US, China in-person trade talks expected next week; White House eyeing longer-term timeline for deal

CNBC | July 23, 2019

American trade negotiators will soon head to China for face to face talks as the world two largest economies try to strike a deal, sources told CNBC. The U.S. officials will travel to China for discussions sometime between Friday the start of a six-week congressional recess in Washington and Thursday, August 1. While the talks represent a critical next step after a truce reached between the countries leaders in June, a deal is not viewed as near. President Donald Trump has signaled that he would be willing to relax restrictions on China Huawei in exchange for purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

Spotlight

Local government is at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery. By re-balancing local growth, the potential of our cities and nonmetropolitan areas is being realised. Councils have embraced reform and are the most efficient part of the public sector. However, with spending pressures still increasing and most efficiency savings having already been made, councils are facing hard decisions in the near future. At the same time, English governance is fundamentally changing. A total of 34 proposals – from cities, towns and counties – have been submitted across England with the aim of improving prosperity, strengthening democracy and saving money for the public purse through the devolution of powers and funding from central to local government. The move to the full localisation of business rates at the end of this Parliament means that it will be even more important for councils to support and attract businesses, including those of the visitor economy, where this is a local growth priority.

Spotlight

Local government is at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery. By re-balancing local growth, the potential of our cities and nonmetropolitan areas is being realised. Councils have embraced reform and are the most efficient part of the public sector. However, with spending pressures still increasing and most efficiency savings having already been made, councils are facing hard decisions in the near future. At the same time, English governance is fundamentally changing. A total of 34 proposals – from cities, towns and counties – have been submitted across England with the aim of improving prosperity, strengthening democracy and saving money for the public purse through the devolution of powers and funding from central to local government. The move to the full localisation of business rates at the end of this Parliament means that it will be even more important for councils to support and attract businesses, including those of the visitor economy, where this is a local growth priority.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Nelnet and EKI-Digital Partner to Deliver Premier Digital Transformation Management Services to Government Industry

Nelnet | March 02, 2021

Nelnet (NYSE: NNI), a head proficient services organization, and EKI-Digital, a quantitative digital transformation organization, reported today an association meant to change how the government and financial services industry deal with their digital modernization and relocation endeavors. Headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., Nelnet is devoted to conveying excellent client encounters and inventive innovation arrangements. Nelnet has many years of involvement creating and executing versatile back-office preparing and client care arrangements that assist customers with exploring complex, vigorously managed government and financial projects, for example, bureaucratic understudy loans and state joblessness protection claims. "We look forward to working together with EKI-Digital to provide transformative modernization solutions and outstanding customer service to our clients," stated Peter Sanderson, Chief Revenue Officer of Nelnet Diversified Services. "Clients rely on our advanced technology solutions, efficient operations, and exemplary service to transform and support their organizations. With this announcement, we're excited for the opportunity to serve them even better." EKI-Digital is a pioneer in utilizing calculations and lean-digital application design to assist associations with organizing their digital and acquirement transformation endeavors. EKI-Digital has helped associations, public and private, distinguish and catch execution improvement utilizing its legitimacy digital design approach and algorithmic freedom ID capacities. "We look forward to working with Nelnet to help large organizations systematize and support their digital innovation and transformation efforts. Their commitment to customer, employee, and community success demonstrates the values of the company and why we believe this will be a compelling partnership," said Robert Blackwell Jr., CEO of EKI-Digital. Together, Nelnet and EKI-Digital are attempting to assist associations with gaining digital modernization capacities as a help, taking out the need to chance great many dollars on conventional IT capital undertakings with high disappointment rates. Consolidating EKI-Digital's driving innovation procedure, plan, and usage services, with Nelnet's demonstrated back-office preparing and client care and backing, the association will have an amazing effect in the government and financial services areas. About Nelnet Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) is a diversified and innovative company focused on offering educational services, technology solutions, professional services, telecommunications, and asset management. Nelnet helps students and families plan and pay for their education and makes the administrative processes for schools more efficient with student loan servicing, tuition payment processing, and school administration software. Through its investment in ALLO Communications, Nelnet offers fiber optic services directly to homes and businesses for ultra-fast internet and superior telephone and television services. The company also makes investments in real estate and early-stage and emerging growth companies. About EKI-Digital EKI-Digital is a Quantitative Digital Transformation company that has helped large organizations identify and capture billions in revenue and cost efficiencies. Since 1998, EKI-Digital has serviced clients worldwide, specializing in government, retail, and financial services. Their technology independence allows EKI-Digital to offer flexible and unique solutions to help clients move from uncertainty to possibility.

