Posts tagged with "economy"

Her Excellency Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat addresses the inaugural Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) in Cairo, photo by AETOSWire for use by 360 Magazine

Egypt President Calls on International Community To Support Global Green Recovery

H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, called upon the international community to unite and spark a “green recovery.”

Speaking on the first day of the inaugural Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt – ICF), launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation, taking place in Cairo between 8-9 September, El-Sisi said: “No government alone can make this recovery possible. It requires the support of the international community and financial institutions to achieve the UN SDGs.”

Also at the event, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, said: “This is a unique opportunity for Egypt to reset global priorities and place sustainability at the core of economic development.”

“We launched the Egypt – ICF to provide a global platform to catalyze international cooperation as we rebuild from the pandemic. By increasing multi-stakeholder engagement and cooperation, we can pave the way for more inclusive, greener, and more resilient economies that work for everyone.”

Later at the event, during a panel on multilateralism, Solomon Quaynor, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization said: “Egypt is uniquely positioned to be a regional hub for vaccine production.”

“A successful vaccination campaign [in Africa] could help realize the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area – a single market with 1.2 billion people and $3.4 trillion in gross domestic product.”

During a panel that addressed the urgent need to unlock international development funds, Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director OECD Development Co-operation Directorate said: “It is critical to mobilize one percent of US$379 trillion. But it cannot be done without a holistic approach. It is important to emphasize the role of multilateralism.”

In a panel session dedicated to combatting climate change, Mr. Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action Panelists, described the world as being on a “climate cliff” as it gets dangerously close to not meeting the 1.5 degrees Celsius Paris Agreement goal, if “we don’t take ambitious action now.”

The Forum also heard from H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Minister of Environment, who said: “Climate change is not an environmental challenge. Climate challenge is a developmental challenge. It hits hard all development processes. It doesn’t differentiate between a rich, poor or developing country.”

Credit Cards illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

CardRatings Analyst Predicts Credit Card Landscape

The credit card analyst for CardRatings.com, a leading credit card review and comparison site, is releasing predictions for the next six months of the calendar year. Brooklyn Lowery researched how the pandemic affected the credit card industry in general and explains what consumers should expect in the coming months. She finds both positive and negative trends in her new analysis of “Mid-year update: Credit card trends to watch for in 2021.”

Travel rewards bonuses are booming: “Have vaccine, will travel.” We knew travel would return and, with it, mega travel rewards credit card bonuses. CardRatings is seeing highest-ever offers for perennial travel rewards favorites. Credit card companies seem to be competing for cardholders, so if consumers are considering travel rewards cards, now is the ideal time to apply. Bonuses are significant but may be for a limited time, even if they aren’t advertised as such.

“With most of the country returning to normal, Americans hit the roads and skies in record numbers over the July 4th weekend, and banks want to capitalize on that travel fever. We don’t predict a slowdown any time soon in travel nor in big travel rewards bonuses. As soon as one card announces its offer, a competing card announces its own. Expect this domino effect to remain at least through the end of the year.”

COVID perks remain: As Lowery predicted at the end of 2020, several credit card features and benefits designed to provide value during the pandemic are continuing as COVID restrictions lift. Her analysis finds a number of popular travel rewards cards are keeping everyday-geared benefits and features that were introduced during the economic shutdown.

“The credit card industry understandably held its breath during the height of the pandemic, waiting to see how the economy would fare and what existing customers would demand for cards in their wallets,” says Lowery. “Banks rolled out new features and benefits and customers responded positively, so banks are assessing what to keep long-term.”

Consumer credit card approvals slow and credit limits low: Anecdotal evidence suggests banks are continuing to exercise caution with card approvals and credit limits. As the economy has largely reopened, risk aversion has ebbed slightly, but it’s still common for consumers to wait for approvals or receive low credit limits. At this point, lending may continue loosening at a steady rate; that could depend on what happens with COVID variants and possible new restrictions going forward.

