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Tue 14th Mar 2017 - Update: Eagle Eye, Notes and business rates relief
Eagle Eye signs partnership to deliver digital loyalty solutions: Eagle Eye, the technology company that validates and redeems digital promotions in real-time for the hospitality industry and others, and TCC Global, a leading retail marketing company, established 25 years ago and working with around 500 retailers in 70 markets, have signed an exclusive partnership to deliver digital loyalty solutions in Europe. The partnership will give retailers across Europe the ability for the first time to run loyalty campaigns and develop loyalty marketing strategies on a digital platform and develop 24-7 brand affinity with the consumer. These solutions will unlock a wealth of data that will enable TCC to drive frequency and participation for retailers, growing sales and developing a deeper emotional connection between the retailer and the shopper. Loyalty campaigns can be tailored in real-time to maximize awareness and create a truly personalised experience for shoppers. A core part of TCC’s campaigns are the element of delivering consumers real, meaningful and tailored rewards. As such, they partner with some of the world’s biggest brands to develop exclusive reward properties including Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers, Pyrex, MasterChef and Red Bull Racing. In addition, the partnership will enable retailers to generate real-time issuance and redemption data from these loyalty campaigns, providing significant cost savings and the ability to build a long-term relevant relationship with loyal customers, across the channels of their choice. Tim Mason, chief executive of Eagle Eye said: “We are now living in a world where digital and mobile have transformed our lives. Creating personalisation, relevance and convenience, digital channels are reshaping the way that shoppers make choices. However, in the retail space, this transformation stops at the shop door. Our platform enables retailers to make this digital leap and connect with consumers in real-time at the right time and location, creating much more efficient performance marketing. TCC Global is a market leader in their field and work with many of Europe’s most important retailers, making them a logical partner. In summary, this partnership with TCC Global enables us to build on our success in the UK and to accelerate our growth by this move into Europe, in line with our strategic growth goals.” Perry Valkenburg, chief executive of TCC Global said: “In the new world of retail, where bricks, clicks and commerce are fully integrated, it is more important than ever to provide the best possible solutions. Eagle Eye’s digital engagement platform will allow TCC Global to deliver loyalty online, in-store and in real-time. As a combined force we can deliver unrivalled loyalty campaigns to the global retail market. This is a further innovation to support our customers, following our acquisition of Summit, the online retailing experts. The partnership with Eagle Eye fits perfectly with our vision to assist our clients in retaining and rewarding their best customers, attracting new shoppers and creating tailored marketing solutions across the entire online and offline value chain.” Meanwhile, Eagle Eye reported revenue increased by 72% to £5.1m in the six month to 3 December 2016 (H1 2016: £3.0m) – ahead of market expectations of £4.8m, with accelerating revenue growth half-on-half, 44% H1 2017 vs. H2 2016 (H2 2016 vs. H1 2016: 19%). Revenue from subscription fees and transactions over the network represented 66% of total revenue in H1 2017 (H1 2016: 84%) reflecting a ‘deepening’ of Eagle Eye’s technology within major accounts.

Notes plans 14 more sites after securing loan: Coffee shop and wine bar chain Notes has struck a deal for a £600,000 loan to open two further branches in London, including its largest site to date, City AM has reported. The company has six sites in London, and has secured the loan from OakNorth. It plans the opening of a further 14 stores. The deal is also the first to be completed under the British Business Bank’s Help to Grow Programme, which was set up to encourage more lending to the country’s small businesses. “Between January 2015 and February 2016, Notes grew from two sites to six and we added a central production facility that can cope with up to 14 more sites,” said Alan Goulden and Edward Halfon, directors at Notes. “We are a very ambitious company that wants to continue scaling at pace, so we’re delighted that we now have the finance enabling us to do that.” Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance, and Deepesh Thakrar, debt finance director, at OakNorth Bank, added: “We’re delighted to have completed this deal with Notes – not just because it is a fast-growing and ambitious business like ours, but also because it is the first deal we have closed under the Help to Grow scheme. This is exactly what the programme was set up for and we look forward to working with the British Business Bank to close additional deals in the future.”

Government’s business rates relief is a “stay of execution”: The government’s promise to protect pubs by giving them a £1,000 business rates discount has been described as a “stay of execution” rather than long-term support by a Labour MP, as new industry estimates suggested thousands of businesses would get no help at all. MP Jim McMahon said industry estimates suggested the chancellor may have overstated how many pubs would qualify for the support. He said there were also serious questions over how pubs would afford to stay open when the support ends as scheduled in April 2018. “Pubs are at the heart of community life. So it’s disappointing that all the chancellor can muster is a half-hearted response. For many in the pub industry this feels like a stay of execution. It does little to reassure the hard-working business owners that the Tories keep promising to help,” McMahon told The Guardian. “I’m calling on the government to issue clarity on this important issue.” In his budget speech last Wednesday, Hammond said that 90% of all pubs had a rateable value of less than £100,000. But industry group the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) estimated a smaller proportion were likely to qualify for the discount, partly because of rules on how much state aid can go to any one pub company. EU rules restrict state aid to €200,000 (£174,000) per business over three years. The BBPA said that meant larger pub-owning companies with managed premises might not be able to receive the business rates discount, or would be eligible only for part of it. “Our analysis suggests that between 3,000 and 4,000 pubs could miss out on the relief. This would mean that of rate-paying pubs, we would expect 72% to 75% to benefit from relief, as opposed to the 90% stated,” said a spokesman for BBPA. A Treasury spokesman said: “The budget announced a £1,000 business rates discount for the 90% of pubs in England which have a rateable value below £100,000. We were clear that this is subject to state aid limits, and even businesses with more than one pub could receive up to the full £174,000 limit in one year. In addition, pubs can also access the £300m of discretionary relief controlled by local authorities. This is on top of £9bn of rates cuts coming into effect in April for all businesses, including pubs, and £3.6bn of transitional relief to support businesses as part of the revaluation.”

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