Investment – Indynda http://indynda.org/ Mon, 03 May 2021 13:00:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.1 https://indynda.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png Investment – Indynda http://indynda.org/ 32 32 South accuses FG of denying its farmers Anchor Borrowers loans | The Guardian Nigeria News https://indynda.org/south-accuses-fg-of-denying-its-farmers-anchor-borrowers-loans-the-guardian-nigeria-news/ https://indynda.org/south-accuses-fg-of-denying-its-farmers-anchor-borrowers-loans-the-guardian-nigeria-news/#respond Mon, 03 May 2021 11:56:11 +0000 https://indynda.org/?p=54 • Rivers says none of its 300,000 applicants got the loan • C’River angry that 20,000 requests have not been granted • Deal with farmers directly, not through ‘political farmers’ • Scheme not a failure, we’ll release transactions, CBN declares Farmers and agriculture stakeholders in South-South Nigeria have accused the Federal Government of denying them loans […]]]>


• Rivers says none of its 300,000 applicants got the loan • C’River angry that 20,000 requests have not been granted
• Deal with farmers directly, not through ‘political farmers’ • Scheme not a failure, we’ll release transactions, CBN declares

Farmers and agriculture stakeholders in South-South Nigeria have accused the Federal Government of denying them loans under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

The development, according to them, has led to massive failure of the scheme in the region.The claims were made in investigations carried out by The Guardian in Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Cross River and Bayelsa. Farmers in the states claim the scheme has recorded zero impact, except Edo, which, until recently, was an All Progressives Congress (APC) state.

They spoke after the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, accused the Federal Government, the initiator of the programme, of playing politics with the scheme.

Wike had alleged that the agricultural scheme made no impact in Rivers and accused the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, of frustrating loan requests from the state. He made the allegation when the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt.

While accusing Emefiele of playing politics with the scheme, Wike said that instead of implementing policies to achieve food security and create jobs for youths, the CBN had politicised its agricultural loans. Rivers State, according to him, is one of the states the CBN will not give the loan for political reasons.

“I don’t know why the CBN governor hates us so much. We have been hearing of Anchor Borrowers Programme, but when it concerns Rivers State, we hear a lot of discouraging things.

“Please tell the CBN Governor to remember us too, that we are part of Nigeria. When we applied for the loan, they said it was N5 billion and we have applied for over one year now.”

The Federal Government launched the Anchor Borrowers Programme on November 17, 2015 through the CBN to boost agricultural production by Small Holder Farmers (SHF). More than N200 billion has been reportedly set aside for the scheme.

The scheme aims at financing production of rice, wheat, maize and fish, among others, to achieve increased yield for local consumption and commercial purpose. The implementation of the scheme has been domiciled in state ministries of agriculture.

Guidelines released by the Development Finance Department of the CBN in 2016 further states that the scheme will provide farm inputs in kind and cash for farmers to boost production of commodities, stabilise input supply to agro-processors and address negative balance of payment on food.

At harvest, farmers, according to the guidelines, are to supply their produce to the agro-processor (Anchor), who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer.

According to the document, the broad objective of the scheme is to create economic linkage between farmers and reputable large-scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and improving capacity utilisation of processors.
COMPLAINTS against the scheme by South-South farmers are coming five years after the inauguration of the programme. They gave various reasons for the failure of the programme.

Farmers in Rivers State gave verdicts that support the claim by Wike that the scheme has failed in the state. They spoke as the state Commissioner for Agric, Dr Fred Kpakol, told The Guardian that about 300,000 farmers registered in Rivers but none had received a kobo.

In their claims to The Guardian the farmers said that none of them had accessed the fund despite attending mandatory training and screening. President of Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria  (OPGAN) in the state, Mr. Erasmus Chukunda, said about 200 members applied and had been interviewed since August last year but none is yet successful.

The National Chairman of Reality Farmers Agro Association Worldwide, Prince Njoku Ezenwata, and the President of Etche Farmers Cooperative Union, Mr. Godwin Akandu, noted that the inability of farmers in Rivers State to access agricultural loans had become very worrisome.

Ezenwata accused the Federal Government and the CBN of being insincere with the scheme.

“RFAAW is made up of no fewer than 500 cooperatives. Over 70 per cent of the cooperatives applied for the agric loan but none of them has been able to access it or benefit from it.

“If you ask me, I will tell you this scheme is nothing but politics, I doubt if any farmer in Rivers State has accessed this loan.”
Akandu claimed his members met all requirements last year but none had benefitted from the scheme.

Felicia Miller and Philip Nweke, who head farmers cooperative unions in Ahoada West and Omuma local government areas of the state said they had gone through required processes but had not received any favourable response from the apex bank.

IN Akwa Ibom, it was gathered that majority of rice farmers in the state had not accessed the loan. A stakeholder, who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity for fear he could be victimised, alleged that the scheme was hijacked by non-farmers.

