Two teens shot after fight at Warner Robins business ends in gunfire, police say; one dies from injuries

They say it happened just before 5 p.m. in the 800 block of South Davis Drive.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A fight at a Warner Robins business Tuesday evening ended with gunshots ringing out, leaving one teen dead and another injured, according to a press release from the Warner Robins Police Department. 

They say the Warner Robins Police were called to the 800 block of S. Davis Drive just before 5 p.m. after receiving reports of gunfire at a local business. That store is at the intersection of Davis Drive and Driftwood Terrace. 

It appears that two groups of teens got into a fight inside the business and then, after exiting the business, gunfire erupted, the press release said. According to an update, they say surveillance footage shows both victims were shooting at each other. 

When authorities arrived, they first found a 15-year-old male with “multiple gunshot wounds” on the north side of the business. They say he was shot in his upper leg, his side and his chest. He was then taken to Houston Healthcare’s Watson Campus.

In an update, they said that the 15-year-old would die from his injuries. 

Police would also find another shooting victim just around the corner in the 100 block of Oak Grove Road, the press release said. 

They say this teen, who they believe to be an 18-year-old male, was shot in his leg. He was taken to Atrium Health Navicent. Right now, it is unclear what status he is in.

Warner Robins Police say they believe another group of teens were present, and they were then seen fleeing down Driftwood Terrace. In the updated press release, they say they are looking for two to three teens who were involved either as participants or as bystanders in the conflict. 

Right now, they are still working to find out what happened.

“It is a[n] active investigation that has rapidly evolved since the call came out,” Lt. Eric Gossman with the police department said in a text message. “The investigators are looking for others that were involved in the incident outside.” 

If you have any information, you are asked to reach out to Detective Brankley or Detective Garcia at 478-302-5380 or the Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.

It comes just under a month after a 28-year-old man was shot in that area back on March 18. 

According to the Warner Robins Police Department, a 28-year-old man was walking in the 100 block of Oak Grove Road when he saw a group of three teens with what he believed to be pellet guns. He would soon find out they were the real thing.

He soon “felt a pain in his left leg” and realized he had been shot. Warner Robins then says he ran away and then found a bystander. 

This is a developing story. We’ll provide more information when it becomes available.

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AMD Ryzen PRO processors will boost Windows 11 business PCs with cutting-edge AI and security features

Nvidia may be the AI-focused darling of the technology world nowadays, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about good ol’ AMD. In fact, today, AMD announced the launch of its latest Ryzen PRO 8040 and 8000 Series processors designed for commercial mobile and desktop AI PCs.

The Ryzen PRO 8040 Series, specifically designed for business laptops and mobile workstations, introduces the most advanced x86 processors in AMD’s lineup. These processors are built using the innovative 4nm technology and “Zen 4” architecture, which delivers up to 30% increased performance in demanding applications. The series also features models with integrated AMD RDNA 3 graphics, pushing the limits with up to 72% faster performance and significantly reduced power consumption during video conferencing compared to competitors.

Among the standout models is the AMD Ryzen 9 PRO 8945HS, which offers eight cores and 16 threads, making it ideal for intensive technical computing, content creation, and high-end graphics tasks.

AMD’s announcement also includes the Ryzen PRO 8000 Series, the company’s first AI-enabled desktop processors tailored for business users. These processors provide a robust foundation for immersive AI experiences and enhanced productivity, thanks to their up to eight high-performance cores and leading-edge 4nm process. The AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 8700G leads this series, showcasing superior performance with significantly lower power usage compared to its peers.

With Ryzen AI integrated into select models, AMD enhances its leadership in AI PC technology. These processors leverage a dedicated on-chip neural processing unit (NPU) to deliver exceptional AI processing power, which is pivotal for AI-enabled collaboration, analytics, and content creation.

AMD PRO technologies further bolster this lineup with enterprise-grade manageability, robust multi-layered security directly embedded in the hardware, and comprehensive cloud-based tools like Windows Autopilot for streamlined deployment. These features ensure that AMD-powered PCs meet modern security requirements while offering chip-to-cloud protection against sophisticated cyber threats.

OEM partners such as HP and Lenovo are set to enhance their portfolios with the new Ryzen PRO processors starting Q2, 2024. These partnerships will extend AMD’s AI capabilities across a broader range of PCs, enhancing both performance and security in business environments.

HP, for instance, unveiled a variety of Ryzen PRO-powered desktops, workstations, and laptops at this year’s HP Amplify Partner Conference, aiming to meet the growing demands for AI-ready computing solutions. Lenovo also expanded its offerings with new ThinkCentre desktops equipped with Ryzen PRO 8000 Series processors, targeting enhanced AI integration and performance for business users.

James Howell, general manager of Windows at Microsoft explains, “We are continuing to build on the momentum of AI PC adoption delivering more use cases and features designed to help the modern professional increase productivity. We are working hand in hand with AMD to further deliver optimized performance and security features on AMD Ryzen-powered Windows 11 desktops and mobile systems.”

