VVDN Gets Approval Under PLI Scheme for IT Hardware Manufacturing | National News

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — VVDN Technologies, a premier electronic product engineering and manufacturing company, has been approved by the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (MeitY) under the Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLI) for IT hardware. VVDN is amongst the 14 companies domestic and international, which has been granted approval for IT hardware manufacturing under Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware products. VVDN has also participated in the Govt. of India’s PLI Scheme for Telecom and Networking equipment.

With 5 state-of-the-art manufacturing units and 10 design centers across India, VVDN does the complete R&D, engineering and manufacturing of products in the domains 5G & Datacenter, Networking & Wi-Fi, Vision, and IoT. In IT hardware space, VVDN has vast experience in doing the design, development and manufacturing of rack storage servers, communication servers, ruggedized tablets, IoT tablets, desktop all-in-one PCs.

Over the last year, VVDN Technologies has continued to expand its manufacturing and engineering infrastructure. After the inauguration of VVDN’s Global Innovation Park in July 2020, the company  added new additional SMT lines as well new machines for its tooling, molding and injection molding. Recently, VVDN has added die casting facility to its existing infrastructure which has taken its manufacturing proposition to a whole new level. This will further accentuate and enable the company to cater to the production of tablets, laptops, all-in-one PCs, and servers as per the global and domestic demand.

VVDN Technologies Co-founder and President Engineering Vivek Bansal said: “We are delighted to have been approved for the PLI scheme for IT hardware. It showcases India’s progress to becoming preferred manufacturing destination and resonates strongly with PM Modi’s call of Atmanirbhar Bharat – a self-reliant India. The PLI scheme goes hand in hand with VVDN’s vision and has further strengthened our resolve to do more of Design and Make in India products. While working in the datacenter space, VVDN has its IPs for OvS and SSL for network compute. With these investments made in the R&D and manufacturing infrastructure along with the PLI approval, we are quite excited and confident to be able to meet the production demands for the IT hardware products.”

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Kunwar Sinha

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Another St. Louis restaurant closes waiting for financial assistance; city says help is on the way | St. Louis News Headlines

ST. LOUIS ( — Another St. Louis business announced it’s closing its doors after waiting too long for COVID-19 relief money. 

Some of that money was in the form of a grant from the Small Business Administration. That Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created in March and aimed to be a lifeline for struggling restaurants. Due to court battles, some of the money was held up and now it has been used up. 

Quincy Street Bistro in south St. Louis City posted to its social media it decided to close its doors at least temporarily, if not permanently.

“We, like many other small locally-owned businesses, have applied for grants through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. We have hopes that those much-needed funds will come through for us, and many others like us,” the restaurant said in its post online. 

The business ultimately said because of legal snags with the grant, the restaurant doesn’t expect to get the money anytime soon and made the decision to close. 

“It’s heartbreaking because I know much work goes into and how much they must have fought to keep that from happening,” said Taco Buddha general manager Jeff Friesen. 

Friesen and the Taco Buddha owner, Kurt Eller, said they used money from the first two rounds of PPP and did not apply for a grant, knowing other restaurants need it more.

As for businesses still in dire need of assistance, the city says help is on the way in the form of the federal COVID relief money the city still has to decide how to spend. 

“We have to use the funds in a way where it creates, it helps to stimulates the economy, it helps get people in a better place,” said Lewis Reed, president of the Board of Aldermen.

The Board of Aldermen heard from the public Wednesday on how they think federal COVID relief money should be spent. The federal government is giving St. Louis $500 million over three years. Right now, the city has $252 million the bank. 

Reed hopes small business owners, especially restaurants, will reach out to the city now to let them know they need help.

“All other things being equal, a voice from some of the small businesses will change things dramatically within city government and can help them,” said Reed. 

The Board of Aldermen hopes to agree on how to spend this first round of money by July 16. Once the board passes that bill, it needs Mayor Tishaura Jones’ signature. After she signs it, the money can be accessed almost immediately and be given to small businesses. 

“They need to save them, they need to jump in and save them or we’re not going to have the same restaurant community,” said Eller.

The next public meeting to discuss how the money will be spent is July 6 at 9 a.m. and will be virtual. 

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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At Easton Hardware customer service is key to success | Real Estate

EASTON — At Easton Hardware, opened since 1939, the original wooden floors and ceiling remain housing aisles of nuts, bolts, plumbing supplies, power tools, and hardware- the store has undergone numerous remodels making it truly a modern hardware store with years gone by charm.

