Bankroll – Grover Chamber http://groverchamber.com/ Thu, 30 Sep 2021 18:28:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://groverchamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default.png Bankroll – Grover Chamber http://groverchamber.com/ 32 32 What Is A Payday Loan? https://groverchamber.com/loan-to-decorate-the-house-of-your-dreams/ https://groverchamber.com/loan-to-decorate-the-house-of-your-dreams/#respond Tue, 11 May 2021 14:20:50 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/?p=605 If you’re ever in a pinch and need money immediately but don’t qualify for a personal loan, you might think about taking out a payday loan. A payday loan is a short-term, small loan that you repay once you receive your next paycheck, typically two to four weeks after you take out the loan. Payday […]]]>

If you’re ever in a pinch and need money immediately but don’t qualify for a personal loan, you might think about taking out a payday loan. A payday loan is a short-term, small loan that you repay once you receive your next paycheck, typically two to four weeks after you take out the loan. Payday loans tend to have small loan limits, usually up to $500, and don’t require a credit check.

While they might be easy for many people to get, they can be costly and harmful to you long after you borrow. Here’s how payday loans work, how they impact your credit and alternative options.

How a Payday Loan Works

You can take out a payday loan online or at an in-person location if it’s available in your state. For many payday loan lenders, there’s no credit check involved. It’s enticing for borrowers who don’t have great credit—or any credit—and need cash fast.

Once you complete an application, you’ll write a postdated check for the amount you borrow, including fees and interest, guaranteeing the lender gets paid by your next payday. If you can’t afford to repay the loan by the due date, some lenders have an option to renew or rollover your plan to extend the due date, but this requirement will result in additional fees and interest.

Payday Loan Dangers

Payday loan lenders prey on the most vulnerable groups: those who are in dire need of funds but don’t have a good credit history to borrow from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Because lenders tout immediate funds into your account and no credit check, many borrowers who don’t need to borrow a lot of money look toward a payday loan.

But predatory lenders are everywhere, so much so that some states don’t permit payday loans. Most states regulate payday loans, including repayment terms, finance charges and the loan amount.

Even with regulations in place, interest rates can approach 400%. Conversely, personal loan interest rates can be as high as 36%, and that’s for borrowers with very low credit scores or limited credit histories.

A big danger with payday loans is the repayment period. Traditional personal loans, even those in small amounts, let you repay your loan over the course of a few months. Payday loans, on the other hand, require you to repay the loan anywhere from 14 to 31 days after you take it out. Many borrowers don’t have the funds to pay back the loan in this time frame and, in some cases, end up borrowing more to repay their loan, along with the extra finance charges.

Who a Payday Loan Is Right For

Payday loans are costly and can cause more harm than good. While it’s one way to get money in your hands until your next paycheck, the risks typically outweigh the benefits. We don’t recommend using payday loans. Instead, look toward alternative options, including personal loans, credit cards or even borrowing money from friends or family.

Payday Loan Costs

How much your loan costs depends on how much you’re borrowing, your interest rate, your lender and where you live. Here’s an example of the costs you may experience when you take out a payday loan.

In Iowa, you can borrow up to $500 through a payday loan, and you’ll get charged up to $15 for every $100 you borrow. If you borrow the full $500, that’s an extra $75, or $575 in total. But your annual percentage rate (APR), which is calculated daily, will be much more than that. For example, in Iowa, you can borrow a loan for up to 31 days. If you borrow for the full term, your true APR will be 176%.

To compare, personal loans usually cap their APRs at 36%. If you use a credit card to make a purchase, you’re likely to have an APR that’s less than 30%.

Payday Loan Borrowing Limits

Borrowing limits usually depend on where you live. Since some states don’t allow payday loans, you might not have the option to borrow money through one.

Most states cap their borrow limits at around $500, but limits vary. For example, Delaware caps its borrow amount at $1,000 while California sets a maximum limit of $300.

Repaying a Payday Loan

For many lenders, you set up a single loan repayment when you borrow the money. You’ll typically repay your loan through a postdated check, including the full amount you borrowed plus any fees and interest. However, you may also be able to pay online or through a direct debit from your bank account.

Your payment date will be between 14 and 31 days from when you borrow the loan, usually by your next payday. The loan is repaid in one payment, compared to personal loans, which have installment payments for a set number of months. Personal loan lenders look at your income to make sure you can afford what you borrow, making sure monthly payments fit into your budget.

How Payday Loans Can Affect Your Credit

Many payday loan lenders don’t run credit checks, so applying for a payday loan doesn’t impact your credit score or report. Even if you borrow the money and repay it all on time and in full, the positive payment doesn’t impact your credit, either.

But if you don’t pay your loan back in full and your payday loan lender hasn’t electronically withdrawn money from your account, you could be on the hook for the unpaid balance plus any outstanding finance charges. If you’re long overdue in payments, the lender could get a collection agency involved and the delinquent mark can go on your credit report.

Payday Loan Alternatives

Payday loans aren’t a good option in almost every circumstance. If you can, explore all your other options before taking out a payday loan, including:

  • Personal loans. While many personal loan lenders only approve borrowers with at least fair or good credit, there are some lenders that tailor to borrowers with poor or subprime credit scores. Some credit unions have payday loan alternatives, letting borrowers take out loans up to $1,000, depending on the institution. Credit unions are not-for-profit and are more likely to work with borrowers who don’t have great credit.
  • Credit cards. If you already have a credit card, consider using it to make a payment or purchase. APRs are lower compared to payday loans and since you already have one, you don’t have to qualify for one. Most cards also offer a cash advance—which allows you to withdraw cash from an ATM—but these transactions come with high APRs and additional fees. However, both options are cheaper than payday loans.
  • Borrow money. If you don’t need to borrow much, ask friends or relatives to cover you until you can streamline expenses. Many times, borrowing money from loved ones means you have a little bit of flexibility when it comes to repaying your loan, and often without interest. If you choose this route, agree on terms and conditions that outline how to repay your loan and what happens if you can’t repay it.

In addition to these alternatives, review your financial situation carefully, including your required payments and monthly expenses, to see if you can free up some funds. For example, go over your budget and see if some not-so-dire expenses can wait. You might find you have enough spare cash to cover your needs until your next payday, allowing you to avoid the possible pitfalls that come with a payday loan.

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Landlords are still waiting for rent payments amid COVID-19 https://groverchamber.com/landlords-are-still-waiting-for-rent-payments-amid-covid-19/ https://groverchamber.com/landlords-are-still-waiting-for-rent-payments-amid-covid-19/#respond Tue, 11 May 2021 13:48:23 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/?p=596 As COVID-19 took root and jobs vanished, officials sought to avoid a wave of evictions, homelessness and the spread of deadly disease that could result. Governments from federal to local enacted rules allowing people whose finances have been affected by the pandemic to keep their housing if they don’t pay rent. The policies have been […]]]>

As COVID-19 took root and jobs vanished, officials sought to avoid a wave of evictions, homelessness and the spread of deadly disease that could result. Governments from federal to local enacted rules allowing people whose finances have been affected by the pandemic to keep their housing if they don’t pay rent.

The policies have been a lifesaver for many during a crisis when staying home meant staying healthy, but a year later landlords say the rules are heaping an increasingly unfair burden on them.

In interviews with The Times, property owners and managers said they understood the unprecedented nature of the crisis but that they are absorbing too much of the cost. Many said they or their clients are dipping into savings to keep properties afloat and delaying maintenance or repairs because they can’t afford them.

Some said they probably can’t or won’t hold on much longer under these circumstances.

“I am hoping something will turn around [so] I don’t have to sell,” said Beverly Rowe, who manages her family’s Los Angeles triplex, an asset she is proud to have secured to ensure her parents’ financial security in old age and to pass down wealth.

That asset, hard-earned for many Black households like hers, is now at risk. Rowe said a tenant owes $30,000 in rent payments missed over the last year.

Billions of dollars in federal rent relief for both landlords and tenants have finally started to flow in recent weeks, but it’s unclear how far the money will go.

The pandemic’s worst effects have been felt most by those who earn less — a demographic more likely to be renters, as well as people of color. Its jolt to livelihoods has been clear in data on lost jobs and the millions of Americans newly receiving food aid, among other indicators. Researchers have also documented well the rising debts that tenants owe their landlords — missed rent must eventually be paid back — and the long-term financial consequences for those renters.

The picture has been less clear on the other end of the housing equation: how property owners who depend on rent for income have fared as their tenants face financial hardship. Opaque ownership structures can make it difficult to know just who owns what property, for example, and some landlords are hesitant to talk openly about tenants or their own financial positions.

Several landlords interviewed by The Times asked not to be named, saying they feared that their comments would upset their tenants or the local authorities passing and enforcing tenant protections.

