Business & Economy
Loebsack Statement on Siemens Job Announcement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 15:00
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after Siemens announced they were reducing their workforce nationwide, including positions in Ft. Madison.

“Today’s announcement is another reminder just how far our economy has to go to fully recover and how much work Congress should be doing. My thoughts go to those and their families who are affected by this news.

“This announcement also demonstrates the need for Congress to act and renew the Production Tax Credit for wind energy.  While this is not fully the cause, renewing the tax credit, which has broad, bipartisan support, will give the wind energy industry the stability it needs.  Congress should not be going home to campaign at a time when so much critical work remains unfinished.  The livelihood of thousands of Iowans depends on the renewal of the credit.”

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Loebsack Applauds Move to Protect Jobs at Home, Not in China PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:48

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement in response to the announcement that the United States will take action against China at the World Trade Organization for illegally subsidizing exports in their auto and auto-parts sectors, a practice that is putting U.S. auto parts manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage.  Loebsack has been a long time supporter of several pieces of legislation that would keep jobs here in Iowa, protect our homegrown wind energy from illegally subsidized products made in China, and stop the Chinese from illegally manipulating their currency. He also specifically called on the administration to address the threat against U.S. jobs in the auto-parts sectors earlier this year.

“When Iowa workers and manufactures have a level playing field, they will outcompete any other worker in the world and today’s action will help level the playing field.   At a time when our economy is still struggling to recover, we have to do all we can to focus on preserving and protecting jobs here at home by working to stop the unfair practices by China that threaten good Iowa jobs. I will continue to fight against unfair and illegal trade practices to ensure Iowans are competing on a level playing field.”

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Governor Quinn Announces Record High of Illinois Exports to Mexico PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:21

Calls Mexican Independence Day a time to honor a century of friendship, trade

CHICAGO, IL - September 15, 2012.  On the eve of Mexican Independence Day, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois exports to Mexico in the first half of 2012 topped $3 billion - a 13.7 percent increase over the previous year and a new record high. The state’s robust trading relationship with Mexico has been enhanced by the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment in Mexico City, as well as a century-long tradition of friendship and trade between Illinois and Mexico. Illinois exports overall are at the highest level in a decade and today’s announcement is the latest step towards Governor Quinn’s goal of doubling Illinois exports by 2015.

“Illinois is home to world-class goods and services, and we should utilize all of our assets to get a competitive edge in global markets,” Governor Quinn said. “One of our most valuable resources is a century-long tradition of friendship and trade with Mexico, which we honor on days such as Mexican Independence Day.”

Mexico has played a key role in Illinois’ rise in exports, with 20 percent growth in 2010 and 34 percent growth in 2011. In his push to increase trade, the Governor established a high-level Export Advisory Council comprised of the State’s top CEOs and private sector leaders to craft strategies for boosting exports, while serving as global ambassadors for the State.

Governor Quinn - who marched in the Mexican Independence Day Parade in Chicago’s La Villita last week - noted that Mexican immigration to Chicago began in earnest exactly 100 years ago. Illinois has enjoyed a strong relationship with places such as Michoacán, Monterrey and Mexico City, and these ties are translating into healthy trading opportunities.

The Illinois Office of Trade and Investment - located on Mexico City’s bustling Paseo de La Reforma - has been providing small and medium-sized Illinois businesses with expertise in all phases of export development as well as partner contacts in Mexico. The Office provides critical support to any Illinois business wanting to enter the Mexican market. In 2011, Mexico accounted for nearly 9 percent of Illinois’ total export portfolio with $5.7 billion in exports, and - in the post-NAFTA era - ranks second only to Canada as a trading partner.  Exported goods to Mexico include machinery, agriculture products, electronics and chemicals.

The Mexican-origin population living and working in Illinois (1.6 million persons, or 12.5% of the State’s population, according to the 2010 Census) is also an important component in the commercial, investment, social and cultural relationship that generates economic benefits to both Illinois and Mexico. Further, some Illinois municipalities have established “sister city” relationships in Mexico as well: Naperville with Pátzcuaro, Michoacán; Highland Park with Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco; Springfield with San Pedro de Las Colonias, Coahuila; Kankakee with Guanajuato, and Chicago with Mexico City.

Illinois continues to rank first in the Midwest for exports and was the sixth-largest U.S. exporting state in 2011. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at www.illinoisbiz.biz.

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Breaking Bad Reviews: How to Protect Your Small Business Online PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:10

It happens all the time: The hard-working crew at a small business loses customers thanks to the sour grapes of one person.