As AMD advances its AI-enabled business computing technologies, the new Ryzen PRO processors are likely to enhance performance and security. Supported by major OEM partners like HP and Lenovo, these processors are designed to improve productivity and simplify IT management for businesses globally.

Azur Associates M&A and Fine Beverage Business Consultancy Expands to Include Fractional DTC and Marketing Services with the Addition of Executive Emilie Eliason

Advertisement NAPA, CA, April 16, 2024 – Napa Valley-based Azur Associates announced the addition of fractional DTC and Marketing services to its portfolio of strategic advisory offerings for the fine beverage industry. Emilie Eliason has joined the firm as Managing Director, DTC and Marketing. “We continue to evolve our business to better meet the needs…

What’s a merit increase, and should your business use them?

Retaining top performers has become a serious challenge for recruiters in recent years.
A staggering 50.6 million US workers quit their jobs in 2022, and young men have been leaving the workforce in record numbers.
As such, employers must do everything they can to attract and retain high-performing employees, and issuing regular merit increases is one of the best ways to do so.
A merit increase or merit raise refers to a pay increase based on an employee’s performance.
It’s not just a bonus, either.
Merit pay is a permanent increase to an employee’s base salary and tends to go hand-in-hand with regular performance reviews.
If an employee meets or exceeds your expectations that year, it’s considered standard fare to give them a 2% to 3% merit increase. Some companies take this philosophy further and deliver merit raises ranging from 5% to 10% (or even 15% for truly exceptional performances).
Merit pay increases are great ways to reward your top talent and encourage loyalty, which will improve your retention rates.
Yet, you need to be very careful with how you structure your merit increase policy. If you aren’t careful, you may isolate some employees or inspire jealousy, which can cause some employees to quit, which is the total opposite of what you want.
It also doesn’t always make sense for an organization to issue merit increases, especially if they aren’t profit-driven (like NGOs and government organizations).
There’s quite a bit to unpack here, so read on to learn everything you need to know about merit increases, including if they’re a good call for your organization.
What is a Merit Increase?
For a pay raise to qualify as a merit increase, it must be performance-based and provide a permanent increase to a worker’s base salary.
Most organizations have merit increase programs where they provide regular salary increases based on an employee’s performance.
During a quarterly or annual performance evaluation, an employee’s manager will go over their goals, quotas, and other important metrics. They’ll receive a merit increase if they meet all their performance metrics (or exceed them).
Conversely, if their job performance has been less than stellar, no merit increase is issued.
For this reason, merit increases serve as financial incentives for your employees to work harder to meet their performance expectations.
When done properly, merit increases will contribute to your company’s success.
When handled poorly, a merit pay policy can foster feelings of jealousy, favoritism, and negatively affect employee morale.
Why is that?
It’s because merit increases involve a lot of variance. In other words, not every employee will receive the same size of an increase to their salary.
Companies provide merit raises from their merit pool, which contains the amount of money available for raises that year. The average merit increase might be 3% for most employees but bumps up to 4% for top-performing employees who exceed all their performance goals (or earn more revenue for the company through boosted sales).
Lower performers, who still met expectations but failed to exceed their goals, may only receive 2%.
Due to the variance involved, transparency on the employer’s part plays a critical role in the process.
You shouldn’t have much trouble if your people know that your annual raises are based on merit and not favoritism.
The Difference Between Merit Raises and Other Financial Rewards
It’s extremely common for both employers and employees to confuse merit raises with other types of workplace financial rewards.
For instance, some assume that annual raises that go out to all employees count as merit increases, which isn’t true.
The two qualifying factors for a financial reward to be considered a merit increase are that it’s based on work performance and is a permanent increase to an employee’s salary.
Here’s a look at other types of financial rewards and how they differ from merit pay.
Regular Pay Raises
Not every increase to an employee’s annual salary qualifies as a merit increase.
Some organizations deliver annual pay raises to all employees, and they aren’t tied to performance.
Others choose to give out pay raises due to:

None of these reasons qualify as a merit increase since they aren’t performance-based.
However, that doesn’t mean these types of raises aren’t effective in boosting employee retention.
If you give raises for employees who stay at the company for a long time, word will get out, and you’ll have an easier time attracting talent.
As long as you have the budget capacity to administer raises, you should consider handing them out even if they aren’t merit-based.
As stated before, a bonus is not a permanent increase to an employee’s salary. Instead, it’s a one-time sum used to reward employees for meeting company objectives.
Employers confuse bonuses with merit increases because both are based on work performance.
However, the difference lies in the way the compensation is delivered.
A bonus doesn’t permanently add to an employee’s current salary, but a merit increase does.
Whereas a merit raise permanently boosts an employee’s pay by 3% or 5%, a bonus is a large lump sum that’s delivered all at once.
Reasons companies deliver bonuses include:

Meeting or exceeding company goals

Reaching milestones for longevity (such as being with a company for 25 years)

Consistently putting in hard work no matter what

Adding to the company’s bottom line (like by exceeding sales quotas)

