Ritz Herald 22, May 2 mins
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The Ritz Herald

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier has selected PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) as its exclusive beverage provider forming a new multiyear partnership at the iconic venue’s restaurants and shops, and throughout the amusement park’s vending offerings.

More than nine million annual visitors at Santa Monica Pier, one of the most famous and photographed sites in Southern California, can now enjoy PepsiCo’s broad beverage portfolio including fountain and single serve selections of fan favorites like Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Lipton, bubly, LIFEWTR and Aquafina.

“At Santa Monica Pier, we offer something for all crowds. Whether they come to fish, enjoy thrill rides, be entertained, or simply go for a walk over the waves,” said Paul Garnica, Director of Food and Beverage, Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. “It’s great to offer exciting beverage choices for everyone as well through PepsiCo’s broad portfolio of consumer-loved brands.”

In addition, engaging consumer-driven brand activations are already in the works just in time for summer. Brand Pepsi, bubly and LIFEWTR are just a few of the brands park goers can expect to see come to life to add to the fun.

“We’re delighted to partner with Pacific Park at one of Los Angeles’ beloved hot spots, Santa Monica Pier. Bringing together their iconic venue with our iconic brands will open up so many opportunities to elevate the consumer experience” said Kris Licht, President of PepsiCo Beverages North America West Division. “We look forward to creating co-branding opportunities in the spirit of our shared mission of making people smile.”





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Emaar Hospitality Group to Open 5 New Hotels in Dubai This Year
The Ritz Herald

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of global developer Emaar Properties, will open four new hotels in Dubai under its premium luxury Address Hotels + Resorts and upscale lifestyle Vida Hotels and Resorts, this year. Further, Rove Hotels, the joint venture of Emaar Properties and Meraas, will…

Tian Tian Ventures Set To Take Thailand Ride-Hailing Market By Storm
The Ritz Herald

Silicon Valley based venture capitalist Tian Tian Ventures is about to launch a trial service for its TTgo ride-hailing app in Thailand, ahead of its planned expansion into the Southeast Asian country next quarter.

TTV is in the middle of a $100 million expansion plan across multiple cities in China…

TD and Microsoft Enter into a Strategic Relationship to Power the Future of Digital Customer Experiences
The Ritz Herald

TD Bank Group (TD) and Microsoft today announced a strategic relationship in which TD will use Microsoft Azure as the cloud foundation to provide its technology and design teams with tools designed for secure, agile and flexible access to data and AI resources. This will further enable the Bank to…

American Media, LLC Reaches Agreement To Sell Tabloids, Including National Enquirer, To Hudson Media
The Ritz Herald

American Media, LLC today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with James Cohen, the owner and CEO of Hudson Media, for the sale of its newsprint tabloids, including the National Enquirer (US and UK editions), Globe and National Examiner. The agreement also includes a multi-year…

The Hanover Insurance Group Unveils Insurago Digital Platform
The Ritz Herald

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG) today announced it has launched Insurago, an innovative customer-facing digital insurance platform that enables independent agents to acquire new customers. Powered by CoverWallet, Insurago enables agents to place their own personalized link on their agency website or social media channels and customers…

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PHOTO CREDIT: Daniel Acker / Bloomberg News
The Ritz Herald
14% of Homebuyers Surveyed Lowered their Price Range as a Result of Tax Reform, While 13% Moved to a Nearby City with Lower Taxes

More than a year after the historic tax code overhaul, less than half of homebuyers (47%) say that tax reform has had an effect on their home search, according to a March survey commissioned by Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s down from 56 percent last year, when tax reform’s effects were still mostly speculative and not yet realized in people’s paychecks. The tax reform law lowered the caps on the tax deductions allowed for mortgage interest payments and state and local taxes.

The Redfin-commissioned survey included more than 2,000 U.S. residents who planned to buy or sell a primary residence in the next 12 months. More than 1,800 homebuyers responded to the question: “How has the recent tax reform law affected your plans to buy a home?” Results from this survey were compared to over 1,300 responses to the same question in a similar survey commissioned in March 2018.

The most common tax-reform effect reported by homebuyers this year was that they lowered their price range because of decreased benefits on high-priced homes (14%, down from 16% last year).