According to the source from the state Ministry of Agriculture, the scheme is “a complete failure in the state.”He said: “From good authority, it is a massive failure. No individual farmer accessed that loan. A consultant accessed it on behalf of farmers. He used names of farmers to access the loan but did not remit the money to the farmers concerned. He hijacked the process.

“So as it is, I cannot give any data or figure as to how many farmers accessed the loan in the state.” Ageeing to the failure of the programme in the state, a farmer, Mr. Etim Udo Akpan from Ikot Esen in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Council told The Guardian that he was in doubt any farmer in the state accessed the facility because of the cumbersome process.

He said: “What I can say is that we the farmers from this council area heard of the credit facility. We were given directive on what to do, that we should form ourselves into cooperative societies, which we did. We went to Agric Bank where forms were given to us to fill, we formed cooperative societies of minimum of 10 members and maximum of 20.

“After that, we were asked to go to the rice unit at the Ministry of Agriculture, where we filled forms, seminar was organised for us at Ikot Esen, and we were trained on how to plant rice. That was the end. As I speak to you now, I cannot categorically explain what happened to the programme.”Akpan appealed to the CBN to deal with farmers directly in the rural areas to eliminate “political farmers.”

“The CBN should always know that farmers are rural people and should evolve a measure where rural farmers can easily access the grant,” he said.  

Another farmer from Use Ikot Amama, Mr. Usen Edet Udoh, said he followed all the steps and his cooperative society was selected for the loan, but they never got it.

IN Cross River, where farmers focus on rice, maize, cassava, ginger, cocoa, and livestock, the state Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Nathaniel Ilem, said over 20,000 farmers opened accounts for the ABP but none had received any grant. He listed some of the efforts made by farmers to secure the loan to include sourcing, securing and surveying of farms, saying:  

“We have prepared everything and we have contacted the state’s department for project site and we have arranged what it is going to cost us in terms of tractors to plant and machines to harvest. We have even sent a letter to Ibadan for improved varieties of corn seedlings because this is the first time we are launching corn farming in Cross River. We are also working to make sure we get every local government to clean one thousand hectares of land.”

He lamented that their efforts have, however, amounted to nothing because government had failed to fulfill its promise.

“They said they were going to address us but till today, we have not heard anything from them. The day they asked us to come for town hall meeting, we did not see them, they failed to come,” he added.

RATHER than show evidence that the scheme made impact in Bayelsa State, The Guardian investigation unearthed complex conflicts, arguments and counter-arguments, which may have marred the scheme in the state.

First was the allegation that the state Governor, Douye Diri, had, upon assumption of office, received the sum N3 billion in two tranches of N1.5 billion from the CBN but diverted the money for other use.

A loyalist of former Governor Henry Seriake Dickson and ex-general manager of Radio Bayelsa, Mr. Idumange John, who made the allegation, had accused Governor Douye Diri administration of diverting the money for politicians.

Idumange said: “Sometime in 2019, the immediate past administration applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria for a N3 billion agricultural loan. The Governor Douye Diri administration received the loan. The first tranche of N1.5 billion was paid in March, 2020.” He alleged the money was squandered.

Farmers, who spoke with The Guardian denied collecting loans, whereas the story in town was that they received N50,000 each for bush clearing. They insisted politicians shared the money among their allies, who they described as ‘portfolio farmers.’ Chairman of Nigerian Maize Producers and Growers Association, Mr. Tams Singabele, said: “None of my members got the loan. I don’t know why they didn’t give to us.

“If government can channel N3 billion into farming, there is no how we cannot export rice, yam, cassava, plantain and fish, etc. But corruption will not allow good things to be done.”  A farmer in Yenagoa, who identified himself as Mr. Abel Eradiri, said he heard about the CBN loan for the first time when there was allegation that the money had been diverted.

Chairman of Nigerian Cassava Growers Association, Bayelsa State chapter, Mr. Emmanuel Egbo, however, said cassava growers got the ABP loan. He said: “The loan we have received is from the Federal Government, the recent one is this Anchor Borrowers Programme by Central Bank of Nigeria.”

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief David Alagoa, dismissed the claims and denied diversion of any fund meant for farmers. He said the government was not in charge of the scheme and directed our correspondent to the CBN.

The CBN team from Yenagoa branch, which visited the governor last week, assured the people of the state that the N3 billion loan is safe and has not been diverted. 

The leader of the team, Mr. Stanley Oruyeighe, said: “There are no issues with the N3 billion agricultural loan. The first tranches of N1.5 billion is meant for infrastructure and that includes land clearing.”

THE situation is, however, different in Edo State, where some farmers benefitted from the scheme. Statistics obtained by The Guardian showed that a total of 321 farmers across the 18 local government areas of the state got inputs worth over N45 million from the scheme.

