Business & Economy
Letter to editor re Joni Ernst on Minimum wage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Lance Coles   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:49

Dear Ms. Ernst,

You recently said that a federal minimum wage was “ridiculous.” A policy that protects tens of millions of American workers and whose erosion due to Congressional passivity has left 200,000+ Iowans making less today, adjusted for inflation, than low­wage workers made 46 years is far from ridiculous.

Are the 70­80% of Americans ­­ across every demographic group, including a majority of Republicans ­­ who, in poll after poll, support raising the federal minimum wage ridiculous?


Are the four Republican Presidents ­­ Eisenhower, Nixon, and both Bushes ­­ who raised the minimum wage ridiculous?


Are the 61% of small business employers polled by the American Sustainable Business Council who support a raise in the federal minimum wage ­­ including 49% of Republican small business employers ­­ ridiculous?


Are the seven Nobel Prize­winning economists who support a raise in the federal minimum wage ­­ citing the “stimulative effect on the economy as low­wage workers spend their additional earnings” ­­ ridiculous?


Are conservative leaders like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Bill O’Reilly, and Phyllis Schlafly ­­ who point out that indexing the minimum wage assures business certainty and that rewarding work lessens public assistance expenditures ­­ ridiculous?


Are the 65% of Iowans polled who favor raising the minimum wage ­­ including Senator Tom Harkin, who drafted the federal bill that would bring $430 million in aggregate wage increases to hundreds of thousands of Iowans ­­ ridiculous?


A growing substantial consensus of Americans, Republicans, small business employers, economists, conservative leaders, and, specifically, Iowans believe that the minimum wage should be restored to its past purchasing power: $10.94, which the minimum wage would be today if the 1968 minimum wage was adjusted for inflation. They also believe it should be preserved through indexing so that the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage is never eroded again.

You are running for Senator ­­ a federal office ­­ and the people of Iowa deserve to know your stance on the federal minimum wage. The question is simple: If elected, would you support or oppose restoring the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage?


The 200,000+ Iowans who are making less today, adjusted for inflation, than minimum wage workers made 46 years ago await your answer.


Charlie Wishman, Secretary/Treasurer Iowa Federation of Labor – AFL-CIO

Square 1 Bank Announces Credit Facility to Orbis Education PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dee McDougal   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 13:23

CHICAGO, Oct. 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Square 1 Bank, the premier banking partner to entrepreneurs and the venture capital community, today announced that it has provided a $5 million credit facility to new client Orbis Education, an education solutions company bridging the gap between academic and healthcare communities. Proceeds of the credit facility will provide working capital to support the company's future growth.

Founded in 2003, Orbis set out to examine the root causes of the nursing shortage and to develop a company and business model that would help address the issues it identified. Through collaborations with leading education institutions, hospitals, and nursing programs, Orbis created innovative nursing education solutions such as curriculum building, online instruction and accelerated degree opportunities.

"From the first conversation with us, Square 1 understood our business and our industry, which allowed it to create a flexible credit facility that will help Orbis attain its growth plans," said Dan Briggs, CEO and president of Orbis Education. "Square 1 Bank will be a great partner for us for the long term."

Ryan Dammeyer, managing director of Square 1 Bank's Midwest practice, added, "With strong backing from investors and leading medical universities across the country, Orbis Education has established itself as a pioneer for modern healthcare education solutions. We're very pleased to partner with a company committed not only to building a sustainable, educated workforce for future generations, but also to quality patient care."

About Square 1 Bank

Square 1 Bank is a full service commercial bank dedicated exclusively to serving the financial needs of the venture capital community and entrepreneurs in all stages of growth and expansion. Square 1's expertise, focus and strong capital base provide flexible resources and unmatched support to meet our clients' needs. Square 1 has offices coast-to-coast in Austin, the Bay Area, Boston, Denver, Durham, Los Angeles/Orange County, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. For more information, visit

About Orbis Education

Founded in 2003, Orbis Education creates, markets, and manages collaborative healthcare education solutions that help alleviate workforce shortages for hospitals and healthcare systems. Orbis Education enables the growth of existing educational programs by pairing an academic institution with a healthcare system to offer high quality programs. For more information, visit

SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT AVAILABLE Through The Salvation Army of the Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Holly Nomura   
Friday, 03 October 2014 13:17

Quad Cities, IA/IL: Hundreds of Red Kettle Campaign bell ringers will be needed this season to help stand all fifty Quad Cities Red Kettle Locations. The hours can be as few as 8 hours per week, and as many as 40 hours per week. The bell ringing campaign will begin Friday, November 7, 2014.

The applications will be taken in ROCK ISLAND COUNTY beginning October 6th:

2200 -5th Avenue, Moline, IL

Monday through Friday 9am – 1pm

The applications will be taken in SCOTT COUNTY beginning October 1st:

3400 W. Central Park Avenue, Davenport, IA

Mondays 12pm – 3pm

Wednesdays and Fridays 9am – 3pm

Social security card and current photo id are required to be hired.

Volunteers are also sought: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer bell ringer, please go to for easy sign-up.

82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used to sustain

year-round programs that foster hope, and help change lives.


News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Aleisha Chiesa   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:04

More Top-Quality Retail Will Bring New Energy To Moline

MOLINE, Ill ― September 30, 2014 ― The evolution of SouthPark Mall continues as today the center announces DICK’S Sporting Goods.

DICK’S Sporting Goods, the leading omni-channel sporting goods retailer, will bring an extensive assortment of authentic, high-quality sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories to serve the athletes and outdoor enthusiasts of the Moline community.  The store is expected to open in June 2015.

