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BCEDC Highlighted Building
Laborshed Report Entering Phase II
Free Skilled Iowa Testing
SBDC Connects With 18 Businesses
Ten Business Bootstrapping Ideas


 

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Your  weekly newsletter from the Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC)

The primary mission of Buchanan County Economic Development (BCEDC) is to foster a strong economic environment which supports business, nurtures growth and new investment while attracting sustainable businesses and a quality labor force to our communities. The organization will rely on trusting relationships to unite the communities of Buchanan County to promote and facilitate economic development, and to improve the quality of life in our area by building sustainable wealth for those who live, work and play in this portion of the Cedar Valley Region of Iowa.
Buchanan County Property of the Week
 

Office & Warehouse Space Available
2349 Enterprise Plaza
Intersection of Highways 20 &150
2349 Jamestown Ave. Independence, IA
http://www.2349enterpriseplaza.com/
 
Two Suites Available for Individual or Combined Lease
 
Suite 7: 703 SF open space + office and restroom.
Can be leased jointly with Suite 8
Type: Commercial Office Building Suite
Number of restrooms: One
Description: Private entrance; two finished offices (one can serve as reception/lobby); approximately 703 sq. ft. finished open room (perfect for conference room or cubicles); and restroom. Landlord pays for gas, electric, water and snow removal. Warehouse racks are also available for purchase.
 
Suite 8: 1660 SF heated warehouse space + office and restroom space.
Can be leased jointly with Suite 7
Space Available: January 1, 2015
Type: Commercial Office Building Suite
Number of restrooms: Two
Description: Private entrance; overhead door at ground level; separate overhead door with loading ramp; one finished office; two restrooms; approximately 1,660 sq. ft. of heated warehouse space. Landlord pays for gas, electric, water and snow removal. Warehouse racks are also available for purchase.
 
Contact owner Brian Eddy for more information:  (319) 334-3704
 

New Laborshed Report:
You May Be Called at Home

 
If you receive a phone call asking questions about your job; you are not being pranked! The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) has hired Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) to complete a Laborshed employment study for the Buchanan County area.  As part of the study, IWD will be calling individual workers at home to clarify aspects of your job. It is not a prank and you will not be asked if you have Prince Albert in a can.
 
The Labor Shed study will examine the labor force from which Buchanan County area employers draw their employees, and are based upon commuting patterns into the area.  The study will assist existing and potential businesses to better understand the size and characteristics of the area’s labor force regardless of political boundaries. Survey results will be applied to demographic data to determine the size of the Buchanan County area labor force as well as various labor force characteristics
 
Phase I of the Labor Shed Study consisted of sending letters to employers in Buchanan asking that they provide us with aggregate counts of their employees’ residential ZIP codes.  This reporting will give us an understanding of where each community’s workforce resides. Thanks to businesses for providing the requested data.
 
Phase II: Calling workers at home.  Once that Laborshed area is determined, a confidential household telephone survey will be conducted in those identified areas.  The questions will cover topics such as: employment status, current and desired wages, current and desired benefits, education level, and type of occupation. You will not be asked to provide any identifiable information such as your name, social security number or date of birth.
 
BCEDC Director George Lake said, “The most recent Laborshed was completed in 2011, it is outdated and we need to establish a better understanding of the status of Buchanan County’s workforce. Buchanan County employers have received letters asking them to provide information on their company’s workforce, and I encourage companies to respond to the request. We are now asking individuals to respond to a phone survey when contacted by Iowa Workforce Development ”  Click here to see the 2011Buchanan County  Laborshed Report.
 
Contact George Lake if you have questions, 319-334-7497.  Thank you for your support and participation.
 
Earn your free National Career Readiness Certificate in Independence

(Buchanan County, IA) If you want to advance your career opportunities by making yourself more employable, you are encouraged to earn your National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).
Iowa Workforce Development will be offering free testing for the NCRC on Thursday, June 18, 8:30 a.m. at the Independence Hawkeye Community College Center.  
 
The Skilled Iowa Initiative is a public/private partnership dedicated to connecting Iowa employers with highly skilled employees.  Connections are made when individuals take the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) assessment to measure crucial workplace skills in areas such as applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information.  To date, more than 35,000 Iowan have earned an NCRC.
 
What are the benefits of the NCRC initiative for those seeking to advance their career? The Certificate will highlight your strengths in math, reading comprehension and problem solving.  Over 80 Buchanan County businesses have joined the Skilled Iowa initiative and will ask for your NCR Certificate when you apply for a job. Having the Certificate will help you land that job!
 
What are the benefits of the NCRC initiative for businesses? Ask job applicants to present a NCR Certificate and you immediately have an understanding of the skill levels of your potential employee.  The Skilled Iowa NCR Certificate will help you optimally connect your new hire with the position to be filled. Contact BCEDC Director George Lake to learn about becoming a Skilled Iowa Business.
 
