ABI Regional Meetings Ahead - Monday Memo 5/26/20

May 26, 2020

ABI to Host Virtual Regional Meetings in June

As announced as a part of the May meeting of the ABI Board of Directors, the association will host five regional meetings during the week of June 8.  The meetings will take place virtually, through Zoom, and all members are invited to participate.  The goal of the meetings is to provide meaningful information and assistance to members and to learn about what you are experiencing in your operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As you may recall, the five ABI regions are generally the northeast quadrant of Iowa, the southeast, the southwest, and the northeast.  Polk County, due to its density of membership, is its own region.  Members in each regions will receive an email message next week with information about when and how to register for and participate in their regional meeting. 

Each meeting will include a review of ABI and ABI Foundation activities, as well as an update with the very latest legislative and congressional news.  The highlight of each meeting will be an opportunity for ABI members to share comments regarding operations and business projections.  Please plan on participating in the meeting for your region and watch for more information soon. 

Re-Opening/Maintaining a Safe Workplace: Resources on BuyABI Page

Another issue discussed during the May board meeting was best practices related to re-opening or maintaining a safe workplace related to COVID-19.  In fact, watch for more news to come about a best practices task force on that subject. 

For now, go to the BuyABI webpage for a great deal on sanitizer.  ABI members Cedar Ridge Distillery and Mississippi River Distilling Company have partnered to offer bulk hand sanitizer for you business.  Click on https://www.iowaabi.org/membership/buy-abi/ and scroll down for more information.  The sanitizer is offered at a 20 percent discount.  

You can also access deals from member Storey Kenworthy related to PPE and other COVID supplies on that same page.  Thank you to these association members for helping all ABI members keep their employees safe. 

Business Horizons Plans Student Webinars, Stakeholder Meetings

While the ABI Foundation’s Business Horizons program will not be held this summer (the right call by the BH Board of Directors), the program is planning some exciting developments.  BH will hold webinars for students to share some of the elements of the typical week-long BH experience.  And, not holding the program will allow BH to hold a series of meetings with important stakeholders to make the BH experience even better in the future.  Watch for more news coming soon about these developments and in the meantime, thank you to the BH Board for these plans. 

IEDA Extends Survey Deadline

As you read in last week’s ABI newsletter, the Iowa Economic Development Authority is asking ABI members to complete a survey.  The survey seeks your input to understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Iowa businesses.  

IEDA has extended the deadline to complete the survey to this coming Friday, Mary 29.  If you have not already done so, please click on this link to complete the survey: https://uni.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eEvflFbz3FG5iBf.  Thank you very much. 

U.S. Chamber Desires Your Input Re: Federal Reserve MSLP Program

More survey news: On April 9th, the Federal Reserve announced initial details of the Main Street Lending Program, which will establish a credit facility intended for small and midsize businesses that are facing a credit squeeze in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 30th, the Federal Reserve issued updated term sheets for the program, which is to consist of a Main Street New Loan Facility, a Main Street Priority Loan Facility, and a Main Street Expanded Loan Facility.  Businesses with up to 15,000 employees and $5 billion in annual revenue are eligible to participate in the MSLP. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is seeking ABI members’ feedback to help shape policy and advocacy efforts related to the MSLP program. The Chamber has developed a short survey that allows the collection of key data and insights.  Results from this survey will inform ongoing advocacy efforts by the Chamber.  If you are interested in completing the survey, the deadline is this Thursday, May 20 at 11:00 in the morning. 

CIRAS: Pandemic Concerns Mount Regarding Employee Well-being

And, while we are speaking of surveys, ABI member/partner CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) has released survey results of interest.  The data provides good news in that business operations in Iowa are remaining steady.  The number one issue of concern is the well-being of employees.  Concerns about cash flow are on the wane.  See the survey results for yourself here: https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/UserDocs/news/2020_05_15_CIRAS-_Survey_of_Business_update_-COVID_19.pdf

Iowa Business Report Radio Program Airs 21st Broadcast

The Iowa Business Report radio program’s 21st edition was broadcast statewide over the Memorial Day weekend.  ABI is proud to sponsor this terrific program.  Click here to listen for yourself: http://iowabusinessreport.buzzsprout.com/.  Links can also be found on the ABI website at https://www.iowaabi.org/news/iowa-business-report/.  The show is produced by well-known Iowa broadcaster Jeff Stein.  

Kent Corporation Cited as Best Managed

A great ABI member received special recognition last week.  Kent Corporation was named as a 2020 US Best Managed Company.  The Best Managed Company program, sponsored by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal, recognizes private-company success based on strategy, execution, culture, and financials.  

This elite accomplishment is a testament to Kent Corporation’s leadership in its industry and in business in general.  Read more about it here: https://kentww.com/news/kent-corporation-selected-as-a-2020-us-best-managed-company/.  In the meantime, congratulations to everyone at Kent Corporation, including ABI Board Member Rich Dwyer (Kent Corporation, Muscatine)

Tru Art Recognized by Iowa Secretary of State

The company of Immediate Past ABI Chair David Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City) received some neat recognition last week.  Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate touted the company’s work related to his Vote Safe Iowa program.  You can read the press release here: https://sos.iowa.gov/news/2020_05_19.html and view a cool video of Tru Art’s manufacturing process here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGN3d4POwNk&feature=youtu.be.  

The Vote Safe Iowa program is all about helping Iowans be safe at the polls.  Congratulations to everyone at Tru Art on this great recognition, including David, and his father, former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Bankers Advertising/Tru Art, Iowa City)

Mary Andringa Pens Register Op-Ed

Former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) wrote an essay published last week by the Des Moines Register.  In it, Mary focuses on the terrific work being done by Iowa businesses and their employees during this pandemic.  It is a positive, encouraging essay.  You can read it for yourself here: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2020/05/19/covid-19-iowa-business-council-creative-relentless-helping/5214528002/.  Thank you, Mary, for these comments. 

The Business of ABI: Fiscal Year-End

There is just a little over one month remaining in ABI's fiscal year.  While I never lose sight of where our organization stands as it pursues the objectives you set for us each year, I pay particular attention at this time of the year. 

Through February, which is the seventh month in ABI’s fiscal year, metrics across the board were terrific.  Many records were well on the way to being established in terms of attendance at events, legislative accomplishments, program development, financial achievement, etc.  Then the pandemic hit.  It has been an interesting final five months. 

However, thanks to YOUR leadership and support, ABI continues to be a thriving organization, with a solid and sound financial condition.  Be assured that I never take that fact for granted. THANK YOU.