The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $14.7 million in business, agricultural and energy conservation financing for projects throughout Vermont totaling $17.3 million. Especially during these difficult economic times, VEDA is pleased to help businesses expand, support investments in energy conservation measures, and provide assistance to Vermont farmers in their efforts to sustain and strengthen their operations said Jo Bradley, VEDA s Chief Executive Officer.Approved for VEDA financing assistance are:Independent Brewers United Corporation, South Burlington VEDA gave final approval to issuance of a $6.7 million tax-exempt manufacturing industrial revenue bond to Independent Brewers United Corporation (IBUC), the newly-formed parent company of Magic Hat Brewing Company and Pyramid Breweries, Inc. Brown Brothers Harriman has agreed to purchase the bond. The Authority s financing approval supersedes that given Magic Hat in April of 2008, prior to Magic Hat s subsequent acquisition of the West Coast brewing company, Pyramid Breweries, Inc. Magic Hat s assets have since been merged with those of Pyramid into one operating company, IBUC, now owned by the former Magic Hat shareholders. In addition to the Magic Hat brewery and retail store in South Burlington, IBUC operates two other full-scale production breweries one in Portland, Oregon and one in Berkeley, California — and five brew pubs in cities in Oregon, Washington, and California. The $6.7 million in approved VEDA financing will help IBUC more than double production capacity at the South Burlington facility with the purchase and installation of a new brewhouse and bottling line, as well as other production and filling equipment, and associated leasehold improvements.The Manor, Inc., Morrisville The Authority also gave final approval to issuing a $6.5 million tax-exempt revenue bond to The Manor, Inc. to restructure debt associated with the 1999 construction of a skilled nursing and residential care facility adjacent to Copley Hospital. The Manor is a 100-bed nursing facility employing 120, which provides short-term rehabilitation services, long and short term skilled nursing and residential care/assisted living.The Authority also approved $506,000 in farm ownership and operating loans through VEDA s agricultural financing program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation; and, $778,151 was approved for small business development projects through the Authority s Vermont Small Business Loan Program. In addition, $195,500 was approved through the Vermont Business Energy Conservation Loan Program to help several businesses make energy efficiency and conservation improvements.VEDA s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises. Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.4 billion. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org(link is external) or call 802-828-5627.
“I only use my mobile phone for three hours a day at work, but at least eight hours every day during the Spring Festival, because it’s so boring,” Lu Zhang, a junior high school teacher in eastern Shandong province, said of the enforced holiday.Investors have seized on the trend, with shares of Chinese game publishers, such as Tencent, rising 2% in Hong Kong on Tuesday, outstripping a rise of 1% in the benchmark , while in New York, NetEase rose nearly 3%.US-listed shares in Chinese video platform Bilibili rose almost 7%, while shares of search engine Baidu and e-commerce giant Alibaba also rose.Five mobile game developers, including Ourpalm, surged by the maximum allowed 10% on Tuesday. Weekly downloads jumped 77% on ByteDance’s Xigua video app from Jan. 20 to Jan. 26, after it announced plans to stream the premiere of a movie, “Lost in Russia” for free, data from performance tracker App Annie showed.”My screen time yesterday exceeded 10 hours,” one Shanghai resident, identified only as Wang, said in a social media post, adding, “What do you all suggest I do other than look at my cellphone?”Also popular are health and fitness apps, such as Keep, which livestreams fitness classes. Its revenue surged 15% for the week, while healthcare app Pingan Good Doctor saw downloads jump 1,186%.”We believe that China internet and logistics companies are somewhat sheltered,” from the impact of the virus outbreak, analysts from Bernstein Research wrote in a Monday note, amid a growing trend for all products and services to move online.Tencent’s blockbuster mobile game, “Honor of Kings” made up to 2 billion yuan ($286 million) on the Jan. 24 eve of the holiday, estimated Pei Pei, an analyst with Sinolink Securities Co, exceeding all the Chinese mobile games on Apple’s app store during the entire week-long break in 2018.Tencent declined to comment.Strategy simulation app “Plague Inc.”, which jumped to the top of the charts in Apple’s app store, retained its popularity.The game, which allows users to create and evolve a pathogen to destroy the world, generated 78,000 downloads in January, up from 16,000 in December, according to Sensor Tower.”Many students play games during the Spring Festival,” said the junior high teacher, Lu, adding that she spent more than five hours each day playing poker, among other games. “Sometimes they invite me to join when they see me online.”US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, which started delivery in December of cars built at its $2-billion Shanghai plant, stepped up daily livestreamed sales events on video app Douyin to highlight features of its vehicles.Several sales dealers for Mercedes Benz also took to the WeChat app with a link to a 360-degree interior view of its GLB compact SUV, simulating the passenger experience and offering close-ups of the seats’ leather stitching details and dashboard.”Not leaving home, so use virtual reality to look at cars!” one of the representatives exhorted viewers.Topics : Online games and short video apps have been among the few beneficiaries of China’s virus outbreak, raking in millions of views and downloads as people stuck in self-quarantine at home seek entertainment and ways to beguile their time.The shift has even drawn companies more used to doing business in showrooms, such as carmakers Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, to promote products heavily online during the week.Chinese travel and gather with family and friends during the traditional Lunar New Year holiday, but many postponed or cancelled their plans over concerns sparked in mid-January about the spread of a new virus that has killed 420.