William “Billy” McConnell

William “Billy” McConnell, the former managing director at Lascelles deMercado & Company and Wray & Nephew Group, has died. Loop News was informed by close business associates of McConnell that he died on Wednesday afternoon after a battle with cancer. A local private sector titan, McConnell was inducted into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s Hall of Fame in 2006. When contacted by Loop News, PSOJ president Howard Mitchell said he had received reports of McConnell’s passing but had not yet been able to independently confirm the news. He, however, expressed sadness at the report while offering condolences to the McConnell family. “The PSOJ is deeply saddened at the news,” Mitchell told Loop News. “Mr McConnell is held in high regard… we want to express our condolences,” he said. McConnell retired from Lascelles in June 2011, but has since then served on a number of private and public sector boards. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

Christopher Barrett, Sprint Financial CEO.

Local microfinance institution Sprint Financial Services has brokered a new partnership with theJamaica Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association(JMEA) to offer invoice factoring to its membership of Jamaican business owners. Factoring is a transaction in which a business sells its invoices or receivables to a third-party financial company called a ‘factor’. The factor advances a majority percentage of the invoice value within 24 hours, then assumes the associated wait time for collecting payment on those invoices from the business’ customers. This allows the business to immediately build up its cash flow, making it easier for them to take care of immediate expenses. The MFI, since its initial offering of the island’s first invoice-factoring service via a pilot programme last year, is still currently the only local financial or money-lending entity to offer such a facility. The seven-year-old company has also reportedly doubled its customer base and, in turn, its total revenues since offering the much-needed service. JMEAExecutive Director Imega Breese McNabsaid, “Manufacturing contributes over eight per cent to GDP and employs over 70,000 persons, making the sector a key pillar of economic growth and job creation. With greater access to working capital and reduced interest rates, we see this partnership as a major win for our members and Jamaica’s growth agenda.” JMEAExecutive Director Imega Breese McNab The partnership is just ahead of the upcoming launch of another groundbreaking product by the MFI that will provide this same service, but for clients expecting payments internationally via American company PayPal Holdings, which operates a worldwide online-payments system that supports online money transfers. Christopher Barrett, Sprint Financial Services’ Chief Executive Officer, said, “The growth in the number of business owners who choose to utilise this service may be indicative of the number of persons being rejected by the local banks when applying for a business loan.” He continued, “When people want loans, they want it now. They don’t want to have to wait two or three weeks for it to be processed. That’s another problem that our clients have with the local banking system.” The financial institution, which boasts catering to business owners from all social strata for both registered and unregistered businesses, provides the service without any maximum restriction on the value of an invoice. The service fee involves, on average, an eight to 12 per cent discount on the face amount of the invoice. “Each client that we’ve had so far, they’ve all repeated. They are happy with the fact that they can get the funds in 24-48 hours and they don’t have to go through a whole lot of red tape,” Barrett explained. “So long as people are getting paid later than they desire, there will always be need for a service like this.” For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

Ernie and Bert of “Sesame Street” pose in front of the Queen Mary II in the harbor of Hamburg, Germany.  (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer, File)

The producers of "Sesame Street" want you to know that Bert and Ernie are not, in fact, gay. Sesame Workshoptweeted Tuesdaythat the characters are best friends and have many human traits but "remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation." In a follow-up tweet, it says "Sesame Street has always stood forinclusion and acceptance." The tweets came in response to an interview published Sunday by Queerty with Mark Saltzman, an openly gay former writer for "Sesame Street." He says that when he was writing scenes with Bert and Ernie, he "always felt that without a huge agenda"they were lovers. Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: Download the Loop News Caribbean app on Google Play Store:http://bit.ly/GetALoop Download the Loop News Caribbean app on the App Store:http://bit.ly/GetiLoop


Dancehall artiste Black-er is enjoying a lot of success with his popular chart, the Blacker Top 20 Music Video Countdown show, which airs on FLOW cable. "Last weekend, I came from a meeting with a couple of marketing executives and they showed me data which shows that the Music Video Countdown show on FLOW is one of the most watched countdown shows in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The show cuts across a lot of regions, reaching thousands of people as it is aired on FLOW in countries such as Grand Cayman, Barbados, Trinidad, StKitts, St. Martin, The Bahamas and others," Black-er said. "The show is spreading its reach as it is now on READY TV and also on Oliver's Cable and Swag TV in Jamaica." Fans can watch Black-er Top20 on Flow Cable CH 100 on Saturdays between 3:05 to 5:05 p.m with a repeat on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the 10 a.m to 12 noon time slot. The shows airs on Ready TV on Mondays between 4 to 6 p.m. with repeats on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. "I just want to thank the artistes for all their support. Since mi venture inna di TV thing with mi top-20 video countdown show, Bounty Killer, Popcaan, Demarco, Sasco, Macka Diamond, and many others. Dem always give me full support with drops and interviews. I try to keep the content light and engaging, but PG 13 because this is a show for all families and for the corporate business community who want to advertise," he said. He hasn't left his artistic side as he has continued to record music such as 'One Man' on the Ballaz Production label, and 'Nah Be a Lover To Yu Self' on the Fresh Ear Production label, "The video for 'Nah Be a Lover' will be released in the last week of September," he said. He is booked to appear on a number of shows in October. The artiste also said he is keeping up with social media and can be found on twitter @1Blacker, Instagram @Blackerhyper and Facebook at Blackerhyper. For the latestnews, download our app athttp://bit.ly/GetALoopJMfor Android; and athttp://bit.ly/GetiLoopJMfor IoS.

