Reviving Longaberger With a Timely Business Model

Longaberger, the 47-year-old home brand famous for its handwoven maplewood baskets, has been relaunched with a new business model involving digital social selling and a wider assortment.

Jewelry has just been added, and apparel, a bridal registry, wine from Napa Valley, Calif., home fragrance, essential oils and skin wellness are on deck.

The Longaberger Co. was founded by Dave Longaberger in 1973. Along with the baskets, it sells tabletop, cookware, ceramics, home decor, furniture, linens and gourmet foods.

“It was an exciting company, with a beautiful campus in Dresden, Ohio, and headquarters built like a giant basket,” said Robert W. D’Loren, chairman and chief executive officer of Xcel Brands Inc. which, along with Hilco Global, bought Longaberger out of bankruptcy by acquiring the intellectual property in November 2019. An entrepreneur in Ohio acquired some of the manufacturing equipment and continues to make Longaberger baskets, though the operations are based at

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Amazon, Apple and Facebook earn record profits during pandemic

Silicon Valley giants Apple, Amazon and Facebook enjoyed a dramatic boom during the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic, posting rises in quarterly profits last night that will add fuel to claims they are becoming too dominant.

Shares in the companies jumped in after-hours trading last night as they revealed that rises in online shopping and internet use during lockdown meant soaring revenues in the three months to the end of June, despite wider economic pain.

Google’s parent company Alphabet reported a 2pc drop in revenues, its first ever sales decline, amid a slump in travel spending, but the better than expected results sent shares up in late trading.

The results were in stark contrast to dire US figures that revealed a 32.9pc annualised contraction in the world’s biggest economy during the same period, sending Wall Street down earlier in the day.

Amazon revealed that sales in the quarter had … Read More

Lost your health insurance in the pandemic? These are your options

Since coronavirus lockdowns began in early March, record numbers of Americans have been laid off or furloughed from their jobs.

In April, the unemployment rate soared to 14.7% — the highest it’s been since the Great Depression — and this summer, more than a million new applications for unemployment benefits are still being filed each week.

To make matters worse, many who have lost their jobs also have lost their employee health benefits amid the largest global health crisis in modern times.

That happened to an estimated 5.4 million U.S. workers between February and May, according to a study by the advocacy group Families USA. That’s far more than the 3.9 million who became uninsured during a full year of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.

If you’ve just lost your employee health insurance, you may be tempted to put off getting a new policy, especially if you’re in

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Many Republicans Are Perfectly Fine With Extra Unemployment Benefits Disappearing

WASHINGTON ― As Senate Republicans try to advance a coronavirus relief bill with only $200 a week in extra unemployment benefits ― down from the expiring $600 ― many House Republicans are signaling that they’re opposed to any extra money at all.

“Zero is the number for me,” Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) told HuffPost on Wednesday. 

Several of Williams’ House GOP colleagues also questioned whether the federal government should be providing any additional money to state unemployment benefits as more than 25 million people on Saturday will lose the stipend the federal government has been kicking in since March.

“Too much is $1 over what they would make if they had a job,” Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) said.

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) claimed the majority of people thought it was a good idea to not have any “bonus unemployment” (polls show completely the opposite).

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) said it

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As ‘covid couples’ reach five months of togetherness, Connecticut jewelers see jump in engagement ring sales

If sales of engagement rings are any indication, a growing number of couples hunkered down in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic are asking themselves: why not?

In Connecticut, jewelers say they’ve seen a noticeable spike in demand for engagement rings from mid-March to July compared with previous years.

For the first two months of quarantine — if things were going well — couples browsed online. In May, as jewelry and other retail stores opened under Gov. Lamont’s Phase 1 guidelines, future brides and grooms scouted in person.

At Lux, Bond & Green’s six retail locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts, co-owner John Green estimates his engagement ring business is up 25% from the same period last year.

