The Global Bio Polyols Market Size, Share, Trends, Global Industry Report, 2025

The global bio polyols market is expected to witness significant growth over the next seven years. Growing environmental concerns regarding conventional polyols usage are presumed to play a critical role in shaping the future development of bio polyols over the forecast period. Demand for these bio-based products is estimated to witness annual growth rate of over 9%. Volatile crude oil prices have negatively impacted the conventional polyols demand. Increasing acceptance across multiple end-use industries over the past few years is expected to further compliment the global bio polyol market development. Shifting consumer preference for bio-based materials over synthetic chemical is expected to be beneficial for the overall bio polyols market growth. Major industry participants have invested heavily in R&D initiatives for superior and cheaper bio based products. Governments and regulatory associations such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), REACH, etc. have implemented several guidelines favoring bio based polyols usage. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are environmentally hazardous are used in conventional polyols manufacturing. Sustainable bio based polyols emits zero to minimal VOCs in their manufacturing process. All the above mentioned factors are expected to drive the overall bio polyol market over the next seven years.

The construction industry has started using bio-based polyols over conventional polyols. Increasing infrastructure spending in emerging countries such as China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, and Vietnam is expected to have a positive impact on the market. Coatings and food industry growth in numerous economies is also anticipated to add value to the overall market revenue. Other major applications include transportation, adhesives, carpeting, furniture, sealants, and bedding.

High recycling of foam based waste for the production of bio polyols has helped in reducing raw materials prices for the conventional polyols. High unconventional hydrocarbon production in North America has helped in reducing petro related raw material prices for the conventional polyols. Iran recently started exporting its oil reserves and this is expected to reduce overall petrochemical prices for the next few years. All mentioned recent activities across various regions may emerge as a major concern for the bio-based polyol producers. Since bio polyol products are novel in the bio polyols market, production cost for these polyols is still extremely high. This may create a hindrance for the overall market growth. Innovations in terms of product development and acceptance across a wide range of end-use applications are anticipated to create ample lucrative opportunities for the industry participants.

North America bio polyols market dominated the overall the overall market revenue. Growing end-use industries in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico had a direct positive impact on the overall market. Italy and Germany have the largest market share in the European region. Europe bio polyols market is also expected to witness significant growth over the period. Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth over the next seven years. China India, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia are the biggest economies in the Asia Pacific region in terms of growing end-use industries. Other regional markets which are expected to grow at a faster pace include Brazil, Russia, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia.

Prominent bio polyols industry participants include Arkema S.A., Global Bio Chem Technology Group Co. Ltd., The Dow Chemical Company, BASF S.E. Other manufacturers include Stepan Company, Bayer Material Science, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Bio Based Technologies Llc, Johnson Controls Inc., Cargill Inc., Jayant Agro Organics Ltd., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., Invista S.A.R.L. and Emery Oleo Chemicals (M) Sdn Bhd. The industry is moderately fragmented. Major participants hold over 30% of the overall market share. Entry barriers are high for the market. The new entrants require innovative and strong R&D initiatives and product development process to enter the market.

Originally Published
Grand View Research, Inc.


Aunt of 4-year-old girl shot in Times Square recounts terrifying ordeal

The aunt of the 4-year-old girl who was struck when a gunman opened fire in Times Square recalled the moment the family realized the tot had been hit as they ran for their lives — but said the “tough” little girl stayed calm.

Little Skye Martinez was waiting in line with her mom, 16-year-old aunt Danae Romero, and other relatives to shop for toys at Line Friends on Saturday afternoon when a gunman arguing with three other people opened fire in the crowd, striking her and two other bystanders.

“She didn’t feel anything. Even when we noticed when we were at the corner, she wasn’t crying,” Romero told The Post on Sunday.

Romero, who had also joined for the shopping trip, said she had overheard a man shout at someone to come over before shots rang out at the tourist hub.