Meeting or exceeding performance goals during an evaluation

As you can see, there is some overlap between bonuses and merit increases, which is what causes the confusion.
Some companies may hand out bonuses during annual performance reviews instead of merit increases.
Just remember that the key difference is a merit increase is always a permanent boost to an employee’s salary, not a one-time lump sum.
Once again, bonuses are another great way to encourage better individual performance, so if you have the capability, you should use them in tandem with merit increases.
Also, evidence shows that quarterly bonuses yield higher productivity than annual bonuses, which is something to keep in mind.
Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)
Many organizations provide cost of living adjustments to employees to keep up with rising inflation.
As the value of the US dollar continues to decrease, an employee’s salary loses its purchasing power.
COLA raises, then, are an attempt to even things out to maintain an employee’s intended compensation.
A COLA raise is similar to a merit increase in that it’s a permanent increase to an employee’s salary. However, it’s different because COLA pay increases aren’t based on an employee’s performance or hard work.
Instead, these types of pay raises are given across the board to ensure proper compensation and competitive salaries.
Cost of living adjustments is a core aspect of compensation planning, as failing to keep up with inflation will cause the following negative side effects:

An underpaid workforce leads to high turnover (59% of employees claim to have quit a job due to poor compensation)

Failure to provide competitive compensation will generate a negative reputation for your organization

Improper compensation will cause a resentful workforce that’s disengaged and unproductive

That’s why it’s crucial to compensate your team members with fair salaries that keep up with inflation.
On paper, a promotion is deceptively similar to a merit raise since it’s both a permanent increase to a worker’s salary and is performance-based.
The difference is a promotion involves elevating the employee into a brand-new role complete with its own set of responsibilities and required skills.
Merit increases, on the other hand, apply to the same role. In other words, the employee makes more money for doing the same job with a merit increase.
Promotions are still a great way to improve retention (although this is diminishing, as evidence shows 29% of employees leave their position within one month of being promoted), especially if you promote from within.
A LinkedIn study found that the average retention rate jumps from 45% to 70% for employees who received a promotion within their first three years at a company.
When Do Merit Increases Make Sense?
There are certain industries and positions that benefit from merit increases more than others.
In fact, merit raises aren’t even possible for some organizations lacking the budget to hand out pay increases.
As stated previously, NGOs, nonprofits, and government organizations often lack the funds to provide merit raises, and they’re certainly not alone. Small businesses can have the same issue, as can businesses with low-profit margins (like discount retail stores, grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores).
Here’s a look at the top scenarios where it makes sense to provide merit increases.
When Your Industry or Department Calls For Them
Since merit increases are financial incentives for employees to work as hard as they can, they make the most sense for:

These are by no means the only areas where merit increases happen, but they are the most common (and typically yield the largest percentages).
Even if an employee’s work doesn’t directly add to your bottom line, you should still reward outstanding performances with merit raises.
For example, if the team member handling your accounts payable never misses a payment and puts in hard work every day – rewarding them with a merit increase will help you retain them for the long term.
If you fail to recognize their contributions, don’t be surprised if they look for better opportunities elsewhere.
That’s why it’s crucial to reward employees in all roles if you have the capability.
To Retain Top-Performers
These are the employees who are first in line for merit increases since their work output is so strong.
They’re the salespeople who exceed quotas, the marketers who develop genius new promotions, and the recruiters who keep bringing in top talent – just to name a few.
Once again, if you don’t recognize and reward their rockstar performances, it won’t take long before they find a better opportunity somewhere else.
Yet, it’s important to avoid instances of favoritism here, so you should be as unbiased as possible when analyzing your employee’s performances.
Just because a salesperson outperformed three years in a row doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll maintain their momentum. Also, other employees will catch on if you reward an employee who didn’t truly earn it.
For this reason, you must pay close attention to your performance management metrics. Ensure that you’re rewarding your top performers with an appropriate merit increase based on their performance and not their popularity or past successes.
To Encourage Steady Improvers
Merit pay is also great for encouraging your steady improvers to stick with it and continue to evolve.
These are your employees who aren’t topping the charts yet but are well on their way. They could be new hires who are finally getting the hang of things, or they could be senior employees who have finally had an epiphany.
Regardless, it’s essential to encourage their improvement by rewarding them with things like merit increases, bonuses, and promotions.
Tips for Implementing Merit Increases
If you plan on using merit increases at your organization, you shouldn’t keep them a secret.
Instead, develop a merit increase policy that goes in your employee handbook. Also, train your managers to inform their team members of your policy to ensure everyone knows how they work.
After all, a merit raise can’t work as a financial incentive for an employee if they don’t know they exist.
Here are a few tips for implementing merit raises:

Be transparent. Every employee should understand your company’s expectations and the rewards they’ll receive for meeting goals.

Stay consistent. Your merit increase policy will fail if it’s not consistent. That’s because if an employee receives a merit raise for an outstanding performance one year but not the next, it’ll lead to confusion and resentment.

Align merit raises with company goals. You should determine which goals and behaviors you want to reward the most before you write out your policy. In particular, ensure that each merit increase aligns with one of your organizational goals.

