Business News

Recruitment firm up for best newcomer award – Scottish Business News

Neil Brown, Incubate Consulting director

SCOTTISH recruitment firm Incubate Consulting has a double reason for celebration this April, with the completion of a successful first 12 months in business and an award nomination.

The Bridge of Allan-based business has been shortlisted for Best Recruitment Consultancy (Newcomer) in the awards.

Neil Brown, Incubate’s director of Recruitment and Search, said: “We’ve had a wonderful first year in business, which has exceeded our expectations and we now look forward to expanding our successes in the twelve months to come.

“We’re delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted for best newcomer.”

The awards ceremony is due to take place in Glasgow in October.

Business News

Coronavirus furlough scheme to finish at end of October, says chancellor – BBC News

Man in mask walks past empty shops Image copyright Matthew Horwood

The UK’s coronavirus furlough scheme will finish at the end of October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed.

At the No 10 briefing, Mr Sunak also set out how employers will have to start sharing the cost of the scheme.

From August, employers must pay National Insurance and pension contributions, then 10% of pay from September, rising to 20% in October.

Also, workers will be allowed to return to work part-time from July, but with companies paying 100% of wages.

Mr Sunak said the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will adjust so “those who are able to work can do so”.

Some 8.4 million workers are having 80% of their salaries paid for by the government – up to £2,500 a month – under the scheme, which was originally intended to last until the end of July.

Earlier this month, the chancellor extended the scheme until the end of October, but did not spell out how employers would start contributing.

Under Friday’s changes, furloughed workers will continue to get 80% of pay until the end of October, but by then a fifth of their salary will have to be met by employers.

“Then, after eight months of this extraordinary intervention of the government stepping in to help pay people’s wages, the scheme will close,” Mr Sunak said.

Asked if he would “switch the furlough scheme back on” in the case of a second peak in cases and the reintroduction of lockdown measures, the chancellor said the scheme “as it stands in a national way, in the way that it is designed” will end in October.

“Eight months, as I said, is I think a generous and long period of time,” he said.

The chancellor is attempting a delicate balancing act.

Slowly withdrawing very expensive government support programmes without crashing the economy.

Cash-strapped employers must decide if they can take on an increasing burden to keep workers for whom there may be little or no work.

The chancellor says the government can’t go on meeting the full cost of the furlough scheme.

But the withdrawal is more gradual than many had feared and the government hopes that the support withdrawal will be mirrored by business demand recovering.

We may be about to find out how many real jobs are left in the post-coronavirus economy.

Read more from Simon here.

Employers’ claims under the scheme have reached £15bn so far, however the scheme is expected to cost a total of around £80bn, or £10bn a month.

The Office for Budget Responsibility is set to publish detailed costings next week.

It comes as the latest UK-wide figures show another 324 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in hospitals and the wider community, bringing the total to 38,161.

Some 131,458 people were tested for coronavirus on Thursday, with 2,095 more positive cases reported.

Restaurateur David Moore told the BBC he is “deeply, deeply worried” about the changes to the scheme.

Mr Moore, who owns London restaurant Pied a Terre, said it is unfair for hospitality firms to start paying towards wages when they do not have any revenues.

“It is massively disappointing and sheer lunacy to try to get an industry who hasn’t had any revenues for what will be then probably five months, to ask them to start contributing,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One.

He warned that some businesses could go bust as a result.

“Will we have any money coming through the door to help contribute? If we don’t it is all too late, a lot of businesses are heading down the pan.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds also warned about job losses.

“It is concerning that there is no commitment within these plans for support to only be scaled back in step with the removal of lockdown,” she said. “Nor is there any analysis of the impact on unemployment of a ‘one size fits all’ approach being adopted across all sectors.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chancellor Rishi Sunak says the next phase is about getting people back to work

How will the scheme change?

From 1 July, businesses will be allowed to bring furloughed employees back part-time, a month earlier than previously announced. The move is aimed to help support people back to work, the government said.

