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Free digital marketplace to promote businesses owned by people of color

Colette Phillips


Free digital marketplace to promote businesses owned by people of color

Public relations entrepreneur Colette Phillips has launched a free digital marketplace, dubbed the GK Market, aimed at promoting small businesses in the state, particularly those owned by people of color. The marketplace allows people to search for small businesses that are certified as minority-owned, woman-owned, or veteran-owned. Mike Kennealy, the state’s economic development secretary, said the GK Market provides an easy-to-search database for about 5,000 small businesses. “This is, in fact, a game changer,” Kennealy told Phillips during a virtual launch event on Monday. “You are providing critical exposure to businesses owned and operated by people of color.” — JON CHESTO



Airbnb files for IPO

Airbnb Inc., in a long-awaited filing for an initial public offering, outlined widening losses and plunging revenue while projecting optimism for a rebound in demand for home-sharing when the economy eventually recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The listing is set to be one of the biggest this year. The company’s filing Monday showed that gross booking value for the nine months ended Sept. 30 tumbled to $18 billion, down almost 40 percent from the same period last year, it said. Airbnb had a net loss of $697 million on revenue of $2.5 billion for that nine-month period, compared with a net loss of $323 million on revenue of $3.7 billion for the same period last year, according to the filing. People familiar with the company’s plans have said it will seek to raise as much as $3 billion in an IPO in December. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Huawei selling Honor phone brand in face of US sanctions

China’s Huawei is selling its budget-price Honor smartphone brand in an effort to rescue the struggling business from US sanctions imposed on its parent company. The move announced Tuesday is aimed at reviving Honor by separating it from Huawei’s network equipment, which Washington says are a security threat, an accusation Huawei denies. Huawei is under sanctions that block access to most US processor chips and other technology. Huawei Technologies Ltd.'s announcement gave no financial details. Huawei will retain its flagship Huawei smartphone brand. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Home Depot and HD Supply reunited

Home Depot Inc. agreed to buy building products distributor HD Supply, reuniting the home-improvement retailer with its former subsidiary more than a decade after they split apart. Home Depot will buy all outstanding shares for about $56 apiece, according to a statement Monday, representing a premium of about 25 percent over HD Supply’s closing price on Friday. With about 156 million shares outstanding, according to a filing, the offer is valued at roughly $8.7 billion. Including net cash, the deal has an enterprise value of about $8 billion, the companies said. The acquisition brings back together two companies that used to be under the same roof and will give Home Depot more exposure to the professional contractor side of the business. Like do-it-yourself repairs, that segment has boomed during the pandemic as Americans want to improve the homes they’re spending more time in. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Walmart sells stake in Japanese company

Walmart is selling a majority stake in Japanese retailer Seiyu to KKR & Co. and Rakuten Inc. in a deal the companies said values the business at $1.6 billion as the US giant seeks to boost the chain’s online presence. Under the agreement, Walmart will keep a 15 percent stake in Seiyu, while KKR and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten acquire a 65 percent and 20 percent stake, respectively, according to a joint release from the companies. The deal is meant to shore up Seiyu’s digital operations with the aid of its new owners as demand for online retail grows in Japan. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



World’s largest network to begin using electric vehicles

Didi Chuxing will begin rolling out an electric vehicle developed with BYD Co. to its drivers in coming months, aiming to reduce costs throughout the world’s largest ride-hailing network. The D1, the first model to have been built with ride-hailing in mind, will ship to the startup’s leasing partners across several Chinese cities, according to Didi. Made by BYD, in which Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is the largest shareholder, the vehicle has power sliding doors and a driver-assistance system. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


London residents fleeing the city for the suburbs

Londoners flocking to suburbia have sent rents plunging in the city center and climbing in its outskirts to create the biggest growth gap on record, according to data from broker Hamptons International. The capital, along with Wales, was the only region in the UK to see rents slip in October compared to a year earlier, as the return of lockdowns encourage Brits to seek space and greenery in more rural areas. London’s drop was led by the city center, where rents tumbled by 15 percent, while the capital’s suburbs saw annual growth rise to 3 percent. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


PNC expands its footprint with purchase

PNC Financial Services Group agreed to buy Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria’s banking operations in the US for $11.6 billion, vaulting past rivals to become the country’s largest regional bank. The cash deal will boost PNC’s earnings by about 21 percent in 2022 and generate more than $900 million of cost savings, the bank said in a statement on Monday. The addition of BBVA branches across the southern and southwestern United States gives PNC a presence in 29 of the country’s 30 largest markets. US regional lenders are seeking to bulk up to compete with banking giants such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, which are moving into new states and spending billions annually on digital offerings. BBVA USA has more than 600 branches in several states, including Texas, Florida, and Alabama. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Apple targeted by privacy advocate in Spain and Germany

Apple’s ad tracking is the target of two complaints to Spanish and German authorities by a privacy advocate whose earlier legal battles are forcing Facebook to change the way it transfers data. Noyb, a group founded by privacy activist Max Schrems, is accusing Apple of unlawfully installing so-called identification for advertisers on its devices. The service helps Apple and apps track users' behavior and their consumption preferences without their consent, the group said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


HBO Max to appear on Fire TV devices after dispute settled

AT&T Inc.'s WarnerMedia reached a deal with Inc. to make its HBO Max app available on Fire TV devices, ending a standoff that had curtailed the growth of the new streaming video service. The HBO Max app will be available on Tuesday on Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, smart TVs, and tablets, WarnerMedia said. The deal ends a monthslong impasse between the two giants that centered, in part, on who controls valuable user data. HBO Max plans to introduce an ad-supported version of its service next year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Bezos announces first grants to fight climate change

Jeff Bezos has announced the first grant recipients from $10 billion pledged to combat climate change, earmarking $791 million for donations to environmental organizations. The first 16 groups receiving donations from the Inc. founder’s Bezos Earth Fund include nonprofit stalwarts such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Fund. The announcement came Monday in an Instagram post, where Bezos also revealed the fund’s existence in February. At the time, he said it would begin issuing grants in the summer. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Aramco to sell bonds to pay dividend, most of which goes to the Saudi government

Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, is set to return to the bond markets for the first time since April of last year as it seeks to fund a $75 billion dividend commitment. Aramco, which hired banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for the sale, needs to raise debt after slumping crude prices caused profit to fall by 45 percent in the third quarter. That’s left it unable to generate enough cash to fund the investor payouts, almost all of which go to the Saudi government, which needs the money to plug a widening budget deficit. — BLOOMBERG NEWS