Another way tax reform has been affecting the housing market is in the form of migration…

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PHOTO CREDIT: Callaghan O'Hare. An employee assembles engines at a manufacturing facility in Sequin, Texas
The Ritz Herald
Manufacturing Growth Continues in 2019; Revenue to Increase 4%; Capital Expenditures to Increase 5.9%; Capacity Utilization Currently at 84.2%; Non-Manufacturing Growth Continues in 2019; Revenue to Increase 3.1%; Capital Expenditures to Increase 2.1%; Capacity Utilization Currently at 89%

Economic growth is expected to continue in the U.S. throughout 2019, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in their Spring 2019 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations for the remainder of 2019 continue to be positive in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.

These projections are part of the forecast issued by the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Business Survey Committees. The forecast was presented today by Timothy R. Fiore CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee; and by Anthony S. Nieves, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P., CFPM, chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Manufacturing Summary
Fifty-five percent of respondents from the panel of manufacturing supply management executives predict their revenues, on average, will be 4 percent greater in 2019 compared to 2018, 11 percent expect an 11.1 percent decline, and 34 percent foresee no change in revenue. This yields an overall average forecast of 4 percent revenue growth among manufacturers for 2019. This current prediction is 1.7 percentage points below the December 2018 forecast of 5.7-percent revenue growth for 2019 and is 1.8 percentage points below the actual revenue growth reported for all of 2018. With operating rate at 84.2 percent, an expected capital expenditure increase…

SMB Economic Optimism Falls to Lowest Point since 2016 Presidential Election, Workforce Expansion Outlook Remains Strong
The Ritz Herald

Confidence in the economy among small and midsize businesses CEOs continues to decline, falling to 91.6 in Vistage’s Q1 2019 CEO Confidence Index. The index is down from 95.4 recorded in Q4 2018 and 105.8 in Q1 2018. Despite the continued drop-off and the growing number of CEOs believing…

Report: As the Economy Slows and Wages Surge, Corporate Profits Likely to Decline
The Ritz Herald

In 2019, surging labor costs and slower revenue growth will likely lead to a decline in corporate profits in both the U.S. and other advanced economies, finds a new study on labor market trends. Conducted by The Conference Board, the analysis says companies in the U.S. that may experience…

TTgo Announces Series A Funding Round at $250M Valuation
The Ritz Herald

Tian Tian Ventures (TTV)’s CEO Benjamin Berger was in Sweden this week to discuss technology integration in Europe and expanding TTV’s ride coverage in the region, but back in the U.S the company is progressing with plans to take TTV to the next level.

TTV is raising a Series A…

Barneys New York Opens “The High End” Luxury Cannabis Lifestyle Shop
The Ritz Herald

Barneys New York, the luxury specialty retailer, today announced the opening of “The High End”, its luxury cannabis lifestyle and wellness concept shop, in its Beverly Hills flagship store. With the launch of The High End, Barneys New York is the first major retailer to introduce a cannabis lifestyle…

Survey: Business Owner Sentiment Dips
The Ritz Herald

The latest Paychex Business Sentiment Report shows optimism among business owners in many areas – including business outlook, ability to fill open positions, and ability to raise wages – is trending down since the last report in October 2018. The report, issued by Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of…

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The Ritz Herald
PHOTO CREDIT: Bart Boatwright. TD Bank at 102 S. Main St. in downtown Greenville Monday, July 9, 2018
Business owners still committed to keeping the "Main Street" feeling
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Small business owners (SBOs) across the U.S. expect larger increases in revenue this year than in 2018, despite growing trepidation about the national economy and inflation, according to the 2019 Small Business Survey conducted by TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. SBOs show continued optimism about their businesses’ prospects, with 54 percent anticipating revenue growth, compared with 52 percent who expected such gains in 2018.

Hiring also is on business owners’ minds. Twenty-three percent said they will increase staff this year, compared with 21 percent in 2018. To support and fuel growth plans, business owners are primarily focused on expanding product lines/services (46 percent) and expanding production (39 percent) in 2019, and 43 percent will seek credit.

