March 19, 2020
CORONAVIRUS CENTRAL
How Can ABI Help You?
In these uncertain times, you may have questions–from what government assistance is available to your business to HR conundrums. Hit reply and send us your questions. We’ll provide answers or connect you with the right person.

How You Can Help
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) needs to assess the impact of the pandemic in Iowa. To assist in these efforts, please complete this  survey to tell the IEDA what your business is experiencing and how your business is handling the current crisis.   

ABI Event Updates
  • Pre-Employment Testing Process Seminar | March 26 – This event has been postponed. The new date is to be determined.
  • Leadership Iowa | April 2-3 – Thanks to the flexibility and willingness of those involved, Leadership Iowa will continue virtually for an abbreviated session.
  • Taking Care of Business Conference | June 9-11 – The conference is still on. That could change based on information from the CDC and other experts.
 
Resources Reminder
You can find a list of helpful national, Iowa and ABI member-created resources on our coronavirus webpage .
LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Opportunity to Provide Feedback on Coronavirus
Early next week, ABI policy staff will send an email to members of all five public policy committees (tax, economic growth, environment, workplace & product safety and employment & workforce) requesting feedback for remedies, suggestions and ideas on how policymakers could enact measures to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 on your company in those specific areas. We’ll be looking for feedback on ideas for the immediate, intermediate and long-term future. If you’re on one of those committees, look for an email in your inbox on Monday or Tuesday.

Legislative Session Suspended Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
On Sunday, March 16, 2020, legislative leaders announced a decision to halt the 2020 legislative session for at least 30 days to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). On Monday, the legislature convened and approved measures to facilitate this action. Gov. Reynolds can now access up to $20 million from the economic emergency fund and more freely transfer funds between departments to combat the virus. The legislature also approved current state spending levels through August 31, 2020, to provide continuity of government beyond the normal June 30 end-of-the-state fiscal year. The Senate also paused the process for approval of appointments made by Gov. Reynolds. Read more .

Employer and Employee Unemployment Claim Assistance Available
On Monday, Gov. Reynolds announced assistance for those employers and employees who are dealing with unemployment claims related directly or indirectly to the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is advised you read the  release  for full details, but here are the key points:
  • If you are laid off due to COVID-19 or have to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members or due to illness related to COVID-19, you can receive unemployment benefits, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19 will not be charged to employers. Fact-finding interviews for these claims will be waived and not be held although employers will be notified of claims received.
  • Those seeking to file for unemployment can do so here.
  • If you have COVID-19 related questions for Iowa Workforce Development, you can contact them via email here.

Candidate Filing Deadline Complete; Pro-Business Legislators Retiring
The deadline for individuals seeking office for the Iowa House, Iowa Senate or a federal seat has come and gone, as we now turn our attention to the June primary. There are seven members of the Iowa Senate and 10 members of the Iowa House who are not seeking re-election or are running for a higher office. Pro-growth leaders stepping away from their current posts include former Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer, former House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, Chair of the House Commerce Committee Gary Carlson, former Chair of the House Transportation Committee Ashley Hinson, Senate President Charles Schneider and former Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee Randy Feenstra. It’s imperative that these key leaders are replaced by candidates running who prioritize pro-jobs policies. You can help ABI back candidates with these qualities by  investing in IIPAC  today! You can view a  list of all the candidates running for office. Stay tuned for more election information as we get closer to the primary.

Revenue Estimating Conference Projects Steady Growth for FY21
The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met last Friday and estimates the state’s budget for fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1, will grow by 1.8% to $8.237 billion. The REC, a three-person panel that meets to provide budget recommendations to the legislature, lowered their estimates from December, but is still projecting $146 million in new money for the coming fiscal year. Members of the conference commented that at the time they had calculated their projections, impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy were not taken into effect because they are unknown at this point. All three members of the panel stated they would be willing to meet again should indicators flash warning signs concerning COVID-19’s impact on the economy.

