July 9, 2020
LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Virtual Regional Meetings Are Next Week
Next Tuesday and Wednesday, the ABI public policy staff will host virtual regional meetings. JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf will break down the 2020 legislative session and take questions and feedback from members. The  Western Iowa meeting  will take place on Tuesday at 9 a.m. The  Central Iowa meeting  will happen on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. The  Eastern Iowa meeting  will commence on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Register today! Thank you to our public policy sponsors: Alliant Energy, Arconic and CIPCO for your support of these meetings.

Speakers Confirmed for Virtual Public Policy Meetings
ABI is pleased to announce a number of excellent speakers for our virtual public policy committee meetings in August. Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend will address the  Employment and Workforce Committee  on August 5. Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts will speak before the  Workplace and Product Safety Committee  on August 6. Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham will present before the  Economic Growth Committee  on August 18. Speakers for the  Environment  and  Tax  Committees will be unveiled in the near future.

Update on ABI’s Lawsuit Against Waterloo
As you will recall, ABI took legal action against the City of Waterloo after the passage of its ordinance related to hiring practices that violated state law. The district court ruled in favor of Waterloo earlier this spring, and ABI appealed to the Supreme Court. The City of Waterloo asked for an extension and just filed its brief last week. Most recently, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa, the National Employment Law Program (NELP), the Iowa-Nebraska Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Iowa National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) requested to file an amicus brief in support of the City of Waterloo. ABI member dues are not funding this effort; it is being supported by the  Iowans for Jobs Initiative . The initiative can accept contributions from corporations or individuals helping ABI fund the ongoing costs of the lawsuit. If you would like to support ABI’s legal efforts to overturn the illegal local government ordinance, please contact  Nicole Crain  for more information.

Initial Unemployment Claims Rise, But Continuing Claims Decrease
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) announced there were 10,698 initial unemployment claims filed by individuals for the week of June 28 through July 4. That number is just over 2,000 claims higher than last week. There was approximately $32 million paid out of the state unemployment trust fund, which is about $2 million less than the week prior and does not include federal benefits paid. The best news of the week came from the number of continuing weekly unemployment claims. That number dropped by approximately 17,000 to a total of 135,177. This significant change indicates people are steadily getting back to work. The top sectors that saw the most initial claims filed included manufacturing (3,448); those not identified by industry including the self-employed, independent contractors, etc. (1,670); and health care and social assistance (833). Read IWD's  news release .

Federal Spotlight: Members of Iowa’s Congressional Delegation Receive U.S. Chamber Award
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a federal partner of ABI, recently announced its list of recipients of the 2019 Spirit of Enterprise Award. The award is given to members of Congress with at least a 70% pro-business voting record for the session. For the first time, the chamber expanded the factors used for its score, including bipartisanship and leadership. Five out of Iowa’s six Congressional members hit at least the 70% threshold including Sen. Grassley, Sen. Ernst, Congresswoman Axne, Congressman King and Congresswoman Finkenauer. ABI would like to thank each of these members of Congress for supporting initiatives aimed at enhancing the country’s business climate. You can view how each member  voted . View the U.S. Chamber’s  press release .
ABI UPDATE
Editor's Note: From keeping your employees safe with bulk hand sanitizer to helping you stay in compliance with valuable HR advice, Buy ABI program partners have been leaders in assisting members during the pandemic. This is a COVID-19 update from two of those partners.
Supplies You Need to Help Keep Your Employees Safe
As many organizations are beginning to plan and organize their “Return To Office” strategy, clients are depending on Storey Kenworthy to have the supplies they need to help keep their employees safe at work.  

Storey Kenworthy has put together a catalog of a variety of products including (but not limited to): masks, gloves, sanitizers, disinfectants, social distancing signage and more to make it simple to find what you need. 
 
In addition, Storey Kenworthy has updated its ecommerce site and created a quick reference guide to help you quickly find a variety of available options. This guide explains how to understand inventory availability, back order status, products and pricing. 
 
Please note that all of these products are in very high demand and inventory is constantly in and out of stock. To that end some items may be on allocation, non-returnable, available only via special order or have extended lead times.
Salary.com’s COVID-19 Impact: Compensation & Benefits Survey Summary Report
Salary.com , a leading SaaS provider of cloud-based compensation data, software and analytics, has released new survey data that shows 66% of employers either reduced their workforce or negatively impacted employee pay in response to COVID-19, though just 10% of survey respondents expect the layoffs to be permanent.

The survey, which included a number of ABI member companies , was conducted to better understand the full range of actions that employers and HR professionals that focus on compensation are taking in response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak—details not being uncovered in the weekly job loss headlines. See the executive summary .
 
For information regarding the complete Salary.com survey catalog and how you can participate in future surveys, including the second phase of the COVID-19 Compensation and Benefits Impact Survey in July, as well as the 2020 Salary Budget Survey, click  here .
FROM THE DESK OF...
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Potential M&A Transaction Issues and the Way Forward
Hillary Hughes
Director
Prairie Capital Advisors

Although this year started with a strong economy, it soon became clear that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) could not be contained, and a worldwide panic began. Economies shut down, and a major decline in global financial markets ensued. In addition, businesses that were successful prior to the onset of COVID-19 were suddenly facing forced closure and a significant decline in revenue. In many cases, the overall value of companies has been reduced dramatically as a result of the pandemic.

All of this uncertainty has also had a negative impact on the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market. For instance, many M&A deals that were in process prior to the pandemic have stalled. In our view, there are several other post-pandemic M&A transaction issues currently impacting the market. Read more .
MEMBER NEWS
DMACC to Offer Three-Part DiSC® Series
DMACC will offer a three-part DiSC® series this fall via Zoom. The series includes Everything DiSC® Workplace (Aug. 26), Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict (Sept. 9) and Five Behaviors Personal Development: Bring Your Best Self to the Team (Oct. 14). The series is $1,000 per seat. DiSC® is a recognized personal assessment tool to improve communication, teamwork and leadership skills. The DMACC DiSC® Series expands beyond assessment results and digs deeper into how your style impacts your workplace environment and business results. Learn more .

Google Fiber to Bring Gigabit Internet to West Des Moines
Google Fiber’s mission is to help all communities—big, small, urban, rural and everywhere in between—get access to internet that’s fast, reliable, fairly priced and open. On Monday, Google Fiber took the next step on its journey, working with the city of West Des Moines to bring gigabit internet to residents and businesses. Read the blog post .

JBS USA to Invest $2.7 Million in Marshalltown to Support Local Community as Part of Hometown Strong Initiative
Through its Hometown Strong initiative, JBS USA has announced plans to donate $2.7 million to help Marshalltown respond to needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and invest in the community’s future. JBS USA is working with local leaders to identify where the funds can best help meet immediate and longer-term community needs. All projects will be determined by the end of the year. Read the full news release .
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