One property owner in her 60s said she is considering taking a second job to avoid having to sell her two 20-unit buildings because she’s having difficulty keeping up with mortgage payments. An owner in his 80s said he’s already told his lender he can no longer meet payments and anticipates handing the 200 units he owns back to the bank.

A new survey published Monday by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania offers more specific insight into the pandemic’s effect on landlords in Los Angeles: More than half of 1,300 property owners surveyed in December last year said their business would face financial distress within six months if their situations didn’t improve.

The poll found that, compared with before the pandemic, more owners are facing delinquent rent payments and problems filling vacancies. That, in turn, has challenged their ability to pay their mortgage, property taxes and the costs of building upkeep.

The survey results show the ripple effect that missed payments from tenants can have on landlords’ ability to maintain their properties — and in some cases, their main source of income.

“There clearly is a lot of challenges being faced by property owners,” said Vincent Reina, the survey’s coauthor. The research is part of a collaboration between the Housing Initiative at Penn and six cities to analyze how local governments are responding to housing challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The poll left the definition of financial distress open but listed some examples: needing to sell assets, reduce services or lay off staff or being unable to pay mortgages or property taxes. In December, nearly 29% of those surveyed said they would reach that level of financial distress in less than three months.

Landlords are not a monolith: There are Wall Street firms that own tens of thousands of homes; secretive limited liability companies that pool investments from wealthy individuals; and the mom-and-pop landlords who own a few units and manage them as a full- or part-time job.

A study from the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies and other left-leaning groups found that 61 “billionaire landlords” with very large portfolios have seen their wealth collectively increase $24.4 billion during the pandemic — a far cry from the hardship reported by smaller owners in the L.A. survey.

L.A. property owners with five or fewer units were most likely, at 37%, to report an expectation of financial distress before three months. Owners with 30 or more units were least likely to expect financial distress before three months, but the percentage was still 20.3%.

The survey results could overstate the financial burden on landlords. The poll didn’t survey landlords broadly, rather only those with at least one tenant who had applied to an L.A. city rental assistance program launched early in the pandemic that contained far less money than recent efforts.

Still, Reina said that many distressed tenants probably did not apply for relief — meaning the survey may have left out many struggling landlords — and that the sample of 1,300 property owners represents a significant share of the city’s housing stock.

Some landlords and management companies said they suspect some of their nonpaying tenants aren’t facing financial difficulties, yet are still taking advantage of pandemic allowances. State law, for example, protects tenants from eviction for nonpayment if they sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that COVID-19 has affected them financially.

Landlords said that bar is very low, though they can request proof if they have evidence someone is high-income.

Dan Yukelson, executive director of the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles, which represents more than 10,000 landlords across Southern California, said there doesn’t appear to be wide-scale misrepresentation by tenants, but the approach still left open the door to abuse.

“There should have been some kind of means testing going on,” he said. “The majority of owners and tenants are honest, but there are some [tenants] who have taken advantage.”

Yukelson said any missed rent is a hit to association members, who have also faced added costs over the last year including rising water bills and requests for repairs as homes became offices, classrooms and all-around sanctuaries during the pandemic.

Larry Gross, executive director of the tenant rights group Coalition for Economic Survival, said he hasn’t come across tenants gaming the system. He said the tenants his organization works with are suffering and would pay rent if they could, because they know eviction protections will expire and understand the consequences for them of accumulating rent debt.

Gross said small landlords, in particular, should get more relief. But he said current eviction restrictions should not be rolled back: Tenants already are falling through the cracks and being forced out.

And red tape in the form of income verifications would make more people homeless than the small number of individuals who might be taking advantage. At particular risk are undocumented individuals who may be paid in cash at their jobs and could find it difficult to prove income loss.

“Given the housing and homeless crisis, we need it to be as easy as possible for people to be able to stay in their homes,” he said.

Falling behind

Though surveys show the vast majority of tenants are paying, a significant number are behind.

Moody’s Analytics and the Urban Institute think tank estimate 9.4 million U.S. renter households owed an average of $5,586 in back rent, utilities and related late fees as of January, for a total debt pile of $52.6 billion.

For landlords, the effect on their businesses depends on several factors, including whether they have a mortgage and the amount of reserves they’ve set aside to handle unexpected expenses at their properties.

Irma Vargas, the chief financial officer at property management firm RST & Associates, said that of the company’s clients, those with one to four units have been the hardest-hit.

The firm’s clients on average have nine to 12 units, and those owners should be able to hang on to their properties even though more are turning to savings to pay the property tax, Vargas said.

About 7% of the 3,200 units that RST manages in L.A. County have a tenant who is behind, she said.

If an owner with just a handful of units happens to have a nonpaying tenant, that’s a bigger bite out of revenue than it is for someone with dozens of units — a category of property owner that was also better off before the pandemic, the University of Pennsylvania survey showed.

Before March 2020, 4% of owners with more than 30 units reported problems with paying the mortgage, compared with 7.3% of owners with six to 30 units and 10% of owners with five or fewer units.

Vargas said two of her clients who own a few units each had to sell their respective properties recently because they couldn’t afford to keep them. “The little small mom-and-pops are getting burned on this one,” she said.

National delinquency rates spotlight the differences among property owners of different sizes.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Assn., delinquency rates for all multifamily loan balances — a figure that will be skewed toward larger properties — was 1.8% last month, lower than other commercial loans for hotel, retail and office properties.

Meanwhile, about 9% of loans for properties with two to four units were delinquent in October, several percentage points higher than the rate for single-family homes, according to data firm Black Knight.

If small property owners go under, the implications for them and their tenants could be wide-ranging.

Many small owners say they bought their units for rental income in retirement after years of saving, and their later years could grow more difficult if their main income is upended.

Their inability to hold on to their properties also raises the prospect of a scenario that housing activists have feared from the pandemic’s earliest days: that large corporations and investment funds more likely to raise rent will scoop up distressed housing en masse, similar to how Wall Street firms acquired tens of thousands of single-family homes in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

That doesn’t appear to be happening, but the stress is building. Nearly 31% of landlords nationwide said they felt increased pressure to sell during the pandemic, according to an October survey by real estate firm Avail.

Generational blow

For some, losing business properties risks a backslide from the economic mobility that getting into the housing market once promised — a particularly painful development for Black Americans whom the government once barred from access to homeownership.

“We are going to have to sell,” Rowe said. “That means we cannot pass this property down…. There will be no generational wealth to continue in our family.”

After moving in with her 85-year-old mother to help care for her, Rowe worried about bringing COVID-19 home and stopped working her usual job as a physician assistant. She said she has burned through savings to cover the mortgage and repairs at the Mid-City triplex after the tenant stopped paying rent there.

With cash tight and no income from the property, Rowe said she is scrambling to pay for the supportive care her mother needs after a heart attack. Offloading the triplex looks increasingly necessary. “It’s devastating,” she said.

Even some landlords with less immediate financial pressures are taking a hit.

Jef Vander Borght, 69, owns two fourplexes in Burbank and Glendale with his wife that they bought roughly 20 years ago to help them through retirement.

Vander Borght, a retired architect and former Burbank mayor, said his tenants had fallen more than $12,000 behind in rent since last spring. He understands they have lost work and can’t pay in full, and doesn’t want to evict them.

He criticized governments as failing to adequately help struggling residents and in turn landlords like himself, citing a tenant of his who got help from a county program for the first time last month.

The local aid reduced the debt he is owed to around $7,000.

“I never, ever imagined we would be in a position just to be told to house people for free and ‘good luck getting help — help will eventually appear,’” he said.

An improving economy and the flow of significant rent relief money could improve fortunes for both landlords and tenants in coming months. The two federal stimulus bills passed since December allocate about $50 billion to help tenants nationwide pay rent, with that money set to automatically go to landlords.

A lot rests on the relief being enough and doled out properly.

The city of Los Angeles last week opened applications to its $235.5-million rent relief program, funded through the federal stimulus. Officials don’t think the money will be enough to help everyone in need and are picking applications at random.

Some landlords are already heading toward the exits, and not just those who are in immediate financial jeopardy.

David Haas, managing broker with Ernst and Haas Management Co., said he has clients selling preemptively. The Long Beach firm specializes in managing one- to four-unit properties for mom-and-pop owners.

They are “liquidating because of the fear of the laws that are protecting only tenants,” Haas said, “fear that their tenant could go into default and they won’t be able to do anything.”

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The NYC mayor’s home through history https://groverchamber.com/the-nyc-mayors-home-through-history/ https://groverchamber.com/the-nyc-mayors-home-through-history/#respond Tue, 11 May 2021 13:26:36 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/?p=586 Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York City mayors, is getting a new tenant next year.  The “Little White House” has been Mayor Bill de Blasio’s home for seven years, but when he retires from mayorship next year, the 220-year-old mansion will be occupied by whichever candidate New York elects on Nov. 2. Whoever […]]]>

Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York City mayors, is getting a new tenant next year. 