It will be down to individual firms to decide what part-time means. They will be able to set the hours and shift patterns staff will work when they return, but companies will have to pay wages while they are in work.

“Extending the job retention scheme and making it more flexible is key to getting the economy back on its feet,” said Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry.

“By providing employers with the adaptability they’ll require as businesses adjust to a new normal, and bringing forward the flexible furlough launch date, the government is giving hope to small firms right across the UK.”

From 1 August the level of government grant will be reduced “to reflect that people are returning to work”.

Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their pay, but from August it will include a growing employer contribution. It will start with bosses paying NI and pensions in August, plus 10% of pay in September, rising to 20% in October.

The details: How employers’ contributions will increase?

During August the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will have to pay NI and pension contributions. For the average claim, that’s 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee had not been furloughed.

In September, the government will cut its grants to 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,190. Employers will pay NI and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up the 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. That works out at 14% of the average gross employment costs the employer would have incurred.

In October the government grant will be cut to 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay NI and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up the 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. That’s 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

Business News

Is The News Trying To Scare Or Shame Small Business Owners? – Forbes

Everyone knows that the economy is a psychological creature. The degree of hope and confidence participants maintain can pull us back from the edge or throw us over.

A few months ago, I wrote an article on the importance of resolve among business owners. The importance of staying focused on the future, being nimble, using the help available (specifically in terms of funding). It is essential to move forward with faith and pragmatism.

In some social media circles, particularly my network on LinkedIn, there have been many stories about the hard work and grit business owners and their teams are showing in uncertain times.

It will get worse before it gets better

Fast forward two months and the Debbie Downers have come out in full force.

If you read the mainstream news right now, you can be assured that the worst is ahead of us. I’m not talking about the hard work of rebuilding. We always know that follows, and we usually take pride in availing ourselves of it.

The news wants you to know that the other shoe is about to fall, and there are apparently hundreds of shoes right behind it.

Never mind that the PPP has been distributed, and many business owners have begun putting one foot in front of the other. Never mind that the news reports of Covid-19 are being restated downward or appear to be flattening. Never mind that the jobless reports, while terrible, are not increasing at the rate they were. Never mind that people are emerging from their homes and returning to offices, parks and in some states, even beaches!

No, never mind all that. We have a crisis to stoke division around. It is, after all, an election year.

After all the fascination around PPP—the importance of it to many businesses, the mechanics of it, the how-to videos, and webinars—the clicks which represent revenue have slowed down. Over 101 million references come up for “PPP Program” when searching on Google. It’s time for a new story of the PPP now.

Who thought the PPP was a good idea?

For those who have worked in corporate America, you have likely served on a steering committee or working group. There you identified significant challenges, and the group worked on them with an eye to both immediate wins and longer-term solutions.

The PPP is a similar product of a cross-functional public/private working group moving extremely quickly to address a mammoth challenge. When responding at warp speed, mistakes are usually made, but most agree that doing something and trying to help some people is better than doing nothing at all.

Now that the novelty and the mechanics of the PPP are old news, several new narratives are emerging:

  • PPP didn’t help enough people
  • PPP helped the wrong people
  • PPP is just more government waste
  • PPP will be a worse “return on investment” for the American people than the 2008 bailout was
  • PPP is just making it harder for small businesses to manage their money

In typical form, the news narrative is dark, demotivating, and divisive.

There are undoubtedly threads of truth in these stories and ideas. However, this is an election year. That means editorial boards and opinion writers tuck themselves in between journalists covering the news to create “the larger truer truths” they want you to believe.   

One of the reasons people have begun doing their own research and finding their own news is that the “packaged truth” is so obviously disingenuous.

Some news people have gone from telling us we wouldn’t survive a Spanish Flu-like 1918 mass casualty scenario to pointing fingers at recipients of the PPP.

