Salesforce.com adapts its software for pandemic vaccine distribution

Laveta Brigham

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Salesforce.com is displayed on the Salesforce Tower in New York City, U.S., March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Salesforce.com on Wednesday said it has adapted some of its business software to help healthcare organizations and government entities distribute vaccines for the novel coronavirus once they become available.

The San Francisco-based company said the offering, called Work.com for Vaccines, will help cities, states and health-care groups track vaccine inventory levels, create online appointment portals and track how patients fare after being vaccinated.

Multiple companies and nations around the world are racing to develop a vaccine to provide some degree of immunity to the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. The chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s largest maker of vaccines, on Tuesday said she was optimistic the industry will be able to make vaccine widely available next year.

Salesforce.com’s efforts build on tools rolled

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After the Pandemic: Cramer’s ‘Mad Money’ Recap (Tuesday 9/29/20)

Laveta Brigham

The stock market is a forecasting machine, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money audience on Tuesday night. The market is focused on the future, not the past, and therefore is trying to figure out which companies will be successful once the coronavirus has passed. 

Cramer took a closer look, too. 

He said names like Peloton  (PTON) – Get Report have staying power. Despite the short-sellers trying to crush this one, the stock has held up as the business continues to expand its offerings. Peloton is “clearly here to stay,” he said.

So is Pinterest  (PINS) – Get Report, Facebook  (FB) – Get Report, Etsy  (ETSY) – Get Report and Shopify  (SHOP) – Get Report, all of which lean on e-commerce and/or digital advertising for growth.

Another name benefiting from e-commerce is Wayfair  (W) – Get

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Holiday shoppers looking for meaning as values shift during pandemic

This holiday season, shoppers aren’t planning on glitzy and gift-oriented celebrations. Instead, many are preparing for smaller gatherings, reining in spending and directing more of their dollars toward retailers that share similar values during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by Accenture.

The majority of those surveyed — 61% — said they plan to minimize in-store shopping to reduce health risks to essential workers, the survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers in August by the consulting firm found. The same number said they are more likely to make purchases at companies that show they’re committed to health, safety and hygiene. 

More than 40% said they won’t shop with retailers that have laid off staff or reduced employees’ benefits because of the pandemic.

And over three-quarters of consumers said they want retailers to close on Thanksgiving Day, so workers can take a break and spend time with their

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How small businesses are recovering during the pandemic

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -It’s a well known fact that locally owned businesses help to boost local economy and provide stable jobs for employment.

Since reopening back in July, Dean’s Restaurant in Oak Ridge is slowly bouncing back from being shut down due to the pandemic.

Some changes restaurant owner, Dean Russell has had to make include letting go of staff members and providing curbside pickup.

Russell says despite the challenges things are slowly looking up.

“On a positive note we’re a little slower so it gives me an opportunity to train some of the new staff. On the bad side we’re a little slower. We’re a small business but we have a big reach in the community. We feed 300-600 people a day when we’re rolling,” said Dean Russell.

Another small business having to make adjustments, Fitness Studio 111 in downtown Knoxville.

The studio provides personal training by appointment only.

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Best Buy closed down stores in the pandemic. People kept shopping

Barry could have kept stores open in some areas where Best Buy (BBY) was considered an essential business because it sold products that allowed people to work and go to school from home. But customers and employees were scared, she said in an interview, and the company had “very little real empirical data about how to keep people safe.”

It was unclear how long stores would remain shuttered, how much business the company stood to lose to competitors, or whether Best Buy would fully rebound.

“I knew that decision would be questioned for months and maybe years to come,” said Barry, 45, who has been Best Buy CEO for less than a year and a half. Among shareholders and vendors, there was a “real question about are you going to forgo business that you might otherwise be able to capitalize on?”
Best Buy developed a plan. In 48
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For some Hollywood investors, the pandemic opened new doors

Laveta Brigham

Tom Cruise in Paramount Picture's "Mission Impossible: Fallout." <span class="copyright">(Paramount Pictures)</span>
Tom Cruise in Paramount Picture’s “Mission Impossible: Fallout.” (Paramount Pictures)

When the eagerly awaited “Coming to America” and “Mission: Impossible” sequels hit theaters this year and next, Brian Oliver will see his company’s credits onscreen in a way he says wasn’t likely before the pandemic.