The “Little White House” has been Mayor Bill de Blasio’s home for seven years, but when he retires from mayorship next year, the 220-year-old mansion will be occupied by whichever candidate New York elects on Nov. 2.

Whoever wins, the pale yellow-ocher-colored home is expected to continue hosting teas, fashion shows, fund-raisers, tours, meetings, protests and parties.

The white-trimmed, green-shuttered building’s address is at the corner of East 88th Street and East End Avenue and located in Carl Schurz Park on the east side of Manhattan.

While the coronavirus pandemic has halted a historic tradition of live tours through the mansion, the de Blasio administration has offered virtual tours on Zoom.

Explore the busy building’s history — including facelifts, restorations, famous visitors and, yes, scandals — through the photos below.

Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York City mayors, is getting a new tenant next year.
Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York City mayors, is getting a new tenant next year.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Now: A tour inside the house

The NYC home’s yellow paint was chosen by former mayor Michael Bloomberg for historical accuracy, based on the coloring of a painting of a nearby house.

The gracious wraparound porch, restored in 1983, is actually the historic site where the New York Post’s founder Alexander Hamilton recruited investors for the budding New York Evening Post in 1801, according to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Its yellow front door has a wooden frame carved like seed pearls. It is flanked by leaded glass windows and topped with a semicircle window. The interior is a mix of modern and historical artifacts strewn across a ground-level floor plan that includes a foyer, parlor, kitchen, library and dining room.

The yellow door has a wooden door frame carved like seed pearls.
The yellow door is flanked by leaded glass windows and topped with a semicircle window.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Inside, the foyer has tan-and-white striped wallpaper and a faux marble painted floor, a style called trompe-l’oeil that was popular in the 1800s. The center of the floor has a compass pattern and is overlooked by a chandelier. 

An ancient grandfather clock has ticked in the corner since at least 1942. Above the fireplace, a gold-framed mirror is flanked by light fixtures.

A winding staircase leads upstairs to the bedrooms, which are closed off to visitors. The second floor has five rooms which, for various tenants, have been configured as bedrooms, sitting rooms and dressing rooms.

Inside, the foyer a faux-marble painted floor, a style called Trompe-L’oeil which was popular in the 1800s.
Inside, the foyer boasts a faux-marble painted floor in a style called trompe-l’oeil that was popular in the 1800s.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
The foyer has a tan-and-white striped wallpaper, crown moldings and Federal-style furniture.
The foyer has tan-and-white striped wallpaper, crown moldings and Federal-style furniture.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

A patent yellow parlor sits to the right of the foyer and nods to the home’s early history with a cannonball on the fireplace mantel. The cannonball was excavated from the site of the mansion, where a British loyalist home once stood until it was destroyed in September 1776 — perhaps by that very cannonball, according to NYC.gov.

The parlor also has a circular convex mirror with an ornate gold frame and six candle sconces built into the fixture. The convex mirror maximizes light in the room, a trick that might have been used in the house before the installation of electric lights.

But the parlor also celebrates a side of history less often told. Under the de Blasio administration, the house has been filled with art by diverse talents. The yellow parlor most recently displayed art from Japanese artist Tōkō Shinoda and New York City collage artist Baseera Khan.

In the O'Dwyer administration, this room was tan. Recently, the Conservancy has been calling the room "peach-colored," so it's possible it could have been repainted since the most recent pictures were taken.
In the O’Dwyer administration, this room was tan. Recently, the conservancy has been calling the room “peach-colored,” so it’s possible it could have been repainted since the most recent pictures were taken.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Behind the parlor is a kitchen that received a $1.4 million facelift under Mayor Bloomberg in 2012, according to the Observer.

To the left of the foyer is a very teal library. The carpets are teal, the sofas are teal, the walls are teal — you get the idea. Even the curtains, installed by Mayor John Lindsay in the 1960s, are a floral chintz pattern with a blue background. 

The library is also noted for its historic figurines of George Washington but, in a nod to more recent history, the library window is etched with the name “Caroline,” a mark by ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s daughter in a tradition of children marking up the house. 

At least one of the maquettes of George Washington in the library were carved by John Quincy Adams Ward.
At least one of the maquettes of George Washington in the library was carved by John Quincy Adams Ward.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
The carpets are teal, the sofas are teal, the walls are teal — you get the idea.
The carpets are teal, the sofas are teal, the walls are teal — you get the idea.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
Even the curtains, installed by mayor John Lindsay in the 1960’s, are a floral chintz pattern with a blue background.
Even the curtains, installed by Mayor John Lindsay in the 1960s, are a floral chintz pattern with a blue background.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

The library fireplace mantel features art entitled “Raise Up,” a 2014 installation by Hank Willis Thomas that shows the heads and arms of 10 black men raising their arms; above them two posters say, “I am a man.”

“Raise Up” reflects on the American legacy of slavery and lynching as well as today’s mass incarceration. The repeating hands-up gesture is a nod to “the vulnerability of African-American men in the face of systemic racial injustice,” wrote the Gracie Mansion Conservancy on Instagram.

Through the library, a carpeted dining room is famous for its ornate French wallpaper.

The covering depicts a landscape garden scene and was manufactured in the 1820s by Zuber et Cie and installed under the Edward Koch administration to reflect the original style of the house.

The wallpaper actually does not reach the ceiling of the room, and the area above the wallpaper was painted to match the sky of the landscape, according to the conservancy.

The french wallpaper with a landscape garden scene was manufactured in the 1800's.
The French wallpaper, with a landscape garden scene, was manufactured in the 1800s.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
Gracie traveled to France often in his shipping business.
Gracie traveled to France often in his shipping business.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
Superstitiously-minded Gracie Mansion gossips say that Gracie’s daughter Elizabeth Walcott-Gracie still haunts the house.
Another view of Gracie Mansion’s dining room.
Alamy Stock Photo

The Susan E. Wagner wing

Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr., who served from 1954 to 1965, installed an entire new wing to the house for entertaining in an attempt to create more privacy and safety for his family in the main house — a balance that has proved difficult for mayors throughout their residency in the hybrid public-and-private space.

“She started to complain that people found their way upstairs,” Paul Gunther, executive director of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy, said in a 2017 lecture. “She said, ‘Sometimes I have to get dressed in my closet.’ They took ashtrays, pipes, lipsticks and jewelry. The solution became a new wing.”

But Wagner’s wife wouldn’t live to see the completion of the $800,000 renovation designed by architect Mott B. Schmidt. Even as the 54-year-old selected silks and decor for the addition, she secretly battled lung cancer. She died at Gracie Mansion in 1964, and the renovation was completed in her name in 1966.

Mayor Robert F. Wagner, who served from 1954 to 1965, installed an entire new wing to the house for entertaining.
Mayor Robert F. Wagner, who served from 1954 to 1965, installed an entire new wing to the house for entertaining.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
Even as Susan Wagner selected silks and decor for the addition, she secretly battled lung cancer. She died at Gracie Mansion in 1964, and the renovation was completed in her name.
Even as Susan Wagner selected silks and decor for the addition, she secretly battled lung cancer. She died at Gracie Mansion in 1964, and the renovation was completed in her name.
Alamy Stock Photo
An ornate chandelier and crown molding overlooks the room, and another golden convex mirror.
An ornate chandelier and crown molding overlook the room, as does a golden convex mirror.
Bennett Raglin

Today, guests enter the blue foyer in the Wagner Wing through heavy wooden doors topped with an ornate semicircle window. 

An ornate chandelier and crown molding overlook the room, as does another golden convex mirror — topped with a bald eagle sculpture and installed by Bloomberg — that was used for maximizing light in the space during historical times. The mirror hangs above a historic fireplace taken from the Bayard home where Alexander Hamilton died following his ill-fated duel with Aaron Burr.

Through Sept. 8, 2021, the wing is displaying “CATALYST: Art and Social Justice,” an installation by photographers Gordon Parks, Martine Fougeron and about 50 other artists, activists, collective and student groups.

The "blue room" is pictured. The Susan E. Wagner wing cost $800,000 when it was built in 1966.
The “blue room” is pictured. The Susan E. Wagner wing cost $800,000 when it was built in 1966.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Next to the foyer, carved white doorways lead to the “blue room,” an even bolder blue space equipped with a large bookshelf once owned by a Revolutionary War officer, an ornate chandelier, a fireplace, a convex mirror and a circular mahogany table with four chairs that originally belonged to descendants of Scottish shipper Archibald Gracie, who commissioned Gracie Mansion as a country house (that part of Manhattan was not yet developed) on the site in 1799, according to the conservancy.

