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House votes to fund government for a week amid rush to strike spending, Covid relief deals

The bill would keep the government funded through Dec. 18 as Congress tries to reach coronavirus relief and spending deals….

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A cordoned off area outside the US Capitol in Washington.

Yegor Aleyev | TASS | Getty Images

The House passed a one-week government funding extension Wednesday as Congress tries to buy time to strike broad spending and coronavirus relief deals.

The measure, which passed in a 343-67 vote, would keep the federal government running through Dec. 18. Many operations will shut down amid the raging pandemic if lawmakers fail to approve a funding bill before Saturday.

The legislation heads to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has indicated he aims to pass it before the deadline. The Senate could try to approve it as soon as Thursday.

Congressional leaders hope to reach agreement on an omnibus spending package to fund the government through Sept. 30. Appropriators have come to terms on an overall $1.4 trillion price tag but have not yet agreed on exactly where the money will go.

McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have said they want to attach pandemic aid measures to the full-year spending bill.

Democratic leaders hope bipartisan talks among rank-and-file lawmakers on a $908 billion coronavirus rescue package will lead to legislation that can pass both chambers of Congress. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent a $916 billion offer to Pelosi on Tuesday, but she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., rejected it because it does not include supplemental federal unemployment payments.

McConnell on Tuesday also called for lawmakers to drop demands for liability protections and state and local government aid as part of a year-end relief bill. Democrats have opposed the Republican leader’s push to give companies immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits, saying it would harm employees who work for needlessly reckless companies.

While Democrats and many Republicans back new state and local support to avoid layoffs among first responders and teachers, McConnell and the White House have argued the money will go to governments that have not managed their finances wisely.

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The measure, which passed in a 343-67 vote, would keep the federal government running through Dec. 18. Many operations will shut down amid the raging pandemic if lawmakers fail to approve a funding bill before Saturday.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/09/government-shutdown-house-votes-to-fund-government-for-one-week.html

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Crunchbase

Inside Didi’s Massive IPO Filing

Backed by investors including SoftBank and Toyota, Didi last raised venture financing with a $500 million round led by SoftBank in May 2020, per Crunchbase.

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Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing has filed to go public in the United States.

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Didi is more or less the Uber of China. In fact, the company bought Uber’s operations in China back in 2016. And now it’s looking to go public in a deal that could value it at more than $70 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Backed by investors including SoftBank and Toyota, Didi last raised venture financing with a $500 million round led by SoftBank in May 2020, per Crunchbase. It also raised $1.5 billion in debt financing in April 2021.

SoftBank, Uber and Tencent are among the largest shareholders in the company, which is based in Beijing. Uber became a stakeholder in the company after selling its Chinese operations to Didi.

Didi operates in 15 countries and has 493 million annual active users, along with 15 million annual active drivers, according to its F-1. The company reported having 41 million average daily transactions on its platform.

In terms of numbers, the company reported $21.6 billion in revenue last year. Although that figure is down from the nearly $24.2 billion in revenue the company generated in 2019, it’s nothing to scoff at and can likely be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its losses came out to about $2.1 billion in 2020, up from about $1.25 billion in 2019. The company isn’t profitable, and has had losses every fiscal year since it was founded in 2012.

Didi detailed how the pandemic affected its business, reporting that operations rebounded in the second half of 2020.

“The demand for our mobility offerings, as well as the supply of drivers, decreases drastically under such conditions. Our Core Platform GTV fell by 32.8% in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarter of 2019, and then by 16.0% in the second quarter of 2020 as compared to the second quarter of 2019,” the company wrote in its filing. “Our businesses resumed growth in the second half of 2020, which moderated the impact on a year-on-year basis.”

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are among the underwriters for the IPO.

The company applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker DIDI.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/ride-hailing-giant-didi-chuxing-files-for-us-ipo/

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Entrepreneur

The Unbearably High Price of ‘Free’

Using the word ‘free’ in your marketing is a quick way to get attention, but it’s also a double-edged sword that has tripped up a lot of businesses.

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Using the word ‘free’ in your marketing is a quick way to get attention, but it’s also a double-edged sword that has tripped up a lot of businesses.

Free Book Preview: Brand Renegades

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June 13, 2021 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the most powerful words in the English language is the term “free.” Do any of these phrases sound familiar?

  • “Buy one get one free.”
  • “Get a free gift with purchase, valued at $499.”
  • “Get a free eye examination.”
  • “Try our membership for FREE.”
  • “Get FREE delivery”

It seems like just about every company uses some kind of “free offer” in their marketing. So why is the term “free” used so liberally?

Because, frankly, it works — by appealing to our basic human emotion of greed.

The word “free” has appeared in more advertisements than there are grains of sand on a beach. And it goes way back to the genesis of advertising when giving free samples was the best (and only) new way to get customers. So what makes “free” work so well?”

Free gets attention. It makes people feel like they are getting a great deal. On a subconscious level, it works in reverse, too — you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t take advantage of something for free.

