Business & Economy
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Brad Hahn   
Friday, 06 February 2015 13:00

Comptroller welcomes comprehensive approach

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger released the following statement Wednesday in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner's State of the State address:

"Governor Rauner showed leadership today by addressing our challenges head-on and laying out a comprehensive strategy for getting our state, and its economy, back on track.

"Too often, Illinois has taken a piece meal approach to governing, managing crisis to crisis instead of addressing the root of the problem. The Governor took a different tact in his address today, clearly defining the most pressing issues facing our businesses and families and offering his vision for how best to address them.

"To be clear: we will not agree on everything. And when the Governor offers more detail in his budget address later this month, there will be plenty of debate about how best to move forward. But that spirited discussion is exactly what is required and I look forward to working with all parties to ensure that it results in real solutions for our state and its taxpayers."


WineStyles Tasting Station Targets Davenport for Expansion PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Elayne Sommers   
Friday, 06 February 2015 12:36

- Largest Wine Boutique Franchise to Host Discovery Day on Feb. 23 in Coralville, Iowa -

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Jan. 28, 2015  – WineStyles Tasting Station®, a boutique concept dedicated to simplifying the wine and craft beer shopping experience, announced today it will host a Discovery Day in Coralville on Monday, Feb. 23 to share development opportunities in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities. WineStyles Tasting Station recently launched an aggressive growth plan to enter new cities in key states, such as Iowa and is actively recruiting passionate franchisees to develop six new stores in these territories.
The event will be held at the company’s flagship store located at 920 East 2nd Avenue #115 in Coralville from 6 – 8 p.m. The executive team will be on site to discuss the company’s new store design and growth opportunities with qualified candidates. To register for the event, please contact the corporate office at 866-424-WINE or

“We see great potential for further development in these metropolitan areas of Iowa,” said Bryan McGinness, CEO of WineStyles Tasting Station. “Our new store design and ongoing corporate support, as well as our high unit volumes and low start-up costs are just some of the reasons that make our brand an attractive investment opportunity for entrepreneurs. We look forward to meeting with prospective franchisees at our Discovery Day event in Coralville and sharing the many benefits of becoming a WineStyles Tasting Station franchisee.”

In addition to Coralville, WineStyles Tasting Station currently has three other Iowa stores located in Johnston, Sioux City and West Des Moines. The company aims to develop an additional 5-7 locations throughout Iowa in cities such as Ankeny, Marion and Dubuque over the next several years.

To fuel WineStyles Tasting Station's growth in Iowa and across the country, the company is seeking entrepreneurs with retail experience. WineStyles Tasting Stations will be developed through single-unit and area developer agreements. Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total cost of investment for one store to be approximately $229,000 - $380,500. The initial franchise fee is $25,000. For more information on franchising and conversion opportunities, visit our newly designed website, or call 866-424-WINE.

About WineStyles Tasting Station:

WineStyles Tasting Station demystifies wine and craft beers by categorizing bottles by style and taste, rather than by varietal or region. Each store features regional craft beers and hundreds of rotating wines from around the world with most priced $15 – $30 per bottle. WineStyles Tasting Station customers can also Taste, Learn and Enjoy® the best in artisanal cheeses, fine chocolates, craft beers, organic teas and other gourmet items. Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, WineStyles Tasting Station currently operates more than 25 locations across the country. WineStyles Tasting Station encourages all customers to drink wine and beer responsibly. For more information, visit

Gov. Branstad appoints Beth Townsend Iowa Workforce Development director PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 11:29

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today appointed Beth Townsend the director of Iowa Workforce Development.  Townsend has been serving as acting director of the department since Jan. 11, 2015, when former director Teresa Wahlert retired. Townsend previously served as the Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. A photo of Townsend can be found here.

“As the Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Beth put in place work standards and accountability measures to ensure employees were no longer making up nasty nicknames for each other and using personal emails while at work,” said Branstad. “As director of Iowa Workforce Development, I’m confident Beth will vigorously work to continue our efforts to help job creators find a talented and capable workforce.”

“Beth shares our administration’s commitment to job creation and ensuring Iowa workers have the skills to fill the careers of tomorrow,” said Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Beth’s dedication to public service and dedication to closing the middle-skills jobs gap will serve her well as the director of Iowa Workforce Development.”

Iowa Workforce Development contributes to the economic security of Iowa’s workers, businesses and communities through a comprehensive statewide system of employment services, education and regulation of health, safety and employment laws. The department aims to lead Iowa’s workforce by empowering workers and businesses to succeed in a dynamic global economy.

Townsend has worked in private practice at Townsend Law Office, where she represented individuals before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, federal and state jurisdictions in the area of civil rights and employment law. Before moving to Iowa, Townsend spent over 11 years as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Air Force where she served in a variety of positions including as a prosecutor and a defend counsel of airmen in trials by courts-martial.  As a reservist, Townsend finished her service as a Military Trial Judge.  She retired in 2010 after almost 21 years of service.

Townsend earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Nebraska-Kearney and a Juris Doctor degree from University of Nebraska. Townsend resides in Granger, Iowa. She has one son.