“Once they went over was when they started shooting, so we ran and didn’t notice that my niece got hit until we were at the corner and we could see that she was bleeding,” she said.

Romero said that her niece, who was hit in the left leg, managed to stay calm.

“She’s pretty tough, I guess. She’s always been happy. There aren’t many times when she cries and stuff,” she said.

Romero said Skye is still at the hospital, where she’s in “stable condition.”

“She’s doing alright. It’s a stressful situation,” Romero told The Post.

But she said the shooting has left her sister, Skye’s mother, reeling.

“She’s upset. Nobody knew what was going to happen and she was like, why did it have to be her [daughter] because she’s 4 years old,” Romero said.

Romero called on the police to track down the gunman responsible for the shooting.

“Please actually catch him. He’s out there and you don’t know why he did it,” she said.

“What if he ends up hurting some more people? ‘Cause if he’s able to do it in a place where there’s so much people like Times Square and not care, what’s going to stop him from doing it again?”

Reached by phone on Sunday, Skye’s mother, Sonia Romero, declined to comment on the shooting.

“Our priority is taking care of my daughter,” she told The Post.


A test subject who spent 40 days in a cave for science breaks down what it was like, from weird sleep patterns to generating power with a bike

  • 15 people spent 40 days in a deep cave to study how humans could live without regular timekeeping.
  • The team leader told Insider about life in the experiment, which ended last month.
  • It was too humid to wash much, and electricity came from a bike attached to a generator, he said.

On April 24, 15 volunteers came out of a cave in the south of France. They had just spent 40 days underground, deliberately deprived of any means of tracking the passage of time.

This experiment, called Deep Time, provided thousands of measurements to assess the effect of removing measured time on people’s bodies, minds, and social interactions.

Insider spoke with Christian Clot, the team leader for this expedition. Here is what he told us about life in the cave.

In the cave, all electronics had their clocks removed. There was, of course, no sunlight. This left people organizing their days by intuition.

They could complete tasks like taking scientific measurements, exploring and cleaning the cave, or cataloging insects during waking hours. The cave was mostly dark, apart from one living area that was kept illuminated.

People were told to sleep and eat whenever they felt like it. The only thing regulating the length of their day was their internal body clock and their interactions with others.

Under these conditions, the volunteers had widely different cycles governing their activities and sleep.

By the end of 40 days, most volunteers had completed only 30 cycles, Clot told Insider. Precise measurements are still being analyzed, but this suggests that most people ended up with “days” that were more like 30 hours long rather than 24.

One woman’s cycle was twice as long as normal, Clot told Insider. She only slept 23 times over the 40 days, which suggests that an average cycle was about 40 hours for her.

People slept in tents in the “quiet zone.” It was “absolutely forbidden to wake up someone else,” Clot said. There were no alarms or devices to tell them how long they had slept. They simply woke up when they felt like it.

“During the first week in the cave, it was really hard to accept the idea that when I wake up, I didn’t have to check my smartphone or my watch to see if I slept enough. I just have to listen to my body,” Clot said.

“It was like a liberation, you know. It was like: Wow, amazing. I just have to listen to me!”

At the beginning of the experiment, that meant that the volunteers were completely out of sync, Clot told Insider.

“People were awake around the clock,” he said.

However, by the end of the experiment, people had fallen into a rhythm and naturally started to wake up and go to sleep at times that worked for the group, Clot said.

“In an unconscious way, when people wanted to be together, they woke up at the same time,” Clot said.

Once swallowed, the pill stays in the body on average for 3 to 4 days, depending on the person’s physiology.

As it makes its way through the digestive tract, it sends temperature readings every minute, a spokesperson from the manufacturer, the French firm BodyCap, told Insider.

Because the body’s temperature changes during the day according to its internal clock, these measurements are useful to determine the effect of the experiment on the body.

The volunteers – seven women and eight men – also wore sensors to measure sleeping patterns, regularly took blood samples, monitored their brain waves, and tested their brain function by playing games with VR headsets.