The grounds: fences and bee problems

Speaking of privacy, there’s the matter of the fence — a criticism even older than the tradition of mayoral residence at Gracie Mansion.

When the NYC Parks department acquired the home in 1896, they installed the property’s first fence, maintaining fencing until former mayor Fiorello LaGuardia began his residence in 1942, conservancy director Gunther recently told The Post.

LaGuardia, the first mayor to live in Gracie Mansion, installed a wrought-iron fence, and O’Dwyer moved it 25 feet further away from the house for privacy. Lindsay added a yellow pine stockade fence just inside the wrought-iron fence, and Koch had a double fence as well. Most recently, De Blasio built an additional “privacy fence” inside a brick wall and a wrought-iron fence.

In 1929, the city installed the property’s first steel chain-link fence, costing $2,000.
In 1929, the city installed the property’s first steel chain-link fence, costing $2,000.
Getty Images
Mayor Dinkins installed willows, poplars, daffodils and other flowers, which actually created a bee problem, according to reports.
Mayor David Dinkins installed willows, poplars, daffodils and other flowers, which actually created a bee problem, according to reports.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image
LaGuardia filled the home with marigolds and cabbages, and the Wagners had flowering dogwood trees and bright azalea bushes.
LaGuardia filled the home with marigolds and cabbages, and the Wagners had flowering dogwood trees and bright azalea bushes.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Inside the fences, the home’s gardens have featured centuries of careful cultivation. The original residents of the house had shade trees and flower beds, according to the National Archives Catalog.

Today, the front of the house is flanked by tulips, when in season. They offer free seeds for edible or flowering plants to the public in a small “seeds library.”

The grounds are used “to teach local students and young parents why and how fresh foods advance healthy living” in a greenhouse collaboration with Project EATS, according to the conservancy

Then: a trip through time

Tenant Year Legacy
Jacob Walton 1770-1776 Built pre-Revolutionary War house
Archibald Gracie 1799-1823 Built Gracie Mansion
Joseph Foulke 1823-1857 Bought Gracie Mansion
Noah Wheaton 1857-1896 Non-payment of taxes
New York Parks department 1886-1927 Ice cream stand and public restroom
Museum of the City of New York 1927-1934 Saved from disrepair
LaGuardia 1942-1945 First mayor in the house
O’Dwyer 1946-1950 Bribery and a quick exit
Impellitteri 1950-1953 Not enough ashtrays
Wagner 1954-1965 The Susan E. Wagner wing
Lindsay 1966-1973 Feud with the Wagners
Beame 1974-1977 National
Register of Historic Places
Koch 1978-1989 The Gracie Mansion Conservancy
Dinkins 1990-1993 “No drastic changes”
Giuliani 1994-2001 Divorce and disrepair
Bloomberg 2002-2013 $7 million historical renovation of “The People’s House”
De Blasio 2014-2021 Art gallery & West Elm furniture

Pre-mayoral years

British Loyalist Jacob Walton built a house on the site in 1770. His home was commandeered during the Revolutionary War for its strategic position near the water and was destroyed in September 1776, according to the NYC Parks website.

Historians believe Archibald Gracie’s house was built in part by slaves of Ezra Weeks, who is believed to be the builder, along with John McComb Jr., who also built City Hall, according to amNY.

Gracie lived there with his eight children, his wife Esther and three indentured servants. New York’s Gradual Emancipation Act passed the year Gracie Mansion was built. Among other measures, the act mandated that slaves would be called indentured servants, but essentially still treated them as slaves. Gracie finally released them from bondage in 1801. He completed a side addition on the house in 1811 before he ran aground with debts. 

“During the Napoleonic period, fighting on the high seas increased, embargos were imposed, and finally the war with England broke out in 1812. Gracie’s ships were in trouble and so was Gracie. He was a man so well-liked in the community that friends and associates tried to assist him financially, but in spite of their efforts, his company failed in 1819,” reads the National Registry of Historic Places application.

That year, Federalist statesman Rufus King, who signed the Declaration of Independence, took ownership of the house in exchange for loans he had given Gracie, according to the application.

Gracie’s son-in-law, a merchant named Joseph Foulke, bought the house from King in 1823 and sold it in 1857 to Noah Wheaton, who decorated the house in the Victorian style, according to the application.

The house still bears the mark of the Wheaton family. Amelie Hermione Quackenbush, Wheaton’s granddaughter, etched her name into a window with a diamond ring in 1893, and the mark still remains today — beginning the tradition of children marking their stint in the home. 

The city’s parks department took over the house when Wheaton, who hadn’t paid his taxes, died in 1896.

The house became a public bathroom and concession stand for Carl Schurz Park before the Museum of the City of New York took it over in 1923, according to the museum website.

Children who have left their mark on Gracie Mansion

  • Amelie Hermione Quackenbush, 1893
  • Margie Lindsay, 1965
  • John Lindsay, 1974
  • Caroline Giuliani, late ’90s

In 1934, the Parks Department began a $25,000 restoration of the house to a residence. Until then, mayors had lived in private residences.

This photo of Gracie Mansion is from the early 1900's.
This photo of Gracie Mansion dates from the early 1900s.
Bettmann Archive

First mayors in the house: LaGuardia, O’Dwyer and Impellitteri

LaGuardia began his mayorship at 1274 Fifth Ave., but he made Gracie Mansion his new home in 1942.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, famed city planner Robert Moses convinced LaGuardia to move into the space for security reasons during his third term. In preparation, the city added modern features like heating and electricity, juxtaposing them with 18th-century furniture.

“The petitioner told him [the briber] to ‘drop up’ to Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the Mayor of New York.”

O’Dwyer V. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 1957

During his tenancy at the mansion, it was filled with items on loan from local museums, plus the family’s own personal household items.

Mayor William O’Dwyer wasn’t in the house very long, but he managed to get divorced and remarried during his residency. He resigned in 1950 because of bribery allegations. In fact, some of the bribery occurred at Gracie Mansion, according to legal documents.

After Mayor O’Dwyer resigned, acting Mayor Vincent Impellitteri’s wife, Elizabeth Agnes McLaughlin, ​said she planned to make no changes to the house when they moved in — and, in fact, her only complaint was that there weren’t enough ashtrays, according to historical reports

This photo of the mansion's north front was published in 1933, just before mayor LaGuardia moved in.
This photo of the mansion’s north front was published in 1933, just before Mayor LaGuardia moved in.
A second-floor bedroom fireplace is pictured. Every room in Gracie Mansion has a fireplace.
A second-floor bedroom fireplace is pictured. Every room in Gracie Mansion has a fireplace.
Alamy Stock Photo

Making the house a legacy: the Wagners

The Wagners are the darlings of Gracie Mansion history simply because they loved the house — and not only through the addition of the Wagner Wing.

Susan, who died in Gracie Mansion before the end of their tenancy, painted the living room pale blue and added eggshell damask upholstery. The home was littered with globes, radios, toy soldiers and roller blades, according to historical reports.

Susan took her children Robert and Duncan into consideration in the design, tossing a landscape in the drawing room that her children disliked and repainting Robert’s room light blue because he said he couldn’t sleep in a dark red room. She also converted the home’s elevator into a coat room, fearing it would be unsafe for the children.

Fun fact: In the 1600s, the site was a Dutch farm and later a tavern called the Horn’s Hook.

Susan Wagner died in 1964, and Robert remarried in 1965 before the end of his term. But he and his new bride, Barbara Joan Cavanagh, did not make Gracie their home. Wagner’s new wife became a champion of Susan’s work, defending her when the Lindsay family criticized the condition of the house when they moved in.

Dissatisfaction under the Lindsays

The Lindsays did not love their stint at Gracie Mansion, to say the least. John and Mary Anne’s loud dissatisfaction offended the Wagners, especially since renovations had been done in the name of the late Susan Wagner.

Fun fact:

Gracie Mansion was actually bugged during the Lindsay administration, which was during the same time period as the Watergate scandal, though no connection was ever found.

“Susan was ill for a year before she died — how was she going to worry about curtains and carpets? … I felt miserable because of Susan, and have ever since. And no one seems to answer back on it. So I will,” Wagner’s new wife Barbara Joan Cavanaugh said in 1966.

To be fair, the Lindsays had their fair share of woes at Gracie Mansion. The couple’s move-in was delayed by the Wagners’ renovations, and they found plenty of work left to do when they finally moved in.

The bedroom door often jammed, causing the couple to have to climb out the window and re-enter the house from another bedroom window, Gunther recently confirmed to The Post.

The windows were rotted with water, the floors were dull, the carpets had holes burned by cigarettes, and Lindsay’s wife objected to the outdated style. They discovered fire code violations and occasionally lost heat, said Gunther.