Concluding Thoughts: Using Merit Increases
Financial rewards are crucial for maintaining healthy retention rates and a productive workforce.
If your top performers don’t receive rewards like bonuses, COLA raises, and merit increases, they’ll likely feel underappreciated and look for other opportunities.
Merit raises also serve as financial incentives for your employees to work harder and outperform the competition, which is a big reason why they’re so effective.

Launching a Crypto Consulting Business: Your Ultimate Guide for 2024 Success

In the thrilling world of cryptocurrencies, bridging the gap between uncertainty and success can often feel like a daunting task.That’s where the expertise of a crypto consulting firm comes in. Whether you’re lacking in-house knowledge or you’re keen to explore the untapped potential of blockchain technology, a crypto consultant’s know-how can be your guiding light.Starting a cryptocurrency exchange? There’s a lot to consider, from complex legal requirements to robust risk management strategies. A consultant can provide the blueprint you need to scale your project. Remember, investing in education and cutting-edge expertise through crypto consulting services can mitigate risks, ensure compliance, and position your business for future growth.Join me as we delve into the exciting journey of starting a crypto consulting business, and discover how this venture can help individuals and businesses navigate the often turbulent waters of the crypto landscape.Understanding Crypto ConsultingEntering the crypto consulting world begins with an understanding of the key players in this arena. The main player is a crypto consultant.What is a Crypto Consultant?In simple terms, a crypto consultant is an expert in both blockchain technology and digital currencies, drawing together an array of financial, strategic and legal expertise to guide individuals or businesses through the complex world of cryptocurrencies. From knowing the ins and outs of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and various other digital currencies, they provide assistance, advice and strategies for crypto investments.A crypto consultant isn’t just fluent in the language of crypto. They also understand the variances in regional and international regulations, as well as the implications those regulations might have on both businesses and private investors. Their skills cover aspects like smart contract understanding, blockchain security, and investment strategies, essential for the success in this dynamic and rapidly evolving field.Why Crypto Consulting is Essential TodayThe role of crypto consulting has never been more vital, with an increasing number of businesses turning to this field to make sense of the fluctuating, volatile, and sometimes confusing, world of digital currencies.Key to this is the fact that cryptocurrencies, blockchain and associated technologies are no longer on the outskirts of the mainstream. By 2024, it’s believed by many that they will in fact be at the core of numerous financial transactions and processes. As such, understanding, and successfully navigating these systems will be pivotal for business growth and resilience.Crypto consultants provide guidance to both businesses and individual investors, ensuring they understand the complexities involved and are equipped to make informed decisions. Ultimately, their role is to demystify crypto, making it more accessible and comprehensible for their clients.In addition, crypto consultants formulate strategies, develop use cases, implement smart contracts, ensure blockchain security, and deliver custom solutions for DApps and DAOs. With their help, businesses can leverage the best of what digital currencies offer, all whilst remaining compliant with regulations and secure against potential risks.Setting Up Your Crypto Consulting BusinessI’ve outlined important steps you can take towards establishing your crypto consulting enterprise. Always remember, as the crypto world evolves, special emphasis is placed on preparation and effective planning.Identifying Opportunities in the Cryptocurrency IndustryFirstly, it’s vital to identify opportunities within the crypto industry. As projected, the integration of crypto into mainstream finance by 2024 necessitates an understanding of industry trends—a critical foundation in recognizing potential areas of growth. For example, opportunities might exist in areas like developing blockchain solutions, advising on ICOs, or providing crypto asset management services.Conducting Market ResearchSecondly, look into performing comprehensive market research. It’s crucial to understand your potential clients, competitors and market conditions. This involves identifying your target audience, their needs, and challenges, as well as the key players in the crypto consulting space. Looking into these areas provides a clearer view of the market gap to fill.Creating Your Business PlanCreating your business plan forms the next step. Your plan should elaborate on your business model, marketing strategies, revenue projections, and operational structure. It must clearly define your service offerings and showcase how your firm intends to address the identified opportunities from the first step. Remember, a well-constructed business plan can act as a roadmap for your crypto consulting business.Ensuring Legal and Regulatory ComplianceDon’t forget to ensure legal and regulatory compliance. Navigating the legal landscape of the crypto industry can be complex. Laws and regulations related to cryptocurrencies vary widely and are continually evolving. Therefore, seek expert legal advice to ensure that your business operations are compliant with relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines.Securing Funding for Your BusinessMove on to identify suitable funding avenues for your business. It might include personal savings, angel investors, bank loans, or even venture capital firms. Remember, while securing funding, clarity is needed on how these funds will be utilized to ensure business sustainability and growth.Building a Skilled TeamLastly, focus on building a team of knowledgeable professionals skilled in cryptocurrencies. This team could consist of blockchain