Cameras were also constantly recording their interactions for later analysis.

“Thousands” of data points were collected during this experiment, Clot said. These are now being processed by 12 labs around the world, he said.

The team used water from an underground lake for drinking, cooking, and hygiene.

Getting the water was “a bit hard,” Clot said, so they used as little as they could.

Washing in the cave would not have been very pleasant anyway. The cave was cold – around 10 degrees Celsius (about 50 degrees Fahrenheit) – and humidity was at 100%.

Asked if humans could survive underground for longer periods of time, Clot said, “we had water. The only thing you need is food.”

“We tried to grow some vegetables. Some were growing nicely,” Clot said, although they didn’t have enough time to harvest them in the 40 days.

Standing bikes provided some exercise but were also hooked to a generator to produce electricity for computers while scientific measurements were being collected.

When it was time to leave, the volunteers were surprised. They thought they had much longer, with most guessing that they were around 30 days in rather than the full 40.

Clot told Insider that they had imagined a lot of possibilities for what would happen in the cave. But “absolutely not” that their perceptions would have been off by as much as ten days.

By the time the team on the surface came to tell them the experiment was over, many of the volunteers were not ready to leave the cave and had to adjust to the idea mentally, Clot told Insider.

Returning to normal life was hard in some ways, Clot said.

In his case, it was challenging because he’s had to do a lot of interviews since emerging from the cave, he said.

“I sometimes think: Wow! It was so easy in the cave,” he told Insider.

At least three of the 15 volunteers would happily go back, he said. As for him, he would like to do it again, if only to repeat the experiment.

But before then, the team plans to test other extreme living conditions and will be going together to the Brazilian rainforest and Siberia, Clot said.

Read the original article on Business Insider


Luxury Watches Market To Witness Massive Growth Of $51,317.3 By 2027 With A CAGR Of 4.50%

According to a new report published, titled, “Luxury Watches Market by Type, End User and Distribution Channel: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021–2027,”

The global Luxury Watches Market is expected to reach $ 51,317.3 million by 2027 at a CAGR of 4.50% from 2021 to 2027.

The luxury watches market provides a quantitative analysis of the current market trends, estimations, and dynamics of the market size from 2019 to 2027 to identify the prevailing opportunities.

In-depth analysis and the market size and segmentation assist to determine the prevailing Luxury Watches Market opportunities.

The luxury watches market is segmented into type, end user, distribution channel, and region. On the basis of type, the market is categorized into mechanical watches and electronic watches. By end user, it is segregated into men and women. According to distribution channel, it is divided into online store, single brand store, and multi brand store. Region-wise, it is analyzed across North America (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico), Europe (Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the UK, and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific), and LAMEA (Latin America, Middle East, and Africa).

Key findings of the study

•The luxury watches market was valued at $43,661.8 million in 2019, and is estimated to reach $51,317.3 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.50% during the forecast period.
•By type, the electronic watches segment is estimated to witness the fastest growth, registering a CAGR of 6.00% during the forecast period.
•In 2019, depending on end user, the women segment was valued at $23,740.4 million, accounting for 54.4% of the global Luxury Watches Market share.
•In 2019, India was the most prominent market in Asia-Pacific, and is projected to reach $727.4 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.70% during the forecast period.

The players operating in the luxury watch industry have adopted product launch and business expansion as their key developmental strategies to expand their market share, increase profitability, and remain competitive in the market. The key players profiled in this report include CASIO Computer Co. Ltd., Citizen Watch Co. Ltd., Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, Fossil Group Inc., LVMH Moet Hennessy -Louis Vuitton, Movado Group Inc., Patek Philippe SA, Rolex SA, Seiko Holdings Corp., and the Swatch Group Ltd.


UK and Europe Work in Unison to bring Cultural Artists Together

ArtReach® in Leicester is about to launch a new project-based website specifically to promote UK and European talented artists under the age of 30.