Small business credit cards bounce back: After 18 months of hardship, small business owners are receiving positive news – small business credit card approvals are bouncing back and businesses are having an easier time getting approved. Banks are marketing this card type again after largely stopping at the height of the pandemic.

Interest rates low – for now: Most credit card interest rates are shaped by the U.S. prime rate, and the Federal Reserve isn’t predicting a rate hike until 2023, so major changes in credit card interest rates seem unlikely for now. That said, issuers can increase interest rates apart from that federal rate and traditionally have done so as they introduce new features or benefits. Lowery believes the historically low interest rates will stick around for the next six months but predicts they’ll creep a bit higher in 2022 as banks continue rolling out new features and benefits to attract new cardholders. That means now is the time to pay down credit card balances.

“Peeking ahead to early 2022, I think we’ll see balance transfer offers make a comeback following the holiday season. Of course, everything here is dependent on COVID remaining under control and the economy remaining fully open. If any of that changes, all bets are off.”

Image by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 MAGAZINE

HEAT WAVES × THE FUTURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

By: Andrew Shibuya

It seems as though only months or weeks pass nowadays between environmental global crises. While heat waves, floods, and the like are by no means novel, the twenty-first century has undoubtedly seen an unrelenting torrent of environmental disasters. In the past week alone, a record-breaking heat wave in the Pacific Northwest left nearly one-hundred dead, two separate oil fires burning on the surface of the ocean in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea, and innumerable small fires blazing across the West Coast following Fourth of July celebrations.

The heat wave in the Pacific Northwest impacted Oregon the most, with a total of 95 heat-related deaths on Sunday alone. Temperatures throughout the state reached a record-high of 117 degrees, leaving those without air conditioning or access to a cooler environment the most vulnerable. The Oregon government attempted to mitigate the effects of the heat wave by offering numerous cooling centers and even air conditioners to those at risk of harm.

Of course, the June heat wave that struck the Pacific Northwest was not unusual, nor will it be an outlier in the future by any means. In talking about the heat wave, Oregon Governor Kate Brown most succinctly stated, “This is a harbinger of things to come.” Other Oregon officials echoed this sentiment, with Public Health Director Jessica Guernsey writing the following in a press release for the heat wave: “This tragic event is almost certainly a glimpse into the future for Multnomah County, Oregon, the nation and the world. The impacts of climate change with heat waves, severe winter weather, wildfires, floods, and other rippling effects are happening now and will happen with more frequency for the foreseeable future.”

And while these sentiments are hardly prescient, on the other coast of the United States, a similar heat wave scorched the Northeast. While likewise record-breaking in its own right, the intensity of the East Coast’s heat wave does not come close to matching the Northwest’s. And still, a heat advisory was issued in New York City, and Boston and Philadelphia both issued heat health emergencies.

Of course, this past week was only one of the first weeks of summer, and more heat waves and heat related disasters are likely ensuing. Another heat wave warning has been issued for this coming weekend in California, from the desert to the Bay Area. California also has yet to enter its own “fire season,” which annually typically sees a handful of newsworthy fires that continue for several weeks, ravaging local communities and habitats.

This does not, however, mean that there is a lack of fires. This past Fourth of July weekend saw a marked increase in human caused wildfires. Already under a fire warning, California alone has seen hundreds of fires in the past several days as a result of holiday celebrations gone awry.

And all this is without mentioning the current drought plaguing the West Coast. From 2012 to 2016, California experienced its worse drought in over a millennium. The current drought finds many questioning the future of many essential Californian industries, such as farming, which will undoubtedly affect the largest economy in the United States.

Though one may be curious about the origin of these disasters–namely the drought and heat waves–one needs to look no further for evidence than the two oil fires on the high seas this past week. The fires, one in the Caspian Sea and one in the Gulf of Mexico, were both caused by oil explosions. The former is said to have been caused by the eruption of a “mud volcano,” or possibly a mud volcano interacting with a nearby gas field. They are still investigating the cause of this fire.