Paul Pogba scored twice as Manchester United kicked off their Champions League Group H campaign with a 3-0 win over Young Boys on Wednesday. Jose Mourinho's side waslucky not to be behind after a sluggish start against the Swiss champions, but World Cup winner Pogba handed them an undeserved lead after 35 minutes with a superb finish from 16 yards. He followed that up with a cool penalty as United – who handed a debut to Diogo Dalot at right-back - went into the interval with a two-goal lead. Pogba then turned provider in the 66th minute, feeding Anthony Martial for his first goal since January 20, as United got their Champions League campaign off to a resounding start. Young Boys almost took a stunning lead after just eight minutes, but Guillaume Hoarau's header from 12 yards flashed just wide of David de Gea's post. The United goalkeeper was called into action again to tip over Mohamed Ali Camara's fizzing long-range drive before Marcus Rashford clipped an effort against the outside of the post as United belatedly woke from their slumber. Pogba netted his first 10 minutes before the interval, shuffling the ball into space just inside the penalty area and steering a fine finish into the roof of David von Ballmoos' net. He grabbed his second in the 44th minute, stroking home a spot-kick after Kevin Mbabu was harshly judged to have deliberately handled Luke Shaw's cross in the area. Pogba was proving too hot for the hosts to handle and set up United's third shortly after the hour, laying the ball into the path of Martial, whose right-foot effort from 10 yards was deflected past Von Ballmoos by Camara. Substitute Juan Mata whipped a late effort narrowly past the post, while Romelu Lukaku saw a late effort denied by the offside flag, but it mattered little as a Pogba-inspired United got their Champions League campaign off to a flier.

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is consoled by teammate Federico Bernardeschi, right, after receiving a red card during the Champions League, group H football match against Valencia, at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.

Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to be the missing piece in Juventus' bid to win the Champions League. But his first match in the competition for his new club lasted less than half an hour on Wednesday as he was sent off after appearing to pull at an opponent's hair. Juventus still went on to win 2-0 at Valencia, thanks to two penalties. It was Ronaldo's first red card in 154 Champions League games, and the decision means he could miss a return to Old Trafford when Juventus playManchester United next month if he gets at least a two-match ban. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted it shouldn't have been a red card, and lamented the fact that video technology has yet to be introduced into the Champions League, as it has been in Serie A. VAR was also used at the World Cup in Russia this year. "I'll only say that in this sort of occasion VAR would help," Allegri said. "It's disappointing because now we'll lose him for a few games and instead if there had been VAR it would have been seen that it wasn't a sending-off offense." Ronaldo was dismissed in the 29th minute after tangling with Jeison Murillo. After Murillo went down inside the area, the Portugal forward gestured for his opponent to get up, then put his hand on the Valencia defender's head and appeared to tug his hair. Referee Felix Brych showed Ronaldo a straight red card after discussing with his assistant behind the goal. Ronaldo looked baffled and kept professing his innocence and was clearly distraught as he left the pitch in tears, still shaking his head. Juventus havewon Europe's premier club competition twice but the last time was in 1996. The club has lost five finals since then and hoped that signing Ronaldo, who has won the competition five times, it could go one step further. The Bianconeri haswon the Serie A title for the last seven seasons — and the league and Italian Cup double for the past four — but hasstruggled to transfer that domestic supremacy to the European stage, although theclubreached the final twice in the past four editions. Despite playing more than an hour with 10 men at Valencia, Juventus eased to victory. Mario Mandzukic and Sami Khedira had already missed glaring opportunities before Ronaldo's dismissal and, after a shaky few minutes following the red card, Juventus got back into its stride and took the lead on the stroke of halftime. Joao Cancelo hit the crossbar and was then fouled by Daniel Parejo as he tried to get on the rebound. Miralem Pjanic struck the penalty into the bottom right corner and did the same six minutes after the break when Brych awarded Juventus another spot kick after Murillo brought down Leonardo Bonucci. Despite the numerical advantage, Valencia posed little threat going forward but almost grabbed a consolation in stoppage time when it was given a penalty of its own. But Wojciech Szczesny parried Parejo's spot kick, which was awarded after Daniele Rugani was adjudged to have elbowed Gabriel Paulista.