Business & Economy
Shoe Dept. Encore is now open at both SouthPark & NorthPark Malls! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Aleisha Chiesa   
Monday, 29 September 2014 13:52

WHO: Shoe Dept. Encore is a new concept for the Quad Cities, but they have been in business for over 50 years. Shoe Dept. Encore is run by its parent company, Shoe Show, Inc. which was founded in 1960 in Kannapolis, NC. Shoe Show, Inc. centers their success on providing great products, customer service and value.

WHAT: Shoe Dept. Encore at NorthPark is near Dillard’s and next to Victoria’s Secret at SouthPark. Shoe Dept. Encore has thousands of shoes for kids, women and men with a fun relaxation station in the men’s section. Booties are the trend for fall and Shoe Dept. Encore’s fall boot sale is right on point.

For more information on great sales and events, visit www.north-park-mall-ia.com or www.shopsouthparkmall-il.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthParkMallIA or @SouthParkMallIL and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NorthParkMallIA or www.facebook.com/SouthParkMallIL

WHERE: Shoe Dept. Encore - NorthPark Mall across from LensCrafters and near Dillard’s and Shoe Dept. Encore – SouthPark Mall next to Victoria’s Secret and near Von Maur

 
L & D 15 Opening Up in Downtown Davenport PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by T. Brecht   
Monday, 29 September 2014 11:22

Since moving from Brooklyn to Davenport a little more than a year, David Balluff and Lopeti Etu have searched long and hard to find the perfect space for their eclectic hand-made clothing and hat (and other stuff) store.

A brief residency in cramped quarters at Bucktown came to an end awhile ago, and the pair have been busy fulfilling mail order requests in their apartment since. But they finally found what they were looking for in The Market building on W. 2nd Street.

"It's a great location for us, with gigantic windows and close to the Farmers' Market, the Figge, the bike trail and other things going on down here," said Balluff, who manufactures organic cotton and bamboo silkscreen shirts, dresses, sarongs, onsies, tank tops and other fine products under the name General Assembly.

His partner, Lopeti Etu, creates hand-blocked hats of all sorts, under the brand Lopeti Etu Millinery.

Both of their complete lines of products, as well as those of other local and far-flung original designers, will be housed at the new L&D 15 limited edition clothing, accessories and housewares shop.

Balluff said the fact the building was known as the New York Hat Company in the 1910s, made it seem like the perfect home for he and Lopeti's vision.

"We're bringing back not only hat manufacturing, but we were recently in New York ourselves," he said.

Etu and Balluff plan to reach out to artists and designers both locally and internationally, including open calls for artists/makers and other creatives to present new products. That will happen closer to the studio’s opening.

“We’re trying to build something that gives back to the community,” Balluff said. "Our target market isn't young or old, rich or poor. It's people who appreciate things made by hand."

He calls this "retail 2.0" - meaning L&D 15 won't be just a place to shop, but a living workshop and community gathering space.

Part of their interior work that includes renovating floors and painting. They are using lumber from Davenport Public Works’ urban wood utilization program. They plan to open sometime in November.

 
Federal Home Loan Banks of Des Moines and Seattle Enter Into Merger Agreement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Angie Richards   
Friday, 26 September 2014 08:48
DES MOINES, Iowa and SEATTLE, Sept. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines ("FHLB Des Moines") and the
Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle ("FHLB Seattle") announced today that
they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge the two Banks.
Material details of the merger agreement are included in the Banks'
related Form 8-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of
directors of both Banks. The closing of the merger is subject to
certain closing conditions, including approval by the Federal Housing
Finance Agency (FHFA) and ratification by the member-owners of the Des
Moines and Seattle Banks.

"The boards of directors of both institutions believe that a merger
between FHLB Des Moines and FHLB Seattle would combine two
complementary organizations with similar cultures, membership
characteristics and solid financial positions," said FHLB Des Moines
President and Chief Executive Officer Dick Swanson. "The combined Bank
would remain a member-owned and member-centric cooperative, deeply
focused on helping its members strengthen their institutions to better
serve their customers and communities."

Nearly 1,500 member financial institutions would benefit from a
combined Bank with increased economies of scale, greater risk
diversification and an enhanced suite of products and services. The
combined institution would serve 13 states and the U.S. Pacific
territories.

"We believe that this merger of Federal Home Loan Banks will result in
a cooperative that will be stronger than either the Seattle or Des
Moines cooperative on an individual basis," commented FHLB Seattle
President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Wilson. "While the combined
Bank will be headquartered in Des Moines, it will be committed to
serving its members and their communities across the new combined
district, with at least one member director from each state on the
board of directors and an ongoing customer-service presence in the
Northwest."