The fire in the Gulf of Mexico, however, was solely and indubitably man caused. A gas leak from an underwater pipeline by Mexico-owned gas company Pemex saw the inferno come about just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. A Mexican official has stated that there was no spillage, but there is still no explanation for the blaze.

Given all this, and the increased quantity of these sorts of events yearly, one can only wonder what a solution might be, and if such a solution is even plausible. And as each new catastrophe arises, it seems as though they are becoming normalized, with no action taken besides Twitter outcry. Beside merely pointing fingers at each other and pushing the onus of the responsibility around, the multibillionaires, their corporations, and the government ought to be able to do something.

Of course, it’s not as simple as expecting those groups to fix these global issues, as it is wholly a worldwide effort. As trite as it might seem, solutions to global issues require the actions of whole global populations. But besides recycling, eating with the environment in mind, and similar small (yet important) actions, what is the average person to do? Still, corporations such as Amazon are allowed to pollute and produce millions of pounds of plastic waste annually without consequence. Furthermore, former president Donald Trump once pulled out of the Paris Agreement in the name of America’s economic interests.

And so, just as Robert Frost once pondered if the world would end in ice or fire, the answer to his question seems to be becoming most clear now. As economies and profits seem to be more important than humanity’s future, the world will continue to burn, oceans will continue to rise, and people will continue to die. And as is true with many great problems, the issue is easy to see and difficult to solve–whether humanity will rise to its challenge is another issue entirely.

Art by Kaelen of 360 for use by 360 Magazine

Tidal announces Triumph Over Trauma Special

Today TIDAL, in partnership with influential politico, lawyer and advocate Angela Rye, is announcing the premiere of Triumph Over Trauma: Black Wall Street Then and Now – a one-hour long special commemorating the centennial of one of the worst attacks of racial violence in American history: the Tulsa Race Massacre. The special will premiere on Saturday, June 19 at 6 pm ET to also honor the Juneteenth holiday, which celebrates the effective end of slavery in the United States.

The Tulsa Race Massacre devastated the prosperous African-American business community in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District known as Black Wall Street and claimed hundreds of lives. Viewers will hear from three living survivors of the massacre – Mother Fletcher, Mother Randle, and Uncle Red – who will discuss memories of Black Wall Street, escaping the night of the massacre, their legacy, and much more. The hour-long special will also feature local politicians, business leaders, Black youth of Tusla, activists, writers, and more reflecting, learning, inspiring, and growing – and most importantly shedding light on untold history.

The special will be broadcast simultaneously on TIDAL’s YouTube channel as well as in-app – both members and non-members alike will be able to view. You can find a preview here.

Highlighting the historical moments that impact society is an integral part of TIDAL’s DNA. By celebrating how integral all voices are to culture and community, TIDAL continues its commitment to providing its members with culture-shifting content.

Art by Kaelen of 360 for use by 360 Magazine

FinnAir Introduces Business Light Ticket

Finnair brings more choice to customers, introduces Business Light ticket

Finnair will introduce a totally new Business Light ticket and renew its other ticket types on 15 June, addressing the increasing trend for personalization of the travel experience.  

Customers can choose a ticket for their needs from three ticket types – Light, Classic and Flex – that are available for both Business and Economy Class for all short-haul and most intercontinental journeys. When booking a ticket, customers select the travel class experience they prefer and the level of flexibility for making reservation changes – along with some additional services included in the ticket. The rest of the experience can be tailored with a wide selection of travel extras. 

There is an increasing need to personalize the travel experience, and our new ticket types offer opportunities for choice and tailoring says Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair. We want to offer our customers journeys that look like them, and we will be adding more choice and personalization opportunities to our offering as we re-introduce services and prepare for ramp-up of our operations.  

Business Light is a totally new ticket type designed especially for leisure travelers who want to travel light and affordably while enjoying Business Class comfort. Business Light includes carry-on baggage only. Reservation changes, refunds, airport priority services, lounge access and onboard internet are not included in the ticket price. Customers can always elevate their experience by choosing the travel extras that matter most for them.  