The team at ArtReach® makes great art possible and accessible for all by connecting art with grass roots and diverse communities to forge creative engagement.

LIBERTY EU, the new art-based project brings together 12 cultural partners across 10 countries to showcase a pool of 750 young artists to young audiences across Europe.

The website, which is part of LIBERTY EU will enable artists and cultural professionals to work together until the end of 2022, commissioning at least 75 new works. The work these artists create will be presented at free access events across Europe.

With everything that has been taking place across Europe recently including; Brexit, protests and rioting, the pandemic, plus countries arguing other over the vaccine, ArtReach®, partners, and funders are pleased to announce that the LIBERTY EU events will go ahead as planned, and relationships between the UK and its European partners have never been better in the arts world.

Lorna Fulton, Creative Director of ArtReach® said: “ArtReach® is delighted that our successful track record of artistic leadership with European partners will be enhanced with the major project LIBERTY EU. It is brilliant for both the UK and Europe, especially as we’re fully supported by Creative Europe and Arts Council England. The new LIBERTY EU website will showcase all the raw talent in the field of art across Europe that we are craving to see right now in these tough times.”

If you are therefore interested in art in all its forms, the LIBERTY EU project will be highlighting six strands of art, including; Inside Out Performance, Processional Theatre, Liberty Art, Outdoor Digital Art, Educational Workshops, and Seminars.

ArtReach, LCB Depot
31 Rutland Street
Tel: +44 (0)116 261 6882
Press contact: Rachel McAlley
Mob: +44 (0)7963577034

ArtReach is a not-for-profit, contemporary arts development agency, led by ArtReach (Trust) Ltd, that connects art with grass roots and diverse communities to forge creative engagement. The project LIBERTY EU is an exciting international arts programme exploring and celebrating freedom, led by ArtReach.


Twitter suspends Trump ‘From the Desk’ account, despite no link to Team Trump

An account pulled from Twitter for appearing to belong to former President Donald Trump’s newly launched communications platform was not created by the ex-commander-in-chief’s team, The Post has learned.

The 45th president on Tuesday revealed his new website, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” which allows him to provide his thoughts in Twitter-style posts that can then be shared on social media sites from which he has been banned.

The site is meant to serve as “a place to speak freely and safely,” a statement from Team Trump said. The team is working on developing the site further to give him the ability to communicate directly with his followers.

An account appearing to belong to the former president’s new platform, @DJTDesk, emerged on the social media site shortly after — but a source close to Team Trump told The Post that the account “was not created by anyone on President Trump’s team.”

Still, by Wednesday evening, Twitter had suspended the account.

Reached for comment by The Post, including questions on the validity of the account, Twitter stood by the decision despite the identity of the user remaining unknown and seemingly not connected to the former president.

“As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

The platform permanently banned the then-president following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

At the time, Twitter defended its suspension as “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

The company’s continued position that it will not consider allowing him back on its platform, even if he were to return to public office, has rubbed many the wrong way, including some of Trump’s political opponents.

Facebook, meanwhile, ordered an indefinite ban on the president.

In the three months since banning the then-president, Facebook deferred to its Oversight Board to make a final call on letting Trump return to its platforms.

On Wednesday morning, the board announced it would be upholding the ban but said an indefinite suspension of Trump’s account was inappropriate and the company has six months to specify new penalties.

Trump slammed the decision in a statement — which couldn’t be shared on social media — in which he said that the companies censoring him “must pay a political price.”

“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country. Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before,” he said in an emailed statement.

“The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process,” he said.

In the final month of the heated 2020 presidential race, The Post revealed a trove of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop that raised questions about then-candidate Joe Biden’s ties to his son’s foreign business ventures in Ukraine and China– which resulted in The Post’s Twitter account being immediately locked and links to the story disabled on the platform.

The water-damaged MacBook Pro was dropped off for repair at a Delaware computer shop in April 2019, but the individual who dropped it off never returned to pick it up.