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Dick Swanson and Mike Wilson
would be co-executive leaders, serving as chief executive officer and
president, respectively.

The two Banks are part of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) System.
Created by Congress in 1932, the FHLBanks are a strong and reliable
source of funds for local lenders to finance housing, community
development, jobs and economic growth. There are 12 Federal Home Loan
Banks, each of which is a cooperative owned by member financial
institutions. FHLBank membership includes approximately 7,500 financial
institutions with representation from every U.S. state and territory,
including commercial banks, credit unions, thrifts, insurance companies
and community development financial institutions.

The next step in the process is for the Banks to submit a merger
application to the FHFA. Following regulatory approval of the merger
agreement, FHLB Des Moines and FHLB Seattle members will receive
detailed information about the potential merger. The potential merger
must be approved by the members of both Banks through a voting process
that is expected to take place in the first half of 2015.

Sandler O'Neill served as financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster LLP
served as legal counsel to FHLB Des Moines. Citigroup Global Markets
Inc. served as financial advisor and Perkins Coie LLP served as legal
counsel to FHLB Seattle.

About FHLB Des Moines

Headquartered in Des Moines, FHLB Des Moines is a source of funding for
more than 1,170 members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and
South Dakota. As of June 30, 2014, FHLB Des Moines had $82.2 billion in
assets. For additional information about FHLB Des Moines, please visit
www.fhlbdm.com.

About FHLB Seattle

FHLB Seattle is headquartered in Seattle and provides low-cost long-
and short-term funding to more than 320 members in Alaska, Hawaii,
Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, the U.S.
territories of American Samoa and Guam and the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands. FHLB Seattle had $36.5 billion in assets as
of June 30, 2014. For additional information about FHLB Seattle, please
visit www.fhlbseattle.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,
including those with regard to activities relating to and anticipated
benefits of a potential merger between the Federal Home Loan Bank of
Des Moines and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. These statements
may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as
"believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "intends," "plan,"
"could," "should," "would," "may," and "will," or their negatives, or
other variations on these terms. Forward-looking statements are subject
to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, some of which may be
material. Actual actions, transactions, and performance, including
those relating to the ability of the Banks to obtain FHFA and member
approvals relating to the merger may differ materially from that
expected or implied in forward-looking statements because of many
factors. Such factors may include, but are not limited to, the ability
of the parties to obtain the required approvals relating to the merger
(including from the FHFA and the Banks' members), and to complete the
merger, the ability of the parties tocomplete a transaction pursuant to
the terms of the merger agreement, the ability to realize the expected
benefits and efficiencies of a merger, potential costs, liabilities and
delays relating to the merger,general economic and financial market
conditions, and other internal and external factors that may affect the
ability to complete or the reasons for a merger. Additional factors are
discussed in the Banks' most recent annual reports on Form 10-K,
subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings made with
the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Banks do not undertake to
update any forward-looking statements made in this announcement.

Members of both Banks will be provided with a Disclosure Statement in
connection with the anticipated member vote on the ratification of the
merger agreement. Members of both Banks are urged to read the
Disclosure Statement carefully when it becomes available.DES MOINES, Iowa and SEATTLE, Sept. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines ("FHLB Des Moines") and the
Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle ("FHLB Seattle") announced today that
they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge the two Banks.
Material details of the merger agreement are included in the Banks'
related Form 8-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of
directors of both Banks. The closing of the merger is subject to
certain closing conditions, including approval by the Federal Housing
Finance Agency (FHFA) and ratification by the member-owners of the Des
Moines and Seattle Banks.

"The boards of directors of both institutions believe that a merger
between FHLB Des Moines and FHLB Seattle would combine two
complementary organizations with similar cultures, membership
characteristics and solid financial positions," said FHLB Des Moines
President and Chief Executive Officer Dick Swanson. "The combined Bank
would remain a member-owned and member-centric cooperative, deeply
focused on helping its members strengthen their institutions to better
serve their customers and communities."

Nearly 1,500 member financial institutions would benefit from a
combined Bank with increased economies of scale, greater risk
diversification and an enhanced suite of products and services. The
combined institution would serve 13 states and the U.S. Pacific
territories.

"We believe that this merger of Federal Home Loan Banks will result in
a cooperative that will be stronger than either the Seattle or Des
Moines cooperative on an individual basis," commented FHLB Seattle
President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Wilson. "While the combined
Bank will be headquartered in Des Moines, it will be committed to
serving its members and their communities across the new combined
district, with at least one member director from each state on the
board of directors and an ongoing customer-service presence in the
Northwest."