The Classic ticket is the most popular option allowing ticket date changes and including one piece of checked baggage. With a Classic ticket bought on 15 June or later, customers can make travel date changes flexibly, paying only the possible fare difference between the original and new tickets. A refund is not possible in the case of a customer cancelling their reservation.  

The Flex ticket is a fully flexible and refundable ticket option serving those whose plans can change. When changing travel dates with a Flex ticket, customers only pay the possible fare difference between the original and new tickets. In case a customer wants to cancel their trip, the ticket will be refunded. Flex tickets include checked baggage and advance seat reservation. A Flex ticket bought after 15 June doesn’t include airport priority services. 

Customers who purchased their tickets before 15 June will travel with their original tickets and the benefits that were included with them. Due to the coronavirus situation, Finnair offers all customers with bookings made latest on 31 August 2021 extra flexibility for travel date changes. 

More information is available at FinnAir’s website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

About Finnair

Finnair is a modern premium network airline, specialising in passenger and cargo traffic between Asia and Europe. Helsinki’s geographical location gives Finnair a competitive advantage, since the fastest connections between many European destinations and Asian megacities fly over Finland. Finnair is the only Nordic network carrier with a 4-star Skytrax ranking and a member of the oneworld alliance. In 2019, Finnair’s revenues amounted to EUR 3,098 million and it carried over 14.7 million passengers. Finnair Plc’s shares are quoted on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.

Art by Kaelen of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Toyota Produces Lowest Number of Vehicles in Nearly Ten Years

Toyota Produced Lowest Number Of Vehicles In Almost A Decade – 7.55M Vehicles In FY 2021

Global mobility was essentially halted by COVID-19 in 2020 resulting in a huge financial downturn for even the giants of the car manufacturing industry. According to data presented by Trading Platform, Toyota produced its lowest number of vehicles in almost a decade – 7.55M units in FY ending March 2021.

Toyota Produced 7.55M Vehicles in FY 2021 Its Lowest Since 2012

Toyota Motor Corporation or more popularly known as simply Toyota is a car manufacturer from Japan founded in 1937. As of July 2014, Toyota was the largest listed company from Japan based on market capitalization, a ranking it still holds as of writing. Toyota was also listed by Forbes as the 42nd largest company in the world based on market cap.

However, even the giants of Japanese car manufacturing were not immune to the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its financial year (FY) ending in March 2021, Toyota only produced 7.55M units of vehicles compared to 8.82M in FY 2020. FY 2021’s figure is also the lowest number of vehicles produced by Toyota since FY 2012 when Toyota only produced 7.44M vehicles.

Toyota Sold Most Cars In North America But Generated Largest Revenue From Japan in FY 2021

North America is Toyota’s most lucrative market, accounting for 2.7M vehicle sales in FY 2020. In FY 2021, vehicle sales in North America dropped by 14.74% to just 2.31M. Toyota’s Asia (excluding Japan) market experienced the largest contraction out of it its largest markets with a 23.63% drop in FY 2021 to just 1.22M vehicles sold compared to 1.6M in FY 2020.

Toyota’s revenue across its sales regions differed greatly due to the varying conditions of the pandemic around the globe. Its home market of Japan was Toyota’s largest source of revenue in FY 2021 with almost ¥15T or almost $137B. Its North American market generated the second-highest revenue from its sales regions with ¥9.49T or around $87 in FY 2021.

Rex Pascual, editor at Trading Platforms, commented:

Toyota’s production downturn in FY 2021 is in line with industry trends, as the pandemic stifled demand significantly across the board. But Toyota’s status as one of Japan’s most iconic brands ensures a bright post-pandemic future for the car manufacturer. Its emergence as market leaders in hybrid electric vehicles as well as hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles shows the historic brand’s willingness to adapt to more modern trends.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information at Trading Platforms’ website

Analysis for use by 360 Magazine

Health and Wellness Company Plexus Contributes Greatly to the Economy

A new independent study by the L. Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University shows Plexus Worldwide (Plexus®), a leading health and wellness company, had an estimated $128.5 million gross domestic product (GDP) economic impact in Arizona and more than $1.1 billion GDP impact on the U.S. economy in 2020. The study analyzed the scope and scale of Plexus’ economic impact and investment across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Mexico.

