NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —  Small business owners are looking for a streamlined digital experience when it comes to buying insurance, and they’re willing to take a stand to get it. A majority—59%—of businesses surveyed said they’d consider switching agencies if another could provide faster quotes for new policies, according to a new survey from Semsee, the leading automated small commercial quoting solution.  Similarly, 55% said they’d move their business if another agency had more digital service capabilities, such as online policy changes, billing and claims, reveals Semsee’s Small Business Snapshot, a survey series designed to measure small business owner preferences in insurance. Just one-quarter of respondents said they would not move their business no matter the digital capabilities of the agency.

Business owners also put a high priority on their agents’ ability to provide options for coverage and an open and transparent buying process. More than

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(Bloomberg) —

Saudi Arabia added new incentives to keep its mortgage boom going by scrapping a 15% value-added tax on property sales and offering other relief for home buyers amid a push by the Arab world’s largest economy to expand residential ownership.

Property transactions will instead be subject to a new 5% real estate sales tax, according to state-run news agency SPA. The government will also shoulder the cost of taxes for first-time home buyers of properties worth up to 1 million riyals ($267,000), according to a royal order published on Friday.

The threshold for the tax exemption was increased from 850,000 riyals previously for citizens buying their first homes.



chart, bar chart: Mortgage Boost


© Bloomberg
Mortgage Boost

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage market has emerged as a bright spot at a time the economy is reeling from the global pandemic and lower oil prices, with citizen unemployment hitting its highest level on record in the

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At the onset of 2020, Pacific Fine Foods was set to have their best year on record. They’d already completed a 6-week stint catering for The Matrix film crew, plus a 1,200-person event in San Francisco’s Fort Mason. Two weeks later, the entire state of California went into lockdown and the survival of Kelly Kearney’s business was in question. Yet, with her strong business acumen, she was up for the challenge.

Prior to becoming a small business owner, Kearney was a very successful Sr. Sales Executive.  However, after 17 years in corporate America, she grew tired of the commute; her employer, a major telecom company, was struggling, and she was ready to take her future into her own hands. Pacific Fine Foods, a catering company in Alameda,

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A pedestrian wearing a face mask looks at a smartphone while passing in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, on Monday, July 20, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After another week of losses, tech could be at the heart of a tug of war as dip buyers look for bargains in some of their favorite names and others see the group as still too frothy.

In the past week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both down about 0.6%, the third losing week. It was the S&P 500’s longest losing streak since October. Tech was broadly lower, with Amazon and Facebook both down 5% for the week. Information technology shares lost 1% but communications which includes Facebook and Google fell 2.3% for the week.

“I think every time you’ve had a significant pullback in the familiar names, that tends to draw in

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(Bloomberg Businessweek) — MBA students at some of the most expensive and prestigious programs are having buyer’s remorse, spurred by COVID-19.

Students felt the price tag of their programs — some more than US$80,000 annually for tuition, fees, and other charges — wasn’t worth it, even after the changes required by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of 3,532 MBA students at 95 graduate programs around the world. Bloomberg Businessweek conducted the study from May to early August.

The survey was done in place of Businessweek’s annual MBA ranking because of the disruption brought by the pandemic.

Many MBA students borrow for the cost of their education, which is often a higher price tag than college. Universities are eager to have them, especially foreign students, as they help generate much-needed revenue. That’s all changed with the pandemic and international travel restrictions, potentially damaging the long-established revenue model.

Among MBA

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(Bloomberg Businessweek) — MBA students at some of the most expensive and prestigious programs are having buyer’s remorse, spurred by Covid-19.

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Students felt the price tag of their programs—some more than $80,000 annually for tuition, fees, and other charges—wasn’t worth it, even after the changes required by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of 3,532 MBA students at 95 graduate programs around the world. Bloomberg Businessweek conducted the study from May to early August.

The survey was done in place of Businessweek’s annual MBA ranking because of the disruption brought by the pandemic.

Many MBA students borrow for the cost of their education, which is often a higher price tag than college. Universities are eager to have them, especially foreign students, as they help generate much-needed revenue. That’s all changed with the pandemic and international travel restrictions, potentially damaging the long-established revenue model.

Among MBA students

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(Bloomberg) — Bond investors in three of Asia’s biggest emerging markets are starting to push back against record increases in government borrowing, an ominous sign for policy makers trying to revive economic growth with fiscal stimulus.

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In India, dwindling appetite for sovereign bonds drove yields to their biggest increase in more than two years last month while Indonesia’s latest bond auction drew the fewest bids since April. Rates in South Korea have surged to the highest level in five months.

As governments globally sell sovereign bonds faster than central banks can buy them, the warning signs from Mumbai to Seoul underscore the challenge to markets everywhere from ever-increasing debt. While developed markets like the U.S. have largely lapped up the record supply so far, pushing yields to all-time lows, it’s a different story in other economies.

“Real cracks are starting to show,” said Andre de Silva, global head

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Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB), the national promotion body designed to support the growth of Azerbaijan’s tourism industry, will host its biggest virtual travel trade event “Travel Business Azerbaijan Online” (TBA 2020) on October 14, 2020. The online event will bring together local and international tourism professionals in hopes to forge partnerships and profitable business deals.

Organized by the Azerbaijan Tourism Board and supported by the State Tourism Agency, the event aims to bring together 300 buyers from China and South-East Asia, Russia and CIS countries, India and South Asia, Europe, and GCC countries to establish direct communication while also serving as a platform to showcase the tourism potential of Azerbaijan. Buyers and exhibitors both will have an opportunity to appoint meetings with each other as well as to sort exhibitors based on their target markets and products thanks to AI-powered matchmaking tools that will suggest leads to participants.

Due

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Greg Charney of TX Arsenal in Pinehurst said the custom gun store opened March 3, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the growing demand in the industry has helped him build a customer base. The store already has plans to offer training classes this fall. (Courtesy TX Arsenal)

In any election year, the firearms industry typically sees an uptick in sales, but given the ongoing pandemic and the unrest seen across the nation, 2020 is slated to be record-breaking, said Jeff Yuna, owner of Tomball Pawn & Jewelry.

“Election years are always positive years [in gun sales] because of the challenges to the Second Amendment,” said Yuna, who noted in mid-August that his sales had risen 150% year over year since February. “Primarily, what we’re seeing is a dramatic increase in first-time gun buyers. First-time gun buyers are somewhere between 32%-38% of what we’re seeing, which is unheard of.”

Total

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Mortgage rates were on the rise for a 2nd consecutive week to mark the 2nd rise in 4 weeks.

30-year fixed rates increased by 3 basis points to 2.99% in the week ending 20th August.

Compared to this time last year, 30-year fixed rates were down by 56 basis points.

30-year fixed rates were also down by 195 basis points since November 2018’s most recent peak of 4.94%.

Economic Data from the Week

Economic data was on the lighter side through the 1st half of the week.

Key stats included August’s NY Empire State and the Philly FED Manufacturing Index numbers for August and the weekly jobless claims.

The stats were on the negative side, with manufacturing sector activity seeing slower growth and initial jobless claims rising back up to 1m.

A lack of progress on the U.S COVID-19 stimulus package was also negative for yields.

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