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GOVERNMENT FINANCE

PublicInput, the Leading Public Engagement SaaS Platform for Government, Receives Minority Growth Equity Investment from Growth Street Partners

Growth Street Partners | October 28, 2021

Growth Street Partners today announced a minority growth equity investment in PublicInput, the leading public engagement platform for government. PublicInput will use the capital to strengthen its leadership position in a rapidly adopting market by accelerating investments in the company's product and go-to-market efforts. Government agencies use PublicInput to connect with the communities they serve, increase equitable participation, and analyze data to deliver better governance. Some of the nation's largest and smallest local governments, state departments of transportation, transit authorities, and regional planning councils rely on PublicInput to engage and listen to their residents. These institutions have engaged more than 35 million people through PublicInput's platform. Governments are increasingly focused on expanding their community engagement, including reaching larger, more diverse groups residing in their jurisdictions. According to a July 2020 Atlas survey of over 600 public officials, 50% of local governments now consider community engagement a top priority. Major events in 2020 surrounding the pandemic, social justice protests, and the national election demonstrate the importance of more constructive collaboration between government and the public. Increasing equitable public engagement has recently gained national attention. Within days of his inauguration, President Biden issued an Executive Order to address environmental justice, launching the Justice40 Initiative to invest in disadvantaged communities. The order spurred the Environmental Protection Agency to, "[T]ake immediate and affirmative steps to improve early and more frequent engagement with pollution-burdened and underserved communities." PublicInput is uniquely positioned to address this need. By aggregating interactions with the public across online, in-person, and other low-barrier formats like phone and text, organizations can reach more people and overlay that participation data with census and EPA layers to ensure representative, equitable participation. The focus on equity is part of a larger shift that PublicInput's technology is facilitating. Through the millions of data points collected from everyday people, governments are making better, more informed decisions by listening to the collective voice of the community, not just the loudest voices or those who are able to attend traditional public meetings. "PublicInput has a diverse and growing community of government customers across the country, and we're committed to helping them solve the emerging challenges of public engagement. With Growth Street, we can invest in new technology and grow our ecosystem of organizations delivering government 'for the people, by the people'." Jay Dawkins, CEO and co-founder of PublicInput "Growth Street is excited to partner with Jay, his co-founder, Graham Stone, and the growing PublicInput team. The company's multi-modal survey and mapping capabilities are integrated with robust communications tools to provide government staff with an invaluable resource. The platform delivers both the efficiency gains government staff need to focus on public service and the digital platform critical to make representative and data-driven decisions on behalf of the communities they serve," said Steve Wolfe and Nate Grossman, the co-founders of Growth Street. PublicInput PublicInput is the operating system for over 200 public agencies and their consultants to communicate, listen, and make more informed decisions. The company provides the only end-to-end solution for the public engagement process and is composed of three core components: Public | Engagement Hub for data gathering, Public | CRM to aggregate and analyze that data, and Public | Contact to ensure efficient and ongoing communication. In building its all-in-one platform, the company's mission is to connect government agencies with the communities they serve and facilitate equitable participation and representative decision making. PublicInput is based in Raleigh, NC and is hiring. Growth Street Partners Growth Street Partners provides early growth capital to rapidly growing SaaS and technology-enabled services companies located in underserved U.S. markets. The firm partners with founders who have personally lived through the problems their businesses solve. Investments include Pear Deck, ChildcareCRM, Visual Lease, Hotel Effectiveness, Suralink, HR Acuity, Govenda, PikMyKid, and PublicInput. The firm has $200 million in assets under management across two funds (Fund I: $70M, Fund II: $130M).