The free NCRC assessment will be offered at Hawkeye Community College, 2349 Jamestown Ave, Independence Thursday, June 18. Testing begins at 8:30 a.m. so be sure to arrive 15 minutes early.
 
Register by calling 319-235-2123 Ext. 240.   Visit www.skillediowa.org to learn more about the Skilled Iowa initiative and the benefits it provides for students, workers, employers and communities. 
 
You may also contact George Lake, Director, Buchanan County Economic Development, 319-334-7497,  director@growbuchanan.com
 
 
18 Buchanan County Businesses Have Connected With  
The Small Business Development Center

Take the first step to starting your own business.
 
Since October 2014 and through the BCEDC, 18 Buchanan County businesses have connected with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Why not you and why not now?   If you are you thinking about starting or expanding a business and you’re not sure about how to proceed; the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can help. The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) has arranged for the UNI SBDC to come to Buchanan County.  The SBDC will be operating out the BCEDC offices on the 3rd Monday of each month.   The next visit is scheduled for Monday, June 15, at 112 1st. St. Independence.
 
The SBDC provide free, confidential, customized, professional business advice in all 99 Iowa counties to entrepreneurs and existing businesses with 500 employees or less. The SBDC also presents affordable workshops that teach practical skills and techniques, conduct research, provide comprehensive information services, and offer access to subject matter experts in a variety of fields.
 
SBDC Monday in Buchanan County: Call BCEDC Director George Lake at 319-334-7497 to set an appointment to meet with the SBDC on Monday, June 15. The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission offices are located at 112 1st. St. Independence.   
 
You can also set an appointment to meet at the UNI Small Business Development Center in Cedar Falls by calling 319-273-4322.
 
10 Bootstrapping Tips to Help Turn Your Idea Into a Reality
 
By: Jonathan Long
 
The majority of startups are started without capital injection from venture capitalists and angel investors. The real numbers are eye opening -- VCs fund only 0.05 percent of startups while angel investors are responsible for funding 0.91 percent. Take a moment to really think about those percentages in relation to the approximate 543,000 new businesses started each month.
The chances of receiving funding is very slim, so if you are serious about turning your idea into a reality you are going to have to dip into your own pockets and bootstrap your way to the top. It isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding -- both personally and financially, as you retain 100 percent of your equity.
 
In no particular order, here are 10 tips to help you bootstrap your way to success.
Click here to read the full article! 
 
1. Fully research your market and competition.
Before you do anything you need to make sure you have a viable business opportunity. Is your proposed product or service already available on the market? If there is competition, how will consumers differentiate between you and them? What makes you better? What is your unique selling point?
Related: 6 Bootstrapping Tips From an Entrepreneur Who Turned $3,000 Into Millions
I know of several highly successful software-as-a-service companies that sold their products before they even had it developed. They did this to be completely certain there was a market for it. This isn’t the conventional way to do it -- but it’s an example of entrepreneurs going to extreme measures to be 100 percent certain they had a winner before going all in.
2. Create a business model that produces quick revenue.
If you are bootstrapping, you need to make sure that your business model generates revenue quickly. If not, you will be dead in the water when you blow through your reserves. Constant cash flow is mandatory -- if you look at successful bootstrapped startups you will see business models that generated revenue very quickly.
3. Handle your own public relations in the beginning.
Startups can benefit greatly from major media exposure in the beginning. Journalists and editors receive press kits from PR firms around the clock. They don’t want to talk to a public relations representative -- they want to talk to you! They are much more interested in speaking with founders than a PR firm because they want to hear your story just as much as they want to hear about your actual startup.
There are several ways for startups to score media coverage, so roll up your sleeves and get cracking. 
4. Provide ways for your initial customers and early adapters to create buzz.
People love new startups and technologies -- and they love to show the world that they are cool, hip and trendy through social media. Provide ways for your early customers to help put your startup in front of their social audiences. 
Allow them to unlock a discount coupon by sharing your website on social media or create a branded hashtag and randomly select winners for prizes. You can even share images of your customers using your product with a designated hashtag on the company social media pages. By appealing to people’s narcissism you can create instant brand engagement.
 
5. Don’t be afraid to let your website grow with you.
6. Launch creative branding and marketing campaigns.
7. Account for every penny you spend.
8. Eliminate as many personal expenses as possible.
9. Do as many jobs as you can yourself in the beginning.
10. Be persistent and don’t give up.
 
Click here to read the full article! 
 
 
 
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The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC)
P.O. Box 109
Independence, IA  50644

Street address: 112 1st St. East, Independence,  IA  50644

Contact: George Lake, Executive Director
319-334-7497   director@growbuchanan.com   www.growbuchanan.com

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