“The purpose of this study was to measure the economic impact of Plexus’ U.S. operations in the state of Arizona and in each market where the company does business including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand in 2020,” said Dennis Hoffman, Director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “Our findings show the tremendous impact that Plexus has had, including a $1.15 billion economic impact on the global GDP and more than $128.5 million economic impact in the local Arizona community.”

Highlights of the 2020 economic impact study include:

  • $1.15 billion GDP impact on the global economy
  • $1.1 billion GDP impact on the U.S. economy
  • $128.5 million GDP impact on the state of Arizona
  • $791.6 million in U.S. labor income
  • 8,593 U.S. jobs supported
  • $26.8 million in sales tax revenues to state and local governments, responsible for $59.1 million GDP, 619 jobs, and $41.9 million labor income in the U.S. economy.

“Everyday Arizonans deserve opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families. As Arizona’s senior senator, I’ll continue supporting economic opportunities helping Arizonans grow and thrive in their own direction. I look forward to working with our business leaders and independent business owners as we continue to expand jobs and fuel economic recovery,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

Plexus is dedicated to changing lives and promoting health, wellness, and success. “Our products, team members, and Ambassadors are the foundation of these goals, which is why we are committed to the highest standards of quality,” said Tarl Robinson, CEO and Founder of Plexus. “Thanks to our hardworking leaders and employees, and in a year like no other, Plexus was able to grow and have a real impact on economies at the local, national, and global communities where we operate.”

This study demonstrates that Plexus is a major economic driver, contributing millions to the U.S. economy, including $95 million in labor income statewide. “In 2020 alone, Plexus supported more than 9,000 jobs worldwide, with a total of $821.6 million in total earnings for our employees and hundreds of thousands of Ambassadors, who serve as independent business owners,” said Kim Drabik, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Plexus.*

Plexus, a privately held company was established 13-years ago in Arizona, has more than 400 employees at its Scottsdale headquarters, which consists of a 73,000 square foot office building and 28,000 square foot warehouse. In 2020, Plexus welcomed more the 462,000 new Ambassadors and customers, growing the number of Ambassadors receiving monthly income by 23%. 

About Plexus Worldwide

Plexus Worldwide, LLC, is a leading health and happiness company featuring health and wellness products that enable people to improve their lives and well-being. With hundreds of thousands of independent business owners (“Ambassadors”) worldwide, Plexus is among the top 30 largest direct sales companies globally according to Direct Selling News. The combination of Plexus products and opportunities help individuals to meet their health-wellness and financial goals.

Art by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Cruise Industry Declines Following Pandemic

Cruise Industry to Generate $6.6B in Revenue in 2021, Almost Five Times Less than in 2019

The COVID-19 had a devastating impact on the global cruise industry, with cruise lines practically disappearing after the pandemic hit and all operators witnessing double-digit sales drop.

However, it seems that 2021 might bring a new hit to the sector, which is already on its knees. According to data presented by StockApps, the entire cruise industry is expected to generate $6.6bn in revenue in 2021, almost five times less than in 2019.

Confidence in the Cruise Lines Plummeted Amid Pandemic, The Number of Users Down by 76% in Two Years

When the COVID-19 hit, cruise ships immediately suffered high infection rates among passengers and crew. Thousands of people were stranded on board, spending months in quarantine. By the end of April 2020, more than 50 cruise ships confirmed hundreds of COVID-19 cases. It didn’t take long for cruises to be depicted as places of danger and infection.

In 2019, the entire cruise industry generated $27.4bn in revenue, revealed the Statista data. After the pandemic struck, revenues plummeted by 88% in a year to $3.3bn in 2020. Although this figure is expected to almost double and hit $6.6bn in 2021, it still represents a massive 77% drop compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Statista data indicate it will take years for the cruise industry to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2023, revenues are projected to reach $25.1bn, still $2.3bn less than in 2019. In 2024, cruise line revenues are expected to rise to over $30bn.

