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UK risks lasting economic scars from Covid and Brexit, OECD warns

UK risks lasting economic scars from Covid and Brexit, OECD warns

The UK will need to invest heavily in digital infrastructure and drive through reforms to raise productivity if it is to repair long-term economic damage left by the Covid-19 crisis and the effects of Brexit, the OECD said on Wednesday.

Britain’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic among the 37 tracked by the international organisation, which said UK gross domestic product was set to be 10.1 per cent smaller at the end of 2020 than it was a year earlier and to recover only some of the ground in 2021, with growth of 7.6 per cent.

These forecasts are contingent on the course of the virus, and the extent of restrictions needed to contain it, but the UK’s prospects are even more uncertain because of the risk of a disorderly exit from the EU single market, which the OECD said could depress GDP by 5 per cent over two years.

Further public investment would be needed in digital infrastructure, such as high-speed broadband in deprived or rural areas, and the government could do more to push the transition to green technology, for example by making support to businesses in polluting industries conditional on switching to cleaner processes.

“Actions taken to address the pandemic and decisions made on future trading relationships will have a lasting impact on the UK’s economic trajectory for years to come, so they should be in line with long-term objectives,” said Laurence Boone, the OECD’s chief economist. “Productivity growth in service sectors will have to accelerate significantly for the recovery to be long-lasting and sustainable,” she said.

The immediate challenge is to support low-income households and get people back into good jobs, it found. Alvaro Santos Pereira, the OECD’s director of country studies, said higher unemployment would have “a massive impact” if it

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Venice businesses turn fossils and sharks’ teeth into lasting memories

Venice businesses turn fossils and sharks’ teeth into lasting memories

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VENICE – When Visit Sarasota County wants to differentiate south Sarasota County beaches from the rest of the state, they quickly point to the Venice area and the pastime of searching sand near the surf for fossilized shark teeth.

 “It’s very important,” Visit Sarasota Vice President Erin Duggan said. Many beach communities have fine restaurants, she said, but, “talking about the shark’s tooth draw and Venice being the shark’s tooth capital of the world, it’s always given us something to differentiate us from other beach locations.”

On its web site, Visit Sarasota County points to the beaches from Casey Key south to Manasota Key as wonderful places to search for shark’s teeth, but south Brohard Beach and Caspersen Beach stand out for the sheer quantity of teeth – though shark tooth and fossil aficionados are quick to point out that prized large fossilized megalodon teeth are most frequently found by divers offshore.

“I personally have met plenty of people on the beach and you can tell when you see somebody on the beach looking for shark’s teeth,” Venice MainStreet CEO Kara Morgan said. “They come to Venice specifically for that, it certainty plays into the town’s identity and is something of

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