Business & Economy
TREASURY ANNOUNCES $72.2 MILLION INCREASE IN SMALL BUSINESS LENDING AT IOWA BANKS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Treasury Public Affairs   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:02

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report showing that Iowa banks have increased their small business lending by $72.6 million since receiving capital through Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).

 

The SBLF, which was established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Obama signed into law, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses to help them grow and create new jobs.  Treasury invested more than $4 billion in 332 institutions, located in over 3,000 communities in 48 states, through the SBLF.  Nationwide, institutions participating in the SBLF significantly increased small business lending in the last quarter of 2011 by $1.3 billion over the prior quarter—for a total of $4.8 billion over their baseline.

 

“This report shows that the Small Business Lending Fund is having a powerful impact,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin.  “The program is helping spark new lending to local entrepreneurs looking to invest in their businesses and create new jobs.”

 

To view the report on the SBLF that Treasury released yesterday, including a detailed list of the change in lending at banks receiving SBLF capital, please click here.

 

Small businesses play a critical role in the U.S. economy and are central to growth and job creation.  Small businesses employ roughly one-half of all Americans and account for about 60 percent of gross job creation.  But small business owners faced disproportionate challenges in the aftermath of the recession and credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital.

 

The SBLF helps small businesses meet this challenge by providing capital to community banks that hold under $10 billion in assets.  The dividend rate a community bank pays on SBLF funding is reduced as that bank increases its small business lending, providing a strong incentive for new lending to small businesses so they can expand and create jobs.  For more details on the SBLF program, please click here.

 

The SBLF is one part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive agenda to help small businesses access the capital they need to invest and hire.  The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which is also a key part of the Small Business Jobs Act, has allocated $1.4 billion to small business programs in 54 states, territories, and municipalities to help spur additional lending to small businesses and manufacturers.

 

Last week, President Obama also signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act into law, which will allow Main Street small businesses and high-growth enterprises to raise capital from investors more efficiently, helping small and young firms across the country to grow and hire faster.  For more details on the key elements of the JOBS Act, please visit here and here.

 

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New Survey Reveals How Much Local Customers Hate to Wait! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Emily Reass   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:54
Most won’t wait more than ten minutes at a retail outlet

(April 2012) To keep local customers happy, retailers might want to focus less on the register and more on the clock. In these busy, hectic times, retailers better hop to it and wait on customers quickly, or customers will hop on out of there - because customers HATE TO WAIT!

In a new national survey:
• 76% of respondents say a wait any longer than five to ten minutes at a retail business is unreasonable.
• 94% say a reasonable amount of time to wait at a retail business is 5 – 10 minutes or less.

If a retail business makes them wait fifteen minutes or longer:
• 63% say it shows bad customer service and a lack of respect for their time.
• 52% say they take their business elsewhere
• 48% say they assume the business is not well run and badly managed.

When asked what bothered them the most about a retailer:
Most often ranked as the #1 annoyance (in order):
• A rude staff
• They made me wait
• I paid too much

In other survey findings:
• 87% of respondents say they would use a technology that kept them from waiting in line at a retail stores if it saved them 15 minutes of waiting.
• 2 out of 3 respondents say they would use online check-in or download an app that saved their place in line at a retail business.

The survey also asked respondents for the most annoying time waster in their lives.
Most often ranked as the #1 annoyance (in order):
• Getting Placed on Hold
• Waiting in Line
• Sitting in Traffic

Great Clips, a local hair salon brand and the first ever to introduce time saving online check-in, asked consumers about waiting as part of a campaign to introduce the new online check-in app. The technology, which allows customers to check in from their desktops or smart phones, has trimmed haircut wait times from about fifteen minutes to five minutes, so customers can pretty much walk right in with little or no wait.

“In all our research, in focus group after focus group, we hear that today’s busy singles and families alike are stressed out, exhausted and short on time – and today, time is money,” says Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips. “Online check-in gives people back those few extra minutes that can take your day from good to great.”

Online check-in is already gaining steam, with more than one million customers checking in online in 2011. In 2012, that number is even greater with an average 200,000 checking in online per month. With more than 80,000 new downloads of the app each month, it’s clear customers find it helpful.

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Loebsack Statement on Department of Labor’s March Jobs Report PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 09:21

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today issued the following statement in response to the Department of Labor’s announcement that the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 8.2 percent in March and 120,000 jobs were added.

“Numbers do not mean anything to Iowans who are still out of work.   Today’s report shows that any progress is tenuous at best and Congress still has a lot of work to do for there to be a meaningful recovery.  The small steps that have been taken up to this point to get the economy heading in the right direction have provided only a small boost.  Congress needs to come together and move forward with commonsense, bipartisan solutions in order to create jobs and boost the economy.”