A breakdown of the beneficiaries showed that under the auspices of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Edo State chapter, 64 farmers got the fund.

150 and 107 farmers grouped under the umbrella of Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) and Nigeria Cotton Association (NICOTAN) respectively also benefitted from the scheme. It was learnt that rather than physical cash, organisers provided all inputs needed for planting.

The inputs include seeds, fertilisers (organic, inorganic, and special blend); herbicides (pre and post-emergence); pesticides; knapsack sprayers, and empty bags.

For cotton farmers, the cluster areas in the state are Igarra and Ojirami in the Akoko Edo Local Government Area and Ekperi and Obayaton in Etsako West and Ikpoba Okah local government areas, respectively.

The 107 beneficiaries under the RIFAN group have their cluster areas in Esan North-East, Esan South-East LGAs, while those in the category of MAAN were spread around Esan South-East, Etsako West, Owan West, and Esan Central LGAs respectively.

But the Chairman of the state chapter of NICOTAN, Mr. Maurice Oluwole, lamented that late arrival of input in 2020 planting season adversely affected output due to drought and other natural disasters. 

Edo North Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Abdullahi Oshiobugie, however, observed that the programme failed to achieve expected results in the state.

Referring to the fish and poultry aspect of the programme, Oshiobugie said: “This programme is not working. I can tell you that nobody has benefitted from this programme in the whole of Edo North.

“No fewer than 150 farmers were made to go through training programme but nothing came out of it in the long run. I think there is sabotage somewhere. Some people are siphoning Nigeria’s money somewhere. Some of these microfinance backs have not helped matters,” he said.

The state government had yet to appoint Commissioner for Agriculture to respond to Oshiobugie’s claims.
IN Delta State, the scheme had no chance of success as farmers, who considered the nine per cent interest rate too high, rejected it on arrival.

The state Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Mr. Richard Asenime, who disclosed this to The Guardian in Asaba, said they opted for Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS). He said: “We are not involved in the Anchor Borrowers loan because there is a little difference between the interest rate and the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) rate, which is five per cent different from that of Anchor Borrowers. That little difference mean a lot to us in AFAN.”

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Julius Eyetan Egbedi, confirmed the claim by farmers.He said: “ We have not been actually involved in Anchor Borrowers’ loan because we go for the one that will benefit our farmers, and that is the AADS.”

MEANWHILE, the CBN head office in Abuja has described as ‘untrue’ allegations of excluding South-South from the ABP.
The Acting Director, Corporate Affairs Department of the bank, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, said the claim by the zone was not true. He promised to get to the Development Finance Department to get the allocation and disbursement to the zone.

“I have been in a long meeting since morning. I came out of the meeting just now and I’m going back to the meeting. You need to give us time to isolate disbursement to each of the states in the zone. It is not something I can just stay here and give to you because I don’t have the data off hand. But I know that it’s not true that any zone has been marginalised in the ABP,” Nwanisobi defended. That was on Wednesday, March 25. He is yet to send the data.

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Oakland airport terminal closed due to knife-wielding man threatening suicide https://indynda.org/oakland-airport-terminal-closed-due-to-knife-wielding-man-threatening-suicide/ https://indynda.org/oakland-airport-terminal-closed-due-to-knife-wielding-man-threatening-suicide/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:12 +0000 https://indynda.org/oakland-airport-terminal-closed-due-to-knife-wielding-man-threatening-suicide/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyN-Sa1o7Fs ONN – Oakland airport terminal closed due to knife-wielding man threatening suicide Oakland airport terminal was closed due to a suspected man with a knife – YouTube channel video in the upper left corner of the video. A terminal at Oakland International Airport was closed for hours on Tuesday because of a distraught man […]]]>


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyN-Sa1o7Fs

ONN – Oakland airport terminal closed due to knife-wielding man threatening suicide

Oakland airport terminal was closed due to a suspected man with a knife – YouTube channel video in the upper left corner of the video.

A terminal at Oakland International Airport was closed for hours on Tuesday because of a distraught man who was armed with a knife and threatened to kill himself, officials said. The police were able to defuse the frightening situation with the turn of a button.

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Lufthansa has raised 500 million euros in aircraft financing since July 2020 https://indynda.org/lufthansa-has-raised-500-million-euros-in-aircraft-financing-since-july-2020/ https://indynda.org/lufthansa-has-raised-500-million-euros-in-aircraft-financing-since-july-2020/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:11 +0000 https://indynda.org/lufthansa-has-raised-500-million-euros-in-aircraft-financing-since-july-2020/ Lufthansa raises 500 million euros to refinance its existing liabilities due in 2021 As of July 2020, Deutsche Lufthansa AG has raised a total of around € 500 million using aircraft as collateral in eight financing deals. This enabled the Group to secure additional funds in addition to the 1.6 billion euros raised via a […]]]>


Lufthansa raises 500 million euros to refinance its existing liabilities due in 2021

As of July 2020, Deutsche Lufthansa AG has raised a total of around € 500 million using aircraft as collateral in eight financing deals. This enabled the Group to secure additional funds in addition to the 1.6 billion euros raised via a convertible bond and a corporate bond.

