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Castiron serves up a $6M seed round to support ‘food artisans’

The pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone, but the food service industry has been hit particularly hard. More than 90,000 restaurants and bars have closed, leaving workers unemployed in an already precarious industry. And those who kept their jobs faced…

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The pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone, but the food service industry has been hit particularly hard. More than 90,000 restaurants and bars have closed, leaving workers unemployed in an already precarious industry. And those who kept their jobs faced the stressful demands of customer-facing work in a pandemic.

In response to the changed industry landscape, food service veterans are launching their own businesses, whether they’re delivering take-out meals in their neighborhood or mailing cans of kombucha around the country. “People tell them that they make great cakes, or that their sourdough is better than everybody else’s, or their hot sauce is amazing,” explained Castiron founder and CEO Mark Josephson. “And they dream of selling and building a business, but they end up spending 75% of their time on things other than what they’re good at.” He’s talking about everything that isn’t cooking: building a website, keeping track of finances and other administrative tasks.

So, he created Castiron, an e-commerce solution for independent chefs. Today, Castiron announced a $6 million seed funding round from Bowery Capital, Foundry Group and High Alpha. A veteran of the tech industry, Josephson is a three-time CEO — he previously helmed outside.in, which sold to AOL, later leading Bit.ly for seven years — but Castiron is the first company he’s founded.

Launched in October, Castiron provides its users (which it calls “food artisans”) with customizable e-commerce websites, which include dynamic inventory management, order fulfillment tools, newsletter and marketing tools and more. Castiron doesn’t start making money until the food artisan makes money — then, the platform takes 10%, plus a standard 2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee.

“In deciding to start this company, it was important to me after having done five, six or seven different startups that with this one, we were truly aligned with our customers. So I only want to be successful if our customers are successful,” he told TechCrunch. “Our customers are risk averse, so it’s important that we have a no-risk product for customers to try.”

Right now, Castiron only operates in the United States, where laws pertaining to home food businesses (cottage food laws) vary from state to state. But given the increasing rate of unemployment since the onset of the pandemic, many states have made it easier to legally run independent food businesses. Currently, Josephson estimates that about 40% of Castiron’s users run local delivery businesses, 40% sell products for pickup, and 20% ship their goods out. He said that “several hundred” users have set up shop on Castiron, but that this seed round will help fund a hiring push to scale the business.

“This push of entrepreneurs who are building small businesses is a huge part of our economy going forward,” Josephson noted. “I’ve been in media, digital media, software marketing, and there’s nothing like this. And like, honestly, I have boxes of chocolate chip cookies, and roasted coffee beans, and biscotti, and sourdough, and hot sauce showing up at my house. It’s like, what’s what’s wrong with that? What could be better?”

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Economics

Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions

Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions
PR Newswire
NEW YORK, May 17, 2022

NEW YORK, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined today nearly…

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Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined today nearly 100 other global trade and industry associations to urge WTO members to renew the Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June.

According to the statement, allowing the Moratorium to expire would be a historic setback for the WTO, representing an unprecedented termination of a multilateral agreement in place nearly since the WTO's inception – an agreement that has allowed the digital economy to take root and grow. All WTO members have a stake in the organization's continued institutional credibility and resilience, as well as its relevance at a time of unprecedented digital transformation.

Continuation of the Moratorium is critical to the COVID-19 recovery. As detailed by the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, and many other organizations, the cross-border exchange of knowledge, technical know-how, and scientific and commercial information across transnational IT networks, as well as access to digital tools and global market opportunities have helped sustain economies, expand education, and raise global living standards.

Continuation of the Moratorium is also important to supply chain resilience for manufacturing and services industries in the COVID-19 era. Manufacturers – both large and small, and across a range of industrial sectors – rely on the constant flow of research, design, and process data and software to enable their production flows and supply chains for critical products.

The Moratorium is particularly beneficial to Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), whose ability to access and leverage digital tools has allowed them to stay in business amidst physical restrictions and lockdowns.

Failure to renew the Moratorium will jeopardize these benefits, as customs restrictions that interrupt cross-border access to knowledge and digital tools will harm MSMEs, the global supply chain, and COVID-19 recovery – increasing digital fragmentation. As UNCTAD has explained, such fragmentation "reduces market opportunities for domestic MSMEs to reach worldwide markets, [and] ... reduces opportunities for digital innovation, including various missed opportunities for inclusive development that can be facilitated by engaging in data-sharing through strong international cooperation.... [M]ost small, developing economies will lose opportunities for raising their digital competitiveness." 