It was seized by the FBI in December of that year.

Immediately following the release of The Post’s exposé, Twitter demanded The Post delete six tweets that linked to the stories based on files from the abandoned laptop in order to regain account access, finally caving and unlocking the account after a two-week stalemate.

During that time, The Post refused to remove the tweets and actually gained followers.

At a Senate hearing just two weeks after The Post’s return to the site, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey conceded that the company made “a mistake” in its actions.

“We recognize it as a mistake that we made, both in terms of the intention of the policy and also the enforcement action of not allowing people to share it publicly or privately,” said Dorsey, responding to a question from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) about the forced media blackout.

Asked again in March at a Congressional hearing on misinformation and social media about the matter, Dorsey reiterated his assertion that the move was a “total mistake.”

“It was literally just a process error. This was not against them in any particular way,” Dorsey told the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“If we remove a violation we require people to correct it,” he added. “We changed that based on their not wanting to delete that tweet, which I completely agree with. I see it. But it is something we learn.”

Originally Published on NY Post
By Emily Jacobs
May 6, 2021 at 9:13am


Secret Service agents driving Trump around hospital during Covid stay needed full protective gear

Two Secret Service agents who rode with then-President Donald Trump as he drove around Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while he was hospitalized with Covid-19 last year needed to wear full medical protective gear, the agency’s director said Thursday.

Director of the U.S. Secret Service James Murray told a budget hearing with the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security that the former president’s desire to be seen outside the hospital in October where he could wave to supporters “was extensively discussed” with doctors beforehand.

He said the Secret Service talked with the White House medical team and medical staff at Water Reed beforehand and the two agents in the vehicle with Trump wore the same kind of personal protective equipment gear that front-line health care workers used. “The two individuals in the vehicle were fully outfitted in PPE,” he said.

White House officials said at the time that the president was bored and wanted to show strength, but the move was widely criticized. A doctor affiliated with the hospital, George Washington University Professor James Phillips, tweeted: “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘drive by’ now has to be quarantined for 14 days.”

Murray also told the House hearing that he would like to have a replica of the White House at the agency’s training center outside Washington. Using the current training facility “is like having a basketball team practice outdoors in a field, instead indoors on a basketball court.”

He said the new, taller fence around the White House fence has now been installed on the north side of the grounds and should be finished a year from now.

“The new fence is a game changer for us,” Murray said, adding that the agency might need to consider setting up a checkpoint farther out to screen people before they can get up to the fence.

Originally Published on NBC News
May 6, 2021 at 10:47 PM +06
By Pete Williams
Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent who covers the Justice Department and the Supreme Court, based in Washington.


Rocket debris from China’s space station launch is falling back to Earth — but where?

A large Chinese rocket is set to make an uncontrolled reentry back into Earth’s atmosphere, but it is not yet clear exactly where or when the debris will hit our planet.

China’s Long March 5B rocket is “unpredictably” falling back to Earth after launching a part of the new T-shaped Chinese space station on Thursday local time in Wenchang, according to SpaceNews. The 22.5-metric-ton Tianhe space station module is in its correct orbit after separating as planned from the core stage of the rocket, which is now expected to re-enter in a few days or about a week.

“It will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area,” SpaceNews said. That said, the more likely possibility is the core stage will fall in an uninhabited place like Earth’s oceans, which cover 70% of the planet. The odds of a particular individual being hit by space debris are exceedingly low, once estimated at 1 in several trillion.

Plotting the trajectory of this falling rocket stage is difficult, if not impossible because there are too many uncertainties involved in calculating the effect of the atmospheric drag on the core module. Earth’s atmosphere can expand or contract with solar activity, making it hard to estimate exactly when and where the rocket will come down.

“The high speed of the rocket body means it orbits the Earth roughly every 90 minutes and so a change of just a few minutes in reentry time results in reentry point thousands of kilometers away,” SpaceNews said, adding that the object’s orbital inclination of 41.5 degrees means it “passes a little farther north than New York, Madrid and Beijing and as far south as southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand, and could make its reentry at any point within this area.”

