'Dirty' Soda Takes Off
Soda consumption is declining, but soda-pop chains, which started in Utah, are spreading across the country.
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Here are today’s highlights:
Another 4 million Americans quit their jobs in October.
It’s more of a Big Switch than a Big Quit: three myths about the Great Resignation.
Life insurance payouts and premiums are both soaring.
Still thinking about an EIDL? The SBA advises getting your application in by tomorrow.
Soda consumption is declining, but “dirty” soda chains are surging: “Since the first Swig opened in 2010, dozens of soda-shop chains and independent soda shacks have opened from Idaho to Utah to Arizona, an area of the Mountain West sometimes called the Mormon Corridor. A significant portion of the region’s population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the church’s prohibition on tea and coffee has spurred a niche beverage market that has intensified in the last decade, hitting a fever pitch during the pandemic.”
“Swig, which employs about 700 people, plans to open 10 to 15 shops a year, and in two or three years, [co-founder Nicole] Tanner said she hopes there will be 200 or more shops across the United States.”
“Kevin Auernig, an owner of Sodalicious, said the 25-shop company will double its locations in the next three years.”
“Fiiz started franchising five months after opening in 2014, and now has nearly 40 stores in Utah, Texas, Colorado, Idaho and Nevada, ‘with a bunch more in the hopper,’ said the chain’s owner, Jason Anderson.”
“Dr. Ellsworth, who wrote a chapter in the 2020 book ‘This is the Plate: Utah Food Traditions,’ said soda shops ‘really are tongue-in-cheek with the way they engage with L.D.S. culture, its history and some of its practices’ — pointing to drink names like the Second Wife at Sodalicious and the Missionary at Swig.”
“The term ‘dirty’ refers to the flavor add-ins, and its use in marketing was the basis of a 2015 trademark lawsuit, when Swig sued Sodalicious.” READ MORE
Ami Kassar says you still have a few shopping days left for an EIDL: “As the stimulus benefits are dwindling, I encourage small-business owners and entrepreneurs to stay tuned for what other opportunities may be lingering. For example, in the infrastructure bill that was just passed. Not only will construction companies and others directly involved in that sector benefit from increased jobs and contracts, but other sectors will benefit as well. Think about all the dominoes. Staffing agencies will be called on more to provide skilled workers, more food trucks will be needed on job sites, IT consultants will be needed to be brought in, etc.”
“Economic Injury and Disaster Loan applications ... still have to be in by December 31, but the SBA will continue to review applications after the deadline, until the funds are exhausted.”
“The SBA is ‘strongly suggesting’ business owners get these applications in by December 10.”
“If you already have an EIDL loan and are looking for an increase, you may request one up to two years after the original loan date. However, I recommend applying sooner rather than later since this incentive will end once funds are exhausted.” READ MORE
THE PERFECT GIFT
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Another 4 million-plus Americans quit their jobs in October: “The number of people who left jobs for other opportunities in October made up 2.8 percent of the workforce, the BLS said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. In contrast, the survey found 11 million job openings, only slightly less than the record from July. A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September. Workers took advantage of the surge in job openings across the country. August’s numbers, at 4.3 million, were also a record at the time.”
“The high quits numbers are a reflection of what is perhaps the most worker-friendly climate in decades, as workers have the ability to sort through near-record levels of job postings, and many employers are hungry to hire.”
“‘This report once again shows strong demand from employers leading to a hot labor market,’ Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, wrote Wednesday. ‘The bargaining table is tilted more toward workers than it has been in the past.’” READ MORE
Here are the sectors most affected by quitting workers: “Hospitality and food, retail and arts, and entertainment and recreation continued to see high rates of workers quitting, although the numbers were down from summer peaks. Workers continued to leave their jobs at record rates in health care, social assistance and nondurable goods manufacturing. Demand for new hires remains high in those industries as job openings continue to increase.”
“‘The pandemic is still in the driver’s seat,’ said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at the job site Glassdoor. ‘A lot of people think the Great Resignation is about burned-out office workers, but it’s really about these front-line service workers in jobs where there are a lot of covid risks and also a tight labor market.’” READ MORE
Derek Thompson says there are three big myths about the Great Resignation: “The Great Resignation isn’t really about burnout. And it’s not really about what most people think of as resignations. To put it as concisely as possible: The Great Resignation is mostly a dynamic ‘free agency’ period for low-income workers switching jobs to make more money, plus a moderate surge of early retirements in a pandemic.”
“The increase in quits is mostly about low-wage workers switching to better jobs in industries that are raising wages to grab new employees as fast as possible. From the quitter’s perspective, that’s a job hop. ...That makes it more like the Big Switch than the Big Quit.”
“Because remote workers are a very white-collar group, this fact has led to a great deal of news coverage claiming that the Great Resignation—or whatever!—is being driven by white-collar professionals. But quits aren’t rising much in finance, real estate, or the broad information sector, which includes publishing, software, and internet companies. This year, quits for leisure and hospitality workers have increased four times faster than for the largest white-collar sector, which is professional and business services.”
