EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 35, Monday, July 26, 2021

By William (Bill) Edwards, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

Key Trends This Issue

The good news this issue is excellent business growth in many countries. The not so good news is continued low vaccination rates in some parts of the world and the spread of the Delta variant. Despite the mixed signals, The USA, Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom are seeing strong business recovery and significant levels of vaccinations. Getting workers to come back to city centers and work in high rise office buildings is seeing push back in many world business capitals.

“By working together, pooling our resources and building on our strengths, we can accomplish great things”, Ronald Reagan

“Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow”, Oprah Winfrey

“Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality.” –Margaret Atwood

Highlights in issue #35:

  • Brand News Section: Biggby Coffee®, Burger King® UK, Denny’s®, F45®, Famous Dave’s®, Neighborly®, Propelled Brands, Tony Roma’s®, Xponential Fitness

Our Mission and Information Sources

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. 

We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Interesting Data and Studies

IMF to keep 2021 global growth forecast at 6%The International Monetary Fund is estimating this month that global growth for 2021 will be about 6%, the same as forecast in April, but with some countries growing faster and others more slowly, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday.”, Reuters, July 21, 2021

Ranked: The Most Innovative Companies in 2021 – This year has been rife with pandemic-induced changes that have shifted corporate priorities—and yet, innovation has remained a top concern among corporations worldwide. Using data from the annual ranking done by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) using a poll of 1,600 global innovation professionals, this graphic ranks the top 50 most innovative companies in 2021.”, Boston Consulting Group, via Visual Capitalist, July 19, 2021

The combined market cap of the world’s top 50 companies was proportional to 27.6% of global GDP in 2020, up from just 4.7% of global GDP in 1990. Tech’s role continues to grow, now accounting for 21 of the top 50 companies.”, Visual Capitalist, July 19, 2021

The World’s Tech Giants, Compared to the Size of Economies – If Apple’s market capitalization was equal to a country’s annual GDP, it might just be in the G7. At a market cap of more than $2.1 trillion, Apple’s market capitalization is larger than 96% of country GDPs, a list that includes Italy, Brazil, Canada, and Russia. In fact, only seven countries in the world have a higher GDP than Apple’s market cap.”, Visual Capitalist, July 7, 2021

“‘Zero Covid’ economies like Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia risk being left behind – The Economist Intelligence Unit said Asia-Pacific’s coronavirus elimination strategies are likely to undercut rather than support economic activity. Rising vaccination rates in North America and Europe are driving a global recovery, while Asian countries struggle to reconnect with the outside world.”, South China Morning Post, July 23, 2021

Port of Rotterdam freight volumes rise as trade recovers – Freight volumes in the port of Rotterdam rose 5.8% on a yearly basis in the first half of 2021, as international trade recovered from its coronavirus slump, Europe’s largest sea port said on Thursday. Traffic took a big hit from COVID-19 in the first half of 2020, and despite its recovery, throughput is still not back at levels seen before the outbreak of the pandemic, port authorities said.”, Reuters, July 22, 2021

Global Franchise Supply Chain Management Is Critical for International Success – By: William Edwards (your newsletter editor) – The Lexico Oxford Dictionary defines supply chain as ‘the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity.’ Covid has interrupted and disrupted the global supply chain, adding new challenges for international franchise brands.”,, July 20, 2021

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Canada plans to reopen to American tourists by mid-August, other countries by September – The move to reopen Canada to Americans for leisure reasons would mark a major step in the reopening of the border between the two nations, which has largely remained shut since March 2020.”, The Points Guy, July 16, 2021

Delta Air Lines Sticks With SydneyFor any international airline, flying into Australia these days is a tough business. While some airlines have cut their losses, suspending or axing flights to Australia, others have kept flying. Delta Air Lines is one of the stayers. Nearly a year and a half into the travel downturn, Delta continues to fly to Australia every day.”, Simple Flying, July 19, 2021

Europe’s summer tourism outlook dimmed by variants, rulesChaos and confusion over travel rules and measures to contain fresh virus outbreaks are contributing to another cruel summer for Europe’s battered tourism industry. Popular destination countries are grappling with surging COVID-19 variants, but the patchwork and last-minute nature of the efforts as the peak season gets underway threatens to derail another summer.”, ABC News, July 25, 2021