The rocket’s anticipated return numbers among several large debris events of the last few decades, including the Chinese Tiangong space station and Europe’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE). That said, most of the debris tends to burn up in the atmosphere and only the very largest pieces would come down to the ground. Launching states also generally try their best to point a returning piece of debris back to Earth and to give estimates for where it may fall.

On Twitter, spaceflight observer and Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell plotted the return of the Long March 5B against other large debris events, not least of which was the uncontrolled return of NASA’s 76-ton Skylab space station nearly 42 years ago. Ground controllers were able to steer the space station somewhat over its planned reentry point over the Indian Ocean, but the debris track stretched much further than expected.

“To summarize: this one is bigger than anything recent, but not as big as Skylab and its ilk back in the day,” McDowell said on Twitter of the Long March 5B’s return.

China plans a busy construction schedule on the space station, with state media reporting the construction should be finished by the end of 2022. Much like the International Space Station, the Chinese complex will include several modules, requiring 10 additional launches: two more module launches, four crewed missions and four cargo vessel flights, as reported by China Global Television Network (CGTN).


A Year After Lockdown: Latest Data On The State Of Small Business And Entrepreneurship

Rising optimism. Lingering fear and pessimism. Growing focus on workers not dollars.

Those are the high-level takeaways from a quick scan of recent small business surveys.

One year ago, most of the United States was well into lockdown. School had moved online. Offices had closed. Many retail stores were shut down. Only “essential” businesses were allowed to operate. As is well known by now, small businesses were hit especially hard by all this. By the end of April 2020, 22% of small businesses that had existed in February 2020 had disappeared. Those business losses were uneven across demographic groups.

This column provides the next in a series of occasional updates on how small businesses are faring—and how they say they’re feeling about their prospects. New data and analysis also provide more detail on the impact of the pandemic on small businesses.

In mid-February 2021, nearly half (45.6%) of small businesses surveyed in the Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey said they expected resumption of “normal” operations to take longer than six months. By mid-April, that figure had fallen to 36.8%.

This is an enormous improvement, from the largest sample of small businesses, in their economic outlook. The improvement is particularly impressive when you consider that, from August 2020 to early 2021, the pessimistic share had not fallen below 44%.

Increasing optimism is also found in results from a Goldman Sachs survey in mid-April of participants in its 10,000 Small Businesses program. There, 89% of small businesses were confident their business would survive. Similarly, in a report on the latest survey by the National Federation of Independent Business of its members, overall optimism and near-term sales expectations had risen compared to February. The NFIB “optimism index” is at its highest reading since November. The Small Business Index produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife, released in mid-March, also showed improvement from the end of 2020.

Nevertheless, many small businesses appear reluctant to completely shake off concerns about the pandemic and its continuing impact. The headline summary of the Goldman Sachs survey, for example, reads “Doors Opening But Not In The Clear.” Likewise, the US Chamber-MetLife headline is, “small businesses’ health improves as economic concerns linger.”

In the Goldman Sachs survey, despite high levels of overall optimism, just 26% of small businesses were confident they could maintain payroll in the absence of additional government relief. Many face imminent exhaustion of funds from their Paycheck Protection Program loans.

The NFIB survey, despite improvement in the outlook for general businesses conditions, still shows a negative reading overall. More small businesses expect a worsening economy than an improving one—the overall outlook is still net negative and has been for four consecutive months.

It’s also clear from the surveys that workforce concerns might be part of what’s weighing on the confidence of business owners. In early January, 24% of small businesses in the Census survey said identifying and hiring new employees was their top need. By mid-April, that had risen to 32%. In the meantime, the share saying that additional financial assistance was their top need fell from 33.5% to 17.5% over that same period.