The five Airbus A350s and the three A320 Family aircraft were used as collateral for various financing instruments. The funds were raised through sale and leaseback financing, secured loans and secured promissory notes (Schuldscheindarlehen). Banks, private equity funds and institutional investors, in particular from Europe and Asia, participated in the financing. Lufthansa was also able to agree on attractive terms compared to the most recently issued bonds.

“We have taken another successful step in the refinancing of existing liabilities maturing in 2021. The transactions once again demonstrate the market’s confidence in our business and our restructuring measures. We have a wide range of financing instruments and aircraft financing will continue to play a key role in our financing strategy as it offers financially attractive conditions ”, said Wilken Bormann, Executive Vice President Corporate Finance of the group Lufthansa.



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Alitalia lacks time and money – reports https://indynda.org/alitalia-lacks-time-and-money-reports/ https://indynda.org/alitalia-lacks-time-and-money-reports/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:11 +0000 https://indynda.org/alitalia-lacks-time-and-money-reports/ Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) paid its 10,500 employees only half of their March salary because it lacks cash as talks between Rome and Brussels on the creation of a new public company, ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo (AZ, Rome Fiumicino), are at an impasse. There are only three weeks left to strike a deal if […]]]>


Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) paid its 10,500 employees only half of their March salary because it lacks cash as talks between Rome and Brussels on the creation of a new public company, ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo (AZ, Rome Fiumicino), are at an impasse. There are only three weeks left to strike a deal if the newco is to take off in time for the vital summer season, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The bankrupt Italian airline has been under administration since 2017 and remains operational thanks to more than 5 billion euros (5.9 billion USD) in public funding, some of which are still under investigation by the European Commission.

The European Union opposed segments of the new airline’s launch plan, insisting on a separation between Alitalia’s assets and those of ITA. As previously reported, Brussels demanded, according to local media, that the newco pay market rates if it wants to keep, for example, the Alitalia brand and its lucrative niches at Milan linate.

Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italian Minister for Economic Development, admitted last week that talks with the European Commission have stalled. A “new strategy” is needed “in light of the deadlock in negotiations with the EU,” he reportedly said after a meeting with Alitalia’s special commissioners.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi had tasked Giorgetti and finance ministers Daniele Franco and transport ministers Enrico Giovannini to manage negotiations with the EU antitrust czar Margrethe Vestager. But so far, three meetings have yielded no results.

“Alitalia’s situation has been assessed in the light of the blocked talks with the European Commission. We believe a new action plan is needed […] to keep the business running, ”Giorgetti said after meeting with the directors without giving details.

In an effort to keep the ITA plan alive and keep paying Alitalia’s heavy labor force, the government may decide to continue selling its planes and other assets to ITA. At the same time, he is trying to break the deadlock with Brussels, sources told local media.

The government’s “new action plan” could also involve arranging the leasing of Alitalia’s aviation business to ITA, an idea the previous government had put forward, sources said. Another option is yet another injection of public funds into the current Alitalia – and the suspension of the ITA for the time being.

Alitalia directors reportedly told unions by video conference on March 31 that the company’s continuity was in danger and that the company could be forced to ground its planes.



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Covid loan helps travel agencies cope https://indynda.org/covid-loan-helps-travel-agencies-cope/ https://indynda.org/covid-loan-helps-travel-agencies-cope/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:11 +0000 https://indynda.org/covid-loan-helps-travel-agencies-cope/ A federal loan program supporting some of the nation’s major airlines has also helped a travel agency in northwest Arkansas survive the pandemic. Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provided the US Treasury Department with $ 500 billion in loans and other investments “to provide liquidity to eligible businesses, states and municipalities related […]]]>


A federal loan program supporting some of the nation’s major airlines has also helped a travel agency in northwest Arkansas survive the pandemic.

Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provided the US Treasury Department with $ 500 billion in loans and other investments “to provide liquidity to eligible businesses, states and municipalities related to losses suffered as a result of the coronavirus “.

The law allocated up to $ 25 billion of that money to a passenger airline industry loan program, which ultimately provided nearly $ 21.2 billion in low-interest loans to airlines, ticket agents and aircraft repair companies, according to a report released this week by Congressional Oversight. Commission.

Of that amount, more than $ 21 billion went to nine airlines, including $ 7.5 billion to American Airlines and $ 7.491 billion to United Airlines.

Bristin Travel LLC of Fayetteville, which received a loan of $ 549,651, was one of two travel agencies nationwide to participate.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

Ovation Travel Group in New York, which received a $ 20 million loan, was the other.

