Welsh health and beauty firm hits £25m in sales as demand for organic and vegan products soar

A Welsh business that sources and sells natural and organic health and beauty products has hit the £25 million turnover mark, after increasing sales by 25% year on year.

Naissance, based in a 40,000 square foot warehouse in Neath, Wales was founded in 2005 by entrepreneur Jem Skelding from his spare bedroom.

His childhood in Africa inspired Jem, where the shortage of retail products and an abundance of raw materials meant his mother would often make her own skincare and natural remedies. When e-commerce started to take off, he spotted a gap in the market for an online brand selling organic plant-based products.

Over the last fifteen years, he has steered the company and established the Naissance brand as a global leader in the supply of natural and organic ingredients within UK and International territories. Supplying many of the biggest high street retail brands in the UK, Europe and America

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UK hotels and restaurants hit by wave of Christmas cancellations

Hotels and restaurants have been hit by a wave of cancellations as new coronavirus restrictions throw the country’s Christmas celebrations into doubt and raise the prospect of a fresh setback for the high street.

If new rules banning gatherings of more than six people remain in place over the festive season, analysts say, the absence of Christmas parties and big family get-togethers could cost retailers billions of pounds in lost clothing and food sales.

“I think that this could reduce retail spending by billions,” said independent retail analyst Richard Hyman. “Toys and presents will obviously be bought, but I think clothing sales will be hit.”

“Clothing retailers need the fillip that is triggered by going to parties and family gatherings, and that’s clearly going to be very significantly curtailed. Why bother [buying something new]?”

The festive season is when many retailers bank the lion’s share of their annual profits, and

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State-backed coronavirus loans should be repaid only when business makes profit

State-backed coronavirus loans should be repaid only when business borrowers turn a profit, a think tank has warned.

One in five companies are now “zombies”, with profits that scarcely cover their debt interest payments — and one in 23, employing a total of 1.8 million people, are technically insolvent with liabilities greater than their assets, according to Onward.

Debt levels leapt during this year’s lockdown as companies tapped the government’s emergency loan schemes to meet costs, leaving many overburdened with debt. About £53 billion has been loaned to small and medium-sized businesses and The City UK, the finance industry lobby group, has estimated that £35 billion may not be repaid.

The researchers at Onward fear a so-called balance-sheet recession, in which companies prioritise debt repayment over growth and investment. To keep the recovery on track, they have called on the government to convert the debt into “income-contingent loans” that do

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Bank of England warn government against furlough scheme extension

The Bank of England’s chief economist has warned the government against extending the furlough scheme, arguing it will delay an “inevitable” shake-out of businesses hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Andy Haldane said a “necessary process of adjustment” was under way and an extension of the job retention scheme beyond the 31 October deadline would only delay this process taking place.

In a message that rejected concerns of spiralling unemployment without the subsidy remaining in place, Haldane said it was the central bank and government’s job to support the transition to new ways of working.
Business leaders, trade union bosses and opposition politicians have warned that the UK could suffer a wave of redundancies in the run-up to Christmas from the 2.3 million workers still on furlough if the scheme is cancelled.

Figures from the Insolvency Service show that employers, which must notify the government when they want to make 10

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Andrew Lloyd Webber tells ministers UK theatres face ruin

Andrew Lloyd Webber has warned Britain’s performing arts scene is at the point of no return as he pleaded for a definite reopening date for theatres without social distancing.

The theatre impresario told MPs this morning that despite all the mitigations such as compulsory facemasks and increased ventilations theatres were able to deploy, Public Health England was still behaving like a “brick wall”.

He said his companies were “bumping up against banking covenants” adding that a full reopening date was needed now to save the sector from devastation.

A number of performing arts companies, including the National Theatre, have already introduced mass redundancy programmes. The ending of the furlough scheme in October will lead to thousands of extra redundancies, it has been claimed.

Giving evidence to the the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee Lord Lloyd-Webber said there were so many “anomalies” in the country’s response to coronavirus pandemic,

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