But by 1966, Cavanaugh said that she and Lindsay had “kissed and made up.”

“Nonetheless after departing at the end of 1973, the former first lady said that despite the wear and tear of a nearly 200-hundred-year-old house, ‘We had a wonderful time,’” Gunther recounted.

But Gracie Mansion found itself redeemed under the Abraham Beame administration, which added the house to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural merit.

“The mansion is one of the finest Federal-style country seats remaining on the Island of Manhattan from that early period. It is a remarkably distinguished example of the Federal architecture and, as the home of the Mayors of the City of New York, it possesses a distinction in keeping with its architectural qualities and its historical renown,” said original application in 1978.

“Susan was ill for a year before she died — how was she going to worry about curtains and carpets?”

Barbara Joan Cavanaugh

Koch establishes Gracie Mansion Conservancy

Former mayor Edward I. Koch gestures towards newsmen as he escorts Republican presidential nominee Roland Reagan into Gracie Mansion in 1980.
Former mayor Edward Koch gestures as he escorts Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan into Gracie Mansion in 1980.
AP

For Mayor Edward Koch, Gracie Mansion was a slow burn.

The bachelor mayor started off his term living in Gracie Mansion part-time while spending weekends at his Greenwich Village rent-controlled apartments.

But he eventually moved in full-time and even established the Gracie Mansion Conservancy to care for the house. Today, the nonprofit spends $400,000 of privately-raised money annually to run and manage the house, according to tax documents.

By the end of his first term, Koch had solicited private donations and loans from museums and other collectors to furnish the home in the Federal style of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, said Gunther.

Koch also borrowed some notable and strange artwork for the house during his residency, including a 44-inch-high, black-and-white rabbit sculpture in the bedroom. The wooden, polyester-resin-coated work was selected by his art curator, Henry Geldzahler, Gunther confirmed.

Fun fact: Over the past two centuries, the mansion has played host to John Quincy Adams, Washington Irving, General Lafayette, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Frederick Douglass and countless other history-makers.

David Dinkins was the city’s first black mayor, serving from 1990 to 1993, and — while the couple didn’t make many changes to the house — his wife, Joyce Dinkins, took on the role of “special projects organizer” at Gracie Mansion, with a focus on children and literacy, according to her obituary.

David Dinkins speaks to reporters at Gracie Mansion with singer James Brown, second from left, his wife Adrienne, and the Rev. Al Sharpton in 1992.
David Dinkins speaks to reporters at Gracie Mansion with singer James Brown (second from left) and his wife, Adrienne, and the Rev. Al Sharpton in 1992.
AP

Giuliani makes his home a battleground

Former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s then-wife Donna Hanover barred Giuliani’s then-girlfriend, Judith Nathan, from visiting the house.

The disagreement prompted a torrent of legal and personal drama that eventually prompted Giuliani to leave the mansion before his term ended.

During Giuliani’s administration, the house fell into disrepair with peeling paint, according to complaints at the time. 

“The house is crying,” former mayor Koch said, according to Vanity Fair. “The house wants to be loved.”  

Giuliani actually did have the house repainted as part of regular maintenance, and he also re-carpeted the floors, the conservancy’s Gunther told The Post. The home’s location near East River winds and Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive’s fumes may have accelerated the need for renovations.

*Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, center, his daughter Caroline and son Andrew pose for photographers as they arrive at Gracie Mansion for Giuliani's wedding to Judith Nathan in this May 24, 2003, file photo.
Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, center, his daughter Caroline and son Andrew pose for photographers as they arrive at Gracie Mansion for Giuliani’s wedding to Judith Nathan in this May 24, 2003, file photo.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Giuliani married Nathan on the lawn of Gracie Mansion in 2003.

Major renovation and restoration under Michael Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg was responsible for the pale yellow hue of the building, which used to be black and white.
Mayor Bloomberg was responsible for the pale yellow hue of the building, which used to be black and white.
Alamy Stock Photo

When Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002, a peeling, drafty mansion didn’t seem to be the luxurious life he was accustomed to.

Bloomberg was the only mayor since LaGuardia not to live in the house but, rather than let it rot, he poured $7 million into its restoration, calling it “The People’s House” and opening it up for tours, meetings and events.

With the help of designer Jamie Drake, Bloomberg repainted, added mahogany and faux-bamboo furniture in the Federal-century style, installed French bronze chandeliers, re-carpeted and re-upholstered the furniture to be historically accurate, according to Architectural Digest.

West Elm-ification under Bill de Blasio

A far cry from NYCHA housing: the de Blasio family's new living room in Gracie Mansion, decked out in West Elm furnishings.
A far cry from NYCHA housing: the de Blasio family’s new living room in Gracie Mansion, decked out in West Elm furnishings.
West Elm

When de Blasio moved in, he found the mansion to be more like a museum than a home — particularly the bedrooms, which Bloomberg had not lived in and were filled with antique furniture for tours.

De Blasio received a donation of at least $65,000 in furniture from the multi-billion-dollar Brooklyn-based furniture chain West Elm in 2014 for the family’s bedrooms, putting some of Bloomberg’s period furniture in storage.

“When the present administration chose in 2014 to revive the residential role as envisioned by both the Parks Department and the GMC, the late 18th and early 19th century (often fragile) antique furnishings had to be placed in collections storage for future resident consideration. Thus these bedrooms were suddenly empty with immediate need to make them habitable for a 21st century family,” said Gunther.

In the public spaces, the home furniture remains unchanged and now offers even more historical and cultural education opportunities through first lady Chirlane McCray’s art exhibitions.

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Congress promises free vaccination for all, new education policy in poll manifesto-Politics News, Firstpost https://groverchamber.com/congress-promises-free-vaccination-for-all-new-education-policy-in-poll-manifesto-politics-news-firstpost/ https://groverchamber.com/congress-promises-free-vaccination-for-all-new-education-policy-in-poll-manifesto-politics-news-firstpost/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:32 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/congress-promises-free-vaccination-for-all-new-education-policy-in-poll-manifesto-politics-news-firstpost/ The manifesto also said that Congress would reiterate the request for statehood for Pondicherry and take action to persuade the Center to forgo loans owed by UT to the Center over the years. Representative image. News18 To free COVID-19[female[feminine vaccination for all; abolition of NEET and the new education policy; Rs 1,000 as a help […]]]>

The manifesto also said that Congress would reiterate the request for statehood for Pondicherry and take action to persuade the Center to forgo loans owed by UT to the Center over the years.

Representative image. News18

To free COVID-19[female[feminine vaccination for all; abolition of NEET and the new education policy; Rs 1,000 as a help to housewives; reopening of the mills; and the improved pension for the parents of martyrs are some of the promises made by the Congress party in its poll manifesto.

The manifesto was released on Sunday by former Union Minister and top congressional leader Veerappa Moily.

The manifesto promised free vaccination against COVID-19[female[feminine the expenses of which would be borne by the government.

A housewife in each family would receive a monthly aid of 1,000 rupees, according to the manifesto.

Steps would be taken to remove NEET mode for medical admission and the new education policy, according to the manifesto.

An agricultural university would be created in Karaikal and a law school in Pondicherry, according to the manifesto.

He promised a waiver of loans taken out by beneficiaries through the Backward Class Corporation and the Puducherry Adi Dravidar Development Corporation.

Municipal elections would be held immediately, he said.

A 25 percent quota for Pondicherry students in each of the courses available at Pondicherry University, he said.

A 50% quota would be introduced for students from private medical schools who have been selected by CENTAC, he said.

A housewife in each family would receive a monthly aid of 1,000 rupees, according to the manifesto.

Steps would be taken to reopen the government AFT, Swadeshi Cotton Mills and Sri Bharathi Mills factory which were closed by the NDA government in the Center, he said.

Likewise, the Lingareddipalayam cooperative sugar mill would be reopened, he said.

All households would benefit from a free supply of water, he said.

The purchase price of milk would drop from Rs 32 currently to Rs 38 per liter, according to the manifesto.

Monthly aid to widows, destitute women and the elderly would be increased to Rs 5,000; the martyrs’ pension would be increased to Rs 10,000, he said.

The Centre’s decision to privatize electricity distribution here would be bent tooth and nail and the current arrangement for distributing electricity through the Department of Electricity would be maintained, according to the manifesto.

People with disabilities would get an improved pension of 5,000 rupees per person, he said.

Passenger ship facilities would be introduced between Karaikal and Sri Lanka, according to the manifesto.

The development of infrastructure, the protection of the weakest sections and the increase of basic equipment, special programs for farmers, self-help groups for women and health services were among the other promises.

The manifesto said the party would reiterate the demand for statehood for Pondicherry and take action to persuade the Center to forgo loans owed by Pondicherry to the Center over the years.