If you receive the daily headline emails from a local or regional newspaper—and you’re a small business owner—you may be afraid or even ashamed right now. My favorite stories (I’m being facetious) are the ones that talk about the early evidence of fraud, the cropping up of a cottage industry of auditors to hobble us, and the faith that has potentially been misplaced in small business owners.

I always hated the “Small Business” term because the word “small” has many connotations. I am of diminutive size and have always had a chip on my shoulder about being called small. I wish the editors of our great publishing companies across America would stop trying to make us feel even smaller as we work to keep and grow jobs.

We get it. You don’t think we’re going to be honest about our use of our PPP funds. You think we’re too dumb to know how to do our PPP worksheets. Do you think we’re stupid enough to keep subscribing to your newspapers to tell us that?

You guys need to keep up. Figuring out the PPP worksheet was so last week. We’ve moved on to where to buy social distancing stickers, masks, hand sanitizer stations, and plexiglass screens to transform our workplaces for reopening.

Maybe you guys can be useful and write a story on good American-made sources of these products so we can get back to business sooner. Yes, we know that the inclusion of these purchases isn’t yet allowable by the SBA in the PPP forgiveness program, although they are looking at it. Regardless, we want to be safe and get back to business as soon as we can.

Francis Bacon said, “The way of fortune is like the Milkyway in the sky; which is a number of small stars, not seen asunder, but giving light together: so it is a number of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate.”

Small business is ready to create our fortune again and do our part to turn our economy back on. Let’s gather our little and scarce virtues, faculties, and customs and DO THIS. Stop reading the headlines and start reopening.

Business News

Williams F1 team owner puts sale plan on starting grid – Sky News

The owner of the Williams Formula One team is considering a sale of the company that could lead to its eponymous founder, Sir Frank Williams, relinquishing majority ownership after more than four decades.

Confirming a plan to sell the business – revealed by Sky News on Thursday night – Williams Grand Prix Holdings (WGPH) said it was the “right and prudent thing to do in order to take time to consider a full range of options and put the Formula 1 team in the best possible position for the future”.

Frank Williams and Nigel Mansell
Image: Williams was set up by Sir Frank in 1977, and enjoyed enormous success with drivers, including Nigel Mansell

The move comes just days after F1’s owner, Liberty Media, agreed the introduction of a budget cap from next year to ease the strain on teams which have seen revenues slump since the coronavirus outbreak.

The prospective sale of WGPH could involve “raising new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in WGPH, or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole company”, it said in a stock exchange announcement on Friday.

Williams said it had a made a full-year loss last year – before the COVID-19 pandemic struck – of £13m, driven by the poor on-track performance of its once-dominant F1 team.

Late last year, it sold a big stake in its Advanced Engineering arm to a private equity firm in an effort to bolster its balance sheet.

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Williams was set up by Sir Frank in 1977, and enjoyed enormous success in ensuing decades with drivers including Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Damon Hill.

It has struggled during the last decade, however, finding itself unable to compete financially with rival constructors such as Ferrari and Mercedes.

“The company is not in receipt of any approaches at the time of this announcement and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions with a small number of parties regarding a potential investment in the company,” WGPH said.

The formal sale process is being overseen by Lazard and Allen & Company.

Next week from Monday to Thursday, Dermot Murnaghan will be hosting After the Pandemic: Our New World – a series of special live programmes about what our world will be like once the pandemic is over.

We’ll be joined by some of the biggest names from the worlds of culture, politics, economics, science and technology. And you can take part too.

If you’d like to be in our virtual audience – from your own home – and put questions to the experts, email

Business News

PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news – May 29 – Reuters

May 29 (Reuters) – The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

– U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday targeting legal protections that keep people from suing social media websites.

– California regulators on Thursday approved a plan that would allow the state’s biggest utility, PG&E Corp, to emerge from the bankruptcy case it filed last year, clearing the last major hurdle the company faced.