Bristin Travel founder David Temple said the loan, along with other government covid-19 programs, has helped his company survive the most difficult business climate he has ever encountered.

With over 100 trips to Mexico and the Caribbean to his name, the 35-year-old businessman has made travel and tourism his mission.

Operating under the name BlueSun Vacations, his company hosts destination weddings and sunny respites.

Specializing in seaside destinations, its travel agents are called BeachMasters.

After the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country, “it was a nightmare,” Temple said.

The number of trips to Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, which was approximately 2.15 million passengers on March 31, 2019, fell to 136,023 on March 31, 2020.

Closed borders; overseas flights have been canceled.

“I was in the industry during the Great Recession [of 2008-2009]. I’ve been through some pretty tough boom and bust cycles. It was completely unprecedented, “he said.” It wasn’t an excursion. You just fell off a cliff overnight. “

With clients canceling trips and credit evaporating, “my full-time job has become ‘making sure I don’t run out of cash’,” he said.

“I applied for around 98 government-subsidized loans, grants and vehicles,” he said.

The Paycheck Protection Program, combined with the Small Business Administration’s Covid-19 Economic Disaster Loan Program, helped him avert a disaster, Temple said.

The loan handled by the Treasury Department was quite complex, Temple noted.

“As you realize, it wasn’t created for small businesses like me,” he said.

He inquired about the loan in April, and it was not finalized until October, he said.

It was an expensive process; Temple estimates he spent $ 25,000 on lawyers and accountants in general.

“The closing documents were 498 pages long. The compliance documentation since obtaining the loan was almost 2,000 pages,” he said.

“I’m sure I spent 100 hours, maybe 150 or 200 hours, on paperwork, correspondence [and] meetings, ”he said.

“I didn’t really know or have any degree of confidence that we were going to get it until a few days after receiving it,” he said.

The interest and charges on the loan will ultimately be around 6.75%, he said.

The loan maturity date is October 26, 2025.

The Treasury Department “will be reimbursed, in full, with interest,” he said. “It shouldn’t cost American taxpayers anything, and it saves all jobs.”

The company now has 16 employees, six of whom were hired this week, and the business is rebounding, he said.

“It’s booming,” he says.

People are looking to travel during the summer, and year-end travel is heating up as well, he said.

The Transportation Security Administration reported 1,278,113 passengers at its checkpoints on Wednesday – up from 136,023 on the same date a year ago.

The Treasury Department closed the airline industry loan program.

U.S. Representative French Hill, R-Ark., Who sits on the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Committee, said the program has done what it was supposed to do, highlighting the revival of passenger travel.

A separate $ 4 billion program provided loans and loan guarantees to air cargo companies.

“The Congress Airlines and Air Cargo program has been extremely helpful in getting the airlines through this storm of the year,” he said.

“In our opinion, it has been accepted and used by airlines and air cargo companies with quite a bit of success,” he said.

Hill, a former Little Rock banker, was one of four people hired to serve on the Congressional Oversight Committee, a bipartisan body formed to oversee how the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve use law funds CARES.

The report is available at: https://coc.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/March%20Report%2C%20Appendices%20v2.pdf



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PA FFFI grants available to grocers across the state https://indynda.org/pa-fffi-grants-available-to-grocers-across-the-state/ https://indynda.org/pa-fffi-grants-available-to-grocers-across-the-state/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:11 +0000 https://indynda.org/pa-fffi-grants-available-to-grocers-across-the-state/ Grants are now available through the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (PA FFFI), a program that invests in new or expanding grocery stores and other healthy food retail outlets in underserved neighborhoods of Keystone State. Several private and public organizations are involved in the statewide initiative, which is overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Community […]]]>


Grants are now available through the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (PA FFFI), a program that invests in new or expanding grocery stores and other healthy food retail outlets in underserved neighborhoods of Keystone State.

Several private and public organizations are involved in the statewide initiative, which is overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, administered by The Food Trust and supported by program partners Reinvestment Fund, Bridgeway Capital and Community First Fund. The PA FFFI provides grants or one-time loans to food retailers to increase the availability of healthy and affordable food for those living in underserved areas.

“We know that healthier communities create healthier economies, and research shows that developing or having a grocery store not only improves access to healthy food, but also creates jobs and spurs additional investment.” , noted Mark Edwards, CEO of The Food Trust, which is based in Philadelphia. “That’s why we’re excited to be managing a new round of funding for the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative.”

During his original run, 2004-2010, under the leadership of Philadelphia Reinvestment Fundadministration and with the support of The Food Trust, the PA FFFI funded nearly 90 projects with over $ 85 million in loans and grants. Since the program relaunched in 2018, 22 additional projects in Pennsylvania have received PA FFFI funding, with grantees ranging from large urban grocery stores to small stores in rural communities.