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Dick Swanson and Mike Wilson
would be co-executive leaders, serving as chief executive officer and
president, respectively.

The two Banks are part of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) System.
Created by Congress in 1932, the FHLBanks are a strong and reliable
source of funds for local lenders to finance housing, community
development, jobs and economic growth. There are 12 Federal Home Loan
Banks, each of which is a cooperative owned by member financial
institutions. FHLBank membership includes approximately 7,500 financial
institutions with representation from every U.S. state and territory,
including commercial banks, credit unions, thrifts, insurance companies
and community development financial institutions.

The next step in the process is for the Banks to submit a merger
application to the FHFA. Following regulatory approval of the merger
agreement, FHLB Des Moines and FHLB Seattle members will receive
detailed information about the potential merger. The potential merger
must be approved by the members of both Banks through a voting process
that is expected to take place in the first half of 2015.

Sandler O'Neill served as financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster LLP
served as legal counsel to FHLB Des Moines. Citigroup Global Markets
Inc. served as financial advisor and Perkins Coie LLP served as legal
counsel to FHLB Seattle.

About FHLB Des Moines

Headquartered in Des Moines, FHLB Des Moines is a source of funding for
more than 1,170 members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and
South Dakota. As of June 30, 2014, FHLB Des Moines had $82.2 billion in
assets. For additional information about FHLB Des Moines, please visit
www.fhlbdm.com.

About FHLB Seattle

FHLB Seattle is headquartered in Seattle and provides low-cost long-
and short-term funding to more than 320 members in Alaska, Hawaii,
Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, the U.S.
territories of American Samoa and Guam and the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands. FHLB Seattle had $36.5 billion in assets as
of June 30, 2014. For additional information about FHLB Seattle, please
visit www.fhlbseattle.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,
including those with regard to activities relating to and anticipated
benefits of a potential merger between the Federal Home Loan Bank of
Des Moines and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. These statements
may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as
"believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "intends," "plan,"
"could," "should," "would," "may," and "will," or their negatives, or
other variations on these terms. Forward-looking statements are subject
to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, some of which may be
material. Actual actions, transactions, and performance, including
those relating to the ability of the Banks to obtain FHFA and member
approvals relating to the merger may differ materially from that
expected or implied in forward-looking statements because of many
factors. Such factors may include, but are not limited to, the ability
of the parties to obtain the required approvals relating to the merger
(including from the FHFA and the Banks' members), and to complete the
merger, the ability of the parties tocomplete a transaction pursuant to
the terms of the merger agreement, the ability to realize the expected
benefits and efficiencies of a merger, potential costs, liabilities and
delays relating to the merger,general economic and financial market
conditions, and other internal and external factors that may affect the
ability to complete or the reasons for a merger. Additional factors are
discussed in the Banks' most recent annual reports on Form 10-K,
subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings made with
the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Banks do not undertake to
update any forward-looking statements made in this announcement.

Members of both Banks will be provided with a Disclosure Statement in
connection with the anticipated member vote on the ratification of the
merger agreement. Members of both Banks are urged to read the
Disclosure Statement carefully when it becomes available.

 
Prominent Business Leader Launches Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Yohana de la Torre   
Thursday, 25 September 2014 07:50
Endorses Congressional, Senatorial & Gubernatorial Candidates in 2014 Midterm Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, business leader and former U.S. Small Business Administrator, Hector Barreto announced the official launch of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization seeking to promote and advocate economic advancement and U.S. job growth in America.

“I am excited to announce the launch of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute,” said Hector Barreto, HBRTI President and former U.S. Small Business Administrator.  “As a business owner, I see the potential and reward of investing in America and the contribution it makes to the economic growth of our nation.  We will actively work with leading Hispanic entrepreneurs, organizations and government officials to help create the environment for businesses to grow and thrive.”

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., HBRTI will support national and regional based programs and studies that result in measurable social, economic and educational opportunities for those seeking and building the American Dream.

Across the board, business leaders believe Congress and the Administration need to invest in America by focusing on growing our economy.  HBRTI will advocate for the following: controlling the mounting deficit; creating an environment of less regulations and more competitiveness; access to quality healthcare and affordable costs; educating our children; and offering economic independence and stability to the Hispanic community.

“Small businesses drive job creation and economic development across the country,” said Barreto.  “Hispanics account for more than three-million businesses in America today and they are starting those businesses at three times the national average.  We know that Hispanics have the potential to change how America does business.  However, for the U.S. economy to return to its growth potential, the private sector and policymakers need to focus their efforts.  HBRTI will be that link to positively impact businesses and the economy, while also serving as a voice for Hispanic entrepreneurs.”