The rest of the statement can be found here.

Media Contact: Kira Yevtukhova, kyevtukhova@uscib.org

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-industry-statement-on-the-wto-moratorium-on-customs-duties-on-electronic-transmissions-301549543.html

SOURCE United States Council for International Business

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Government

“The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter”: Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch…

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"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

Tech billionaire Elon Musk this week warned that the United States must take steps to address inflation or it will end up like socialist Venezuela.

Musk, who is currently in the process of acquiring Twitter, told a virtual conference that he believes the government has printed too much money in recent years.

“I mean, the obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had, obviously,” Musk said, likely referring to COVID-19 relief stimulus packages worth trillions of dollars that were passed in recent years.

U.S. inflation rose by 8.3 percent in April, compared with the previous year. That’s slightly lower than the 8.5 percent spike in March, but it’s still near the 40-year high.

“So it’s like the government can’t … issue checks far in excess of revenue without there being inflation, you know, velocity of money held constant,” the Tesla CEO said.

“If the federal government writes checks, they never bounce. So that is effectively creation of more dollars. And if there are more dollars created, then the increase in the goods and services across the economy, then you have inflation, again, velocity of money held constant.”

If governments could merely “issue massive amounts of money and deficits didn’t matter, then, well, why don’t we just make the deficit 100 times bigger,” Musk asked. “The answer is, you can’t because it will basically turn the dollar into something that is worthless.”

“Various countries have tried this experiment multiple times,” Musk said.

“Have you seen Venezuela? Like the poor, poor people of Venezuela are, you know, have been just run roughshod by their government.”

In 2018, Venezuela, a country with significant reserves of oil and gas, saw its inflation rise more than 65,000 percent amid an economic crash that included plummeting oil prices and government price controls. The regime of Nicolas Maduro then started printing money, thereby devaluing its currency, which caused prices to rapidly increase.

During the conference, Musk also said the Biden administration “doesn’t seem to get a lot done” and questioned who is actually in charge. 

“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” he said.

“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.”

“The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done,” he remarked.

Musk’s comment about the White House comes as Jeff Bezos, also one of the richest people in the world, has increasingly started to target the administration’s economic policies. Bezos, in a series of Twitter posts, said the rapid increase in federal spending is the reason why inflation is as high as it is.

“Remember the Administration tried their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending,” Bezos wrote on Monday, drawing rebuke from several White House officials. “They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today, and inflation today is at a 40-year high.”

Tyler Durden Tue, 05/17/2022 - 15:05

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Economics

Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. COO/CFO Elizabeth Pagliarini participates in the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum

Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. COO/CFO Elizabeth Pagliarini participates in the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum
PR Newswire
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., May 17, 2022

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Elizabeth Pagliarini, COO…

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Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. COO/CFO Elizabeth Pagliarini participates in the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum

PR Newswire

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Elizabeth Pagliarini, COO/CFO of Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. ("Summit") joined five other industry leaders on the Executive Roundtable at the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California. The panelists shared their thoughts and experiences regarding the post pandemic environment, namely the recovery progress and how businesses are changing, trends in tenant lease terms, and the transition back to working in the office and its implications for new hires. They also provided insights into the availability of financing and how terms have changed over the past six months, how they are managing supply chain crises, rising costs of sourcing and materials, and staffing shortages, the changes made to core processes over the past 18 months and whether these changes would be permanent, and how investor communications have changed in recent months.

About Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. 
Summit is a publicly registered non-traded REIT that is currently focused on investing in seniors housing and care real estate located throughout the United States. The current portfolio includes interests in 53 facilities in 14 states. Please visit our website at: http://www.summithealthcarereit.com

This material does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. 

This release may contain forward-looking statements relating to the business and financial outlook of Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. that are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on any such statements. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements contained in this release. Such factors include those described in the Risk Factors sections of the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and the quarterly report for the period ended March 31, 2022. Forward-looking statements in this document speak only as of the date on which such statements were made, and we undertake no obligation to update any such statements that may become untrue because of subsequent events. We claim the safe harbor protection for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

CONTACT
Chris Kavanagh
(800) 978-8136
ckavanagh@summithealthcarereit.com

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/summit-healthcare-reit-inc-coocfo-elizabeth-pagliarini-participates-in-the-9th-annual-imn-real-estate-cfo--coo-forum-301549445.html

SOURCE Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.

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