Singapore is looking to allow quarantine-free travel by September – Singapore is planning to open its borders for international tourism later this year. The country said on Monday that it’s hoping to allow a quarantine-free travel option for fully vaccinated travelers as of September 2021. By September, the government hopes that 80% of the city-state’s population will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”, The Points Guy, July 26, 2021

LATAM Resumes Flights from São Paulo to Paris, Bogotá – While domestic capacity in Brazil is rebounding strongly, with LATAM reaching 75% of pre-Covid-19 numbers in July, international figures are still very much lagging behind and surrounding the numbers seen at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.”, Airline Geeks, July 21, 2021

Qatar Airways was voted the best airline in the world for 2021, according to The Doha-based airline was awarded the top spot based on a host of criteria, including the age of its fleet, passenger reviews, and product offerings, as well as its “commitment to keeping the world’s critical long-haul air routes open during COVID-19,” according to the site. In addition to the No. 1 ranking, Qatar Airways also took the top spots for best business class …. and best catering.”, Travel and Leisure, July 22, 2021

Emirates flights from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka suspended until July 28Passengers who have transited through any of these four countries in the past 14 days will also not be allowed to travel.”, The National News, July 23, 2021

Thailand Limits Domestic Travel As COVID-19 Cases Surge – With COVID-19 cases rising in many parts of the country, Thailand is suspending most domestic flights, making it even more complicated to move about the southeast Asian nation, a favorite for digital nomads. This includes a ban on domestic flights to and from Bangkok, the Thai capital. International flights will still be permitted to land in Bangkok and other airports, as will emergency flights and flights related to special “sandbox” travel programs.”, Travel and Leisure, July 21, 2021

Big-ship cruises to Alaska finally resume today after a nearly 2-year hiatus – In a watershed moment for the comeback of cruising, Royal Caribbean late Monday will kick off the first voyage to the “last frontier” state by a major cruise ship since the last week of September in 2019.”, The Points Guy, July 19, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

Unequal Vaccine Distribution Hampers Global Recovery – Almost a quarter of the global population has received at least one jab. About 24 percent of the global population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but distribution has been vastly unequal. In general, wealthier, more advanced economies have better access to vaccines and greater ability to administer them.”, Geopolitical Futures, July 23, 2021

The Delta variant throws a wrench in companies’ return to the office plans – Yet amid this latest wave of COVID-19 cases, 74% of companies that still have employees working remotely are planning on returning to the office this fall, according to a survey conducted in June by staffing firm LaSalle Network…..But with cases on the rise, companies are bracing for changes and, in some cases, rethinking their timeline entirely. “, Fortune, July 26, 2021

Big fall in (UK) Covid cases suggests third wave has peakedBoris Johnson has said the recent fall in coronavirus cases is “encouraging” although he warned the public that “we are not out of the woods yet”. The prime minister has said that the government still expected to see a rise in case numbers given the relaxation of measures last week.”, The Times of London, July 26, 2021

Italy Will Require COVID Passes for Restaurants, Museums, and More – With coronavirus cases rising again, Italy plans to require a “green pass” to visit its world-famous museums, take in sporting events, and dine inside its restaurants. The requirement, similar to a measure recently approved in France, is set to go into effect Aug. 6. To obtain the pass, people will need to have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine in the previous nine months or be able to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours.”, Travel and Leisure, July 24, 2021

Israel: Government to Reinstate Event Limits, Travel Bans as Delta SurgesIsrael’s government will reinstate the “Green Pass” on July 29, which requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to access events with over 100 people, in response to an uptick in largely Delta variant cases in the country, The Times of Israel reported July 22. On July 30, travel bans will be also enacted for the United Kingdom, Georgia, Cyprus and Turkey.”, Stratfor, July 26, 2021

Covid-19 Vaccine Holdouts Face Restrictions in Europe as Delta Variant Spreads – Proof of vaccination is increasingly required to enter restaurants and other public spaces. European governments worried about the rapid spread of the Delta coronavirus variant are nudging, and in some cases pushing, people to get a shot by introducing restrictions to daily life for those without a Covid-19 vaccination.”, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2021