But using the word “free” in your marketing can be a double-edged sword, especially if you don’t use it correctly.

Related content: The 5 Triggers of Psychological Pricing

Is there a wrong way to use the term “free” in your marketing?

Absolutely. There are thousands of ways that using the term “free” in your marketing can trip you up, reduce your product or service value, and do irreparable damage to your brand.

Let me give you a real example. One of our clients was in the business of producing extremely high-end Italian-made leather shoes and bags for men. Their most famous pair of boots retailed for $3,500. Their most popular bag, a messenger-style laptop bag, retailed for $950. The company’s previous marketing agency advised them that the best way to double their boot sales would be to offer the messenger bag for free.

As far as irresistible offers go, that’s a pretty good one, and it did in fact, increase sales of the boots — in the short term. But it was a strategic disaster in the long term because now they had conditioned their clients to expect the messenger bag for free.

In other words, by offering it for free, they had completely devalued that product (remember it was the company’s top-selling bag.) Even worse, by offering something of high perceived value for free, they had also damaged their own luxury brand. Why would people ever pay full price again?

The good news is that people have a short attention span, and with the right strategic pivot and messaging, you can erase the damage of using “free.” But it takes time.

The same dangers apply when you start using discounts in your business. If you discount your products, why would people ever pay full price? They just wait for them to go on sale. When our Italian client came to us, they had a branding and sales disaster on their hands through no fault of their own. Fortunately, we were able to get them out of their pickle by repositioning their products and reinventing their brand — a move that resulted in them being purchased eighteen months later by a competitor.

Moral of the story: Using a free offer can be a slippery slope and must be used sparingly and carefully.

Related: The Price Is Right: How to Price Your Product for Long-Term Success

Before using “free” in your business, ask yourself:

  • Does this have a real value that we depend on for revenue?
  • By offering this item or service for free, will this adversely impact another related service or product (for example, if you offer the first consult for free, and expect to be paid for all future consults)?
  • Why are we considering offering something for free? What else could we offer that would help us achieve the same result?
  • What if it’s not your business using “free”, but your competitors?

    Now, if you’re on the other side of the fence and your competitor is offering something for free that you are charging for, it’s time to put your marketing into high gear.

    Just because there is no money exchanged doesn’t mean that it’s not paid for in other ways — for example, in lost time, huge frustration or poor quality.

    Think of the experience and quality of “free” healthcare versus a private plan. Draw these analogies in your marketing to establish your value in the minds of your clients.

    “Free” is still a mighty word used to grab attention in marketing. But handle with extreme caution, and don’t be lured into using it to stimulate short-term sales at the expense of long-term growth.

    Related: 3 Lessons About Setting Your Price Learned From a Vegas Prostitute

    It seems like just about every company uses some kind of “free offer” in their marketing. So why is the term “free” used so liberally?

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/-ft2fOOD5wI/372155

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    CNBC

    RH beats earnings, hikes outlook as retail rebound boosts high-end home goods; shares jump

    Shares of the high-end furniture retailer surged Wednesday after the company beat analysts’ profit and sales estimates for the fiscal first quarter.

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    Jason Kempin | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

    Shares of the high-end furniture retailer RH surged in extended trading Wednesday after the company beat analysts’ profit and sales estimates for the fiscal first quarter.

    RH also hiked its full-year outlook, building on the momentum it’s seeing in the luxury home category, and gave a stronger-than-expected sales forecast for the second quarter.

    In a letter to shareholders, Chief Executive Officer Gary Friedman said the remainder of this year “will surely be a tale of two halves” for the retail industry. But he said that “the un-masking of the general public could lead to a Roaring Twenties type of consumer exuberance.”

    The company’s stock was last up more than 7%.

    Here’s how RH did in the quarter ended May 1 compared with what analysts were anticipating, using Refinitiv estimates:

    • Earnings per share: $4.89 adjusted vs. $4.10 expected
    • Revenue: $861 million vs. $758 million expected

    RH’s net income for the fiscal first quarter grew to $130.7 million, or $4.19 per share, compared with a loss of $3.2 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time adjustments, it earned $4.89 per share, topping expectations for $4.10.

    Revenue surged 78% to $861 million from $483 million a year earlier. That also beat expectations for $758 million.

    Friedman said that a strong housing and renovation market, a record stock market, low interest rates, and the reopening of the U.S. economy all bode well for the company in the quarters ahead.

    RH hiked its fiscal 2021 outlook for revenue growth to a range of 25% to 30%, compared with a prior range of 15% to 20%. Analysts had been looking for a 19.7% increase year over year.

    For its fiscal second quarter, RH expects revenue to grow 35% to 37%. Analysts had been looking for a 27.2% jump.

    The company is preparing to kick off its global expansion in the spring of 2022, starting with England. To drive future growth, it is also considering expanding into new services, potentially into areas such as landscape architecture. It currently offers interior design consulting.

    RH shares are up roughly 37% year to date. The company has a market cap of about $13 billion.

    Find the full earnings press release from RH here.

    Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/09/rh-earnings-q1-2021.html

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