It’s also a place where customers hear a friendly “May I help you” after coming inside. A store where the sales staff knows product lines and easily offers advice. It’s a business where customers walk out the door with the confidence needed to finish a home improvement project or fixing that leaking toilet.

It’s that dedication to service why customers continue to purchase their flooring, hardware, and lawn and garden needs from Easton Hardware, said Eric Clopper, who runs the business with his two children, Mason Clopper and Jessica Marks.

“It doesn’t matter what your problem is, we’ll try to solve your problem,” said Mason, echoing the hardware store’s unofficial motto. “We are the problem solvers. We like the challenge of trying to solve their issues.”

We always try to remind customers that if we don’t have what you need and we can get it, we will be happy to get it for you.

Eric said employees do recommend visiting other local retailers in the area if Easton Hardware doesn’t have or cannot order an item. “We have a very good relationship with most of the local retailers- hardware, lumber, electrical, plumbing, painting, and crafts” he said. It’s a small town and we all try to support one another. Easton Hardware’s philosophy has always been that the customer is first and if we cannot help them we try to send them to someone who can.

Marks explained several of their employees have been at the hardware store decades. She contributes to the family atmosphere of the store. Its employees come from various backgrounds not just in retail but; agriculture, construction and painting, and knowledge of those who work on the water. Because of the diverse background and experience of our employees, customers will find that Easton Hardware truly is the home of the “problems solvers.”

Prior to the COVID, floor covering was the store’s best seller, but with people not able to travel, go on vacation and eat at restaurants, so they are spending their time and money sprucing up their homes and yards. We have a wide variety of products throughout the store including DeWalt power tools, lawn & garden needs, cleaning supplies, electrical supplies and plumbing supplies. We also offer key cutting services as well as screen/glass repair, and pipe cutting/threading.

Eric attributes the increase largely to community support of local businesses during a period when closures were common- “because our customers have supported us, we are trying to do our part to provide the products and services that our customers want and need.

“I think our customers care about us, as much as we care about our customers,” he said.

The Cloppers are now on the third generation working and operating Easton Hardware. David Clopper purchased the store in 1967 from one of the original owners, Charles Stevens. Eric started in high school, as did Mason. Marks started working a few years ago as the bookkeeper.

Serving the community and our customers for 81 years our goal is to be the place where people come to have their flooring, hardware, and household problems solved for many years to come.

The store, located at 303 N. Washington St., is opened from 7 a.m. — 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.

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LUNSFORD COLUMN: An ode to small town hardware stores | Opinion

If you are fortunate enough, you’ve spent some time in a small hardware store. You know, the kind of place that smells of paint and moth balls, 3-in-One Oil and lawn fertilizer. The store may have been old enough to bring back pleasant memories of the creak of hardwood floors, screen door advertising, the glow of dusty 60-watt lightbulbs, and soft-spoken conversations about copper fittings, water heaters and mouse traps. They were, and still are, truly American institutions.

It’s no secret that the small-time, small town hardware store — with some exceptions — is becoming a thing of the past. It seems as though, not so long ago, every burg, business district and borough touted a locally owned hardware store. That’s not the case any longer, and we are the poorer for it.

In her wonderful poem, “Ode to Hardware,” Barbara Hamby bemoans its passing, as well as the people who ran them.

“I don’t know what it is about hardware stores that I love, but I do love them. It may have started when I began to be interested in gardening. I bought my first watering can at a hardware store. But I love to look at all those bins of nails and wonder what they’re meant to do. There’s also the attraction to small glittering things. My husband says I’m a magpie, and my poems are certainly made up of small, shiny images,” Hamby says.

Not that many years ago, there were so many hardware stores within a few miles of our house that I could stop by one no matter what town I happened to be driving through. Always I could count on someone in an embroidered vest or pocket-protected work shirt, stocking in some quiet aisle, who could dispense advice on whatever old mechanical or plumbing mess I had with me, usually wrapped in a shop rag.

“Yeah, I’ve seen that before. I think we may have one left in the back,” I’ve heard more than once.

Two local hardware stores near me still breathe: Ste-Mar Hardware on Main Street in Clinton, and G& M Ace Hardware on North Highway 41 in Rockville. The first is the domain of Marty Shortridge, and has been since he was “…barely able to reach the cash register.” The second is managed by Joel Hall, who, years ago, sat in my classroom, but who can now teach me a thing or two about fittings, fuses, or fasteners. As he told me, “One thing I learned is that people don’t come into a hardware store to shop or browse; they have a specific need…”

At one time, Clinton had a thriving downtown district that included several hardware stores; struggling like so many other small towns, it has managed to keep Ste-Mar going in an age when bigger box stores see booming popularity. There are, however, a good many things the latter can’t do.