Last month, the 49-year-old Oscar-nominated producer and financier signed a more than $200-million deal with Paramount Pictures to fund up to a quarter of the budget on 10 movies, including next year’s “Top Gun: Maverick.” In exchange, he will share in any profits or losses from the movies.

He views the multipicture finance deal as a sign that studios are increasingly eager to bring in partners to help mitigate the risks of financing in movies at a time when theaters remain largely shut down. Oliver had previously only partnered with Paramount on individual, non-franchise projects such as the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.”

“I don’t think

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The danger in postponing cancer screenings during the pandemic

Laveta Brigham

Dr. Pulin Sheth reads a mammogram at Keck Medicine of USC. <span class="copyright">(Ricardo Carrasco III / Keck Medicine of USC)</span>
Dr. Pulin Sheth reads a mammogram at Keck Medicine of USC. (Ricardo Carrasco III / Keck Medicine of USC)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a distressing downturn has occurred — cancer screenings dramatically decreased across the country. Early detection of cancer can improve the chances of survival. By delaying screening, patients are also delaying treatment and putting their health at risk.

Not surprisingly, with the disruption in routine cancer screenings, new cancer diagnoses have also decreased. Research published in an American Medical Assn. online journal showed that the average weekly number of new diagnoses of six common cancers — breast, colorectal, lung, gastric, pancreatic and esophageal —

fell by more than 45% from March to mid-April compared with the previous two months.

In mid-June, weekly screening volumes for breast, colon and cervical cancer were as much as 36% lower than their pre-COVID-19 levels, according to a July report by the Epic

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How Amazon Conquered Italy in the Pandemic

Laveta Brigham

A view of Calitri, Italy on Sept. 18, 2020. (Gianni Cipriano/The New York Times)
A view of Calitri, Italy on Sept. 18, 2020. (Gianni Cipriano/The New York Times)

NAPLES, Italy — Ludovica Tomaciello had never shopped on Amazon before being trapped at her parents’ house in March during Italy’s coronavirus lockdown. Bored one afternoon scrolling TikTok, she spotted hair scrunchies that she then tracked down and ordered on Amazon.

When the package arrived, she was hooked. She soon signed up for Amazon Prime and turned to the site to buy a tapestry and neon lights to decorate her bedroom; halter tops, jeans and magenta Air Jordan sneakers; and a remote to wirelessly take selfies for Instagram.

“My mom was like, ‘Can you stop this?’” Tomaciello, 19, who is pursuing a language degree, said while at a cafe near her home in Avellino, about 20 miles east of Naples. When stores reopened in May, Amazon remained her preferred way to shop because of the convenience,

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Mom, Daughters Hit Road In RV During Pandemic To Make Memories

Laveta Brigham

CUTCHOGUE, NY — For many, the coronavirus pandemic has been a time rife with anxiety and uncertainty as families struggle to adjust to the new normal. But for Tanya McDowell of Cutchogue, the last months have been a pivotal turning point — and have meant a life shift that sent her packing up an RV and hitting the road with her two daughters on the adventure of a lifetime.

McDowell left this week with her two girls to explore the United States. In the past few days, she’s posted photos on social media of meals cooked outdoors at campsites, of wide open vistas and of her daughters, grinning happily with their mom in a series of joyful selfies.

For McDowell, the coronavirus crisis meant a new beginning. “I’ve been a bartender and restaurant manager for years on the North Fork,” she said. “I also have been a hair stylist for

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Rising from pandemic, the business success stories of tomorrow?

Laveta Brigham

On Feb. 16, Marissa and Adam Goldstein launched Rafi Nova, a company selling backpacks for adventure travelers. Sustainably sourced, using textiles woven by Hmong women in Vietnam paid at a fair-trade rate, the backpacks might have been a thing. But the pandemic hit and domestic and international travel ground to a halt.

“Nobody was even leaving their house, let alone buying a $230 travel pack,” says Ms. Goldstein, whose business is in Needham, Massachusetts. “We probably launched a travel fashion company at the worst time in history.” 

With few sales and no money left, the couple decided they at least could put their Vietnamese factory partners to work making face masks, which they could donate to front-line workers in the United States. “It wasn’t a business opportunity,” Ms. Goldstein says. “It was out of a sense of service.”

Then family and friends started asking if they could buy some of

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