Small business in the post Covid economy

It has always been a challenge to run a successful business, and with less resources, experience and cash than bigger organizations, keeping yours afloat gets even more daunting. And while this was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, this “Once in a lifetime” scourge on humanity has made this at least a few magnitudes more difficult with over 34.6 million cases and 610,000 deaths in the US according to the Johns Hopkins Resource Center as of the end of July. Also realize that while larger businesses often garner the attention, 99% of businesses in the US are considered small.

Businesses, and particularly small businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey released in July 2021 done by NEXT Insurance gives us an idea of the toll this virus has taken on business. It really has represented the largest threat to business over the last century. This has included that 44% of small businesses have experienced a “Major impact” from COVID-19, consisting of loss of revenue. The toll has been even greater on some subgroups, as among Millennial, and Baby Boomer business owners, the revenue loss is greater than 50%. In this survey, over half of respondents- more precisely 56%- indicate that they took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for revenue supplementation and to meet business expenses. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, a staggering 1 in 5 businesses had to close at some point during this pandemic, either fully, or partially, and approximately 80% of them had to make adaptations.

Vivint security systems

Vivint provides smart home security professionally installed to suit any premises with 24/7 customer care and monitoring. Based in the US, the company employs 11,000 staff and covers North America and Canada. Home automation is a large part of the business and its security offerings can be customized to suit both residential and commercial property. 

With a wide range of smart security devices to choose from, Vivint can offer simple surveillance with indoor and outdoor IP cameras or smart sensors and alarms capable of detecting smoke, CO2 and intruders. The same system can automate many aspects of the home too, such as smart locks, lights and thermostats. A basic security package that would suit a small to medium sized business begins at $599 for the equipment and $53.99 per month for 24/7 maintenance and monitoring. 


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Vivint charges a flat $49 fee for professional installation (Image credit: Vivint)

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Best laptops for teachers 2021: top notebooks for the classroom

The best laptop for teachers of 2021 needs to tick a few specific things off the list to be right for the job. After all, educators need the best tools for the job without breaking the bank. Luckily, there are plenty of solid options that are not only capable but also fit within a teacher’s budget, just in time as they prepare to head back to school.

These notebooks need to be able to run all the educational apps teachers use without any issues. This means that the best laptops for educators in 2021 have to come with fast RAM and a somewhat powerful CPU. Having enough storage space is also a must to keep all those presentations and documents on hand. On top of that, a decent amount of ports, a great keyboard and trackpad, the weight and size of an Ultrabook, and a great display that won’t strain the eyes are all important considerations.

Since there are so many options out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. To help, we’ve collected the best laptops for teachers, whether it’s for online classes or in-person ones just in time for back to school season.

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is portable, powerful and comes with a long battery life.

(Image credit: Apple)

1. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Best Apple laptop for teachers on the budget

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1

Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology

Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Battery life is great+Silent in use+Keyboard very good

Reasons to avoid

No new designFanless design could impact performance

Best Back to School Accessories for MacBook in 2021

  • This article originally appeared on Android Central and has been inducted into our Back to School guide

It’s getting close to the back-to-school season, when students will be out buying the supplies that will carry them through the next year in their education. For MacBook users, there are a number of great accessories you should think about picking up to enhance your Mac experience, from a great backpack for carrying your computer around to a great portable drive.

(Image credit: Future)

JanSport Cool Student Backpack

(Image credit: JanSport)

1. JanSport Cool Student Backpack

Keep it cool

This backpack has enough space to accommodate any MacBook or MacBook Pro, as well as books, pencils, pens, and other school supplies. Features four exterior pockets for various necessities like a portable hard drive or SSD, and is available in several excellent colors.

(Image credit: Future)

Fabriq Portable Wireless Speaker

(Image credit: Fabriq)

2. Fabriq Portable Wireless Speaker

Budget AirPlay

This tiny speaker supports both Bluetooth and AirPlay, and won’t take up a lot of in cramped dorms, nor money out of your wallet. Covered in fabric with three eye-catching patterns, the Fabriq speaker features an active battery life of around five hours.

(Image credit: Future)

Libratone Zipp Mini

(Image credit: Libratone)

3. Libratone Zipp Mini

Pump up the volume

The Libratone Zipp Mini will fit easily into your living space. It supports Bluetooth and AirPlay 2, and is portable, with an active battery life of around 10 hours.

(Image credit: Future)

Twelve South BookArc vertical stand

(Image credit: Twelve South)

4. Twelve South BookArc vertical stand

Keep it closed

If you like to use your MacBook with an external monitor, this Twelve South stand is an excellent choice. It stylishly keeps your MacBook from taking up a lot of precious desk space and comes in either silver or space gray.

(Image credit: Future)

Bestand Aluminum Cooling Stand

(Image credit: Bestand)

5. Bestand Aluminum Cooling Stand

Stand it up

For those that use your laptop without an external monitor, but want to elevate it and get a little extra cooling, check out Bestand’s aluminum cooling stand. Elevating your MacBook at an angle, this stand offers a little extra help keeping your computer cool, and is great for use with external accessories like keyboards and mice.

(Image credit: Future)

Anker Ultra Compact Slim

(Image credit: Anker)

6. Anker Ultra Compact Slim

Budget-friendly keyboard

Taking up minimal desk space, this Anker Bluetooth keyboard is ultra compact and made for Mac users. It can last up to six months on a single charge, and will also work with any iPhone, Android handset, or tablet that you have.

(Image credit: Future)

Matias Bluetooth Wireless Aluminum Keyboard

(Image credit: Matias)

7. Matias Bluetooth Wireless Aluminum Keyboard

Bigger and better

If you need extended functionality in your keyboard, check out This slim Matias offering. Available in gold, silver, and space gray, this keyboard features a full range of keys, including a number pad, and can pair up to four devices, letting you switch between them with a button press.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung T5 SSD

(Image credit: Samsung)

8. Samsung T5 SSD

Portable and speedy

This solid state drive from Samsung is speedy, tiny, and portable. It also connects using USB-C, making it a perfect companion for your new Mac. Comes with both a USB-A-to-USB-C cable and a USB-C-to-USB-C cable.

(Image credit: Future)

LaCie Rugged USB-C

(Image credit: LaCie)

9. LaCie Rugged USB-C external hard drive

Store everything

LaCie is known for its excellent hard drives, and this one, rugged and with options ranging from 1TB to 5TB of storage, is a fine example of why. With USB-C for fast transfers, this is a perfect drive for your movie and TV show collection, and you should need another one for quite a while.

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS ZenScreen monitor

(Image credit: ASUS)

10. ASUS ZenScreen monitor

Portable monitor

In a small dorm space, this portable monitor from ASUS is a great external option, particularly if you have a 12-inch MacBook or 13-inch MacBook Pro. At 15.6 inches, this monitor provides excellent color and enough space for your work, and connects to your MacBook through a single USB-C cable.

(Image credit: Future)

HP Envy 27

(Image credit: HP)

11. HP Envy 27

Less portable, more workspace

If you’ve got enough space in your dorm, this 27-inch 4K monitor is great for spreading your work out. Can connect over USB-C, and features great colors and quick response time. It’s also an anti-glare panel, so you can work without worrying about the sun causing problems.

(Image credit: Future)

BEATS Studio3

(Image credit: Beats)

12. Beats Studio3

Peace and quiet