 

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Within 48 Hours, Two Loebsack-Backed Initiatives Signed by the President PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 06 April 2012 12:54

With signature, JOBS Act and STOCK Act become law

 

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after both the JOBS Act and the STOCK Act were signed into law by President Obama.

 

“I am pleased the President signed both of these important pieces of legislation into law.  The American people have been demanding Congress work together to grow the economy.  They also want a government that will work for them, not make a profit off the information they get as part of their work.  The JOBS Act and STOCK Act are a step in the right direction on each front.

 

“These bills are both good examples of what can be achieved when both sides of the aisle stop playing games and work together to find bipartisan solutions.  I was pleased to work with my colleagues on both pieces of legislation and am hopeful they will begin to restore Americans’ trust in Congress.”

 

The JOBS Act, HR 3606, will help small businesses in communities access capital more easily in order to expand and support job creation and use capital more effectively in order to support growth.  An amendment introduced by Loebsack, which passed with unanimous support, will help women, veteran, and minority- owned businesses take advantage of the benefits and opportunities provided by this legislation.

 

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act will prevent Congressional insider trading.  In May 2011, Loebsack was the first person from Iowa and the fourth in the House of Representatives to cosponsor this important legislation.

 

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Governor Quinn Announces New Employment System to Help Connect Jobless with Businesses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Friday, 06 April 2012 08:58

Free Illinois JobLink service boasts nearly 92,000 statewide job postings; more than 51,000 resumes

 

CHICAGO – April 4, 2012. In his latest effort to boost the Illinois economy, Governor Pat Quinn today announced a new “help-wanted” system that connects job-seekers with jobs and makes hiring easier and more cost-effective for businesses. Illinois JobLink, developed by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), allows businesses to post job ads and individuals to post multiple resumes for free. Currently, there are nearly 92,000 total statewide job postings and more than 51,000 resumes posted on the system.

 

“We can increase economic growth in Illinois by connecting people who are looking for a job with employers who are looking to hire,” Governor Quinn said. “During this difficult economy, Illinois JobLink is helping workers market their job skills and allowing employers to successfully find the help they need at no cost.”

 

Illinois employers including Aon, Chrysler and Ford, have used Illinois JobLink to search for resumes and potential employees. Comparable private job boards can cost employers hundreds of dollars, and studies show that businesses prefer the key word search function to find employees with the unique skills that are needed. Using Illinois JobLink (www.illinoisjoblink.com), employers can create want-ads that require specific skills or search resumes using keywords such as salary, educational attainment and location. In turn, job seekers can create multiple resumes that emphasize their variety of skills.

 

“Hiring is time-consuming and expensive for employers. Illinois JobLink makes hiring easier by allowing employers to focus in like a laser on job seekers that possess the unique skill sets that they need,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “It also helps our working families identify what job best fits their needs and puts them in a better position to pitch themselves to multiple employers at one time.”

 

Illinois JobLink also pulls want-ads from Indeed.com, the largest employment site in the United States. Indeed.com collects postings from thousands of websites, including newspapers, associations, company career pages and job boards. Nationally, more than 550,000 jobs are available on Illinois JobLink.

 

While the Illinois JobLink service is available to everyone, including those who are currently employed, individuals collecting unemployment insurance are required to participate in Illinois JobLink. It also serves as another tool to connect veterans to jobs when they return home.

 

"We in the veteran advocacy community are excited by what Illinois Job Link offers to veterans,” Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Erica Borggren said. “Helping employers find veterans is one of the most difficult pieces of the veteran unemployment 'puzzle,' and all job-seeking veterans can benefit from this powerful tool which allows the State's Veteran Employment Representatives to match veterans and employers."

 

Illinois JobLink replaced the previous Illinois SkillsMatch system and individuals and businesses with SkillsMatch accounts are encouraged to update their profiles, which were automatically transferred to the new system. IDES encourages job-seekers to set their resumes to public to ensure maximum exposure to businesses.

 

The state’s comprehensive approach to helping match job seekers with employers is complemented by Illinois workNet® (www.illinoisworknet.com), a workforce development system administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  Illinois workNet utilizes partnerships and technology to expand seamless and real-time access to employment resources, including assistance with hiring and training employees, recruitment services, and tax incentives to keep local Illinois businesses competitive. As of January 2012, the Illinois workNet portal has more than 234,000 individual, workforce and business accounts.

 

As Illinois’’ employment agency, IDES works with employers to fill vacancies in several ways including hosting job fairs, providing interview space and connecting job seekers with ready-to-hire employers. Providing soft-skills training to job seekers, such as skills assessment, resume review and interview techniques can be combined with other training courses available through more than 60 workNet centers across the state. This multi-agency, collaborative approach identifies the skills needed by businesses and helps job seekers obtain the skills needed to meet those needs. For more information, visit http://www.ides.illinois.gov/.

 

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