The Impact of Brexit on Small Businesses

The Impact of Brexit on Small Businesses

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has been rocking the boat for business owners and their workers across most sectors. The new deadline for Brexit is rapidly approaching, without a deal in place. Brexit is going to cause some problems regardless, but a no-deal Brexit could be truly chaotic. Whatever happens, it is important for businesses to make appropriate preparations for Brexit. Small to medium enterprises may be hit the hardest if they don’t.

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You Can Take Alexa Outside With New Amazon Wearables

Last week, Amazon made several exciting announcements about the latest updates and expansion plans for its AI personal assistant Amazon Alexa. It involves plenty of new hardware and updates to the existing devices in the Amazon Echo range. Some of them will be available in time for Christmas.

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Serious Fire Strikes Whirlpool HQ

The UK headquarters of international company Whirlpool were the victims of suspected arson last week, resulting in up to £2 million worth of damage.

Who is Whirlpool and what happened at their HQ?

Whirlpool is an international group which owns many home appliance manufacturer brands. This includes Indesit and market leader Hotpoint. The UK headquarters for these brands are all at the Whirlpool head office, located in Peterborough. Unfortunately, a blaze spread across 48 trailers parked by the factory on the evening of 29th August. It took around 55 firefighters over 3 hours to tame the fire. Plumes of black smoke were visible from miles away as the lorry trailers burned. Apparently, they contained appliance parts, and despite the extensive damage on the property, nobody was injured. Ironically, Whirlpool is involved in an ongoing scandal concerning unsafe appliances which can cause fires.

What have Peterborough residents said about the Whirlpool fire?

Witnesses in the area described hearing explosions from the site and a disgusting smell as ash fell from the sky from billowing clouds of black smoke. Police established a cordon and evacuated the immediate area. Nobody was hurt, but the emergency services advised residents to keep their doors and windows closed because of the smoke and ash in the air. There were temporary road closures on the surrounding roads, but they have since re-opened. The Whirlpool offices were still open for business.

What have firefighters and police said about the Whirlpool fire?

Karl Bowden, the group commander for the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, described the burnt lorry trailers as containing parts for fridges and washing machines and fridges. They were gutted by the fire by the time the firefighters got the blaze under control, causing millions of pounds worth of damage. Emergency services stayed at the site overnight to keep inspecting it for hotspots. The explosions that witnesses described hearing were tyres popping off the rims on the burning lorries. Following the blaze, police have arrested 5 teenagers as part of their investigation into its cause. The 15-19-year-olds have either been bailed or released subject to further inquiries.

What has Whirlpool said about the fire?

A spokesperson for Whirlpool made a statement regarding the incident. They confirmed that nobody was injured in the fire and it did not damage any of the actual buildings on the site. Operations will continue as normal for the 1,000 Whirlpool employees who work at the headquarters. Whirlpool offered their thanks to the emergency services who handled the blaze and apologies to the local residents who were inconvenienced by the disruption. They specified that 52 out of 110 of the heavy-goods vehicle trailers parked on the Whirlpool site were affected by the fire, which is almost half of them.

Ofcom Issues £1.4 Million Fine to Giffgaff for Goodybag Failings

Ofcom, the telecoms regulatory body, has issued fines to companies such as EE, Virgin Media, and O2 in the last year for failures of service and breaking the law. The latest telecoms company to receive a hefty fine from Ofcom for misbehaviour is Giffgaff. Recently the news broke that Ofcom was fining the mobile phone operator for billing errors which cost 2.6 million customers up to £2.9 million over 8 years. Despite topping the Which? customer survey for best mobile operator back in April, Giffgaff now has to pay £1.4 million.

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Ryanair to Cancel Thousands of Flights

Budget airline Ryanair has been facing problems with crew strikes over the last few years. More issues restricting Ryanair’s operations are coming due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft for the foreseeable future.

How does the Boeing 737 Max grounding affect Ryanair?

Ryanair had ordered more than 50 of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to expand their fleet between spring 2019 and summer 2020. However, none of them had even been delivered yet when the aircraft was grounded in March 2019. This occurred following the second of two fatal crashes due to a software flaw unique to the plane. Even if they receive delivery of some of the planes, they are banned from flying until they are certified as safe. It is unlikely that this will happen until the end of the year, affecting flight plans for airlines.

Ryanair is just one of many airlines that are having to cancel flights and reconsider expansion plans following delays with the unsafe aircraft from Boeing. Ryanair has actually ordered a variant of the Boeing 737 Max called the Max200, which will require separate safety certification. This could take even longer before the planes are approved and ready to be delivered. Now Ryanair is not expecting to receive their first group of Max200 planes until early 2020. This will affect Ryanair flights from this winter to next summer.

What is happening to Ryanair flights in 2019 – 2020?

The delays with Boeing aircraft are now forcing Ryanair to revise its flight schedules. Their previous predictions for growth are likely to fall by at least 4% next summer. This means that until they receive the new aircraft and can meet the demand for flights, Ryanair is going to have to reduce their flight plans. Thousands of less popular routes will face cuts. Though they expect to return to normal scheduled growth by the end of next year, the airline is also expecting to cancel around 30,000 flights in the meantime.

Ryanair is optimistic in thinking that the Boeing 737 Max will return to the skies by the end of 2019, and the Max200 variant will follow within a couple of months. Due to the severity of the incidents involving the Boeing 737 Max so far, regulators cannot risk allowing the aircraft to resume flying without 100% confidence in the safety of its systems and eradication of those faults. If the Boeing 737 Max remains grounded for longer than anticipated, then this could result in further losses and cancellations for airlines like Ryanair.

Why will Ryanair have to cancel flights?

