Necker Island has been Richard Branson’s personal fiefdom for 40 years. But as his Virgin-branded businesses are battered by the coronavirus crisis, the billionaire is turning to his Caribbean hideaway for cash.

Branson wrote to staff Monday saying he plans to “raise as much money against the island as possible” as the pandemic lays waste to industries where Virgin competes, including airlines, hotels and cruises.

While it’s true that Branson has been hit hard by the economic fallout from Covid-19, the move to put his own home on the line is also a result of the lukewarm response to his pleas for government bailouts of Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. The Australian company collapsed into administration on Tuesday.

Decades of media-friendly exploits, from attempts at world records to glitzy airline route launches to a bid to establish the world’s first space-tourism company, have become a millstone as states balk at coming to the aid of one of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs.

Coloring that reluctance is Necker Island itself, with the British Virgin Islands retreat portrayed as nothing more than a tax haven by some U.K. politicians and newspapers.

Branson confronts the claim in his letter, …

Why founder Ethan Brown is creating an ethical and sustainable food revolution, powered by plants.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The night before Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown met with Bill Gates, his credit card was declined at his hotel. His plant-based meat company was on the precipice of success, and Gates would later become a key investor, but at that moment, Brown wondered where he would sleep.

Brown and Beyond Meat have come a long way since that night. The company had one of the most successful IPOs of 2019, and its game changing products are sold in approximately 77,000 stores in more than 65 countries worldwide. Its healthy and delicious Beyond Breakfast Sausages are available in Dunkin’ Donuts (offering more protein and iron, 44% less saturated fat, 50% less total fat, 37% less sodium and no cholesterol when compared to the traditional pork sausage patty). A recent pilot program of Beyond Fried Chicken at KFC ran out in five hours

Constant innovation remains the company’s key to success. “If you’re chasing us, you’re chasing a ghost, because we’ve moved on,” says Brown.

Brown saw the

Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:

Coca-Cola (KO) – Coca-Cola reported quarterly earnings of 51 cents per share, 7 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also came in above Wall Street forecasts. The company said a shift in consumer habits due to the Covid-19 pandemic would materially impact results this quarter but it is hopeful for a second-half rebound.

Travelers (TRV) – The insurance company earned $2.62 per share for the first quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.85 a share. Revenue was also short of estimates, hit by higher catastrophe losses. Travelers took $86 million in charges related to the coronavirus outbreak, but it did announce a 4% dividend hike.

Philip Morris (PM) – The tobacco producer beat estimates by 8 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.21 per share. Revenue also beat consensus. The company said the Covid-19 pandemic had limited impact during the quarter, but that it would hurt full-year results.

LabCorp (LH) – The medical lab operator received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its at-home Covid-19 test. The test requires consumers to fill out a questionnaire and then get approval from a health-care provider.

President Donald Trump said he’ll sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States as the country tries to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump made the announcement by tweet late Monday night, and did not offer specifics, such as the time frame or the scope of who would be affected. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

He tweeted that he made the decision, “in light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.”

It’s the latest measure taken by Trump and his administration to restrict the U.S. border amid the pandemic. Trump has imposed broad travel restrictions on China, Europe, Canada and Mexico to curb the virus’s spread, and the State Department last month temporarily suspended routine visa services at embassies and consulates.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has also …

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Good morning, Bull Sheeters. It’s safe (for now) to look at the screen again. Equities may be trading lower, but at least oil markets are no longer in upside-down world. Still, the uncertainty is dragging just about everything down.

Let’s check on what’s moving markets.

Markets update

Asia

  • The region’s major indices are all trading lower, led down by Hong Kong‘s Hang Seng.
  • During Asian trade, the price of U.S. crude, WTI, climbed back above zero. The May futures contract is trading at a princely 14 cents per barrel, as I type. Counting the change in my pocket, I could afford three barrels, and probably haggle for a fourth.
  • Much of the turmoil this morning can be seen in South Korea. Conflicting reports from north of the border, of Kim Jong Un‘s fragile health, is sending the won and KOSPI in a tailspin.

Europe

  • Europe was the outlier yesterday with all major bourses ending in the green. They’re all down at the open today by more than 1%