“Through exciting new retail and amenities, we are always working to perfect the overall experience for our local community,” said Kathy Jurgens, Property Manager for SouthPark Mall. “We are committed to bringing in the best brands and DICK’S Sporting Goods, the leading sporting goods provider, fits with our ongoing strategy for the future of the center.”

As the redevelopment at SouthPark continues, thirteen national retailers have reinvested new prototypes into the center, including Journeys, Shoe Dept. Encore and Bath & Body Works, to name a few. Improvements to the interior and exterior aesthetics are making the mall a completely new shopping experience. The new lighting, brighter colors and soft seating amenities are transforming the center and the newly designed Kids Play Area will be unveiled just in time for the holiday season.

SouthPark’s official unveiling of the new shopping experience is set for November 13th at 10a with officials from the City of Moline, the Chamber and a special guest, Santa will attend. “Rediscover SouthPark” festivities will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting, a family concert, and entertainment throughout the holiday season that includes Santa’s arrival and fun, family- focused entertainment that includes Snacks with Santa and the always popular, Pet Night with Santa. More details to come throughout the season.

Macerich, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust or REIT, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States.

Macerich currently owns 57 million square feet of real estate consisting primarily of interests in 53 regional shopping centers. Macerich specializes in successful retail properties in many of the country's most attractive, densely populated markets with significant presence in California, Arizona, Chicago and the Greater New York Metro area. Additional information about Macerich can be obtained from the Company's website at

About DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc.

Founded in 1948, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. is a leading omni-channel sporting goods retailer offering an extensive assortment of authentic, high-quality sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories. As of August 2, 2014, the Company operated more than 570 DICK'S Sporting Goods locations, serving and inspiring athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to achieve their personal best through a blend of dedicated associates, in-store services and unique specialty shop-in-shops.  Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, DICK’S also owns and operates Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream and True Runner specialty stores. For more information, visit the Press Room at




The 5 C’s for Building a Successful Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 13:09

Small businesses have made a huge recovery since the economic crash in 2008 and that’s good news for all of us. Since we account for 63 percent of new jobs, our success puts people back to work. That, in turn, helps us even more – people with paychecks buy stuff!

And here’s more good news: The number of new businesses launching has grown each year since hitting a low in 2009.  One report put it at 540,000 new businesses a month this year.

In hopes of contributing in my own small way, I thought I’d share my 5 C’s for building a business. These are the guiding principles I’ve learned in the 24 years since I founded EMSI Public Relations. Through the ups and downs and all the mistakes, I’ve found that if I keep my compass set on the 5 C’s, we always make it through to smoother waters.

What are the C’s?

•  Caring
It starts with caring enough about yourself and your dreams to stay committed to achieving your goals. (Giving up is never a good option!) You have to care enough about yourself to firmly believe that you deserve success and the good things that come with it.

Just as important is caring about your staff and creating a positive work environment for them. Protect their sanity from the clients who want to chew them up and from new hires who don’t fit in and hurt morale. Be supportive when stressful situations arise in their lives outside of work. And ensure everyone has the knowledge and tools they need to be successful.

None of us gets far at all if we don’t care about our customers. Give them the best exchange possible for their money; define expectations so that they understand the end product you are delivering and for which they are paying. Be willing to listen to their concerns, take responsibility for mistakes, and correct them.

•  Courage
Thirty years ago, I probably would never have said it takes courage to lead a small business, but without it, I assure you, you’ll fail. There are dragons and quicksand and dark woods all around. You’ll find them in the day-to-day problems, the obstacles you didn’t see lying in wait, the risks you must take, and the stresses involved with honoring your obligations to everyone working with and for you.

Trust me, your courage will grow every time you push your fear behind you and deal with what frightens you. Which will also help you build confidence.

•  Confidence
Think of the many challenges you’ve faced in your life, and the many times you’ve overcome them. Bring that confidence to your business. Believing that you can reach for and achieve your short- and long-term goals is essential to getting you there.

•  Competence
Competence comes from knowledge and experience. Hone it by staying up on the trends and disruptions in your industry. One of the most important roles a CEO plays is as the visionary for his or her company. That means you can’t, and shouldn’t, take on jobs within your company for which you’re not qualified. You’ll make yourself miserable and your business will suffer. Hire an accountant to handle the financials. Get marketing help if that’s not your thing.

As for employees, take the time to hire competent people who you’ll trust in their jobs – and then trust them!

•  Commitment
Stay dedicated to your goals no matter how difficult that becomes. That may mean taking painful measures, as it did for me after the 9/11 terrorist attacks put the brakes on the economy. There came a point for my business when all hope looked lost. I had to make drastic cuts, including letting go beloved employees. For more than a year, I ramped up marketing efforts, diversified our services, and took other steps to get the business out of the red. In 2005, I succeeded – and it has been upward and onward ever since.

Building my business has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I get a lot of pleasure from helping our clients meet their goals. I enjoy coming to work and spending time with the team I’m blessed to call part of the family. We laugh loudly and often!

If you’ve recently launched a new business, know that you’ll encounter challenges. Don’t panic! Remember the 5 C’s and forge ahead with caring, courage, confidence, competence and commitment.

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a public relations expert with 25 years’ experience developing publicity strategies for celebrities, corporations and media newcomers alike. Using the proprietary system she created as founder and CEO of EMSI Public Relations, (, an award-winning national agency, she secures thousands of top-tier media placements annually for her clients. The former senior vice president for marketing at the American Economic Council, Marsha is a sought-after advisor on PR issues and strategies. She shares her knowledge in her Amazon best-selling book, Celebritize Yourself, and as a popular speaker at organizations around the country.

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