The delays with their Boeing order means that Ryanair will end up with a smaller fleet than planned. They are likely to have to extend leases and delay sales on current aircraft in their fleet. Even if they do, the shortfall means that Ryanair will have to close some bases over the winter. They will also have to cancel some flights so that they can dedicate the planes that they do have to the most popular routes. This could affect flights that have already been sold for departures between winter 2019 and summer 2020.

Ryanair is now looking at which bases they may have to close temporarily and is no longer recruiting. There is a surplus of around 300 pilots, which means that Ryanair is offering job shares and unpaid leave over the winter. Ryanair will have to negotiate with staff and relevant unions over closures, which are likely to begin taking effect from November 2019. Even when the aircraft begin to be delivered from Boeing, Ryanair can only introduce up to 8 of them per month, so it will take even longer. On top of Brexit causing uncertainty among holidaymakers and increasing oil prices, limited flights could mean that the flights that do go ahead have higher prices for tickets.

10 Medical Conditions You Need To Declare To Travel Insurance Companies That You May Not Have Thought About

10 medical conditions you need to declare when buying travel insurance

Whether you’re buying your travel insurance from your airline such as Thomas Cook or from a travel company such as Co-Operative Travel, you usually have to declare medical conditions that may affect your health when travelling to another country for a holiday or work trip. There are a few health conditions that you may not have thought about when declaring your conditions to your travel insurance company, to make sure you haven’t forgotten about anything we have compiled you a list of conditions you may need to declare. If you don’t declare a condition to your travel insurance company and you fall sick whilst abroad due to this condition you may not be covered under your policy, leaving you stuck to pay for new flights or large hospital bills.

Type 2 Diabetes

If you have been diagnosed or treated for your Type 2 Diabetes within the last 2 years you need to declare this to your travel insurance company as this condition could affect when flying and whilst you’re in another country.

Epilepsy

You need to declare your Epilepsy anyway, but you also need to declare if you have had any seizure related medical treatments within the last 2 years. You need to declare this even if your seizures aren’t severe or happen very infrequently.

Current Pregnancy Complications

You should know that you need to declare your pregnancy to your travel company anyway, but if you have been diagnosed with pregnancy complications you also need to inform the travel company of this as you may experience further complication whilst flying or in another country.

Parkinson’s

If you suffer from Parkinson’s you need to declare this to your travel insurance company if you have been diagnosed or received treatment within the last 2 years for early-onset Parkinson’s disease.

Asthma

If you have ever suffered from a respiratory condition including Asthma you need to declare this to your travel insurance company as respiratory conditions are likely to be affected when travelling.

Arthritis

If you have received a diagnosis of Arthritis or any treatment for your Arthritis within the last 2 years you need to declare this to your travel insurance company.

PTSD or Depression

If you have ever suffered from a diagnosed psychological or psychiatric condition you need to declare this to your travel insurance company. This could be anxiety, PTSD, depression or OCD for example.

High Blood Pressure

If you have ever suffered from a diagnosed circulatory condition you need to declare this to your travel company as there is a possibility travelling may affect this condition.

Cancer

You may already know that if you’re currently suffering from and receiving treatment for cancer you need to declare this to your travel insurance company, but if you have ever been diagnosed with and received treatment for cancer you need to declare this to your travel insurance company too.

IBS

If you suffer from IBS and have been diagnosed or treated for the condition within the last 2 years you need to declare this as you may require treatment whilst travelling or in a different country.

If you are unsure whether you need to delcare a current condition you’re suffering from you should inquire with your travel isnurance company about their policies regarding your health condition and make sure that it will be covered under your insurance policy before travelling.

The Best UK Pride Collections 2019

UK Pride Collections 2019

It’s that time of year again – not just summer, but Pride. The month of June and the weeks surrounding it are festival season for the LGBTQ community and allies all around the world. Even as global society grows more inclusive, visibility and pride are more important than ever in the face of divisiveness. This is why it matters who you give your money to when you shop for your Pride gear every year. It’s all too easy to slap a rainbow on something, but which retailers are walking the walk and putting their money where their mouth is? These are some of the best collections available for Pride 2019.

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Disney Plus: Everything You Need to Know About Disney’s New Streaming Service

Streaming platforms are dominating media, and Disney is finally ready to take on Netflix. Even as Apple is developing its own streaming service with original and exclusive content, Disney+ is preparing to take over. Streaming is transforming the entertainment industry, and Disney is an industry giant which needs to catch up. Disney is in the process of withdrawing its content from other platforms so that it will only be available through Disney+ once the new service launches later this year. But what can we expect from this?

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BBC to launch a Sustainable Fashion Brand

BBC is to launch a sustainable fashion brand in collaboration with Mother of Pearl a well known eco-friendly fashion producer.

The BBC has debuted their clothing line at London Fashion Week in a mission to ‘place sustainable fashion at the heart’ of fashion week. They’re working with the British Fashion Council along with the sustainable fashion brand Mother of Pearl.

On Saturday 16th February the BBC ran a series of talks including some big names from both the fashion world and the BBC Earth world. The talks discussed Circularity, how technologies are changing the fashion world and how brands can become more sustainable.

Mother of Pearl will be releasing the line in collaboration with BBC Earth in June, exclusively to Net-a-Porter. There will be nine pieces in the collection. Mother of Pearl has said they’re using 100% ‘certified peace’ silk and is working with ‘Cocccon’ another company that “has managed to create a very simple supply chain, from certification to dye to print, all under one roof”.

They have also said that the clothing is going to be “fancy” and will include “silk dresses you want to wear to summer parties in the sunshine.”, including fancy and beautiful clothing in the line will hopefully change the idea of sustainable clothing being boring and dull.

Both BBC Earth and Mother of Pearl hope to change the fashion industry not only the sustainability of fast fashion but also for high fashion brands and events like fashion week not only in London but worldwide.