One-time grants of up to $ 50,000 are available for eligible projects, as well as other loans and business assistance. Past grants have contributed to pre-development costs; land assembly, including demolition and environmental remediation; development site; improving infrastructure such as renovation; new construction or adaptive reuse; purchasing equipment that improves the availability and quality of fresh produce; and innovative food access technology that makes it easier to access healthy foods from an existing or new grocery store. Program partners review applications on an ongoing basis and provide funding based on availability of funds.

Last year, Sprankle Neighborhood Market received funding for its stores in Kittanning and Saxonburg. The independent grocer also has a location in Leechburg.

“Feeding our community is the most honorable thing a grocer can strive to do,” said Doug Sprankle, owner of the Saxonburg store. “PA FFFI is the vessel that helps create this opportunity.”

Sprankle’s is a member of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, a statewide trade association that represents nearly 800 convenience stores, supermarkets, independent grocers, wholesalers and sellers of consumer products.

“We represent many members through PFMA who work hard to bring fresh food to low-income communities, observed Alex Baloga, president and CEO of the Wormleysburg-based business group. “These grants through the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative will help our members overcome potential financial barriers as they strive to meet the need for healthy, affordable food for their customers.”

Last year, Pennsylvania also achieved $ 10 million in grants to businesses that have worked to maintain access to fresh and healthy food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This subsidy comes from the State COVID-19 Relief Fund Fresh Food Initiative, which is funded through the federal Coronavirus Help, Relief and Economic Security Act, better known as the CARES Act.



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Alsuleiman receives prestigious Goldwater scholarship | New https://indynda.org/alsuleiman-receives-prestigious-goldwater-scholarship-new/ https://indynda.org/alsuleiman-receives-prestigious-goldwater-scholarship-new/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:10 +0000 https://indynda.org/alsuleiman-receives-prestigious-goldwater-scholarship-new/ Each year, students from across the country are recognized as future pioneers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering through the Barry Goldwater Scholarship Fund. This year, for the second year in a row, a UNO student has been selected as the only Goldwater Scholar in Nebraska with Sarah Alsuleiman, a sophomore, double major in […]]]>


Each year, students from across the country are recognized as future pioneers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering through the Barry Goldwater Scholarship Fund.

This year, for the second year in a row, a UNO student has been selected as the only Goldwater Scholar in Nebraska with Sarah Alsuleiman, a sophomore, double major in biology and chemistry, being one of 410 recognized students. With this recognition, Alsuleiman also becomes the fifth Maverick in history to do so.

“My heart sank when I saw the email,” Alsuleiman said. “I got moved very quickly and called my mom. I didn’t expect to be selected as a Goldwater Fellow, but I applied anyway because I was inspired by former UNO students who have been selected in recent years.

The selection was obvious to Paul Davis, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and director of the Molecular parasitology laboratory in which Alsueiman is an undergraduate student researcher. Not surprisingly, four of the last five UN Goldwater Fellows have been mentored by Davis.

“One of the most remarkable aspects of Sarah is her attitude towards discovery,” he said. “She is amazed when she learns aspects of biology that are unusual, and it gives her great satisfaction in learning complex systems – much more enthusiastically than perhaps any undergraduate student with whom I worked.

The daughter of Syrian immigrants, Alsuleiman is deeply involved in academics, research and community engagement. She is a mentor with NE STEM 4U, which offers after-school STEM activities for K-12 students in Omaha public schools; is a volunteer at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; she is an INBRE Fellow as well as UNO ADEPT (Applied Defense Education Pipeline and Training) where she does research on infectious diseases and explores the fields of biodefense; and she is a member of the United Nations Academic Distinction Program.

“Sarah is a student with distinction in every way – thirsty for knowledge and courses and activities that push her intellectually,” said Lucy Morrison, Ph.D., director of the UN Academic Distinction Program. “She has shown courage and perseverance throughout her time here at the UN and worked hard to create the best possible candidate for this national scholarship. Students aren’t always willing to revise and reconfigure, but Sarah is. “

Alsuleiman hopes one day to research diseases such as HIV / AIDS to bring relief to those suffering from these conditions at home and abroad.

The political chaos in Syria has shaped my identity in that I am more passionate and motivated to help people, recognizing the privilege I have as an American to have access to excellent education and resources, ” Alsuleiman said.

With the scholarship, Alsuleiman will see his tuition fees covered throughout his undergraduate career. Previously, she says, she paid her tuition fees through loans. She says she couldn’t have made it this far without the support she received from her peers and mentors at the UN.

“The UN has given me opportunities that I never imagined I would have,” she said. “The INBRE program, FUSE funding opportunities and ARC for Research Presentation are just a few of the amazing opportunities offered by the UN that have helped me become a better student and researcher.