It could be a disgruntled employee, an angry customer or even a competitor, says V. Michael Santoro, coauthor with John S. Rizzo of Niche Dominance: Creating Order Out of Your Digital Marketing Chaos (www.NicheDominance.com).

“Anyone can post a bad review online and hurt your business,” says Santoro, who is a managing partner with Rizzo of Globe On-Demand, an internet technology company. “Unfortunately, most business owners are not even aware that these bad reviews are out there.”

Seventy-two percent of buyers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 70 percent trust consumer opinions posted online, according to a recent Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey.

“A bad review published in a newspaper, or broadcast on radio or TV, is short-lived, but a bad review posted online can live indefinitely,” says Rizzo. “With consumers now researching an average of 10 reviews before making a buying decision, and 70 percent trusting a business that has a minimum of six reviews posted, business owners need to be proactive in developing their online reputation. You need several positive reviews.”

Online searches have been streamlined, combining reviews with maps, pay-per-click advertising, local business directories and Facebook Fan pages, Santoro says.  As damaging as bad reviews can be, positive reviews can be equally constructive, he says.

Rizzo and Santoro offer an Internet marketing strategy called “reputation marketing,” described in the following steps:

• Develop a 5-Star Reputation: Begin by having your happy customers post great reviews about your business. Strive to have at least 10. Have each post to one of the following: Google Plus Local, Yelp, CitySearch, SuperPages, YP.com, your Facebook Fan page, etc. This needs to be a continuous process. Proactively ask your customers to post reviews.

• Market Your Reputation: Once reviews are posted, use a well-designed online marketing strategy to drive targeted traffic to your website. Ensure that your website can convert this traffic into customers. Additionally, showcase these third-party reviews on your website.

• Manage Your Reputation: Regularly check that the reviews being posted are positive. You can use Google Alerts for your business name; however, you will need to check the local directories, too, since they’re not picked up by Google Alerts. By building up the positive reviews, you can counter a poor one by sheer volume. You should also quickly post a reply to a negative review if they occur. Always be professional and indicate what action you have taken to remedy the situation.

• Create a Reputation Marketing Culture: Train your staff to proactively ask customers for reviews and to deal immediately with any customer who appears unhappy. A positive culture will encourage customers to post positive reviews about your business.

About John S. Rizzo & V. Michael Santoro

John S. Rizzo obtained his bachelor’s in business administration and spent three years as a consultant for Amazon.com’s publishing group. He has assisted several businesses with digital marketing strategy and has served in leadership positions for multiple initiatives for the Charleston, S.C.-Area Chamber of Commerce.

V. Michael Santoro has more than 10 years in the digital marketing field. His prior experience includes international senior marketing positions in technology fields. He has a master’s degree from Central Connecticut State University and an undergraduate degree from the University of New Haven. Santoro was an adjunct professor with the computer science department of Western Connecticut State University.

 
Loebsack: A Double Dose of Kicking the Economy Down the Road PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:52

Congress punts on funding the government, looming ‘fiscal cliff’

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today again called on the Speaker of the House to deal with the looming “fiscal cliff” in a substantive way instead of kicking it down the road for another six months. Press reports recently stated the Majority Party is planning on bringing up short-term extensions to deal with a range of pending issues instead of working toward compromise with Speaker Boehner stating he’s “not confident at all” that Congress can reach a deal. Additionally, Moody's Investor Services announced they will again downgrade the U.S. credit rating if a budget deal cannot be reached.

The House leadership also missed another opportunity today by passing appropriations legislation for the upcoming year that continues current funding for six months rather than addressing any real issues.  Congress could have addressed the 2013 budget and responsibly done its job, but instead, faced with 17 days until a government shutdown, once again responded to its work by kicking it down the road and maintaining the status quo.

In a letter to Speaker Boehner, Loebsack wrote, “The American people are tired of Congress not doing the work they were sent here to do, likely why this Congress is the least popular in history.  This news comes after the decision to send the House of Representatives on vacation for the month of August a day early without action on critical looming issues like the Bush tax policies, sequestration, the wind energy production credit, the research and development credit, the sustainable growth rate, the biodiesel credit, and expiration of Midwestern Area Disaster Bonds to name a few.”

He concluded, “I respectfully urge your attention to moving forward substantive proposals on the “fiscal cliff” and hope I can work in a bipartisan fashion to help move forward common-sense proposals.”

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