– Ignoring threats from Washington, China stripped another layer of autonomy from Hong Kong on Thursday, plowing ahead with a plan that would ban any form of dissent deemed subversive in the territory reclaimed from Britain more than two decades ago.

– Simon & Schuster, one of the major publishing houses in the United States, named Jonathan Karp its new chief executive on Thursday, succeeding Carolyn Reidy, who died earlier this month. (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)

Business News

Business News: COVID-19 Claim Protocols, HomeCare Connect and Roost – Claims Journal

Institute Developing Discovery Protocols

A nonprofit group that works to improve the efficiency of the legal system has launched a new project to create discovery protocols for COVID-19 insurance claims.

The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) said an unprecedented number of time-consuming and costly cases are flooding U.S. courts because of the pandemic. Many involve business interruption property damage claims stemming from COVID-19 closure orders.

The Institute said it will create pattern protocols that will require both businesses and insurance companies to automatically disclose certain information and documents early in the case.

“This will make the discovery process—normally one of the most expensive, contentious, and lengthy parts of litigation—far more efficient and targeted,” IAALS said in a press release.

The protocols will provide judges with a new pretrial procedure to follow, which will make it easier and faster for the parties and their counsel to exchange information and documents, frame issues, and value claims for possible early resolution.

The Institute said it has worked with the courts to improve the discovery process and hasten the resolution of other types of court cases in the past, including for employment cases, fair labor standards act cases, and disaster cases.

Broadspire Teams With HomeCare Connect

Broadspire, a Crawford & Company subsidiary that provides third-party administration services for workers’ compensation and liability claims, has contracted with HomeCare Connect for post-acute care services.

Many injured workers cannot return directly to their homes after a hospital stay, HomeCare said in a press release. Some transfer to post-acute care facilities for additional treatment until they are able to return home.

HomeCare Connect, based in Winter Park, Florida, provides post-acute care services to help prevent gaps in clinical coordination during the transition.

The program can tap a network of 15,000 post-acute care facilities. Broadspire’s adjusters and nurse case managers work with HomeCare’s coordinators to select a facility specializing in the injured workers’ condition, such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, physical rehabilitation, or wound care, the company said.

The team coordinates the hospital discharge and provides a detailed treatment plan to the post-acute care center, HomeCare said. They also monitor the type, quantity and quality of services delivered.

American National Offering Roost Smart Home Sensors

Roost, a Silicon Valley provider of smart home telematics products, has formed a partnership with American National Insurance Co. to offer select policyholders free sensors.

American National policyholders with specific risk characteristics will be offered the award-winning Roost Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector. The package will include an American National-branded mobile app with severe weather alerts from IBM/The Weather Company.

American National is adding the telematics products to its offering as a means of increasing customer engagement, Roost said in a press release.

The Roost sensors detect water leaks as well as humidity and freezing temperatures. Each detector can be placed around the home in locations most prone to water leaks, such as under kitchen sinks, hot water heaters, toilets and various appliances. It then delivers smartphone alerts via the Roost app to help minimize water damage and loss.

Roost, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., provides smoke alarms, a water leak and freeze detector and a smart garage door sensor.

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Business News

Business Live: Indian shares fall ahead of GDP data; Vodafone jumps – The Hindu

After impressive gains recorded over the last two days, stocks are down around one percent this morning.

Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.

10:00 AM

FDI rises 13% to $50 billion, highest flow into services

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India grew by 13% to a record of $49.97 billion in the 2019-20 financial year, according to official data.

The country had received an FDI of $44.36 billion during April-March 2018-19. The sectors which attracted maximum foreign inflows during 2019-20 include services ($7.85 billion), computer software and hardware ($7.67 billion), telecommunications ($4.44 billion), trading ($4.57 billion), automobile ($2.82 billion), construction ($2 billion), and chemicals ($1 billion), the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) data showed.


9:40 AM

Indian shares fall ahead of GDP data; Vodafone jumps

After a huge two-day rally, the benchmark indices opened in the red this morning.