Pfizer Strikes Deal To Produce Vaccines In Africa As Continent Falls Far Behind In Covid Fight Pfizer has struck a deal with a South African drug manufacturer to begin producing and distributing its coronavirus vaccine in Africa for the first time, the company announced Wednesday, in a move that follows mounting pressure to address inequalities in the global vaccine rollout.”, Forbes, July 21, 2021

Vietnam’s biggest cities tighten restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge – Vietnam will extend a lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City until Aug. 1 and impose stricter restrictions in the capital Hanoi from Saturday, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst wave of COVID-19 infections. The country has so far received more than 10.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine. Around 4.4 million doses have been administered in the country, but fewer than 335,000 people have been fully vaccinated…..”, Reuters, July 23, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


Australia’s most populous state declares ‘national emergency’ over Covid outbreak – New South Wales announces 136 new local Delta cases with Sydney under the strictest lockdown measures it has experienced. More than 13 million Australians – approximately half the country’s population – are currently under some form of lockdown or restriction, including the states of Victoria and South Australia.”, The Guardian, July 23, 2021

Olympics to return to Australia as Brisbane named host of 2032 Games – The International Olympic Committee awarded the 2032 Olympics to Brisbane, Australia, on Wednesday, capping a new one-city selection process meant to minimize costly bidding wars between countries. It will be the third time that Australia hosts the Olympics, following the popular 2000 Summer Games in Sydney and the 1956 Summer Games in Melbourne.”, Axios, July 21, 2021


“In the Chinese market, Coca-Cola’s overall sales growth exceeded the level of the same period in 2019. Zhan Kunjie, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola (China), said at the call that day: “Thanks to the growth of Coca-Cola’s sales and the optimization of its product portfolio, various categories in the Chinese market continue to maintain a strong growth momentum. Outdoor consumption channels and e-commerce channels The performance is very strong, andour business is recovering faster than the global economy.”, Caixing Global, July 22, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China’s Canton Fair to return with on-site exhibitions, but exporters bemoan the lack of overseas buyers – The biannual Canton Fair will allow exhibitors to return in person after holding the past three events online because of the coronavirus pandemic. But many private and small manufacturing exporters say they will not take part unless borders reopen to allow a sizeable number of international buyers.” South China Morning News, July 22, 2021

China to Back Shanghai’s Trial of Free Use of Yuan – China’s central bank will support Shanghai to take the lead in testing the free use of the yuan, explore unrestricted inflows and outflows of capital for cross-border trade and investment, and unlimited currency exchange in the city’s new free trade zone, an official said Tuesday.”, Caixing Global, July 22, 2021

China’s Tutoring Crackdown Sends Fortunes Of Education Billionaires Into Nosedive – Chinese authorities have ramped up their crackdown on after-school tutoring companies by unveiling a new set of sweeping regulations that bans the firms from making profits and raising capital from overseas markets.”, Forbes, July 25, 2021


India’s capital city re-opens after crippling Covid-19 curbs devastate livelihoods – Authorities revised public rules as the capital posted 66 infections and two Covid deaths on Sunday in contrast to 28,395 coronavirus cases and 277 fatalities it reported in a single-day peak on 20 April.  On Monday, theatres and multiplexes resumed business with 50 percent of their capacity.”, RFI, July 26, 2021

Infosys reopens offices as India Inc eyes long road back to work – Indian outsourcing giant Infosys told employees last week they could resume work from offices, according to a memo seen by Reuters that offers an early sign of the country’s $190 billion technology services sector moving to get back on track. The Bengaluru-based IT services company stopped short of calling all employees back to work, reflecting wider caution across the sector as Indian officials warn about the looming threat of a third wave of COVID-19 infections.”, Reuters, July 21, 2021


Tokyo Olympics Open Despite Covid-19 Worries, No Spectators – The Tokyo Olympics, delayed a year by the pandemic, officially open on Friday. Spectators are banned from most venues in a city under a state of emergency through Aug. 22. More than 50,000 visitors are converging on Tokyo, including 11,000 athletes from 200 countries (613 of them are U.S. athletes).”, Barron’s, July 23, 2021