Federal Spotlight: Trump Signs Phase II of Coronavirus Relief Package; Third Phase Coming
President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act last night as Congress approved the bipartisan measure aimed to provide relief to the American public.  H.R. 6201  passed the House Monday evening 363-40 while the Senate voted in favor of the measure yesterday 90-8. The bill expands unemployment compensation, paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for individuals affected by the virus. Private sector employers with 500 or fewer employees will be affected by these measures. There are some exemptions for companies that have fewer than 50 employees. Read the U.S. Chamber of Commerce summary of the bill . Read more .
ABI UPDATE
New Buy ABI Participant: Salary.com
We're excited to inform you that we have established a partnership with Salary.com as a preferred provider.  Salary.com  is a leading enterprise resource for compensation data software consulting and  education .

Salary.com’s solutions deliver insight into more than 15,000 unique job titles with 225 industry breakouts in 21 countries, as well as data for hot jobs, executives, and long- and short-term incentives. Initially, Salary.com will be providing a 20% discount on their industry-leading Compdata Benchmark survey. This survey provides immediate access to compensation and benefit data on 2,631 benchmark job titles (including executive titles) for organizations in IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, and WI. The partnership offers discount pricing packages exclusive to all ABI members. Details are available here .

To request a demonstration and learn more about how Salary.com can help your team efficiently market price jobs, design and model salary structures, and/or make productive pay decisions, please contact Greg Leonard at 1.781.205.0942 or greg.leonard@salary.com . Visit the  Buy ABI webpage  to learn more about the program and see a complete list of participants and offers.
FROM THE DESK OF...
C-Suite Discussions: Leading Through Chaos Key Takeaways
ACS and Renaissance Executive Forums

The most important function of top-level business leaders within an organization is to provide steady guidance to the organization. This ability to lead is important in good times, but it is absolutely vital in times of uncertainty.

On February 25, ACS and Renaissance Executive Forums hosted the first session of C-Suite Discussions. This quarterly leadership event is designed to help business leaders think about challenging topics, learn from experts and other leaders, and create a network of business leaders they can lean on when questions in their own business arise. In the first C-Suite Discussions session, we explored strategies for leading organizations through times of chaos, whether it be a natural disaster, a PR crisis or the current economic distress.

Read more for the key points from our panelists, Vince Newendorp, VP of facilities and rebuild at Vermeer Corporation; Dawn Buzynski, director of public relations at Strategic America; and Brian McCormac, attorney at BrownWinick Law Firm. 
MEMBER NEWS
Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust Announces Limited Lobby Access
Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust (CRBT) announced starting at noon on Thursday, March 19, lobby access to all of its five locations will be temporarily limited to appointment-only. This is a precaution to help ensure the safety of CRBT clients and employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To schedule an appointment, clients should call the bank’s main phone number of 319-862-2728. In addition, to ensure clients receive uninterrupted access to the banking products and services they need, CRBT’s drive-thru services will remain available during normal business hours for standard banking transactions. Read more .

Members Helping Members: NeuBridg Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan
It is never ABI's intent to promote a business in the ABI newsletter, but in these uncertain times, ABI wants to make our members aware of a service/product that may be beneficial to selected operations.

If you are contemplating ceasing operations until the COVID-19 concerns subside and desire to continue assisting your employees financially, ABI member NeuBridg, Inc. may be able to help with that endeavor. NeuBridg offers Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans ("SUB") designed specifically for periods of employment due to events such as the COVID-19 virus.
 
If you are interested in learning more about the NeuBridg Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan, please contact Brian Tancos, President/NeuBridg, Inc. at 515-309-2950 ext 3 or visit its website at  www.neubridg.com .

UMB to Host Q1 Economic Review Webinar
The UMB Investment Management team will host an exclusive webinar and conference call on April 14, 10-11 a.m., to share its 1st Quarter Economic Review. If you have questions you would like addressed during the Q&A following the call, please send them to privatewealthmanagement@umb.com  by April 7. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A session. Register here .

New Funds Available to Support Innovative Rural Projects and Housing Assessments
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced this month two new competitive funds available for rural communities with a population under 20,000. Funding of up to $400,000 has been allocated to the following two funds for current fiscal year (FY) 2020 through FY 2021:
  • Rural Innovation Grant Program – Provides up to $300,000 in grants supporting creative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges faced by rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth and connection
  • Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of publicly available online information through the “Profile of Iowa” tool and rural community efforts to interpret this hard data with supplemental information, as well as to implement through changes to development codes, local ordinances and housing incentives specific to their community needs in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Applications for FY 2020 are currently being accepted via  iowagrants.gov  and are due by May 1. Read the full news release .
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