“What sets us apart from the other stores is personal knowledge of the product we sell. I personally know every product that I sell, what it does, what it doesn’t do, even when it will probably break. I know a lot about electrical and plumbing, am certified in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), am a locksmith, and have done just about everything in housing and remodeling. I know what to do and what not to do, because every day I have people ask my opinion and do just the opposite,” Shortridge said as he ate lunch behind his cluttered counter.

Ste-Mar has been at its present address since 1960; Shortridge’s parents bought out Harlan’s Hardware Store on Ninth Street and moved it to Main about a week before Marty was born. He’s been in the old building in some capacity nearly every day since.

Hall says that G&M Ace Hardware was originally opened by Bill Becker and Gary Nicola and has been in operation since 1996 in the same location it sits on today. In 2012, Mike Sasin took ownership, and although it doesn’t have the archaic feel of an old-time store — the creaking wood floors are tiled concrete there — Joel says the service his store offers is anything but big business.

“One appeal to my job is that every day is different,” Hall adds. “I enjoy helping people with any need they may have, from fixing a broken water line to loading mulch for their landscape. The camaraderie with customers is one of the favorite aspects that keeps me wanting to go to work every day.”

Hall started working at Ace as a part-timer while a junior in high school. He’s now in a leadership role at the store and says he’s “…proudly been helping the community for 20 years.”

When it comes to the inevitable question as to why such a valuable business is becoming extinct in an America that is less “do-it-yourself” with each passing generation, both men agree: online shopping, home delivery, and competition from big chain stores are hurting hardware stores.

“I think people in our community take pride in buying from their local hometown hardware store,” Hall says. Both he and Shortridge mention that among their services are expert key cutting, pipe cutting and threading, and, of course, taking the time to dispense advice. “I remind people to use their phone and take a photo of what they are dealing with,” Hall says. “I can help them better that way.” He also says his store will assemble anything that is purchased there, flares tubing, cuts glass, and rents a lot of what people don’t own.

As she closes her poem, Hamby bemoans what we might never see much of again: the service and the people those old hardware stores still invoke:

“I want angels called Lem, Nelson, Rodney, and Cletis gathered

around a bin of nails, their silence like hosannahs,

hallelujahs, amens swelling from cinderblock cathedrals

drowning our cries of Bigger, faster, more, more, more.”

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Futures File: 2020, the year to remember | Business

In addition to an erratic and contentious election, 2020 rang the bell for record-smashing events. Huge market moves will undoubtedly remain in the minds of investors and commodity traders and will be memorialized in the history of economics for centuries.

What went Down?

This year, the stock market suffered its worst loss in decades. More than a third of its value was lost in less than a month as the financial implications of COVID-19 sank in and massive lay-offs swept the U.S. That crash later recovered as the Fed and Congress orchestrated a bail-out dwarfing any attempted previously in U.S. history in an effort to prop up the economy with the CARES Act.

But nothing in the history of formal trading compares to the unimaginable crash in the price of crude oil. Crude oil dropped to not only below zero, but got sucked into a black hole reaching a price of negative $49 per barrel on April 20, meaning those who bought it would be paid $49 per barrel to take delivery of it. The bizarre crash in crude also was related to the pandemic, since travel came to a halt and demand for fuels close to nil.

Crops and hogs fell dramatically in the beginning of the year as tariffs thwarted exports to China and the trade war worsened relations with our biggest customer. That tumble, too, was followed by a roller-coaster ride to the upside as drought concerns, both domestically and in South America, frightened producers while China’s pent-up needs returned to our export markets.

What went Up ?

Precious metals, especially palladium, silver and lumber were among the biggest winners in the upward race. Lumber hit bottom in March and then began a continuous upward move helped by a record low mortgage rate. The assent accelerated as the pandemic drew city-dwellers into new homes in the suburbs and the suburbanites to the home improvement stores.

Commodities and COVID

In recent years, commodity producers and futures traders learned investors and traders must watch diseases that infect not only human populations, but those affecting birds, bats, cattle, hogs, and many types of plants including all of our row crops, grasses, and cover crops are vulnerable to significant attacks that can change the supply/demand formula so dramatically that the entire world economic balance can be altered.

As traders, we must also be weathermen, soil scientists, political junkies, sociologists, chemists, entomologists, accounting and tax experts, land value and labor experts, but nothing stands out like this year’s challenge to learn virology. Those who listened were able to keep up with COVID news and adjust their plans and purchases to respond to massive changes.

