Business & Economy
Loebsack Statement on Equal Pay Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:03

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, released the following statement on Equal Pay Day, which is intended to bring attention to the inequality in pay between genders and marks how much longer a woman must work into 2012 to earn as much as a man earned in 2011. According to Census data, in 2011 women earned just 77 percent of what was earned by their male counterparts.

 

“Equal Pay is not a women’s issue or a man’s issue, it is a family issue.  In today’s tough economy, Iowa’s working families are pinching every penny just to make ends meet and in most families with children, both parents work.  It is now more critical than ever that our mothers, daughter, sisters and aunts receive the same pay for the same work as their male counterparts so our families do not have to sacrifice basic necessities.

 

“In the 49 years since the Equal Pay Act was first signed into law, substantial steps have been made in addressing the wage gap between men and women, but more must be done.  I was proud to help introduce the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored a women’s right to challenge unfair pay. This legislation was signed into law by the President in January 2009.  I am also a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act that would not only give a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act, but it would also help working families by eliminating the wage gap.

 

“Standing up for equal pay benefits everyone – men, women and children. It also strengthens families across Iowa.  It is time we pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and eliminate the wage gap.”

 

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Schilling Tax Day Statement In Support of Pro-Growth Reform PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:01

Washington, DC – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) released the following statement today – Tax Day – in advance of the House of Representatives’ Thursday vote on H.R. 9, the Small Business Tax Cut Act:

“As we file our tax returns, Illinoisans feel the pinch of the tax increases imposed on them last year by state lawmakers in Springfield.  We were told these taxes would be used to pay Illinois’ debts and prevent budget deficits down the line, but the truth, as many of us feared, is that these tax hikes have done nothing to help our state.  Illinois’ unemployment has remained above nine percent since March of 2009, and our state currently has the lowest credit rating of all 50 states.  

“Thanks to the Illinois tax hikes and rising gas prices, our small businesses are cash-strapped and can currently face federal tax rates as high as 35 percent.  As a small business owner myself, I know that pain all too well.  Further, Americans spend more than $160 billion and over six billion hours a year filing their taxes, mostly when trying to figure out the various deductions and credits that are available.   

“There’s broad, bipartisan support for pro-growth tax reform that simplifies the tax code, brings down rates, broadens the base, and closes loopholes.  Rather than advancing partisan and unserious show votes – votes on policies that don’t lower gas prices, don’t encourage economic and job growth, and don’t impact our deficit – we in the House want to ensure more opportunities for job seekers and job creators, and make our tax code fairer, flatter, and simpler.  We want to cut wasteful spending and debt, and help small business owners grow both jobs and paychecks by providing them with tax relief.  I truly believe we can and must work together to get this done.  Illinoisans deserve policies that promote growth and opportunity, not more taxes, borrowing, and spending.”

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Governor Quinn Announces Lafarge Moving U.S. Headquarters to Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 08:54

Company to Relocate from Virginia and Create 90+ Illinois Jobs

 

CHICAGO – April 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Lafarge North America is investing approximately $10 million to relocate its U.S. headquarters from Virginia to Illinois. Lafarge, one of the largest cement, aggregate and concrete manufacturers in the world, will create more than 90 jobs in Illinois in the first two years and likely more than 100 jobs over three to four years. By moving its U.S. headquarters to Illinois, Lafarge will gain access to Illinois’ pool of highly-skilled workers, world-class transportation infrastructure and central location. Governor Quinn personally recruited Lafarge and met with its senior leadership during a recent economic trade mission to Europe.

 

“Illinois is one of the best places to do business in the world,” Governor Quinn said. “Our message to large and small business-owners is simple: We want you in Illinois and we have everything you need to grow your business in our state. Today we welcome Lafarge and tomorrow we look forward to more global corporations choosing Illinois.”

 

Prior to selecting Illinois for its new U.S. headquarters, Governor Quinn hosted Lafarge at a business investment luncheon with several other European-based companies during his recent economic development trip to Europe in March. The Governor also met one-on-one with senior leadership at Lafarge to pitch Illinois as the best location for its headquarters by highlighting Illinois' world-class transportation infrastructure and highly skilled workforce. The state is also providing a targeted business investment package worth about $6.3 million over 10 years to leverage the company’s private investment. The package will support job training for workers and economic development, and is contingent on the company meeting its investment and jobs numbers.

 

In 1983, Lafarge North America became a subsidiary of Lafarge SA, one of the world’s largest suppliers of construction materials, and has operated, directly and indirectly, in the United States and Canada. Lafarge  North America has grown to become one of the largest cement manufacturers in the United States, and a significant producer of aggregates (including crushed stone, sand and gravel), as well as gypsum wallboard. Since 1987, Lafarge North America's headquarters has been in the Herndon/Reston area of Virginia. The company is investing approximately $10 million to relocate its headquarters to the Chicagoland and is expected to open the headquarters this fall. Lafarge CEO John Stull attended today’s announcement.

 

“As a leader in the building materials industry, it is important to us to be close to our operations and to our customers to help provide them with sustainable construction solutions. The location around O’Hare and along the I-294 corridor is an ideal area for us because it is central to our U.S. footprint. We also appreciate Illinois’ commitment to other sustainable infrastructure projects, which will bring long-lasting value to your citizens,” said John Stull, CEO for Lafarge North America's U.S. Cement and Aggregate & Concrete operations. “We thank Governor Quinn and the state of Illinois for welcoming us and we look forward to becoming part of the dynamic Chicago business community,” continued Stull.