Reuters reports: “Indian shares fell on Friday after two days of strong gains as markets awaited the release of March-quarter GDP figures later in the day, while U.S.-China tensions further dampened sentiment.

Gross domestic product (GDP) data is expected to show India’s economy grew at its slowest pace in at least two years, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit already declining consumer demand and private investment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.76% at 9,418.30 by 0350, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.86% to 31,924.13. The Nifty 50 had gained 5.1% over the past sessions led by a rally in beaten-down banking stocks.

Shares in Vodafone Idea Ltd jumped 9.5% after a report that Google was eyeing a stake in the telecom firm.

IT services firm Wipro Ltd’s shares were up about 1% after it named a new chief executive officer and managing director. The broader Nifty IT index was down 1.3%.”

Business News

Report: Google considering taking stake in Vodafone Idea – The Indian Express

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 29, 2020 5:10:24 am

Google, Google Vodafone-Idea, Vodafone-Idea Google, Business news, Indian Express

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc is also looking to buy some stake in Vodafone Idea’s rival Reliance Jio Infocomm, the newspaper reported

GLOBAL INTERNET giant Google is looking to buy up to 5 per cent stake in debt-laden Vodafone Idea, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc is also looking to buy some stake in Vodafone Idea’s rival Reliance Jio Infocomm, the newspaper reported, without providing details.

The report comes almost a month after social media giant Facebook picked up 9.9 per cent stake for Rs 43,574 crore ($5.7 billion) in Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) Jio Platforms. Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL, has since seen investments from global private equity players such as General Atlantic, Silver Lake Partners, Silver Lake Partners and KKR.

“If you look at the timing, the Google deal with Vodafone Idea is a win-win for both. Nobody wants Vodafone Idea to go belly-up, and it is certainly not completely out of the woods yet. So it gets the desired money to survive. On the other hand, Google gets a cheap entry into the market and can bring its expertise in data to benefit from a growing wireless user base,” said a telecom analyst, who did not wish to be identified.

A deal with Google could be a lifeline for Vodafone Idea, which owes as much as Rs 54,000 crore in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the government.

Following a Supreme Court judgment on October 24 last year, Vodafone Group’s chief executive officer Nick Read had said that the company, which holds 49 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea, would not commit any more equity in India as the “country effectively contributed zero value to the company’s share price”.

Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla had said that it might have to shut shop if there was no AGR relief from the government, as it did not make sense to “put good money after bad”.

A potential deal between Google and Vodafone Idea will heat up competition in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing data consumption markets, experts said. As of January 31, 2020, India had a total of 115.6 crore wireless telephone subscribers, with a net addition of up to 50 lakh users per month, according to data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The three private players, Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Reliance Jio, together held nearly 90 per cent share of the domestic telecom market. Though it has been losing subscribers for over six quarters now, Vodafone Idea had a 28.4 per cent share of the domestic market as of January 31, 2020.

The number of active internet users in the country stands at 500 million, and is expected to grow by another 100 million users within the next three years, according to experts.

With a data market as big as India, experts said that it was only a matter of time before all the global internet giants tried to enter the domestic arena in one way or the other.

“We do not know the details yet, but this could be a world of convergence. Vodafone and Idea got together in the first place due to Jio. Now if Jio can tie up with Facebook, others will also have to find similar deals,” said a Supreme Court lawyer for one of the telecom majors.

To push internet usage in India, Google had in 2015 tied up with the Ministry of Railways to provide free unlimited high speed Wi-Fi at 400 railways stations. But with the project yielding limited success, the company said last year that it would wind down the service.

Facebook had also tried to get a share of the Indian internet pie. In 2015, it experimented with Free Basics, which provided free access to basic Internet services as a partnership with service providers. However, it soon pulled out after differential pricing was disallowed by the telecom regulator.