The manifesto said that measures would be intensified for the inclusion of Pondicherry as a member of the Central Finance Commission.

The first copy of the manifesto was received by former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy.

AICC Secretary General Dinesh Gundu Rao was among those present.

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MetaApp Completes $ 100 Million Series C Funding, Making It Largest Fundrai | Pocket Gamer.biz https://groverchamber.com/metaapp-completes-100-million-series-c-funding-making-it-largest-fundrai-pocket-gamer-biz/ https://groverchamber.com/metaapp-completes-100-million-series-c-funding-making-it-largest-fundrai-pocket-gamer-biz/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:21 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/metaapp-completes-100-million-series-c-funding-making-it-largest-fundrai-pocket-gamer-biz/ Today, MetaApp announced the completion of its $ 100 million Series C financing, led by SIG Asia and followed by previous shareholders including CCV, Sky9 Capital, Lighthouse Capital. This saw the largest single fundraiser in the metaverse sector in China, followed by investment. The main product of MetaApp is the platform 233 Playground, which helps […]]]>

Today, MetaApp announced the completion of its $ 100 million Series C financing, led by SIG Asia and followed by previous shareholders including CCV, Sky9 Capital, Lighthouse Capital. This saw the largest single fundraiser in the metaverse sector in China, followed by investment. The main product of MetaApp is the platform 233 Playground, which helps overcome the hurdles of publishing in China.

The money raised will be invested in building a disruptive interactive real-time multi-person social community, where everyone can explore, discover and create.

Tim GONG, Managing Director of SIG Asia, said, “MetaApp has become the fastest growing mobile interactive entertainment platform in just 3 years since its inception. The company has leveraged its unique technology and expertise to pin its current platform, 233 Paradise’s leading position in the market.

“Its cutting-edge technical capabilities in areas such as recommending facilitate the efficient consumption of a huge amount of interactive entertainment content, laying a solid foundation for building a creator ecosystem. The unique insight and understanding of the The mobile Internet and interactive entertainment industry team are also impressive. It is our honor to be able to participate in the new cycle of MetaApp, and I look forward to seeing more breakthroughs and leaps in the future of the company. “

ZHOU Wei, Founding Partner of CCV, said, “Since CCV led MetaApp Round A in 2018, we have continued to increase our participation in each subsequent round. As the leading UGC platform for interactive entertainment in China, MetaApp’s unique technical barriers allow it to be a key user center. They have created an ecosystem for developers and users, with strong platform and networking potential.

“HU Sen is a successful serial entrepreneur. The team is a rare breed with comprehensive capabilities in technical training, business acumen, business model innovation and user growth. “, creating social interaction or even potentially global digital citizenship, based on play as a media ‘meta’ form. The possibility and room for the imagination is limitless.”

Investment hot spot

Along with the evolution of the internet ecosystem and game engine technology, the metaverse has recently become a hotspot for investment in the venture capital industry. Metaverse derives from “Meta-Universe”, which refers to a virtual world that allows people to fully immerse themselves in it, communicate, create and have fun. It is the end of the current era of mobile Internet and the embryonic form of the next generation virtual world.

In 2017, HU, who successfully withdrew from his previous company Fengyun Livestreaming, called on Max ZHOU, his young researcher at Yale and the China University of Science and Technology who has just returned from Silicon Valley. , and DUAN Jinwei, a star who graduated in computer science from Tsinghua University. Three technicians have since come together to build a metaverse for all ages.

A similar platform, Roblox today hosts its IPO on NASDAQ, with a pre-market valuation of around $ 30 billion. The company shares an effort to create a metaverse for juniors in the Western world. According to Reuters, 75% of children aged 9 to 12 in the United States use Roblox. Compared to Roblox’s relatively young user group, MetaApp is committed to creating a metaverse for all age groups in China and abroad – an interactive entertainment platform based on a high-quality rendered world. and real-time, and in-depth recommendation algorithms – with the goal of reaching a wider user base. The company has only been in existence for 3 years and has so far raised almost all of Roblox’s funding at the age of 13, reflecting the recognition of investors and their strong confidence in the ecosystem at high added value of MetaApp.

Gradual growth

MetaApp has experienced 2 phases of growth: First provides developers with traffic and monetization products, solving their problems: “Developers who create good content usually have poor growth, and those who are growth gurus usually don’t produce. no quality content ”. The gaming industry is full of “copier” products that only optimize the CPI. The platform developed by the team with sandbox virtualization technology has helped quality content providers reach a large loyal user base. In 2020, MetaApp saw a total of 200 million activated users, enabled over one billion hits, and maintained strong growth in daily active users at over 300% year-over-year.

In the 2nd phase, MetaApp goes back up the chain to solve content creation issues. It provides developers with tools and services to dramatically lower the threshold for creating and hosting multiplayer content. Their efforts to support creative ideas and diverse, high-quality user-generated content have resulted in a high degree of user satisfaction and loyalty among developers and enthusiast communities.

Max ZHOU, co-founder of MetaApp, said: “After funding, MetaApp will continue to double talent acquisition and plans to introduce a strong product manager and technology leaders in architect, client, server, operation and maintenance, as well as engine R&D. We want more like-minded people to join us in exploring the future of the Metaverse. “

About CVC
Founded in 2017, CCV was founded by the former Managing Partner of KPCB China, ZHOU Wei, with his TMT team. It currently manages 4 funds totaling US $ 520 million and RMB 1.5 billion, focusing on early stage and growth investments in industrial internet, advanced technologies and new demand. Promote the growth of Chinese technology industry through investment.

CCV has hosted two IPOs of Wanka Online (HK: 1762) and Que Chen (SHSE: 605183) in just over 3 years. Other well-known portfolios invested by the team include: JD.com, JDT, Himalaya, CreditEase, Rong360, VenusTech, Tantan, PerfectCorp, FlashHold, CowaRobot, Shukun Technology, Yunhu Technology, etc.

About MetaApp
MetaApp was created in 2017 and is best known for its 233 Playground platform. The founding CEO, HU Sen, was awarded the first place in computer science at the University of Science and Technology of China and won the Guo Moruo Prize. He received a full scholarship for a doctorate. study at Yale, and dropped out to found his first Octopus TV and Fengyun Liverstreaming business in China with a successful exit.

Co-founder Max ZHOU was admitted to the China University of Science and Technology at the age of 14 and received his postgraduate degree in computer science from Yale. He leads product and growth at MetaApp. Co-founder DUAN Jinwei is a featured graduate of Tsinghua University and now leads technology development at MetaApp. Currently, MetaApp is the leading UGC platform for interactive entertainment in China, and recently completed its Series C funding. The company is backed by investors such as CCV, SIG Asia, DST Global, Sky9 Capital and Ceyuan Venture.

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Renewal of EB-5 program could spark economic recovery in America https://groverchamber.com/renewal-of-eb-5-program-could-spark-economic-recovery-in-america/ https://groverchamber.com/renewal-of-eb-5-program-could-spark-economic-recovery-in-america/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:12 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/renewal-of-eb-5-program-could-spark-economic-recovery-in-america/ We are approaching the June 30, 2021 deadline to pass legislation to extend the EB-5 investor … [+] immigration program. Because the program generates investment and jobs in America, the country cannot afford to let the EB-5 program expire. getty When Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, it extended the EB-5 regional centre’s […]]]>

When Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, it extended the EB-5 regional centre’s current program until June 30, 2021. But in an extraordinary move, it also decoupled the program from an automatic renewal during the next round of new spending. In other words, unless Congress passes a separate bill allowing the EB-5 program to continue by the last day of June of this year, the program will cease to exist. On the other hand, if the program is indeed renewed, in particular with the integrity measures currently proposed, it could give a boost to the American economy and jobs at a time when investments and jobs are essential and without fees to US taxpayers. .

A few years ago, Canada faced a similar situation with its federal investor immigration program. It can be instructive to look at what happened in Canada to see what we can learn from this experience. This could help us avoid some of the problems facing Canada and improve our approach to the current challenge of EB-5 in the United States.

In a recently published article, Vince Lalonde, the current director of immigration at Pace law firm in Toronto (full disclosure – I also practice immigration law there), described the history of the program in Toronto. Canadian investment and what went wrong there. Lalonde pointed out that under the Canadian program, foreign nationals with a net worth of at least $ 1.6 million could obtain permanent residence in Canada if they made an interest-free loan of $ 800,000 over five years. to the federal government. But, as Lalonde explained, the program proved unpopular with the Canadian public because the idea of ​​“buying” permanent residence was not appealing to Canadians. Lalonde then identified some of the other salient reasons for the program’s demise:

1. Low contributions as taxpayers. Most immigrant investors have done everything in their power to avoid becoming Canadian tax residents, and even those who have found themselves stuck paying taxes in Canada have often found ways to under-report their worldwide income.