Opinions are solely the writer’s. Walt Breitinger is a commodity futures broker with Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, KS. He can be reached at (800) 411-3888 or This is not a solicitation of any order to buy or sell any market.

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Deadline for Food Assistance Aid approaches | Farm & Ranch

Federal aid set aside for farmers and ranchers affected by COVID-19 market disruption, is only available until Dec. 11 deadline.

Anne Kelly with the Scottsbluff U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency said the deadline is quickly approaching for the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, known as CFAP2. The program was created when Congress approved funding for producers after the severe market shock.

“Many of the crops and livestock raised in Nebraska are eligible commodities for this program,” Kelly said in an interview, adding that most offices are doing appointments over the phone due to COVID-19 in-person restrictions.

Bobbie Kriz-Wickham, the Nebraska Farm Service Agency public affairs/outreach coordinator, said more than 300 commodities are on the list, including major crops like corn, cattle, soybeans, wheat and hogs. Other specialty fruits and vegetables, aquaculture and nursery crops may also be eligible.

Kriz-Wickham said as of the end of November, Nebraska has issued $755 million in aid payments since September. It’s the second highest rate in the nation behind Iowa. In first round of aid packages, Nebraska issued $719 million in assistance.

“As an ad hoc program, it is something new so there isn’t a “normal” to which to compare it,” she said.

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Ambulance Association warns it’s near ‘breaking point’ without more federal assistance | News Headlines

ST. LOUIS ( — Calls for help are on the rise at ambulance districts across the country as the pandemic continues. The American Ambulance District is warning the federal government that the emergency response system will buckle if additional assistance is not provided. 

“Call volume has been an interesting thing to examine during this time frame,” said Kyle Gaines, the spokesperson for the St. Charles County Ambulance District.

Call volume was down pretty significantly in the spring and summer with more people staying home. Since fall began, Gaines said call volume has been picking up and has now surpassed what it was during the same time in 2019. 

Added costs for PPE and staffing have been the biggest challenges, Gaines said.

“Whenever we have a team member, a paramedic has to quarantine, or is positive themselves, that position can’t go unfilled. This is not a situation where we can just work one short or two short or take a truck out of service,” said Gaines. 

During one shift earlier this fall, 11 of the 46 employees were not able to work. 

From July through September, overtime costs were up 112 percent this year compared to the same time frame in 2019. 

The American Ambulance Association is asking the Department of Health and Human Services for $2.6 billion to prevent the emergency medical system from buckling during the pandemic.

The group said that would give each department that is a member $43,500, which includes St. Charles County Ambulance District.

“Our use for that would be just like it was for the first round it would go toward those staffing needs that arise,” said Gaines. 

Gaines said because his department is not private and is partially funded by tax dollars, the department can survive even if the pandemic is prolonged. 

He is worried about the smaller, rural departments that rely more heavily on people using their ambulances. 

“We’ve been a little bit more well positioned to weather it, not saying it hasn’t impacted our overall budget in a pretty profound way because it certainly has,” said Gaines.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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Review: Geisha Sushi Bar is back on a roll | Dining

Vo worked at Flying Fish before taking over the restaurant about five years ago, renaming it Geisha Sushi Bar.

“A friend of mine worked at Flying Fish, and he recommended me for a job,” Vo said. “And I just fell in love with making sushi. I love the whole process — combining ingredients, creating the presentation.”

While Geisha Sushi Bar continues to offer in-house dining, my cohort for this review — who was quite eager to try what this Geisha had to offer — was less than eager to spend any amount of time in an enclosed space that was not home. So I opted for takeaway (the service rating reflects the convenience and efficiency of this process).

We each selected two rolls and one appetizer from Geisha’s lengthy menu, which includes a variety of sushi preparations, from nigiri to makimono, salads, sashimi and soups, as well as a few classic Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes.

For the appetizers, we chose the egg rolls ($7.95) and the shrimp shumai ($7.95). The house-made egg rolls would be hard to improve. The filling, a mix of finely chopped chicken, cabbage and carrots generously seasoned with black pepper, was densely packed into thin wrappers that fried up light and crisp. While they came with a sweet chili sauce, these egg rolls were tasty enough on their own.

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The shrimp shumai were more problematic. The six pieces in our order appeared to have been deep fried, rather than steamed, and the result was an odd flavor and texture. We had also ordered a bowl of miso soup ($2.50), which was not amongst the bags and boxes I carried away.

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