in August, convinced that he would take the oath in plenty of time to cast a ballot in the 2020 presidential election.

Scheduled for an interview April 1, Kieffer, a paramedic in Florida, had been using an app on his phone to review the 100 possible questions on the oral civics test between responding to calls for rescues from burning buildings and overturned seaplanes. If he passed, he would attend a naturalization ceremony that same week in Orlando.

“I had been memorizing it all; I felt like I was about to become a citizen,” said Kieffer, 41, who has an American wife and two children.

The coronavirus derailed his timetable.

As state after state imposed social distancing and other measures to mitigate the virus’ spread, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suspended most of its activity

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Execs Express Optimism & Christopher Nolan Sends A ‘Tenet’ Update To Online Conference

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The 2020 edition of CineEurope got underway online today with executives chiming in on what exhibition and distribution will look like as coronavirus restrictions ease. The studios normally would have been in Barcelona this week to show off their upcoming slates to European exhibitors. Instead, Film Expo Group did a nice job of pivoting to an online conference that on Day One served up messages from executives, and even Christopher Nolan.

Nolan’s Tenet is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and certainly one of the first due to open as theaters come back online (Warner Bros recently moved it from July 17 to July 31). The director, who is a big proponent of the theatrical experience, sent a taped missive to CineEurope participants. Here’s what he said:

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“We’re in the final throes of it. I don’t want

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