Hiring expectations in the U.S. Chamber-MetLife index rose compared to Q4 2020. And the share of small businesses telling the Census Bureau they increased employment rose five percentage points from January to April. (It remains small, rising from 3.4% to 8.5%.)

Finding workers, however, appears to the obstacle. The NFIB survey shows 42% of small business owners with job openings they can’t fill. That’s a record high.

One last note. While there have been various analyses and estimates of the economic hit that small businesses took during the pandemic, a new Federal Reserve report and QuickBooks survey contain some of the most detailed findings so far.

The new Fed report is an analysis of business owners of color, based on the Small Business Credit Survey that was fielded in Q3 2020. It sheds more light on just how disproportionate the impact of Covid-19 has been. Firms owned by people of color “reported more significant negative effects on business revenue, employment, and operations.” Despite rapid growth in business ownership by people of color before the pandemic, they entered the crisis in a generally disadvantageous position based on sales, employment, and credit access.

The QuickBooks survey was accompanied by analysis of small business bank accounts. This offers a look at ground-level impact. They found, for example, that as of March 2021 annual revenues for bowling alleys have fallen by $250,000 per business compared to pre-pandemic levels. That’s a 33 percent decline on average. For just the businesses in the QuickBooks sample, revenues fell by $4.6 billion in just one month, April 2020.

This sharp contraction has been followed by “sustained recovery” in many sectors: “for many small businesses, the recovery began almost immediately,” the report states. Monthly revenue growth has been particularly rapid since the beginning of this year. Monthly revenues in the seven hardest-hit industries had fully recovered, or close to it, by March 2021: hotels & lodging, museums and attractions, and movies were above pre-pandemic levels by March 2021.

Still, according to the Fed SBCS data (again, gathered several months before the QuickBooks data), business owners of color hold generally more pessimistic outlooks about the economy and their firms. As PPP is exhausted and policymakers look forward, they should take heart in the growing optimism among small businesses—yet remember that many still struggle.


Fashion brand ASOS praised for featuring model with cochlear implant in earrings ad

Fashion critics want ASOS to hear their applause for a current online ad, featuring an earring model with a cochlear implant.

The British brand is currently peddling a pair of small gold hoop earrings with a dangling mushroom charm for $6.89, but the whimsical design isn’t what the buzz is about. As seen on the product page, the smiling model is wearing a cochlear implant on her right ear. MyLondon has identified the blonde beauty as model Natasha Ghouri, who was born deaf.

On Tuesday, one fan got Twitter talking when she shouted out the inclusive ad.

“Definitely not crying because of ASOS using an earring model with a hearing aid,” Asia Smith tweeted. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a model with a hearing impairment, let alone an earring model and it’s so refreshing to see this kind of representation for people like me.”

“ASOS if you ever need another hearing impaired model hmu [hit me up]” Smith joked.

In a follow-up note, the fan clarified that she initially, incorrectly called the cochlear implant a hearing aid, confessing she suffered “big ol’ brain fart in the midst of my excitement.”

Smith’s celebratory post has since gone viral with over 28,000 likes and counting, inspiring others to share their support for the positive representation. Even Ghouri chimed in and thanked her modeling agency for their faith “from the start.”

“I’m currently really hard of hearing, I’m sure I’m going to need a hearing aid soon, I was so nervous, but this has honestly made me tear up and made me realize it is completely normal!” one user wrote.

“Omg what! Me too!! That’s so amazing. Never seen any models on any sites with a hearing aid in,” another said. “I always wear my hair down because I’m still so self-conscious of it.’

“Isn’t it funny….no one thinks twice at a pair of glasses but hearing aids and cochlear implants are still a bit taboo,” one wondered. “I’m hoping by the time I need something (next 5-10 years I think is projected) there’ll be cool funky diamond ones or flashy gold ones.”

“This is amazing!” a proud parent exclaimed. “My 5 year old daughter has BL hearing aids, and I really hope that as she grows up this becomes more and more mainstream.”