What’s not impacting the bottom line? Tax reform. Sixty-four percent of SBOs said they did not benefit from tax code revisions, in line with last year’s survey when nearly half of respondents stated the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would not aid their business. However, 90 percent do think at least one of the provisions could benefit future filings.

While SBOs remain confident, they are watching external pressures that could challenge operations over the next 12 months. According to respondents, their top obstacles include the health of the national economy (37 percent), inflation (21 percent) and finding qualified workers (18 percent).

Main Street Matters
SBOs may feel some pressure from the economy and expansion, but their commitment to their communities remains a major priority. When asked what they do as a business owner to…


NASA Awards $608 Million Contract to PAE-KBR Joint Venture
NASA recently announced it awarded the Base Operations, Spaceport Services
Affordability in the Top 10 Most Popular Markets for Millennials, According to NAR
A wide range of factors contribute to why millennials decide
Economist offers insights on China’s global growth
The Ritz Herald

When the whole world is searching for a therapy to calm the anxiety arising from economic slowdown, China, the most important global growth engine, provides its routes to maintain vitality – through supportive macro policies and technology-driven innovation.

That point of view was shared by Zhu Min, an influential…

Financial Times Names Codewise Among Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies for the Third Year Straight
The Ritz Herald

Codewise, the industry’s first provider of AI-powered online ad measurement and management solutions for digital marketers, today announced that it has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe in the latest FT 1000 report for the third year in a row.

Published by the Financial Times in…

11 Countries Climb in Top 100 Ranking for Diesel Sulfur Limits
The Ritz Herald

Thirteen nations have moved into the Top 100 in Stratas Advisors’ diesel-sulfur-limits rankings for 2019.

Stratas Advisors’ research, conducted by its Global Fuels Specifications Service, validates a continued worldwide movement toward lower sulfur content in diesel. The study also cites a number of countries that have positioned themselves through policy…

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PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Wilson/Getty Images. The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Ritz Herald

NASA recently announced it awarded the Base Operations, Spaceport Services contract at the Kennedy Space Center to the joint venture PAE-SGT Partners LLC, known as PSP. The firm fixed-price contract with a potential value of $608.7 million is for institutional support services at both the Kennedy Space Centerand the NASA facilities at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The contract is two years followed by three two-year options. It has cost reimbursable and indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity components.

PAE’s CEO John Heller attributes his organization’s unique mission suitability as a competitive edge.

“Our continued exemplary performance at the Johnson Space Center as well as our recent performance at Mississippi’sStennis Space Center and the New Orleans’s Michoud Assembly facility provided us with unique, proven capabilities to position us to win this contract,” Heller said. “The synergy we have with our high-caliber JV partner and our collective proven past performance and relevant experience ensured PSP as the best overall value.”

SGT was acquired by KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR) in April 2018 and was integrated into KBR’s global government services business, KBRwyle.

KBRwyle has provided mission-critical space support services to NASA and other customers for more…



Affordability in the Top 10 Most Popular Markets for Millennials, According to NAR

/ Apr 26
A wide range of factors contribute to why millennials decide to move to certain areas, remain for an extended period or choose to relocate shortly after their arrival. Job market
Scams cost small businesses $7 billion annually: Ameren shares tips to educate and protect
The Ritz Herald

According to the Better Business Bureau, scam activity directed at small businesses is growing at a national cost of $7 billion annually. Regardless of size, location or industry, no business is immune from attempted scams, generally resulting in a greater monetary loss per incident than those targeting individuals….

CoreVest Partners with Recon Realty to Empower Veterans to Launch, Grow and Scale their Real Estate Investment Businesses; Address the Affordable Housing Crisis
The Ritz Herald

CoreVest, the leading lender to residential real estate investors, has announced a partnership with Recon Realty, a public benefit corporation, to encourage veterans to further participate in the investment property business by providing them the tools, education and financial capability to build, grow, and trade their housing portfolios at…

Payless ShoeSource Conducting Store Closing Sales At All Stores In The United States And Canada
The Ritz Herald

Payless ShoeSource is now holding store closing sales at all retail locations in North America. This is the largest liquidation event, by store count, in retail history with sales to be conducted at all of its approximately 2,300 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Payless’ stores in…