“When we shut down in March, we got emails and an appointment requests,” John Green, co-owner of Lux, Bond & Green, said. “We made special appointments and lots of social distancing and masks and

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What the heck is ‘brushing’? The scam behind the China mystery seeds

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Thousands of Americans are receiving seeds in the mail wrapped in packages with Chinese characters. The mystery seeds, which the recipients did not order, have triggered warnings from agricultural authorities who say “do not plant them.”

The USDA and FBI are still investigating the packages—which reportedly include seeds for grass, cucumbers, and melon—but the growing consensus among law enforcement is that they are part of a “brushing” scam.

The term “brushing” was unfamiliar to most Americans until news about the seed mystery. Here’s what it means and how the scam works.

What is brushing?

Brushing is a shady way to boost the popularity of an online merchant by sending out unsolicited packages containing items of little value. The merchant—or more commonly a “brusher” middleman who they pay—writes positive

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Your $600 unemployment boost is expiring. What do you do?

A $600 weekly benefit bonus from the federal government has made unemployment a little less painful for the tens of millions of Americans who’ve lost their jobs to the coronavirus. But if you’re in that group, you’ll have to survive without the extra money, at least temporarily.

The benefits boost expires on Friday, and Congress has failed to come to an agreement on whether to extend it. The U.S. House is to continue with the $600 payments through January, but the Senate wants to cut them back to $200.

Until there’s a deal, the bonus federal unemployment money is likely to lapse. Standard jobless benefits vary from state to state, and depending on where you live you may have trouble making ends meet on your state check alone.

What do you do? Here are seven ways to cope with a smaller weekly payout.

Cut down on monthly expenses

chainarong06 /

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‘Africa is a Land of Opportunity.’ United Bank for Africa Chairman Tony Elumelu on Why Now Is the Time to Invest in Africa

Even as the pandemic inflicts a devastating toll on the global economy, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group Chairman Tony Elumelu insists that now is the time to invest in countries in Africa.

“Africa is a land of opportunity. Challenges exist in Africa, but we also have a huge return on investment,” Elumelu said during a TIME 100 Talks discussion with contributor Kim Dozier. “There’s no better time to make that bet than the time we live in.”

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe, killing hundreds of thousands of people and wreaking economic disruption, the idea of making a big investment may seem brazen. Countries in Africa face particularly grueling obstacles as COVID-19 cases across the continent continue to surge, locusts swarms in east Africa threaten food security and the African Development Bank warns of a looming recession due to the pandemic.

But while some may see investing

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Mark Zuckerberg on why Facebook is actually ‘behind’ its competition despite monopoly critique

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t waste any time on Wednesday explaining to lawmakers why he believes the company is not an illegal monopoly, during what was billed as a Congressional hearing to probe antitrust concerns.

However, the questioning veered far off course into a hodgepodge of issues that included data privacy, content moderation, corporate citizenship, election integrity, censorship and surveillance.

In his opening statement the tech billionaire — flanked by fellow tech giants Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Sundar Pichai — said Facebook faces intense global competition in the connection and advertising markets in which it operates.

“Many of our competitors have hundreds of millions or billions of users, some are upstarts, but others are gatekeepers with the power to decide if we can even release our apps in their app stores to compete with that,” Zuckerberg said.

“In many areas, we are behind our competitors,” he argued.


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Need extra income? Try these 3 simple ways to earn money from home

With nearly 50 million Americans unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are looking for any way to earn money from home.

NBC senior business correspondent Stephanie Ruhle spoke with TODAY’s Hoda Kotb about the best ways to help your bank account without leaving the house.

1. Make sure there’s no unclaimed money in your name.

According to Ruhle, a shocking amount of money goes unclaimed in the United States: It’s estimated that the country has about $42 billion in unclaimed funds.

“I’m talking about security deposits, store credits, money the IRS might owe you, maybe even a savings account you forgot about,” Ruhle said. “This money, if it’s left dormant for a while, gets moved to a holding account in your state, but it’s up to you to go find it.”

To start looking for any unclaimed funds, go to your state’s unclaimed property website and type in your

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