As people lost confidence in the entire cruise industry amid the pandemic, the number of cruise line users plunged to the deepest level in years. In 2019, almost 29 million people worldwide had chosen cruise lines for their vacation. Last year, this figure dipped to 3.4 million. Although the number of cruise line users is forecast to recover to 6.7 million in 2021, it still represents a massive 76% drop in two years.

Combined Revenues of Top Five Cruise Markets Still $16B Under Pre-COVID-19 Levels

The Statista survey revealed that, despite a $10.24bn revenue drop in 2020, the global cruise giant Carnival Corporation remained the largest player in the market with a 45% market share in 2021. Royal Caribbean Cruises ranked second with a 25% share. Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises follow, with 15% and 5% share, respectively.

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the world’s largest cruise industry, expected to generate around $2.8bn in revenue this year, 78% less than in 2019.

Revenues of the German cruise line market, the second-largest globally, are expected to hit $830 million in 2021, compared to $2.8bn before the pandemic struck. The UK’s cruise companies are forecast to generate $650 million in revenue, down from $2.4bn two years ago. Chinese and Italian markets follow, with $570 million and $218 million in revenue, respectively.

Statistics show that combined revenues of the world’s five largest cruise markets are expected to amount to over $5bn in 2021 or $16bn less than in 2019.

The full story can be read here at StockApps’ website.

By Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE

POST-PANDEMIC BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Rethinking Business Development for the Post-Pandemic Age

With America’s post-pandemic geography shifting, local governments must partner with entrepreneurs to stay competitive.

America’s rapidly shifting post-pandemic geography poised to make winners and losers of various superstar and mid-sized towns, the business development approaches of local leaders are stuck in the past. State and local governments spend $61 billion annually to foster economic development, but more than three-quarters of this money is spent on subsidies for large corporations that rarely deliver significant growth. A new Manhattan Institute report from Ian Hathaway and Rhett Morris, senior fellows at the Center for American Entrepreneurship, suggests that economic development would increase significantly if local decision makers would prioritize partnerships with entrepreneurs. The report, part of the Manhattan Institute’s urban policy series, offers four steps to achieving what they call entrepreneur-led economic development. Those steps include:

  • Identifying the successful entrepreneurial businesses in the region, the local strengths they represent, and the key leaders behind their growth.
  • Building networks around successful local entrepreneurs to connect them with founders of upcoming businesses with the potential to grow.
  • Partnering with entrepreneurial leaders to address the real needs of growing local businesses and their entrepreneurs.
  • Collecting data on growing entrepreneurial businesses to track results and share findings with the community.

Entrepreneurial success depends on local networks. No single type of organization has all the data necessary for identifying every growing entrepreneurial business in a city, but if policymakers, funders, and service providers work together to generate local growth and productivity, their collective resources can complement existing economic development programs and enhance some of the most valuable economic assets already growing in their communities.

LGBTQ+ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Corporate Leaders × Anti-Lgbtq Bills

Corporate leaders: Companies should work against anti-LGBTQ bills in Texas, other states 

Chris Adamo, vice president of Federal and Industry Affairs at Danone North America; Brad Figel, vice president of Public Affairs North America at Mars, Inc.; Molly Fogarty senior vice president of Corporate & Government Affairs at Nestlé USA; and Tom Langan, North America director of Sustainable Business & External Affairs for Unilever:

  • “As four of the largest food companies and major employers in the United States, we view the growing number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration in state legislatures, including those that target transgender people and particularly children, with increasing alarm.
  • “These bills are bad for families, for communities, for businesses and for the U.S. economy, all still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic…This motivates us to continue using our influence to advocate for policies that establish full equality at the federal and state levels, including swift Senate passage of the Equality Act.
  • “Discriminatory legislation — in threat and in practice — directly and negatively impacts the ability of our businesses to compete. It undermines our ability to recruit our future workforces and retain existing talent in states like Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas and others enacting and considering draconian legislation.”
  • “Such policies are out of step with the views of most Americans. The overwhelming majority of Americans support full equality for LGBTQ+ people, according to recent data released by the Human Rights Campaign.”
  • Companies have a responsibility to actively work with federal and state legislators to advocate against bills that harm our employees and our customers, and to advance fairness and equality for all Americans”

We condemn dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and non-binary people.