experts, financial analysts, legal advisors, and marketing professionals. An effective team plays a crucial role in driving the success of your crypto consulting enterprise and supporting clients through their crypto journey come 2024.By following these outlined steps, you’re undoubtedly a step closer to successfully setting up your crypto consulting business.Important Considerations in Crypto ConsultingAs we move closer to the significant year of crypto 2024, two fundamental aspects of crypto consulting need our attention – dealing with crypto market complexities and strategic implementation of technology and investments. Alongside these, a consultant’s adaptability and ability for innovation in this ever-evolving industry is a critical element.Dealing with Complexity in Crypto MarketsIn the volatile world of cryptocurrencies, complexity reigns supreme. From comprehending intricate blockchain technologies to unraveling the labyrinth of legal regulations, it’s a constant race for crypto consultants. They must also gain an understanding of market trends, including deciphering patterns in price fluctuations and deducing solid investment opportunities. Hence, thorough expertise combined with an insatiable curiosity are diametrical necessities for addressing the challenges of the crypto world.Strategic Investment and Technology ImplementationBeyond simply understanding the crypto industry’s complexities, implementing innovative technology-based strategies and making sound investment decisions is vital. As a crypto consultant, you must translate your extensive knowledge into strategic maneuvers. This includes guiding clients towards profitable investments, utilizing blockchain technology for business growth, and mitigating inherent risks. Furthermore, it’s critical for consultants to stay abreast of advancements in technology – like smart contracts or layer-2 solutions – to provide cutting-edge advice.Adapting and Innovating in a Fast-paced IndustryWith the winds of change blowing more swiftly than ever in the crypto world, adaptability is a non-negotiable attribute in a crypto consultant. Guidelines and regulations are continually evolving, with governments and financial institutions still grappling to regulate this relatively new domain comprehensively. Combined with an industry teeming with constant technological innovations, it’s vital for consultants to adapt quickly and embrace these changes. Emphasizing continuous learning and innovation helps in driving solutions that are in sync with the fast-paced rhythm of the crypto industry. Finally, integrating advanced technologies such as AI or blockchain analysis tools into your operations may boost efficiency and data accuracy, giving you an edge in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency.The Future of Crypto ConsultingIn the ever-changing world of cryptocurrencies, the role of crypto consulting cannot be overstated. As leaders in the business arena look towards the year 2024 the landscape of digital currencies and blockchain technology is expected to evolve drastically.Expectations and Predictions for Crypto Consulting in 2024As we peer into the future, crypto consulting has a pivotal role in shaping the course of digital currencies and blockchain technology. Here, I’ll detail some specific expectations and predictions for the field.Broad Acceptance of Cryptocurrencies: Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies is likely to surge. Examples include more retailers accepting digital currencies as payment, greater use of cryptocurrencies for remittances, and increased investment in cryptocurrencies by institutional investors. This widespread adoption calls for expert consultants who can guide businesses in this transition.
Advanced Compliance and Regulatory Insights: As digital currencies become more prevalent, governments worldwide are likely to establish stringent regulations to ensure transparency, prevent fraud, and protect investors. Crypto consultants armed with knowledge of these legal frameworks offer businesses the certainty they require to navigate the crypto landscape.
Emergence of New Cryptocurrencies: In a continually evolving market, new cryptocurrencies with distinctive features and capabilities might spring up. Crypto consultants, by keeping a finger on the pulse of market trends and innovation, can provide crucial guidance to businesses willing to explore these new digital assets.
Improved Blockchain Applications: Blockchain technology is not confined to digital currencies alone. By the advent of crypto 2024, businesses across various sectors might find innovative uses for blockchain technology, raising the demand for consultants knowledgeable in this field.
Skill and Knowledge Evolution: The crypto landscape changes rapidly. It’s expected that today’s consultants will need to adapt and acquire new skills to remain relevant in the future. This evolution could include a deeper understanding of emerging trends, advanced technologies, and fresh legal regulations.
Looking ahead to crypto 2024, it’s clear that the explosion of the crypto sector will create a demand for specialized experts. These consultants stand to play an invaluable role in integrating digital assets and blockchain technology into everyday business operations, thus shaping the future of this revolutionary field.ConclusionAs we’ve delved into the world of crypto consulting, it’s clear that this field is poised for substantial growth. The journey towards “crypto 2024” is filled with opportunities for those who are equipped with the right knowledge and skills. As a crypto consultant, you’ll be at the forefront of the digital revolution, guiding businesses through the dynamic landscape of cryptocurrencies. You’ll help shape the integration of digital assets into everyday operations, ensuring compliance, and unlocking new investment avenues. The demand for your expertise will only increase as cryptocurrencies become more mainstream. So, if you’re ready to ride the wave of the future, starting a crypto consulting business could be your golden ticket. Brace yourself for an exciting journey into the world of digital currencies and blockchain technology. The future is digital, and it’s time to seize the opportunity.