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Google considering to buy 5% stake in Vodafone Idea: Report – India TV News

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Image Source : FILE

Google considering to buy 5% stake in Vodafone Idea: Report

Global technology giant Google is “considering” to buy a stake of about 5 percent in Vodafone Idea, a report published in the Financial Times claimed today. The move could pit the US internet group in a battle against Facebook for the world’s fastest-growing mobile market, the report said, quoting people familiar with the matter. Further, the report mentioned that the process was at a very early stage. 

Vodafone Idea has a market evaluation of Rs 16,724 crore as of Thursday. Earlier last month, Facebook Inc agreed to invest $5.7 billion for a 9.99 percent stake in Reliance Industries’ digital arm, Jio, which competes with Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel Ltd in India’s telecom market.

“One of the people said Google was considering buying a stake of about 5 per cent in Vodafone Idea, a partnership between the UK telecom company and India’s Aditya Birla Group that has been under severe financial strain. Another said the process was at a very early stage,” the report read.

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Wall Street Climbs Again as Reopening Optimism Prevails – The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageTrading on Wall Street reflected optimism about a return to normal as states and national governments lift stay-at-home restrictions.
Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Wall Street climbed for a second day on Wednesday as investors kept their focus on the prospect of economic recovery.

The S&P 500 rose 1.5 percent — after swinging between gains and losses earlier in the day as weakness in large technology stocks offset gains in other parts of the market. The S&P 500 had climbed 1.2 percent on Tuesday.

Trading on Wednesday reflected optimism about a return to normal as states and national governments lift stay-at-home restrictions. Companies that will benefit as shoppers are allowed back in stores and people begin to travel again were among the best performers in the S&P 500. Nordstrom, Gap and Kohl’s each rose more than 14 percent.

Though stocks have continued their rebound from late-March lows, the rally has become less steady than it was earlier, with the S&P 500 alternating between gains and losses, as expectations for an eventual recovery from the coronavirus pandemic have squared off against the reality that the damage is still severe and likely to continue for some time.

On Wednesday, investors were cheered by the news of fiscal stimulus proposals from the European Union and Japan. In Japan, the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved more than a trillion dollars in stimulus money. In Brussels, the European Commission seemed on the verge of introducing expansive financial measures to support the bloc. Shares in Europe mostly ended higher.

But uncertainty continued over U.S.-China relations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday that the State Department no longer considered Hong Kong to have significant autonomy under Chinese rule, a move that indicated that the Trump administration was likely to end some or all of the United States government’s special trade and economic relations with the territory in southern China.

Credit…Nicholas Albrecht for The New York Times

The staggering unemployment figures — devastating as they are — do not fully capture the degree to which the coronavirus has disrupted professional life across the country.

Since March, when the crisis began to shut businesses en masse, a generation of professionals has seen careers enter a state of suspended animation. Hiring has dried up, advancement has ceased, job searches have been put on hold and new ventures are in jeopardy. As a result, even well-connected high earners are suddenly in unfamiliar territory.

“There is deep uncertainty,” said Alisa Cohn, an executive coach who works with companies including Google and Pfizer. “We’re not just in a holding pattern. We’re on our way somewhere new, but we don’t know what it looks like.”

In March, Hasti Nazem, 35, left a start-up she helped found. Two months later, the job market has imploded, promising leads have dried up, and she is stuck in limbo. She is mining her network for introductions, but still without a full-time job.

“I’m mostly having Zoom calls with strangers,” she said.

Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Businesses surveyed by the Federal Reserve were hopeful that economic activity would begin to pick up as states reopened, but most were “pessimistic about the potential pace of recovery.”

The Fed’s Beige Book, a regularly published collection of qualitative business assessments, showed that companies were not expecting a rapid rebound, as they struggled to rehire workers and wait for demand to recover. Many companies were still shedding workers, and businesses who were trying to hire cited several factors complicating their attempt to restart their work force, including child care issues, enhanced unemployment benefits and health fears.