Townsend’s appointment is effective immediately and is subject to Iowa Senate confirmation.


Women’s New Retirement Realities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 10:23
Written By Donna M. Phelan, MBA

Although it is improving, there is an economic cost to being a woman that reverberates into retirement. It results from multiple long-term socio-economic conditions.

The first is that women have consistently earned less than men, and real wages have stagnated.  Currently women earn about one-fourth less than men.  The disparities are even greater for black women, who earn about 30 percent less and Hispanic women, who earn about 40 percent less ( The Center for American Progress calculates that over a forty-year career life, that difference may add up to $300,000 for lower earners, $431,000 for average earners and $723,000 for higher earners.

Women are also less likely than men to start their careers in, or get promoted to management positions.  A March 2010 Catalyst article in the Harvard Business Review reports that “women continue to lag men at every single career stage, right from their first professional jobs.”  Women comprise only 5 percent of CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies.  A 2014 Grant Thornton International Business Report survey, featured in the March 6, 2014 issue of Forbes, found that the number of women in senior management has “stagnated” at 24 percent since 2007. This means that most women miss out on the majority of lucrative executive benefits that may help secure their retirement.

An August 14, 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal, quoted an Aon Hewitt study, which said that the 401(k) gender gap is even bigger than the gender pay gap. The study showed that the average man’s 401(k) savings was $100,000 dollars.  The average woman’s 401(k) retirement saving’s was $59,300 dollars– a full 40 percent less.

Women are more likely to leave the workforce for childcare and eldercare.  This redirects their resources of time, money and energy away from retirement saving.  It also hinders career progress.  Studies by Claudia Goldin of Harvard show that when women reenter the workforce, they permanently lag behind in pay and promotions.

Women who leave the workforce for caregiving also incur consequences for Social Security. Women receive about one-fourth less than men in Social Security benefits, $13,236 versus $17,004. Nearly 30 percent of women over age 65 rely on Social Security for virtually all of their income, a rate that increases with age. The percent of women older than 65 living below the poverty level of $11,670 was 11 percent versus 6.6 percent for men, and 18.9 percent versus 11.9 percent for those living alone.  Women who turn on Social Security early for financial reasons permanently lock in a lower lifetime benefit in what may be their only pension.

Women also tend to work in industries that don’t offer retirement plans, so they miss the opportunity for wealth building through an employer match. With women’s average income hovering around $38,345, it is difficult to see how women would have any discretionary income left over for retirement saving.

Marital status is also a factor. Married women fare best, divorced and widowed women next best. Never-married single women incur the most cautious outlook for retirement.

The longevity gap between men and women is narrowing, but women still outlive men, and end up living out their later years alone.  Greater longevity is accompanied by larger risk of diminished purchasing power due to inflation.

The many socioeconomic issues facing women and retirement raise concern. What if the old method of trying to save enough for retirement doesn’t work for women?

New strategies are needed if women are going to thrive in retirement. Women should consider working longer in their careers, and part-time in retirement.  Women should also consider non-traditional residence sharing – renting out empty bedrooms, getting a roommate, and downsizing.  With the savings from reduced housing expenses, women could make financial investments in income-producing vehicles. Women could also turn their hobbies – for which they already have the skills, tools and materials – into profitable home-based businesses.

Women need to understand the role they play in their own retirement and take responsibility. They need to become financially literate and realize they will need income for life.  Women need to create stackable income streams to empower their retirement security and meet their monthly spending needs.

Women should also start talking to other women about retirement planning.  What are their friends doing to prepare for retirement? What if they got together once a month over coffee to start a conversation about women and retirement? They might discover that they have ideas, talents and resources to share with other women, which might enhance the retirement planning experience and success of a larger scope of women.

About Donna M. Phelan

Donna M. Phelan has spent more than 18 years at some of Wall Street’s largest and most prestigious investment firms. She holds an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut, and provides personal financial advice to clients coast to coast. The author of “Women, Money and Prosperity: A Sister’s Perspective on How to Retire Well,” (, she has lectured at conferences nationwide on a broad range of financial topics and has published numerous articles on investments, retirement and financial planning. Phelan was formerly president of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Connecticut state chapter and was active in the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) in New York.

LeClaire Chamber Newsletter PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by LeClaire Chamber of Commerce   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 10:41

The LeClaire Chamber of Commerce offers the opportunity for our members to share information about your business or events with over 2500 homes and businesses in the 52753 zip code area.  The newsletter comes out quarterly, and advertising is available to our members for very reasonable rates:  

1/8 page - $75

1/4 page - $100

1/2 page - $125

Full page - $250

If you commit to all four issues, you will receive a 10% discount for each of your ads! We will contact  you for specific size of your ad and any updates or changes in content to past ads prior to print of each newsletter. Please let us know which issues are of interest to you. You will be billed per issue, or you may pay in advance, and your ads can be changed as needed.

Questions or more information:

LeClaire Chamber of Commerce

PO Box 35

LeClaire, IA 52753      

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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