Business & Economy
Galesburg Jobs Fair Provides Opportunities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:44

Galesburg, Illinois – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) joined the offices of U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, Illinois State Senators John Sullivan (D-47) and Darin LaHood (R-37) and State Representatives Don Moffitt (R-74) and Norine Hammond (R-94)  in support of Carl Sandburg College’s 21st Annual Jobs Fair held today in Galesburg.  

“Jobs fairs like today’s serve as a great reminder that there openings right  here in the 17th District,” Schilling said.  “With unemployment at a federal level and here at home having been too high for too long, it’s easy for folks looking for work to become discouraged.   I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for folks in Springfield and in Washington to work together on creating an environment that encourages private-sector job creation, giving our unemployed friends and neighbors hope, opportunity, and a bright career path.”

"With the national unemployment rate above 8 percent and rates even higher in many communities throughout Illinois, job fairs like the one in Galesburg today provide important resources and connections for those hunting for new jobs or those looking to expand and enhance their careers," said a spokesperson for Senator Kirk.

The unemployment rate in Knox County was at 9.5 percent as recently as February, significantly higher than February’s national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.  The jobs fair enabled job seekers from Galesburg and the surrounding area to connect with the more than 60 employer representatives attending, develop contacts in the many industries represented, explore career options, and collect information for their job hunt.

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Boomers Stand to Inherit Trillions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:03
Expert Says Closed-End Funds a Good Investment Option

Baby boomers stand to inherit $10 trillion in the next few years and women will get the bulk of it, according to a Cornell University study, because they outlive men an average of seven years.

“Women already control 60 percent of the nation’s personal wealth – they outnumber men and they are traditionally the shoppers,” says financial expert Scott T. Schultz, author of Scott Schultz’s Guide to Closed-End Funds (www.closedendfundguru.com).

“It’s sad that, despite the fact that nearly a third make more money than their husbands and they’re starting businesses at twice the rate men are, 38 percent of women ages 30 to 55 worry they’ll eventually live in poverty because they can’t adequately save for retirement,” he says.

With the first of the boomers hitting 65 this year, the nation will see an even greater number of retirement-aged women holding the country’s purse strings.

“Many will inherit money and property from their parents and/or their husbands, and many will live another 30 to 40 years,” Schultz says, citing the Cornell study. “They’ll need to invest their money to ensure they have enough to avoid that impoverished retirement they fear, but they – and the nation – have lost confidence in the stock market; April 2011 saw the lowest number of investors since 1999.”

What brokers don’t tell clients about, he says, is closed-end funds. Schultz, ranked the No. 1 Separate Account Money Manager for three consecutive years by USA Today, says he earned that national honor by relying almost solely on these limited-issue stocks. Because they’re available only in finite numbers and because watchful brokers can find them “on sale,” they’re a better bet as an investment for those who are willing to sit on them awhile.

Why is the American public so in the dark about closed-end funds? Noting his book is the first written on the topic in more than 20 years, Schultz says there are a few reasons:

• Brokers can’t generate a lot of commissions from them. Brokers move open-ended funds quickly because they earn a commission with each transaction. It’s easy money for them, Schultz says. Closed-end funds require a longer term investment strategy, so brokers who want to get rich quick won’t use them.

• They require more effort from the broker, who has to work to find the “sales.” One advantage of closed-end funds is that they can sometimes be purchased at a discount, so the investor starts off ahead of open-end investors who are paying full price for stocks, Schultz says. Even if the fund never gets back up to its full value, any increase at all is a gain. But the broker has to be willing to work to find the good investments with good discounts. And then he or she has to be willing to sit on them.

• Closed-end funds are boring! For a lot of brokers, it’s just plain fun to trade stocks in products and initiatives with an exciting ring to them, whether it’s Facebook or a treasure-hunting ship. These brokers are constantly trading stocks – and generating transaction feeds, lawyer fees and underwriting fees every time – because that’s what they like to do. Closed-end funds require thoughtful, sometimes tedious research before buying, and then the patience of a saint as both the broker and the investor wait for the bid price to increase.

About Scott T. Schultz

Scott T. Schultz began his career in 1983 at E.F. Hutton and was ranked the nation’s No. 1 Separate Account Money Manager by USA Today for three consecutive years using GIPS verified/audited performance numbers supplied by Morningstar, Inc. Schultz was a GOP nominee for U.S. Congress in 1988, and met with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush at the White House. He graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism.

 
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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