Underscoring the importance of working with like-minded government officials, The Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute is proud to endorse the following Congressional, Senatorial and Gubernatorial candidates for the 2014 Midterm Elections:

Congressional Candidates:

1.  Andy Tobin (R-AZ)
2.  Doug Ose (R-CA)
3.  Rep. David Jolly (R-FL)
4.  Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
5.  David Rouzer (R-NC)
6.  Rep. David Joyce (R-OH)
7.  Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)
8.  Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)
9.  Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)
10.  John Ratcliffe (R-TX)
11.  Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
12.  Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
13.  William Hurd (R-TX)
Senatorial Candidates:

1.  Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
2.  David Perdue (R-GA)
3.  Joni Ernst (R-IA)
4.  Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
5.  Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
6.  Scott Brown (R-NH)
7.  Thom Tillis (R-NC)
8.  Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
9.  Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
10.  Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Gubernatorial Candidates:

1.  Governor Rick Scott (R-FL)
2.  Governor Scott Walker (R-WI)
3.  Bruce Rauner (R-IL)
“Working with government leaders and promising candidates to create viable communities and economic sustainability is a key component to the future of Hispanic entrepreneurship and this country’s economic growth.  HBRTI looks forward to working with leaders who exemplify vision and an understanding of new economic development policies for attracting and expanding business,” Barreto added.

ABOUT HBRTI- Founded in 2013, The Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute is a 501(c)4 non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization seeking to advance the principles and values of economic independence and stability for all Americans.  Headquartered in Washington, D.C., HBRTI conducts nationally and regionally based programs and studies that result in measurable social, economic and educational opportunities.  Visit www.hbrti.com.

###

 
Iowa counties and taxpayers see over $127 million in state funding for property tax relief PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 13:59

Data shows each county’s funding from the state for 2013 assessment year

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released data from the Iowa Department of Revenue that shows Iowa counties are receiving over $78.33 million in state backfill funding and taxpayers are receiving over $49 million in credits, for a total of roughly $127.33 million, in the 2013 assessment year, as part of the historic property tax reduction bill advocated for by Branstad and Reynolds. The funding to Iowa counties is part of the historic passage of Senate File 295, which Gov. Branstad signed into law on June 12, 2013, in Hiawatha, Iowa.

The historic tax relief package has many benefits for Iowa taxpayers, including:

1.       Permanent property tax relief protected by a standing appropriation, that represents the largest tax reduction in Iowa history - $4.4 billion over 10 years.

2.       Property tax reduction for all classes of property: agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial, without shift of the tax burden to other classes of property.

3.       Changes the school finance formula so that “allowable growth” is replaced by 100% state aid.

4.       Commercial and industrial property are being taxed at 95% of assessed value this year, eventually moving to 90% of assessed value next year.

“For thirty years the Iowa Legislature talked about reducing taxes. Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I are proud that in 2013 we were able to bring Democrats and Republicans together to give hardworking Iowa taxpayers the tax relief that they deserve,” said Branstad. “With the implementation of the historic tax reduction bill of 2013, Iowa counties now have the funds from the state to provide the tax relief to citizens across the state.”

The historic tax reform passage of 2013 received strong bipartisan support.  It passed the Iowa Senate 43-6 on May 22, 2013, and the Iowa House 84-13 on May 23, 2013.

“As a former county treasurer who had the unenviable job of collecting taxes, I’m pleased to see that the reforms we put in place are being fulfilled and local governments are able to pass the savings on to the taxpayers,” said Reynolds. “For too long, local governments grew skeptical of the state meeting its funding obligations, but Governor Branstad and I are committed to continuing to honor our word and passing responsible budgets.”

In a recent news report published in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Iowa officials reacted to the state’s historic property tax relief package:

“’I think business owners, particularly smaller ones, really saw a difference this year,’” said Jeff Robinson, a tax analyst with the Legislative Services Agency. ‘I mean they really had to notice when they got their bill this that it was less than it was the year before.’”

“Lucas Beeken, public policy specialist for the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC), said the figures came in very close to the projections made when the legislation was approved, marking the first reduction in business property taxes in more than three decades.”

The data, which can also be downloaded here, is from the Iowa Department of Revenue and shows how much each Iowa county and property taxpayers in that county received in tax relief from the historic legislation.  The state backfill column represents the amount of state funds paid to counties to ensure they did not see a loss in revenue from the property tax reduction. This is permanent relief protected by a standing appropriation. The tax credit column represents additional relief to Iowa taxpayers, by county, through a state tax credit.

 
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