Namibia could remain greylisted due to lack of business compliance

Namibia is in danger of remaining greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

This comes after only 40 000 businesses have complied with the directive to update company documents with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa).

Bipa is currently in the process of updating business ownership documents under its beneficial ownership directive.

Bipa spokesperson Ockert Jansen yesterday told Desert Radio, only 40 000 out of the 218 000 registered businesses have complied with the directive since last year.

“So, we have an 18% compliance rate.

This is a very serious matter, because if compliance is so low, Namibia would remain on the grey,” he said.

Namibia has been greylisted because it has not sufficiently improved its beneficial ownership declaration compliance figures.

The country has nine months to improve on this.

Jansen said over 100 000 businesses have been sanctioned by Bipa after failing to comply with the beneficial ownership directive.

“From 12 March, we started issuing administrative sanctions.

The law permits the registrar, which is Bipa, to issue sanctions and penalties of up to N$50 000 once off for non-compliance, and N$1 000 a day for every day this contravention persists,”said Jansen.

He said the authority could also impose criminal sanctions as prescribed by the Bipa Act.

“It is important for businesses to comply, because financial intelligence agencies are able to investigate financial and related crimes, and it also helps with speedy prosecution if necessary,” Jansen said.

He said the authority is taking steps against non-compliant businesses.

Jansen said because Bipa wants to promote business it has been lenient on penalty charges.

“The current penalty, based on metrics, is a once-off penalty of N$3 750, and then there’s a daily penalty of N$75 for each day you have not submitted your beneficial ownership form,” he said.

Jansen said those with penalties will not be required to pay them immediately when they submit the beneficial ownership form, and can pay it off.

“You can make arrangements, but the most important thing is that you comply by submitting the form,” he said.

Jansen said the Companies and Close Corporations Act was amended last July to include beneficial ownership as a legal requirement for all registered businesses.

“It means all registered businesses – whether you’re a closed corporation, company or a Section 21 entity, foreign or local, as long as you are registered in Namibia – are required to submit to the registrar accurate and up-to-date beneficial ownership information.”

William McDonough ‘The Sustainability Crises of Our Time: A Business Perspective’

William McDonough ranked among the highest in the category of values-aligned impact for the Real Leaders Top 50 Keynote Speakers awards.

His speech at the Global Sustainable Development Congress in May 2023 at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia encourages “waging peace through commerce.” Here’s an excerpt.

By William McDonough

“So what I’ve seen in the last 40, 50 years now is this awareness of change. That is not always positive. And we hear about these certain changes like the Silent Spring announcements in the United States, DDT, or on various kinds of pollution, various kinds of desertification, and so on. And this buildup does not leave room for question — it’s really a climate crisis, as we’ve heard the words. It’s not just change. We’ve now reached the point where change has become a crisis. So I think that idea, and the urgency that it requires … it’s very important. This is a crisis that built up slowly, and there is no better time than the present to make positive change to ensure a future on planet earth for our children of all generations to come. …

When John Kennedy in 1960 said, ‘We are going to the moon,’ the people who did that — and I know because I designed NASA (International) Space Station on Earth — did it in nine years, not a decade. … And the average age of the NASA engineer who put Neil Armstrong on the moon was 28, which means when President Kennedy said, ‘We’re going to the moon,’ they were students. So how important is education and its leadership?

We have seen the business community take this up. It started with the leaders. It started with very senior business leaders, but it then morphed into sustainability becoming a normal statement with not a highly defined set of parameters, except the first one from the (United Nations) Brundtland Commission, which was: Meet the needs of the present generation while allowing future generations to meet their own needs.

But a sustainable, safe, then circular future is about more than just needs. It’s also wants. So we then saw companies setting up chief sustainability officers, and then the whole C-suite. We need leaders, and we need leaders in the academic institutions living it every day, and we need faculty, students who enjoy it and understand this is the future that we decide and make. 

And so we’re at the point now of crisis, and everywhere we see people calling for ESG and getting confused or calling for sustainability without knowing what it means, and we see very strident regulations coming out of Europe even to this day, we see a lot of anxiety, or the concept of offsets and how to report our carbon footprints, and things like that. So it’s an amazing time, and we need clarity and the academic community and the business community to both come together to — I think of it as waging peace through commerce.”

