Artist Jon Stiff

Up and coming artist transforms home into stunning studio and gallery

A renowned artist has converted his terraced home into a stunning space for his innovative work and is all set to reopen it to the public as the pandemic eases. Jon Stiff of Stiffy Art won nationwide acclaim after starring in the Channel 4 series Drawers Off back in the spring of this year. But alongside TV fame, he has been bagging regular valuable commissions from private and business buyers alike. Jon, of Stratford-upon-Avon, who turns 60 next month, also works as a litigator, fighting contentious claims, while also building his artist’s portfolio. He works in various styles – including …

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Liverpool leads the way with sense-stirring new virtual experiences for event planners from across the globe

Liverpool has become the first city to launch a new multi-sensory platform, enabling event planners to experience its sights, sounds, textures, tastes and smells – wherever they are in the world. ‘Fully immersive’ virtual tours of the city region and key event venues are on the horizon, as Liverpool Convention Bureau embraces the ground-breaking technology. Corporate and association event planners are also set to explore The ACC Liverpool Group’s events campus – ACC Liverpool, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, and the M&S Bank Arena – through the Hyybab system. Tourism industry bosses have forged a partnership with the team behind the software, designed …

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Lee and Danny Dunne, of Payaro

Caring payments start-up set for £1.4 million turnover prepares for second round of investment

A payments technology company which helps children escaping domestic violence with every transaction is set for a £1.4 million turnover in its first year.​ Payaro Ltd  gained initial investment late last year. Due to exponential UK growth, with a month-on-month revenue increase of 40 per cent, expansion plans have been brought forward. That means a second round of investment opportunity came earlier than anticipated.   The Staffordshire-based company backs the Buddy Bag Foundation with a percentage of each sale completed through its innovative sales systems and has pledged an additional donation of £1,000 every year. It is gearing up for a second round of investment following significant growth, and having welcomed new private equity is opening the doors to more backers to …

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Leo Platt, from Hyybab, Jessica Brabant and Ryan Doyle from Park Regis Birmingham and Paul Lloyd, from Hyybab

Birmingham hotel revolutionises client experience with innovative show-round break-through

Park Regis Birmingham has become the first hotel in the world  to offer a ground-breaking new visitor experience – without guests setting foot inside the venue. Ryan Doyle, Group Director of Sales for Switch Hospitality Management Group, which oversees the city centre hotel, said he’d got brilliant feedback from event bookers after piloting the Hyybab innovation. He said the new luxury tech platform had helped the hotel continue to interact with clients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, in “providing a tangible sensory experience” – remotely. “We’ve been able to continue a new business campaign targeting travel and event managers and personal …

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Leo and Paul from hyybab

Birmingham entrepreneurs say ‘Hi Bab’ to innovative hospitality venture

A couple are celebrating the launch of their luxury hospitality business named in honour of a cheery Brummie welcome. Leo Platt and husband Paul Lloyd are the brains behind hyybab, which offers potential upmarket hotel and attraction bookers, planners and accommodation buyers all the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a visit – virtually. Those who are invited receive a luxurious box filled with treats including cocktails, nibbles and hotel beauty products, enabling them to become “fully immersed” in the venue. There are also headphones and a 3D viewer so the visitor can experience a big step up from a …

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Always make sure windows are safe

National window safety week: Expert advice in light of tragedies

A safety expert is warning of the dangers of wide-open windows after two tragedies hit the headlines. A 44-year-old woman died in Southampton after falling from her first-floor flat and in Malaga, a 14-week old baby was killed as she slipped from a fifth-floor apartment. It comes a month after a window fell and broke from the fifth floor of a block of flats in Kilburn, North London. Miraculously, nobody was hurt. In National Window Safety Week, Eric Collins, MD of Jackloc, based in Lutterworth Leicestershire is passing on advice to keep people safe. He said: “These incidents are heart-breaking and …

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Recycling experts lead the way with carbon neutral mission

A major recycling group is celebrating reaching a carbon neutral milestone amid a £1 million investment for a greener future. The Appliance Recycling Group  based in Tipton, West Midlands, which reclaims around 100,000 household items a year, has achieved carbon neutral status.  Director James Farmer said he considered the move a duty as a provider of environmental services whose vehicles cover around 100,000 miles a year collecting and transferring waste. He added: “We are delighted our operation is now carbon neutral, in accordance with internationally required criteria, known as PAS2060 Certification from the British Standard Institute.  “We have agreed a …

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Outspoken mentor says autism makes him a better businessman – as he launches trades’ profit-boosting ‘bible’

A veteran mentor diagnosed as autistic at the age of 54 who says it makes him a better businessman is publishing his new book to help men and women in construction and the trades supercharge their businesses and profits. Jon McCulloch, now 56, also known as the Evil Bald Genius,  is the author of Get Off the Tools – The Smart Tradesman’s Business Bible. Described as a blueprint to help change the way you think about your business, the book focuses on Jon’s renowned Trades Accelerator Model™ and is being published as World Autism Month gets under way. Jon, who …

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Caring Staffordshire start-up supports children in women’s refuge with Buddy Bag pack

Staff at a community-focused Burton business filled 180 backpacks of essential items and teddies for children escaping violent homes.  The first Buddy Bag pack at Payaro gave its team a hands-on insight into the charity they have pledged to support with £10,000 a year.  Payaro directors Danny and Lee Dunne then delivered some of the bags to a local women’s refuge.   They were joined by Karen Williams OBE, founder of the Buddy Bag Foundation, which funds the supplies to children entering emergency accommodation entirely through donations.  Payaro is a new start-up where every time a payment is made through its payment technology, a share …

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Caring kids’ chance to win a family heirloom in jeweller’s creative contest

Children are being given the chance to design a unique family heirloom for their mum or dad in a competition being launched by a Birmingham jeweller. Joanne Turner, from GemPort Jewellery, was inspired to launch the giveaway after her own daughter gave her a beautiful pendant design as a Mother’s Day gift. Mum-of-two Joanne, who lives near Lichfield, said she was so touched with the pendant – a hummingbird designed as a symbol of love by daughter Alisha, 14, that she wanted another parent to celebrate that special bond. She said: “Alisha drew a pendant with a mum and baby …

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