Uganda, struggling to buy COVID-19 vaccines, splashes on new vehicles for lawmakers – Uganda has spent over $30.2 million on buying new vehicles for lawmakers, a move that has been slammed by critics who depict it as profligacy in a country struggling to buy vaccines to stem a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has so far failed to purchase any vaccines, with officials saying the country had been priced out of the market by richer buyers like the West. Slightly over a million people have received a jab, all from donated shipments, out of a population of 41 million.”, Reuters, July 23, 2021

United Kingdom

UK growth slows sharply in July as COVID ‘pingdemic’ hits – Britain’s rapid economic bounce-back from the coronavirus pandemic slowed sharply in July as a new wave of cases forced hundreds of thousands of workers to self-isolate under government rules to limit the spread of the disease….The IHS Markit/CIPS flash composite PMI dropped to 57.7 in July from 62.2 in June.”, Reuters, July 23, 2021 

Thousands more workers don’t have to isolate in Covid ‘pingdemic’ – The government announced on Thursday that from next week supermarket depot staff and suppliers at 500 sites will be exempt from quarantine to try to avoid food shortages, with people being allowed to go into work if they test negative.”, The Times of London, July 24, 2021

England nightclubs reopen: Cheers and celebrations as clubbers return for first night out: Cheers and celebrations as clubbers return for first night out. Nightclubs are among the first venues to take advantage of the easing of Covid restrictions in England from Monday. With doors opening a minute past midnight, the BBC was at a nightclub in Leeds where revellers aren’t being asked to wear masks or socially distance.”, BBC News, July 19, 2021

Pandemic support did not help, say a third of small (UK) firms – It also follows a period of significant public investment in businesses during the pandemic, with 1.7 million government-backed emergency loans, worth nearly £80 billion. In total more than £350 billion of financial support was provided to businesses through schemes such as furlough, reliefs on taxes and grants administered by local authorities.”, The Times London, July 23, 2021

United States

“U.S. Set to Push Global Economy Over the Recovery Line – With GDP in the second quarter likely having exceeded its pre-pandemic size, a landmark moment for the global recovery seems likely, analysts say. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that figures to be released Thursday will show that the U.S. gross domestic product rose at an 8.5% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter.”, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2021

U.S. Small Business Optimism Shows Slight Increase – The NFIB Optimism Index increased 2.9 points in June to 102.5, the first time the Index exceeded 100 since November 2020. Seven of the 10 Index components improved and three declined. The NFIB Uncertainty Index increased four points to 83. ‘Small businesses optimism is rising as the economy opens up, yet a record number of employers continue to report that there are few or no qualified applicants for open positions,’ said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.”,, July 21, 2021

Personal savings in the United States spiked in April 2020 to 33.7 percent—the highest rate ever recorded. With stores and entertainment venues shut down across the country, what was there to spend money on? US household savings have more than doubled, to $3 trillion, since 2019…..(now) American consumers are spending again and eager to spend more…….In May 2021, the latest month for which data are available, the savings rate was 12.4 percent, down more than two points from April but still very high by historical standards.”, McKinsey, July 21, 2021

Nearly half of (U.S.) remote workers ready to quit if forced to return in person – Is an employer’s decision to reopen offices pushing some workers to flee? To find out, Fortune teamed up with Momentive (formerly known as SurveyMonkey) to poll more than 2,000 U.S. adults between June 11 and 14.”, Fortune, July 14, 2021

Brand News

Aussie fitness chain F45 eyeing $2b valuation for NY stock exchange – The Australian company, which prides itself on its high intensity interval training (HIIT) fitness regimes, is looking to list on the New York stock exchange…..The gym was founded in 2013 in Australia and now has more than 1,500 studios, with about 2,800 franchises in 63 countries.”,, July 8, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Drive-Thrus Boosting Sales At Rapidly Expanding Biggby Coffee® – Its growth stems from a shift in consumer behavior, explains Michael McFall, CEO of Biggby Coffee who is based in Lansing and Ann Arbor, Michigan. During the pandemic, “people would leave their house, do grocery shopping and drop in a local coffee shop, go through the drive-thru and have seven minutes of normalcy and love it.”, Forbes, July 16, 2021