How climbing Mount Everest went from heroic feat to business proposition

– ADVERTISEMENT – Book jacket: Everest, Inc.: The Renegades and Rogues Who Built an Industry at the Top of the WorldBy Will Cockrell, Gallery. 331 pp. $29.99. PHOTO: MUST CREDIT: GalleryIt’s hard to imagine how monumental Britain’s successful summit of Mount Everest was in 1953. Fourteen previous attempts – three major British ones alone between 1921 and 1924 – had failed to conquer the 29,035-foot-high peak. Expeditions were military in scale, requiring huge teams and tons of supplies. They were also intimately bound up with entrenched ideas of class. George Finch, one of the strongest mountaineers in the nation and a pioneer in the use of supplemental oxygen, who had made it to around 27,000 feet in 1922, was blocked from being part of the 1924 expedition because of his pedigree, or lack thereof. In 1924, two of the nation’s best climbers, Sandy Irvine and George Mallory, vanished on the mountain. The victorious effort in 1953 was led by a military officer born in the British Raj. When the news broke in London just in time for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, it was broadcast over speakers along the queen’s parade route. This was a triumph of imperial ambition, the kind of feat that only a Western empire could produce.Or so it seemed then. “Everest, Inc.: The Renegades and Rogues Who Built an Industry at the Top of the World,” by Will Cockrell, tells the story of how those impossible and deadly heights have now been summitted, according to one recent count, 11,966 times by 6,664 people. The vast majority of them are clients who pay upward of six figures for the privilege of being led up the mountain clutching prefixed rope handrails, breathing bottled oxygen cached by others, after several weeks of living in a sprawling base camp city of thousands in carpeted, heated and well-fed luxury. Some particularly high-end clients start acclimatizing weeks early in plastic bubbles delivered to their homes. Recent summiteers have included blind people, two 13-year-olds, septuagenarians and even double amputees.Making Everest as easily purchased as a Caribbean cruise did not happen immediately. For years after 1953, the mountain remained a singular test of alpine skill and endurance. Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit in 1963; Reinhold Messner the first to summit without supplemental oxygen in 1978. In the early 1980s, two events coincided. Lou Whittaker, Jim’s twin brother, himself an elite climber and owner of a guiding service, decided to attempt Everest via a first ascent of the North Wall, a new and difficult route. And a rich, middle-aged Texan named Dick Bass, creator of Snowbird Ski Resort, hatched an idea to climb the highest peak on each of the seven continents. Whittaker needed $180,000to fund his expedition, and Bass agreed to pay for the entire thing – if he got to tag along. “It was the unlikeliest of alliances,” Cockrell writes. “No mountain guide had ever brought someone to Everest before, bearing explicit responsibility for that person’s success and safety.”Bass reached the summit on his third try, in 1985 at the age of 55, thanks in large part to all the money he’d thrown at the endeavor. “The legend of Dick Bass was born not in the moment when he staggered into Everest base camp safely,” Cockrell writes. “It was when the man they called Large Mouth Bass began telling stories [and] the whole idea of climbing Everest began to change in the public eye.” There was no unseeing it: This staggeringly difficult athletic feat that money could not buy was a commodity after all.“Everest, Inc.” is an apt title, because the story it tells is ultimately a business one – how Western climbing guides turned Everest from a feat of will and ability into one of logistics. Technology made oxygen lighter and more reliable, with much higher flow rates, and the mountain’s fickle weather more predictable. Posher camps enabled weaker climbers more rest. Sherpas, formerly used as high-altitude beasts of burden, became skilled alpinists; one named Kami Rita Sherpa has summited the peak 29 times. Everest was thus decoded: In 1993 alone, more climbers reached the top in one season than in the 26 years after the first ascent.Of course, death lurked. When Bass met Whittaker, more people had died trying to summit than had made it. To a certain kind of person, it turns out, there’s no headier allure. The eight who perished during the 1996 season, an event exhaustively covered by the kind of magazines Cockrell has long written for – among them, Outside and Men’s Journal – and then in Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air,” only amped the climb’s popularity. “To the potential clients, the possibility of death was an opportunity for rebirth,” Cockrell writes. “All our trips filled up after [the 1996 deaths],” a guide told him. “I felt like I could sell a penny-size Everest rock for fifteen grand.”Is all of this Everest access a good thing? As the author of a book about the guides and the guiding industry that brought this change, Cockrell doesn’t have much choice in answering; for him it’s a hard yes. It’s still the world’s highest mountain, after all, with all that entails – danger, effort, a profound experience (no matter how reduced) that takes weeks, a killer view. Why shouldn’t anyone get to experience that? But it’s hard not to look at those pictures of clients stacked on the side of the mountain in long lines, clutching their handrails, and not think: Gross. That something fundamental to exploration and adventure and the human experience of it has been lost, is lost; that the thing they’ve purchased is a thing so vastly different from its very idea as to render it meaningless.“Everest, Inc.” feels too rah-rah in support of the industry, sometimes, and it would have been a better book if Cockrell had slowed down and plumbed those philosophical questions more deeply. There are also too many names – I counted 39 on one page alone – and it’s odd that he never delves into the dramatic expansion of helicopters that abets both rescues and logistics. Yet there is also a much more recent part of the Everest story that is important and powerful: the gradual awakening of Sherpas to their role and skills – and long exploitation – on the mountain. In a history inextricably woven with colonialism and empire, Everest has finally become a largely Nepalese business. The five biggest companies operating on the mountain are now owned, staffed and guided by Nepalese. If someone is going to make a buck out of selling the once-revered icon, it might as well be the locals.– – –Carl Hoffman is the author of five books, including “Liar’s Circus,” “The Last Wild Men of Borneo” and “Savage Harvest.”– – – Previous Post

Explore Business Opportunities at the 3 Counties Expo in Watford

The 3 Counties Expo returns to the vibrant city of Watford, set to take place on April 25th, 2024, at the prestigious Hilton Hotel’s New Hertford Suite, located at Elton Way, Watford WD25 8HA.
The 3 Counties Expo Watford is a premier business event that welcomes visitors from the region and is free to enter for all attendees. Whether you are an established business owner, an aspiring entrepreneur, or seeking to expand your business horizons, this event is designed to meet your needs.
With over 50 exhibitors showcasing a diverse range of products and services, attendees will have ample opportunities to network, forge valuable connections, and explore potential relationships. Moreover, the expo features complimentary workshops designed to impart valuable insights and business tips.
Since its inception in 2016, the 3 Counties Expo has brought together industry leaders, innovators, and decision-makers, serving as a catalyst for fostering new business relationships and driving growth.
“We are thrilled to host the 3 Counties Expo in Watford once again,” said Debbie Gilbert at  3-Counties Expo. “This event is not only a platform for showcasing the latest innovations and trends but also a hub for fostering collaboration and driving business success.”
To register as a visitor please visit 3-Counties Watford Additionally, attendees can reserve their place at the networking lunch by booking online at Watford Networking
Join us at the 3 Counties Expo Watford and unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success. We look forward to welcoming you on April 25th!