2. Low levels of integration. Immigrant investors had the lowest proficiency in the official language of all immigrant categories, including refugees. The “astronauts” – mainly from China – would move their families to Canada but continue to conduct their business abroad. This resulted in families who never really made a commitment to Canada and often returned to their home countries after their children had taken advantage of the Canadian education system and other social services.

3. Real estate price inflation. Investors have been blamed for soaring house prices, particularly in BC’s Lower Mainland. Wealthy investors, often Chinese, have gained a reputation for paying cash for multi-million dollar homes at the price of a sticker, making home ownership a pipe dream for average Canadians.

4. Use of investment funds. Despite the fact that immigrant investors paid millions of dollars under the program, levels of capital investment were disappointing.

5. Processing time. Investor applicants were frustrated by the slow processing times and changing requirements. Applicants often waited six to eight years for their application to be processed by the government, with no guarantee of success. The uncertainty meant that it was almost impossible for these families to plan for their future.

At least some of these criticisms could very well be made of the American EB-5 program. When the Canadian program was finally canceled in February 2014, an inventory of 65,000 people were waiting for their applications to be processed, which would have taken up to six years to process. When the government ended the program, it chose to reimburse applicants, clear the backlog and not process any of the backlogs despite some applicants waiting for years for their applications to be approved.

The result of the closure of the program was that a class action lawsuit against those whose pending claims were dismissed was launched. The plaintiffs sued the Canadian government to have their claims processed or, failing that, to obtain monetary compensation. The main purpose of the lawsuit was to force Citizenship and Immigration Canada to process the pending applications before formally abandoning the program, but if the government was unwilling to deal with the backlog, the plaintiffs sought compensation. monetary value for each claimant in the lawsuit and for each of the dependents named on their immigrant investor claims, which has been estimated at over $ 16 billion.

Needless to say, the cancellation of Canada’s investment program was not popular with foreign investors, especially among Chinese investors who were the largest group. At a press conference, 10 Chinese investor candidates delivered their downcast message: their faith in Canada as a “trustworthy country”, with its rule of law, attractive environment and welfare system, was faltering. . The cancellation of the program has indeed damaged the reputation of the Canadian immigration program and to date there is no federal investment program in Canada.

Ultimately, the class action lawsuit was settled when the Canadian government agreed to expedite the processing of numerous applications from immigrant investor applicants to provide them with permanent resident status in addition to paying their legal fees and fees. However, some requests were rejected. While the lawyers involved came out of the ordeal with their fees paid, most of the others involved were not happy to have been through the exercise. Despite these past difficulties, however, Lalonde now argues that the time has come for Canada to reintroduce a new and improved federal investment program.

In view of what can be learned from this experience for the American EB-5 program, several points come to mind:

1. Foreign investors currently behind in the US system may be able to initiate legal or promissory estoppel lawsuits against the US government and EB-5 regional centers if the program expires. The process could be unpleasant and very expensive. America’s image abroad as a great place to do business could be significantly tarnished. There is little benefit to letting the program expire.

2. There is a need to reform the EB-5 program along the lines of the Grassley and Leahy Bill which was introduced in Congress not so long ago. Further improvements can be made in the years to come. Staying up to date and competitive with other countries is important in this area.

3. If we keep in mind that the EB5 program is responsible for less than one percent of immigrant visas issued by the US government each year, but is a major engine of growth in the US economy, estimated at over $ 9 billion in new investment and 300,000 new jobs per year in the years to come, it makes sense to continue.

4. Reversing the argument, a sober examination of the hardship a non-renewal would cause, not only for foreign investors, but especially for the US economy and labor markets, leads to the conclusion that the renewal of this program is vital for the future of America. . It is inconceivable, given the amounts of investment and the number of jobs this program has generated in the United States over its lifespan, that Congress will now allow it to expire.

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Fitch: PH banks remain at risk https://groverchamber.com/fitch-ph-banks-remain-at-risk/ https://groverchamber.com/fitch-ph-banks-remain-at-risk/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:56 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/fitch-ph-banks-remain-at-risk/ Exposure to weak real estate market could reduce bank reserves Debt watcher Fitch Ratings has warned the Philippine banking sector of the risk of further depreciation in the real estate sector. “Prolonged economic weakness could expose banks to flat-rate write-downs and lower their loss absorption buffers – given their high concentration of large borrowers and […]]]>

Exposure to weak real estate market could reduce bank reserves Debt watcher Fitch Ratings has warned the Philippine banking sector of the risk of further depreciation in the real estate sector.

“Prolonged economic weakness could expose banks to flat-rate write-downs and lower their loss absorption buffers – given their high concentration of large borrowers and the real estate sector’s strong correlation with the economy in general,” a- he stressed in a report published Wednesday.

The credit rating agency said it expects the housing market to remain weak in the near term, given the slow economic recovery and low housing affordability in the country.

This is despite the fact that house prices rose 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and offset some of the recent losses, although condominium prices in the National Capital Region – where banks are most exposed to real estate – remained 20% below the peak in the second quarter of last year.

“The new foreclosure measures announced at the end of March 2021 for the capital region are likely to weaken business and consumer confidence, which could undermine real estate demand and ultimately weigh on the quality of the banking sector’s assets,” he said. also noted Fitch in a separate statement.

The recent increase in daily 2019 coronavirus disease infection since the middle of this month prompted the national government to place the National Capital Region and adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under enhanced community quarantine ( ECQ) until April 4.

“Global asset write-downs could arise if further economic weakness starts to cause major real estate developers to default that we do not currently expect in our baseline scenario,” Fitch also pointed out.

In the report, the credit assessor said home loan balances of most of its major rated banks in the country “barely increased in 2020, reflecting weak demand for commercial property and heightened aversion. at the risk of banks “.

This despite the regulatory relaxation of mortgage limits to 25 percent from 20 percent, he said.

“Fitch remains alert for any sign of an undue increase in banks’ risk appetite as the economy recovers, as many banks had substantial residential mortgages with loan-to-value ratios that exceeded 80% before the crisis, “continued the credit watchdog. .

He added that default risks for some loans may have already materialized, with the ratio of non-performing residential mortgages hitting 8.4% in September 2020, up from 3.1% at the end of 2019.

Fitch added that rising inflation also posed another challenge for the monetary policy stance of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), particularly if demand-driven inflation sets in when the market reopens. ‘economy.

February’s 4.7% inflation rate, which broke the upper bound of the central bank’s 2-4% target for the second month, suggests limited room for maneuver for the BSP to maintain a position accommodating, he said.

“Higher interest rates could further undermine housing demand and start the real estate recovery, although any tightening needs to be measured because the central bank is likely to maintain an expansionary monetary policy to support the economic recovery,” noted the debt observer.

Finally, he said that the weakness of the real estate market will continue to weigh on the quality of banks’ assets, which is already on a negative outlook.

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The 2021 Alizés Awards: rewarding excellence and resilience https://groverchamber.com/the-2021-alizes-awards-rewarding-excellence-and-resilience/ https://groverchamber.com/the-2021-alizes-awards-rewarding-excellence-and-resilience/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:31 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/the-2021-alizes-awards-rewarding-excellence-and-resilience/ The Trade Winds 2021 Exporters have until June 19, 2021 to submit their request. Exporters have until June 19, 2021 to submit their request. Submit your application for the 2021 Alizés Awards on lesprixalize.ca SAINTE-JULIE, Quebec, April 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Agri-Food Export Group is pleased to announce the opening of the application […]]]>

The Trade Winds 2021

Exporters have until June 19, 2021 to submit their request.

Exporters have until June 19, 2021 to submit their request.

Submit your application for the 2021 Alizés Awards on lesprixalize.ca

SAINTE-JULIE, Quebec, April 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Agri-Food Export Group is pleased to announce the opening of the application period for the 2021 Alizés Awards, presented by FAC. Canadian agri-food exporters have until June 19, 2021 to apply in either of two categories: Small and medium-sized businesses, reserved for businesses with sales of less than $ 50 million, and Large company, for those with a turnover of 50 million dollars. or more. The winners will be announced in September 2021 in collaboration with SIAL Canada.

“Despite the current context, it was imperative for us to recognize the achievements of an industry that has been put to the test over the past year and that has risen to the challenge with flying colors. Canadian exports are increasing, proof that the industry knows how to adapt and face headwinds. The Trade Winds take on a very special meaning this year, ”explains Martin Lavoie, President and CEO of Groupe Export.

Known in English as the Trade Winds, the Trade Winds refer to the winds that helped establish the main maritime trade routes between continents over the centuries and linked Canada to foreign markets. They highlight the excellence of the work accomplished by Canadian agri-food companies that have distinguished themselves on international markets through impressive growth, innovative marketing strategies or structuring consolidation actions.