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Planet Builds Business in State and Local Government Sector

Planet | November 24, 2021

Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced a number of new contracts with state and local governments, including entities in the states of Alaska and Mississippi. Operating about 200 earth imaging satellites, Planet provides near-daily images of every terrestrial location on earth, enabling their customers to track environmental change, support regional enforcement efforts, and make informed decisions. Through their 7-month pilot program, Planet and the State of Alaska explored solutions for department managers that have historically been challenged by Alaska’s unique geography, marked by severe winter storms and remote landscapes. Notably, 82% of Alaskan communities are inaccessible by roads, and it is time consuming and costly to get boots on the ground for evaluations. Previously, employees would take small aircrafts to monitor approximately 50 weather stations across 90 million acres of land to determine when a station became snow-free. With daily PlanetScope images, their team was able to look back at satellite imagery day-by-day to determine the exact moment the station became snow-free, saving substantial time, costs, and energy, and increased the accuracy of the data collected. By decreasing the number of aircraft trips needed to these remote regions, Planet’s data also significantly increased employee safety. Using Planet’s SkySats, the State of Alaska was also able to support inspectors for mining operations. With more frequent visibility, managers tracked mining activity on a month-to-month basis to plan inspections and support regulatory enforcement. They further utilized PlanetScope and SkySat data to provide environmental situational awareness for wildfires and reveal final fire perimeters. Additionally, the state leveraged Planet imagery of forestland to determine enforcement policies prior to on-site evaluations. Using Planet’s datasets under a multi-department license, the State of Alaska ensures this data is shared through the State’s Imagery portal so that the imagery data can be used by various agencies. For example, the satellite data collected for mining inspection analysis by the Department of Mining Land and Water is also open and accessible to the State Department of Conservation, Fish and Game. By sharing this data across agencies, there is increased project transparency to support economic development and sustainability efforts. At the other end of the continental U.S., Planet’s satellite data also supports the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR). The Mississippi gulf coast is home to some of the nation’s most productive fin fish and shellfish waters. To ensure the sustainable use of these wetland ecosystems, the DMR works to regulate and restore these habitats yearly. Using PlanetScope imagery, the DMR was able to conduct necessary due diligence to protect wetlands and enforce accurate permitting programs. Wetland habitats are home to a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, including seagrasses that are vital to the ecosystem. As part of their role, the DMR provides permits to allow clients to mitigate and transport sections of vegetation for coastal development. In one instance, a client reported that in their designated zone, the aquatic vegetation was no longer present and requested a permit modification. It was critical that the DMR was able to ensure that the movement of this growing vegetation was a natural phenomenon and not due to human interference, such as mechanical removal or obstruction of light from a barge. Using PlanetScope’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR team was able to go back day-by-day through the previous year to ensure that there was no man-made structure, barge, or interference to the vegetation on the site. They concluded that the species movement was indeed a natural phenomenon, and thanks to Planet’s high temporal resolution imagery, they were able to support the changing permit status with confidence. This case highlighted how daily transparency allowed the DMR to increase local enforcement and conduct their due diligence to keep the wetlands safe. As a new customer, the Mississippi DMR was able to see immediate results from Planet’s product; and they are now exploring further uses for the data. These explorations will dive into identifying point sources of wetlands sedimentation, monitoring seagrass movement, and evaluating tidal marsh health and water quality. By working with Planet’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR will be able to better gauge secondary and cumulative impacts when projects are implemented. Each year, more and more state and local governments are using Planet’s data to support their regional planning processes, manage their local industries, and protect their ecosystems. Their additional customers include the New Mexico State Land Office, the Port of Long Beach, Humboldt County, California, City and County of San Francisco, Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales in Colombia, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the County of San Luis Obispo in California. Working with state and local governments aligns with Planet’s goals to support communities and protect the environment. Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ), a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company. As it joins the public market, Planet will become a public benefit corporation (PBC), in which its mission will be encoded into its corporate DNA, obligating Planet’s directors to stay true to their mission as part of their fiduciary duty to their stockholders. Planet’s public benefit purpose is: “To accelerate humanity to a more sustainable, secure and prosperous world by illuminating environmental and social change.” About Planet Planet is the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing and compiling data from over 3 million images per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, including the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery.

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