“The great majority of this economy’s ‘quitters,’ in the permanent sense of the word, are seniors. But they quit a while ago, and calling their decisions ‘resignations’ is sort of weird. When a 70-year-old leaves a business she’s worked at for three decades, we don’t throw her a big resignation party. We throw her a retirement party.” READ MORE
Companies are trying to lure workers back to the office with renovated spaces and upgraded food: “Companies that reopened spaces on a voluntary basis in recent months say they have often found the in-person experiences to be underwhelming. Some bosses observed that staffers spent much of their days hunched over laptops wearing headphones on video calls. Other workers arrived only to discover most of their colleagues were still at home, or on alternating hybrid schedules. The spontaneous collaboration offices once provided often didn’t occur, executives say, and some workers who tried returning to offices quickly gave up and settled back into a routine of working at home.”
“To help, companies are rolling out new software to allow employees to better coordinate their visits with colleagues, while others are renovating spaces, upgrading in-office catering options or appointing staffers to monitor the office experience.”
“A number of companies are also experimenting with scheduling, with some setting ‘engagement days’ when all employees will be required to attend.”
“We’re creating spaces so that, when our teams come together, they have a place that’s inspiring to them,’ [Brent Hyder, president and chief people officer of Salesforce] said. ‘What you’ll see is these buildings are primarily used for people to come together.’” READ MORE
THE COVID ECONOMY
Covid has spurred the biggest rise in life insurance payouts in a century: “Death-benefit payments rose 15.4 percent in 2020 to $90.43 billion, mostly due to the pandemic, according to the American Council of Life Insurers. In 1918, payments surged 41 percent. The hit to the insurance industry was less than expected early in the pandemic because many of the victims were older people who typically have smaller policies. The industry paid out $78.36 billion in 2019, and payouts have typically increased modestly each year.”
“Covid-19 also spurred the fastest rise in sales of insurance policies in 25 years, an industry research group said. Combined with good returns on some of insurers’ investments, industry assets increased 7.7 percent to $8.2 trillion in 2020, the ACLI’s figures show.”
“Industrywide, total new life-insurance premiums increased 18 percent for the first nine months of 2021, the largest growth recorded for nine months in 25 years, according to industry-funded research firm Limra.” READ MORE
Do Amazon’s search results distinguish between paid ads and organic results? Not according to a complaint filed with the FTC: “More than a quarter of search results on Amazon are paid ads, according to the complaint filed by the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions. But because the company doesn’t clearly label sponsored results, Amazon could be ‘unlawfully deceiving’ customers into clicking on them without knowing, a practice that raises questions about the integrity and quality of Amazon’s search results, the petition alleges.”
“The company delays labels indicating that a search result is sponsored by an advertiser for several seconds after a page loads, the group claims, a practice that ‘deliberately obfuscat[es]’ ads.” READ MORE
Here’s an inside look at a 49-unit Central Florida apartment complex turnaround that went bad. It’s not for the squeamish:
The travel industry is ramping up amenities for canine companions: “After a year of bonding at home with their animals, many pet owners are deciding to take their critters, especially their dogs, on the road. Several travel companies are paying attention to the trend, rolling out luxury amenities that take ‘pet-friendly’ to new levels. Increasingly, the options for canines and other companions are five-star and priced to match. At the Ambassador, Enzo was greeted with a custom dog biscuit and dog toy. A photo of him, printed from his Instagram page, was waiting in the room along with food and water bowls. Ms. Sufi was given a map of pet-friendly restaurants.”
“Six years ago, Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, added ‘dog butlers,’ whose responsibilities include dog walking, poop scooping and canine massage.”
“This year, for guests who celebrated Thanksgiving at the hotel with their dogs in tow, the holiday menu offered canine treats such as turkey jerky, wild rice and baby spinach.”
“El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif., also updated its dog-friendly offerings in 2020. Gourmet dog menus now list gluten-free options and seasonal fish for $15 a plate, as well as lavender-and-mint treats ($8).”
“For stressed pups, you can order a Ruff Day, a herbal tea blend of camomile, ginger, echinacea and hawthorn berry ($5 a bowl).” READ MORE
THE 21 HATS PODCAST
Are You Playing Offense or Defense? This week, Paul Downs, Dana White, and Laura Zander talk about the lessons they’ll take from 2021 and what they’re hoping to accomplish in 2022. Paul thinks he’s found an alternative sales channel that will lessen his dependency on Google. Laura, who built Jimmy Beans Wool on ecommerce, is planning a renewed emphasis on brick-and-mortar retail. And Dana White is working on building the team that will help her pursue her remarkable opportunities with franchising and the military. Plus, how comfortable would the owners be showing up at work in a brand new car?
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