 

Lafarge North America in the United States employs approximately 4,500 people, with approximately 300 employed in Illinois. Lafarge is eligible for an Employer Training Investment Program grant to help increase the skills of its workforce and Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits, which are based on job credits. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will administer the state’s targeted investment package.

 

“Lafarge North America’s relocation to Illinois shows that our state has what companies need to grow,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director David Vaught. “Illinois has one of the largest economies in the world and with companies like Lafarge, we’re going to advance our global competitiveness.”

 

Under Governor Quinn's leadership, DCEO has worked diligently to identify and aggressively court companies like Lafarge that are looking to relocate and/or expand their North American presence. Illinois ranks first in the Midwest as a destination for foreign investment and has already attracted 1,597 foreign firms with 6,416 locations, which employ 323,362 Illinois residents. The governor will continue to build on this success by playing a key role in marketing Illinois' world-class attributes abroad and personally meeting with companies to recruit them to Illinois.

 

For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.

 

 

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Uncertainty Over Tax Code Plagues Small Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Kevan Chapman   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:34

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2012 — Today is tax day, and our nation’s biggest job creators – small businesses – continue to be hampered by uncertainty in the tax code and the threat of an increased tax burden next year. Among the biggest issues causing uncertainty are the ever-changing expiration and renewal of so-called tax extenders and the threat of increased tax rates next January.

To highlight the problems facing small businesses around the country, the National Federation of Independent Business is providing a fact sheet citing key statistics from the NFIB Research Foundation and other sources. Click here to view the two-page fact sheet or to receive it as an email attachment, please email Kevan Chapman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Don’t be a Stooge When It Comes to Marketing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 13 April 2012 15:28

The guys I know have all been looking forward to “The Three Stooges” remake opening this month. They think Moe, Larry and Curly’s harebrained schemes, silly missteps, and thwacks, smacks and blindside attacks are hysterically funny.

Heck, I don’t need to go to the movies for slapstick - I’ve got men in my life!  (Kidding, of course.)

Everyone – yes, women, too – can be a stooge now and then. Lifelong “Stooges” fan Alex Hinojosa, our senior campaign manager at EMSI, says if you watch enough of their films, you start seeing their personalities in the people you meet. And just like on the big screen, the Moes, Larrys and Curlys of the world get themselves into loads of trouble. It happens all the time with PR.

The Moe: He’s the client who knows everything (so why on earth did he hire PR professionals?) Moe will bark and bang and bully to get things done his way even though he’s never coordinated a media campaign, never worked in radio, TV or newspapers, and doesn’t know a tweet from a twit.

He’s the client who insists on rewriting his media pitches because he thinks they should be longer and more detailed. (Succinct communications are what catch the attention of busy journalists and show hosts, but he disagrees.) He insists his angle is much more likely to interest a talk show host, even though he’s never hosted a talk show. Would you perform surgery on yourself? Moe would! And with disastrous results.

If you’re going to be a Moe, at least get a better haircut.

The Larry: Easygoing and passive, he doesn’t want to stir up controversy or offend anyone. No matter what the medium, he insists on appealing only to audiences and show hosts that already agree with his message, so he misses out on the opportunity to win over new fans – and their friends.

The Larrys are also easily forgotten. If they won’t do, say or write anything provocative during their marketing campaign, they won’t engage their audience, which means few will remember them.

The Larrys tend to quietly go along with everything their PR agency suggests. They don’t ask questions when they have them, and they don’t contribute their ideas. Their campaigns may be a bit lackluster because they’re afraid they’ll bother somebody if they actively participate.

The Curly: He’s the star of the stooges – and he doesn’t even know it. The Curlys are the clients with great stories, powerful messages and a big lack of self-awareness. “Why would anyone want to interview me?” they ask.

In truth, everyone has a great story, and a pro will find it and use it. Nothing breaks my heart more than to hear someone tell me, “I was with an agency and I paid them thousands of dollars, but all I got was one mention in a weekly paper in Boondocks, Idaho. No one’s interested in me.”

What a cruel blow to a person’s self-esteem! PR companies that tell you “no one’s interested” are really saying, “We didn’t get results, so we’re blaming you.”

Yes, your message, the energy and interesting content you bring to the media and the quality of your book or product will determine whether you ultimately meet all of your goals. But don’t believe for a minute that no one’s interested in you. It’s simply not true.

From what Alex tells me, the actor who played Curly in the original “Stooges” was painfully insecure in real life. That led to heavy drinking, overeating and other self-destructive behaviors, which took a terrible toll on his health. He suffered a stroke in 1946, never fully recovered, and died six years later. Such a sad end for a man who made so many people laugh.

“The Three Stooges” make for great entertainment on the big screen, but if you want a successful media campaign, don’t be a stooge!  When you’ve hired a team of professionals with a strong track record and plenty of years in the business, trust them.  Let them do their jobs.

Be ready to participate in your campaign by asking questions, sharing ideas, and providing any materials or information that might be useful.

And remember, you do have a story that others want to hear. You’re no less important than the next guy.  Don’t make me knock you over the head with a dead fish for you to believe that!

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 22-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. She also co-hosts "The News and Experts Radio Show with Alex and Marsha" on Sirius/XM Channel 131 on Saturdays at 5:00 PM EST.

 
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