Especially hard-hit companies also appeared to be deferring or skipping rent payments.

“Commercial real estate contacts mentioned that a large number of retail tenants had deferred or missed rent payments,” the Beige Book noted.

In the New York region’s services sector, “business contacts continued to express great uncertainty about whether and when business would get back to reasonably normal levels, but there continued to be fairly widespread pessimism,” the report said.

Companies in that region also reported that “many” unemployed workers were “reluctant to return to work — some attributed this to generous unemployment benefits, as well as safety concerns.”

Credit…Preston Gannaway for The New York Times

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company after Exxon Mobil, is planning to cut 10 to 15 percent of its 45,000 employees worldwide in a sweeping overhaul.

Veronica Flores-Paniagua, a company spokesman, said that employees were notified of the layoffs on Tuesday, and that most would occur by the end of the year.

“It is a difficult business decision driven by a very challenging economic time,” she said, referring to the plummeting oil prices in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic reduced demand for transportation and power fuels. “The impacts are still being worked out, but they are going to vary across location, across business segment, across function.”

The cuts come as the California-based Chevron is slashing $1 billion from its 2020 operating costs, a move announced in March.

Tens of thousands of oil workers have lost their jobs this year, most of them employed by service companies doing oil field work for the producers. Exxon Mobil, Chevron’s main rival, has said it has no immediate layoff plans but is cutting spending. BP told employees in late March that there would be no layoffs for three months.

With varied international operations and a large presence in the Permian Basin shale field in West Texas, Chevron has been a favorite of investors because of its relatively strong balance sheet and a 5.5 percent dividend that is considered secure.

Credit…Christopher Smith for The New York Times

The United States, already wrestling with an economic collapse not seen in a generation, is on the precipice of a compounding crisis of evictions, as protections and payments extended to millions of people out of work begin to run out.

The fallout is predicted to be devastating for the nation’s renters, who entered the pandemic with lower incomes, significantly less in savings and housing costs that ate up more of their paychecks. They also were more likely to work in industries where job losses have been particularly severe.

Many have been scraping by because of temporary government assistance and emergency orders that postponed many evictions. But evictions will soon be allowed in about half of the states, according to Emily A. Benfer, a housing expert and associate professor at Columbia Law School who is tracking eviction policies.

“I think we will enter into a severe renter crisis, and very quickly,” Professor Benfer said.

That means more and more families may soon face displacement at a time when people are still being urged to stay at home.

In many places, that has already begun. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that evictions could begin again. In the Oklahoma City area, sheriffs apologetically announced that they planned to start enforcing eviction notices this week. And a handful of states had few statewide protections in place to begin with, leaving residents particularly vulnerable as eviction cases stacked up.

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Boeing said Wednesday that it was taking a significant step toward its goal of slashing 10 percent of its global work force by laying off more than 6,700 employees in the United States, all of whom will be notified this week. Another 5,500 workers have been approved for voluntary buyouts and will leave within weeks.

Boeing’s commercial business, which was most exposed to the devastating decline in air travel, will suffer the deepest cuts, the company said. Its defense and space operations have been more insulated.

“The Covid-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices,” the chief executive, David L. Calhoun, said in a note to employees. “I wish there were some other way.”

Boeing will have to cut nearly 4,000 more workers to meet its overall goal of shedding 16,000 jobs. The remaining layoffs will be announced in batches over the next few months, the company said.

Credit…Joel Kowsky/Agence France-Presse/NASA, via Getty Images

NASA on Wednesday postponed a SpaceX mission scheduled to send two American astronauts into orbit. It would have been the first crewed space launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade, and the first ever in a privately made spacecraft.

The launch was delayed because of poor weather conditions. The next opportunities are Saturday at 3:22 p.m. Eastern time and Sunday at 3 p.m.