As four of the largest food companies and major employers in the United States, we view the growing number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration in state legislatures, including those that target transgender people and particularly children, with increasing alarm.

These bills are bad for families, for communities, for businesses and for the U.S. economy, all still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We condemn dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people. Such laws not only threaten hard-won progress to bring greater awareness, support and equality to transgender Americans, they also threaten the livelihoods and safety of their communities and their families.

This motivates us to continue using our influence to advocate for policies that establish full equality at the federal and state levels, including swift Senate passage of the Equality Act.

Member companies of the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, including Danone North America, Mars, Inc., Nestlé USA and Unilever United States, urge the entire U.S. business community to do the same.

This issue is not political. Providing the same basic protections to LGBTQ+ people as are provided to protected groups under federal law is the right thing to do for businesses and for society.

We employ tens of thousands of people in communities across the country. We embrace diversity in our workforces. Inclusive principles already guide the way we work, run our successful businesses, and engage with our employees and communities.

Discriminatory legislation — in threat and in practice — directly and negatively impacts the ability of our businesses to compete. It undermines our ability to recruit our future workforces and retain existing talent in states like Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas and others enacting and considering draconian legislation.

In Kentucky, for example, proposed legislation would allow health care providers to turn away LGBTQ+ and other patients, and bar trans youth from K-12 public school and university sports. Similarly, in Texas, legislators have proposed bills that would ban transgender girls from youth sports.

When states legislate this way, not only do they create an environment where not everyone feels safe and welcomed, they endorse it. Such environments deny transgender and nonbinary people the opportunity to fully contribute to the economies in places where they work and live. This harms them and their families and hinders businesses and local communities.

We applaud Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s decision this week to veto legislation that would have banned gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. Unfortunately, the Arkansas legislature overrode the governor’s veto Tuesday.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signs a bill in March 2021 to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls or women’s sports teams.

Such policies are out of step with the views of most Americans. The overwhelming majority of Americans support full equality for LGBTQ+ people, according to recent data released by the Human Rights Campaign.

Legislation hurts states’ economies

The ramifications of these discriminatory bills on states’ economic and financial health are also well-documented. A UCLA study found that the social, economic and health effects of stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people negatively impact Texas’ economy by tens of millions of dollars each year. Another study by the Texas Association of Business estimated that discriminatory legislation could result in an estimated economic loss to Texas’ gross domestic product ranging from $964 million to $8.5 billion.

The impacts of such bills are not limited to the states where they are passed. Researchers that studied 39 countries found a clear link between LGBTQ+ discriminatory practices and legislation and the corresponding loss of potential economic output. For LGBTQ+ youth, the study found that discrimination harms their learning, resulting in increased dropout rates and, consequently, reduced participation in the workforce.

We acknowledge that words are powerful. But for companies to engage new generations of workers and consumers, while fostering an environment good for people and for business, we must move beyond only public statements of support for LGBTQ+ issues.

Companies should protect employees

Companies have a responsibility to actively work with federal and state legislators to advocate against bills that harm our employees and our customers, and to advance fairness and equality for all Americans.

We four SFPA companies are committed to stepping up and taking action, including through our advocacy on this important issue. Doing so will support an environment in which all people can grow, thrive, compete and succeed as their true, authentic selves.

Chris Adamo is vice president of Federal and Industry Affairs at Danone North America. Brad Figel is vice president of Public Affairs North America at Mars, Inc. Molly Fogarty is senior vice president of Corporate & Government Affairs at Nestlé USA. Tom Langan is North America director of Sustainable Business & External Affairs for Unilever.

Corporate leaders: Companies should work against anti-LGBTQ bills in Texas, other states