“I look forward to reviewing the nominations this year,” said Louis Turcotte, Senior Director, Corporate and Commercial Financing at FCC and Chairman of the Jury. “Every year, companies impress us with their inventiveness and perseverance. I am convinced that the next candidates will be no exception. “

Canadian agri-food exporters are invited to visit lesprixalizesawards.ca to register and receive their application form. The application period will close on June 19, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The Export Group would like to thank, in addition to FCC, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, Inno-Center, L’Actualitéimentaire, Agro-Quebec and SIAL Canada for their support and contribution to the Alizés Awards.

About the Agri-Food Export Group
With more than 500 members, the Agri-Food Export Group is the largest association of agri-food exporters in Canada. Created in 1990, the Association has, over the years, developed several services and initiated hundreds of activities to facilitate access to markets outside Quebec and internationally for agri-food exporters from Quebec. A privileged link between exporters and markets, an essential bridge between the public sector and industry, the Association works on a daily basis to increase the presence of Quebec products throughout the world.

To receive more information or to arrange an interview with a representative of the Export Group, please contact:

Claudia Charuest
Director of Communications
Agri-Food Export Group
450-649-6266, ext. 217
claudiacharuest@groupexport.ca

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/af759e21-23df-49b3-b690-840be9039c23

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COVID-19 relief aid makes pandemic candles and medical home delivery possible – GV Wire https://groverchamber.com/covid-19-relief-aid-makes-pandemic-candles-and-medical-home-delivery-possible-gv-wire/ https://groverchamber.com/covid-19-relief-aid-makes-pandemic-candles-and-medical-home-delivery-possible-gv-wire/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:10 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/covid-19-relief-aid-makes-pandemic-candles-and-medical-home-delivery-possible-gv-wire/ How about a series of “Quarantine 2020” candles to get you through the year? Or vulnerable seniors who have their medical supplies delivered to their doorstep for free? These are among the adaptations to COVID-19 realities that two Fresno companies have made after coaching and support, or funding through a “Save Our Small Businesses” grant […]]]>

How about a series of “Quarantine 2020” candles to get you through the year?

Or vulnerable seniors who have their medical supplies delivered to their doorstep for free?

These are among the adaptations to COVID-19 realities that two Fresno companies have made after coaching and support, or funding through a “Save Our Small Businesses” grant from the city of Fresno.

Perfume & Fire

Scent & Fire Founder Monisha Edwards received business coaching and technical support from Fresno Metro Black Chamber in partnership with Access Plus Capital.

Monisha Edwards, Founder of Perfumes and Fire

This assistance during the pandemic has helped Scent & Fire scale to increase its monthly orders from 400 candles to over 1,000.

Edwards unveiled a new series of candles during the pandemic, Quarantine 2020, “to create unique experiences and vibrations amid the COVID-19 chaos.” Other Scent & Fire innovations: eGift Cards and downloadable playlists to accompany the candles.

Phew! We’re back online! ?? scentandfire.com

Posted by Scent & Fire Candle Co. on Thursday, May 7, 2020

The bone store

“When our world changed in March, we were really worried. We knew it would have a huge financial impact – we just didn’t know how devastating it would be. “ Karter McKinlay, CEO and Co-Owner of The Bone Store

The Bone Store is all about health and wellness. Its mission is to improve the way people walk, move, sit and sleep. The majority of clients come with a prescription or are repeat clients.

Almost overnight, the store’s main demographic were told to stay inside and not leave their homes. As a company that primarily caters to customers 65 and over, the news was concerning.

“When our world changed in March, we were really worried. We knew it would have a huge financial impact – we just didn’t know how devastating it would be, ”said Karter McKinlay, CEO and co-owner of The Bone Store.

The Bone Store received a “Save Our Small Businesses” grant from the City of Fresno. The innovations they have implemented include free home delivery, conducting business remotely, effectively communicating their new business operations to their customers, and creating new ways to keep staff working at their three locations. .

Save our small businesses

In April, city hall granted zero-interest forgivable loans of $ 5,000 and $ 10,000 to 116 businesses affected by COVID-19.

0% loans will convert to grants if a business remains open after one year.

According to city data, more than $ 8.6 million has been requested by small businesses. The loans support 485 jobs.

The list of recipients represents a representative sample of businesses: restaurants and catering, legal services, barbers and salons.

Board member Esmeralda Soria, who co-sponsored the legislation with board member Mike Karbassi, said at the time that the program was intended to help businesses unable to receive federal stimulus funds.

“A lot of small local Fresno and Pop businesses have been left out. This is why this type of program is so essential for our community, ”said Soria.

More COVID relief funding for small businesses on the way

On Monday, Fresno City Council added $ 2 million for small business relief grants to be administered by the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation.

“As a mission-driven lender, we can’t afford to turn our backs on small businesses when they need us most. “- Tate Hill, Managing Director of Access Plus Capital

A similar program administered by Fresno County received 1,359 applicants for 1,000 available grants of $ 5,000. The winners were drawn in June.

Today, the county is expected to approve an additional $ 250,000 for small businesses, also through the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation.

The grants would provide $ 5,000 for operations with less than 10 full-time employees. And a staff report says the program will prioritize “underserved minority businesses that haven’t been able to access any federal funding … and are in desperate need of capital.”

Access Plus Capital

Since its inception in 2009, the multilingual staff of Access Plus Capital have loaned more than $ 35 million to hundreds of entrepreneurs.

“As a mission-driven lender, we can’t afford to turn our backs on small businesses when they need us most,” said Tate Hill, Managing Director of Access Plus Capital. “We don’t know what the future holds for us in the coming months, but we are committed to finding innovative solutions to meet the capital and business coaching needs of our local business owners. “

Fresno CDFI dba Access Plus Capital is a subsidiary of the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission. Fresno EOC, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit community action agency, has over five decades of experience investing and helping people become self-reliant.

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Small Riverside Business, Workers Expect More COVID Relief After Biden’s $ 1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package Lifts Barrier https://groverchamber.com/small-riverside-business-workers-expect-more-covid-relief-after-bidens-1-9-trillion-stimulus-package-lifts-barrier/ https://groverchamber.com/small-riverside-business-workers-expect-more-covid-relief-after-bidens-1-9-trillion-stimulus-package-lifts-barrier/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:43 +0000 https://groverchamber.com/small-riverside-business-workers-expect-more-covid-relief-after-bidens-1-9-trillion-stimulus-package-lifts-barrier/ RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) – As Congress debates another COVID-19 relief program, employees and business owners in Southern California are wondering which parts of the different plans meet their needs. They also express concerns about which parts of the different plans will not help them at all. At Sire Bar and Grill in Riverside, employee Amber […]]]>
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) – As Congress debates another COVID-19 relief program, employees and business owners in Southern California are wondering which parts of the different plans meet their needs.

They also express concerns about which parts of the different plans will not help them at all.

At Sire Bar and Grill in Riverside, employee Amber Miller is excited about yet another round of dunning checks. But with the restaurant still limited to al fresco dining and potential customers still worried about the dangers associated with the pandemic, work hours are tight.

“I think the stimulus checks will help,” Miller said. “I don’t think it’s enough to cover all the months of lost work for everyone, but it’s better than nothing.”

Democrats are pushing for a rescue plan that would include $ 1,400 stimulus checks for workers. But single workers earning more than $ 87,000 a year would see no relief.

House passes amended budget bill to speed up Biden’s stimulus package without Republican backing

Across the aisle, Republicans are pushing for a cheaper package that would include $ 1,000 stimulus checks, but those payments would be phased out even lower than the Democrat’s plan: single workers earning more of $ 50,000 per year would not be eligible for the stimulus checks.

“I mean I’m going to take a few rather than none,” said Lord Sire’s owner Michael Brewer, who said what he would really benefit from would be another round of loans from the Check Protection Program. pay.

“I have applied for loans like this, but they are moving slowly, and we don’t even have the assurance that once the process is complete, there will be funds to honor those loans.”

Brewer is also concerned that none of the relief programs are specifically targeting those most affected by the pandemic; Stimulus relief is believed to be based on adjusted gross income of workers in 2019, before COVID-19 was a problem.

“I’m just a little concerned that it’s spreading,” he said. “I prefer to apply more resources to the people most injured.”

While Brewer said the stimulus checks would undoubtedly benefit his workers, especially those he had to lay off, another issue that is not being addressed by this back-up plan is the impact on his businesses. which are still closed. The Brewer’s Bar in the Bay Area will not be able to reopen to the public until indoor dining is permitted.

“It’s right on the bay, and the weather is so bad this time of year. We can’t operate outside, it’s just too uncomfortable for the clients.”

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