Burger King (UK) owner puts sale on the table – The private equity owner of Burger King UK is exploring a sale of the fast-food chain, days after itself raising £300 million in a rare listing…..Burger King UK holds the master franchise for the UK from New York-listed Restaurant Brands International and was bought in 2017 by Bridgepoint. It operates about 530 sites in the UK, the majority owned by franchisees — although it does also run its own stores.”, The Times of London, July 25, 2021

Here’s How Denny’s Got Its Name – If someone suggests grabbing a meal at Denny’s, you can pretty much already taste the Grand Slam breakfast. But would a Denny’s diner by any other name taste so grand?”, Mashed, July 26, 2021

Famous Dave’s parent BBQ Holdings said it plans to buy Village Inn and Bakers Square for $13.5 million after the two chains emerged from federal bankruptcy protection earlier this year. BBQ Holdings also acquired Granite City Food and Brewery out of bankruptcy early last year. 

KKR Makes Winning Bid for Home-Services Franchisor NeighborlyPrivate equity giant KKR & Co. has agreed to buy Neighborly, the home-services franchisor with 28 brands under its umbrella and $3 billion in system sales—double the amount just three years after Harvest Partners’ purchase, in March 2018.”, Franchise Times, July 8, 2021

Propelled Brands, franchisor of Fastsigns® and NerdsToGo®, has acquired Suite Management Franchising, the parent company of My Salon Suite® and Salon Plaza®.”, Franchise Times, July 13, 2021

Ribs chain Tony Roma’s has new owner with plans for growthParent Romacorp Inc. was acquired by Equity Investors of New England; Ramon Bourgeois named COO and acting CEO.”, Nation’s Restaurants News, July 13, 2021

Fitness Franchiser Xponential Gets $120 Million in Shrunken IPO – Xponential Fitness Inc., the franchise owner of boutique fitness brands including Club Pilates and CycleBar, downsized its initial public offering and priced it below a marketed range to raise $120 million. The Irvine, California-based company sold 10 million shares on Thursday for $12 each, according to a statement.”, Bloomberg, July 21, 2021

Articles & Studies About Doing Business Going Forward

5 Technology Trends Changing The Game For Small Businesses – Technology is changing businesses across the board, no matter their size. If you’re a small business owner, you shouldn’t think that the latest tech developments are out of reach or irrelevant to you. In fact, they’re far from it. As new technological advancements become more and more accessible, they promise to boost the efficiency and output of even the smallest companies.”, Entrepreneur Magazine, July 20, 2021

How executives can help sustain value creation for the long term – Ample evidence shows that when executives consistently make decisions and investments with long-term objectives in mind, their companies generate more shareholder value, create more jobs, and contribute more to economic growth than do peer companies that focus on the short term.”, McKinsey, July 22, 2021

Achieving Supply Chain Resilience in a Volatile World – Global trade is expected to return to prepandemic levels by 2022 or 2023. But shifting geopolitical dynamics, industry-specific protective policies, ambitious new agreements, and a broader commitment to combating climate change means that businesses everywhere are headed into unfamiliar territory.”, Boston Consulting Group, July 2021

How to run a meeting—rather than have meetings running us – To meet the more permanent nature of a hybrid work force, Accenture recently issued guidance for employees in North America. ‘There is a big cultural change component—as type-A consultants, we have a cultural hurdle to establishing work/life boundaries and being ok saying we’re not ok,’ said Jimmy Etheredge, CEO of North America at Accenture.”, Fortune, June 2, 2021

Don’t Let Your Business Be Held Back By An Outdated PlanCovid-19 impacted you, your business, your family, and your friends in some way.  How many plans were forced to change, were delayed, or outright dismissed in the last 18 months? Have you found yourself frustrated, confused, anxious, stressed, or bewildered?, Franchising. Com, July 2021

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July 2021 GlobalVue™ Country Ranking Chart

William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor of Edwards Global Services (EGS). He has 46 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

My latest article:  Digital Transformation: Global development adapts to a virtual world”,, June 13, 2021

For truly global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896. 

View a brief video on Bill’s background and focus: imparting global wisdom  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to succeed in developing your company around the world.