Special thanks to my research mentor, Dr Davis, who provided me with tremendous support that propelled my academic career forward, and his sky-limit research lab, not just for students. scientific research and achievements. but also personal growth. I would also like to thank Dr Morrison, with his help, reviewed my Goldwater application several times and guided me as a student outside of this application. Finally, I would like to thank Dr Richter-Egger, Dr Rogers and Mr Rolf who also helped me with my application and supported me as a student. “

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Fund was launched in 1986 and has awarded nearly 9,500 scholarships to students from across the country. The program honors the late Senator Barry Goldwater as a way to encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Students interested in applying for the Goldwater scholarship, or similar national scholarship opportunities, should contact the Office of National Scholarships and Scholarships at UNOonsf@unomaha.edu.



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Russia must cut ALL aid to other countries and focus only on welfare of own people, influential right-wing leader says https://indynda.org/russia-must-cut-all-aid-to-other-countries-and-focus-only-on-welfare-of-own-people-influential-right-wing-leader-says/ https://indynda.org/russia-must-cut-all-aid-to-other-countries-and-focus-only-on-welfare-of-own-people-influential-right-wing-leader-says/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:10 +0000 https://indynda.org/russia-must-cut-all-aid-to-other-countries-and-focus-only-on-welfare-of-own-people-influential-right-wing-leader-says/ In the face of natural disasters and refugee crises abroad, Russians should harden their hearts and tighten their purse strings rather than hand out aid, said the leader of the country’s most influential right-wing party. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who heads the nationalist LDPR bloc, Russia’s third largest parliament, told radio listeners on Monday that offering aid […]]]>


In the face of natural disasters and refugee crises abroad, Russians should harden their hearts and tighten their purse strings rather than hand out aid, said the leader of the country’s most influential right-wing party.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who heads the nationalist LDPR bloc, Russia’s third largest parliament, told radio listeners on Monday that offering aid to foreign countries made people poorer at home. “Never, under any circumstances, should we provide assistance to anyone”, he said in an interview with Moscow-based Komsomolskaya Pravda station.

“We give everything to everyone”, he claimed, “And then look how our people, millions and millions of them, live on a dime.”



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Zhirinovsky said that no circumstance should be taken as a pretext for providing humanitarian aid. “If there is an earthquake, a flood or a war – never, not to anyone,” he added.

The MP, whose party holds the third-highest number of seats in the country’s parliament after ruling United Russia and the Communists, also lambasted past decisions to cancel loans to developing countries.

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While the Russian state’s loan budget is classified, the World Bank reports that Moscow has pledged nearly $ 900 million to an international development fund since 2007, as well as $ 279 million for projects to support l education and business development in developing countries. The country has also offered more than $ 400 million to tackle emerging health issues such as HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. War-torn Syria has also been a major recipient of funds.

However, a study by the European Parliament found that Russia lags behind world leaders in foreign aid spending like Kuwait, Luxembourg and Sweden, but ranks at a level comparable to others. “Emerging donors”, like China.

In recent months, Russia has been a key supplier of vaccines to developing countries, offering Sputnik V at a comparatively low unit cost. At the same time, he donated thousands of doses to countries like Vietnam. A recent New York Times analysis found that alongside AstraZeneca’s formula, the Moscow-made jab was being used by a number of poorer countries, including Pakistan and Guinea.

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Public banks are ahead of private banks in passing on repo rate cuts https://indynda.org/public-banks-are-ahead-of-private-banks-in-passing-on-repo-rate-cuts/ https://indynda.org/public-banks-are-ahead-of-private-banks-in-passing-on-repo-rate-cuts/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:09 +0000 https://indynda.org/public-banks-are-ahead-of-private-banks-in-passing-on-repo-rate-cuts/ Representation image New Delhi: Public banks are well ahead of their private sector counterparts in transmitting the rate cut. While PSU banks have passed on almost all of the cut in policy rates since the start of the pandemic, their private sector counterparts have on average only exceeded a third of the cut. The weighted […]]]>


Representation image

New Delhi: Public banks are well ahead of their private sector counterparts in transmitting the rate cut. While PSU banks have passed on almost all of the cut in policy rates since the start of the pandemic, their private sector counterparts have on average only exceeded a third of the cut.

The weighted average lending rate for fresh rupee loans fell 114 basis points, or 1.14 percentage points for PSU banks when the policy repo rate fell 115 basis points. According to data released by the Reserve Bank of India, weighted average lending rates on fresh rupee loans to public sector banks fell from 8.64% in March 2020 to 7.5% in February this year. But for private sector banks, the drop was only 38 basis points, while foreign banks cut rates by 63 basis points.

On existing rupee loans, weighted average lending rates are down 70 basis points for public sector banks and 68 basis points for private banks. But the decline in average deposit rates has been sharper for private sector banks – 100 basis points versus 82 basis points for public banks, according to RBI data.