A lot is riding on the launch. NASA thinks the future of space — at least for low Earth orbit, for now — is chartered flights on private spacecraft. If successful, the launch could open up a range of economic activity and experimentation, with commercial operators stepping in while governments step back.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is the cheapest human-carrying spacecraft yet made for NASA, by some distance. The agency’s contracts with private companies have fixed prices, an incentive to keep costs down. But Elon Musk, who runs SpaceX in addition to Tesla, will get some extra promotional value out of the launch: The astronauts, Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, will be ferried to the spacecraft in a NASA-branded Tesla Model X.

Credit…Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

AT&T, the parent company of HBO since 2018, plans to spend more than $4.5 billion on the project over the next few years. The company hopes to have 50 million HBO Max subscribers by 2025 and envisions that the service will eventually generate billions in annual profits as it takes on Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV Plus and Peacock, among others.

A potential stumbling block for it is the cost. Netflix’s no-frills plan costs $9 a month. Disney Plus charges $7 a month. But HBO Max is asking people to spend $15 a month, at a time when household budgets are constrained by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Even before the outbreak, industry analysts called the pricing “unreasonable.” Now many customers are looking to cancel their HBO accounts, largely because of the cost, according to a study prepared for The New York Times by the global research consultancy Kantar.

Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

Walt Disney World, one of the largest tourist sites on the planet, has a plan to reopen in mid-July. But the necessary safety protocols — limiting the number of visitors, making face masks mandatory, deploying roaming squads to enforce social distancing, no longer allowing people to get up close and personal with Mickey Mouse — shows how difficult it will be to operate once-booming attractions as the country prepares for a broader reopening.

“We’re going slow because we want to make constant progress and not have to backtrack,” Bob Chapek, Disney’s chief executive, said by phone from Florida on Wednesday. “The risk is going too far, too fast.”

Disney’s theme parks, some with Main Street U.S.A. entrances, loom large in the popular imagination as symbols of Americana. Disney World has been closed since March 15 because of the pandemic, and its reopening carries a certain symbolism in itself, an attempt by fans to reclaim a semblance of normal life and an effort by a coronavirus-battered Disney to demonstrate that a visit will remain a cultural rite of passage for many children.

Walt Disney World consists of six separately ticketed parks with combined annual attendance of 93 million. The two most popular ones, the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom, will reopen on July 11. Disney World’s other major parks, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, will reopen on July 15.

  • The American division of the bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, a sign of the damage the pandemic has inflicted on the fast-casual restaurant industry. To keep some of its stores open, the company has proposed a sale to the restaurant company Aurify Brands.

  • Social distancing measures, put in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, have hurt sales of gum and mints, the Hershey Company said Wednesday in a regulatory filing to announce a bond offering. Demand for some products increased when the pandemic began, but have since leveled off. The company said it expected the pandemic would have a significant impact on earnings in the second quarter, when lockdown orders were put in place.

  • The nation’s biggest nursing home operator, Genesis HealthCare, reported Wednesday that it had received $180 million under the federal CARES Act and additional money from other federal and state programs as part of the nation’s response to the pandemic. The company, based in Pennsylvania, disclosed the federal grant money as it announced first-quarter earnings of $33.5 million after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

  • The eurozone economy is likely to shrink by as much as 12 percent this year, in line with the European Central Bank’s most pessimistic projections a month ago, the bank’s president, Christine Lagarde, said.

  • New data released on Wednesday showed that the Chinese economy — or at least the part involving its vast industrial sector — continues to bounce back from the outbreak. Industrial sales in April rose 5.1 percent compared with a year earlier, statistics officials said.

Reporting was contributed by David Yaffe-Bellany, Gregory Schmidt, Clifford Krauss, Jeanna Smialek, Brooks Barnes, Jason Karaian, Niraj Chokshi, Matthew Goldstein, Jack Ewing, Carlos Tejada, Matt Phillips, Ben Dooley, Makiko Inoue, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Mohammed Hadi, Joe Gose, Mary Williams Walsh, Katie Robertson and Kevin Granville.