I Want to Throw in the Towel and Quit My Business — Here’s How to Know When to Stick With or Let Go of Your Business

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I went through several tough years in my business. During that time, problems came one after another. Just when I felt like I had things under control and things were turning around, another challenge arose. In my coaching with entrepreneurs, this is a common experience. Being in business is challenging. There are hard times, and sometimes these go on for a long time. How do you know when it is time to quit? How do you know when to persist?Nine out of ten entrepreneurs are burning out, based on the research we’ve been conducting using the Better Business, Better Life Assessment over the last four years. Burnout is insidious. It comes on slowly as we tell ourselves, “I can muddle through.” When we muddle through for an extended period, our capacity for resilience diminishes, and symptoms of burnout increase. One of the more severe symptoms of burnout is a loss of hope for a promising future. It’s often at this point that we want to throw in the towel.Related: How to Spot Entrepreneurial Burnout (Before It’s Too Late)

When you feel that way, assessing what is truly going on with the business is vital. Avoid making any rash decisions when you are in the middle of a crisis. Give yourself thirty days to assess the situation and explore your options.The Better Business, Better Life Assessment is a crucial tool in your journey to combat burnout and help you assess your business’s health. It’s the only assessment designed by a business psychologist that evaluates entrepreneurial burnout about the health of your business systems. Our findings show that burnout symptoms escalate in businesses with system gaps. Entrepreneurs who are not burning out have nearly double the number of systems in place compared to those who experience burnout. By taking this assessment, you’ll receive valuable feedback on the systems that need improvement in your business, leading to a higher quality of life.

In my coaching with entrepreneurs, I notice that allowing vulnerabilities to exist in our business for too long can be easy. We are aware of problems, but we avoid addressing them. Allowing multiple vulnerabilities to exist in the business for an extended period makes us particularly vulnerable to problems stacking up quickly in a short period. For example, keeping a toxic team member because your busy season is coming up could lead to that person quitting when you need them the most.Cash flow is a struggle that, when it persists for an extended period, can make us vulnerable to burnout as we make survival-trap decisions that can worsen our situation. Multiple issues could be at play when cash flow is a struggle. Dig deeper instead of assuming that increasing sales is the solution to your cash flow challenge.Related: 7 Tips To Avoiding Burnout As an EntrepreneurIf your revenue has been increasing, and cash flow is a challenge, it’s likely that expenses are outpacing revenue. This happens frequently in growing businesses, particularly as you add team members to meet increased demand. In this situation, you will want to look at ways to improve business efficiency and reduce payroll costs. What expenses can be cut? What activities are team members doing that can be automated? Do you have underperforming team members? If so, let them go.

If sales stagnate or slow down, you are likely not serving your sweet spot. Your offering may not appeal to your top clients. Identifying your top clients and interviewing them to better understand their needs will help you align your offering to better serve their needs and give you insight into how to adjust your marketing messaging to attract more business from clients like your top clients.Often, the people challenges can make us want to throw in the towel. Dealing with difficult or demanding customers takes a toll on us and our team. Dealing with underperforming team members who are not coachable can make us question our leadership skills. Adding a system to help you consistently attract A-players to your team will help you reduce drama on your team. Similarly, putting a system in place to attract top-quality clients while creating filters to screen out poor-fit clients will reduce the PITA (“Pain in the Assets”) clients.Related: Small Business Burnout: How to Learn the Signs and Avoid ItSeek out support. When I went through hard times, I worked with my coach. The objective perspective was invaluable — we all have blind spots. I also confided in other business owners and derived great support from the awareness that I was not the only one having this experience and hearing about their experiences. Often, I could formulate a more effective plan after receiving input from my coach and peers in similar situations.

I intentionally identified early signs of success to let me know my plan was working. I also focused on wins and successes each week, which helped me keep moving forward, even when there were setbacks. Due to the challenges we experienced, we strengthened several systems. Because of that, our cash flow is stronger than ever.Deciding to let the business go is a viable option, particularly for entrepreneurs who have been experiencing severe burnout for an extended period of time. In this situation, it can be helpful to work with a coach to determine the best way to transition the business, what can be strengthened in the business over six to twelve months to increase its value, and what is not worth the effort.Entrepreneurship demands a lot of us. Prioritizing our self-care and seeking support will help us make the best decisions during tough times.