The RBI has cut the repo rate by 115bp since the outbreak of the pandemic and has followed easy monetary policy to revive the economy and boost demand. Bank deposit rates and lending rates are tied to the RBI repo rate.

It should be mentioned here that public sector banks account for almost three quarters of the market share in both loans and deposits. In addition, credit drawdowns from PSU banks have accelerated faster than private and foreign banks. Several government programs such as the emergency credit line guarantee system for the MSME sector are channeled through the PSU banks. In addition, they have also become more active in retail credit, which has so far been the strong point of private and foreign banks.

However, in line with the RBI’s announcement of its intention to normalize liquidity in January, the State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, has attempted its own path of normalization by raising its mortgage rates to 6. 95% from April 1 and removing a special regime that offered 6.7% until March 31. Home loans represent a large part of SBI’s loan portfolio.

the Economic time citing market analysts mentioned in a report that the special rate was primarily intended to complement initiatives by several state governments that had lowered the stamp duty on home purchases to incentivize the real estate industry. Since stamp duty concessions are mostly removed, the bank has also reset its previous rates, they said.



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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: March 30, 2021 https://indynda.org/covid-19-joint-information-center-update-march-30-2021/ https://indynda.org/covid-19-joint-information-center-update-march-30-2021/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:09 +0000 https://indynda.org/covid-19-joint-information-center-update-march-30-2021/ Free NFIB Webinar: What You Need to Know to Apply for a Second (or First) PPP Loan! Don’t miss NFIB’s PPP and COVID-19 experts Beth Milito and Holly Wade for a step-by-step walkthrough on how to apply for a PPP loan: Who is eligible? Where to apply New application form How to calculate the loan […]]]>


Free NFIB Webinar: What You Need to Know to Apply for a Second (or First) PPP Loan!

Don’t miss NFIB’s PPP and COVID-19 experts Beth Milito and Holly Wade for a step-by-step walkthrough on how to apply for a PPP loan:

  • Who is eligible?
  • Where to apply
  • New application form
  • How to calculate the loan amount
  • And more!

(If you have any questions about EIDL or Covid paid sick leave, we welcome those too!)

Creation of online courses hosted by Allegany College of Maryland

From Delegate Mike McKay’s Office:

Delegate Mike McKay (District 1C) and Development Coordinator Bill Valentine are proud to announce the creation of an online course, hosted by Allegany College of Maryland. This class was designed for small businesses, nonprofits, home businesses, and entrepreneurs. Delegate McKay and Development Coordinator Valentine, both small entrepreneurs, believe COVID-19 has created a new set of challenges for businesses. To be competitive, the ability to do business on the Internet will be more important than ever. If there is a need for the government to re-impose restrictions on businesses, an online presence will help businesses keep going.

The proposed trading class will be an online class, lasting 13 weeks, one module per week. Such a course would normally cost a participant over $ 500, but ACM is able to offer this course for less than $ 50 to help our community. Internet sales and marketing will be some of the main objectives of the course. Website creation and management will be taught. Selling through social media will be another goal.

Delegate McKay and Mr. Valentine are hopeful that all businesses in District 1C, Allegany and Washington counties, will take advantage of the offer for such valuable training. If you are interested, please contact Bill Valentine at 301-268-1598 or at: billvalentine590@gmail.com. You will then be informed of the opening of registration for this valuable course.

Recent law clarifies and expands the employee retention credit of the CARES Act

The Internal Revenue Service is urging employers to take advantage of the newly expanded employee retention credit, designed to make it easier for businesses who, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, choose to keep their employees on the payroll.

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act 2020 amended and extended the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) for a six-month period until June 30, 2021. Several of the changes do not apply until 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.

As of January 1, 2021, employers are eligible if they operate a trade or business between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021 and they have:

  1. A total or partial suspension from the operation of their trade or business during this period due to government orders restricting trade, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19, or
  2. A decrease in gross revenue during a calendar quarter in 2021 where the gross revenue for that calendar quarter is less than 80% of the gross revenue for the same calendar quarter in 2019 (to be eligible on the basis of a decrease in gross revenue in 2020 the receipts had to be less than 50%).

Thanks to the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit on the employer’s share of social security tax equal to 70% of the eligible salary they pay to employees after December 31, 2020 until June 30, 2021. Qualified salaries are limited to $ 10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum amount of ERC available is $ 7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $ 14,000 in 2021.

For more information see:

Minority Business Fund founded by four community banks:

Four banks have collectively pledged up to $ 1 million in interest-free loans to help both small start-ups and minority-owned small businesses in community banking markets. The bank serving Washington County is the Bank of Charles Town. For more details, see the link. https://www.mybct.bank/banking-on-diversity/

Please forward this email to any minority business you may be familiar with that could be helped by this funding opportunity. If you or any other business requires assistance with the loan process, please do not hesitate to contact Herb Melrath, SBA at hjmlerath@frostburg.edu

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD



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