Building of the Month

Governor Recognizes BCEDC & CVRP

Buchanan Cnty Business Shout-Outs

Lt. Gov. Recognizes County Workforce Efforts

SBDC Coming to Buchanan County

Intelligent Use of Google Analytics

Refinance Debt with SBA Loans

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Your business newsletter from the
Buchanan County Economic Development Commission

Building of the Month
Wieland Manufacturing Building: This is a one-story manufacturing and warehouse facility that is comprised of several interconnected buildings that were constructed between1970-1998.  Total space is 123,240 sq. ft. with 60,000 immediately available. The building(s) may be purchased or leased as a single unit or subdivided.  The facility is located in Winthrop, Iowa and immediately adjacent to the Canadian National Railroad. Winthrop is served with an interchange for direct access to four-lane US Highway 20 and the Interstate highway system. Click here to see information on available buildings and sites in Buchanan County. Call 319-334-7497 for more information.
Tammy Robinson-New Hampton EDC, Nate Clayberg-Greater Cedar Valley Alliance, George Lake-Buchanan County EDC, Governor Terry Branstad, Megan Gleason-New Hampton EDC, Jeff Kolb-Butler & Grundy County EDC, Connie Tolan-Waverly EDC and Joe Raso-Blane Canada Ltd.

Governor Recognizes the BCEDC and the
Cedar Valley Partnership for Excellence 

(Des Moines, IA)  “The State of Iowa is engaged on many levels to support our businesses in every way. Iowa’s businesses must continue to grow so that every sector of our economy and quality of life will also grow and improve.   Today we are here to recognize those economic development organizations that are working to support businesses at the local level.” Governor Terry Branstad

The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) and the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership (CVRP) were recognized at the 2016 Iowa Economic Development Smart Conference for their support of existing businesses.  The Professional Developers of Iowa annually presents their Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards to recognize the contribution of local economic development organizations to the success of local and regional economic development initiatives.

Governor Branstad, on behalf of the Professional Developers of Iowa, presented the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership with the Best Overall Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) award.  The award was in recognition of the CVRP’s Synchronist business interview program. The six-county Cedar Valley Region used the Synchronist interviews to reach out to manufacturers to ascertain their needs, educated businesses on available support options and to gain insight about future business operations.  The CVRP then used the gathered data to present a regional report that details business operations, workforce, international trade and production.  The report can be found at   

BCEDC Director George Lake said that, “The Synchronist interview program is presently being used in 26 states and Canadian provinces.  Companies in all regions are, for the most part, asked the same questions. The common data points allows for a consistent comparison of business issues between states and regions. This enables us to compare business issues and concerns with other states. Pinpointing problems and strengths helps the State of Iowa create economic development programs to target those issues that need assistance. At the local level, our interviews helps local economic development professionals better understand and respond to the needs of our businesses."
George K. Lake, Executive Director  BCEDC  319-334-7497  
Shout-Outs to Buchanan County Businesses!

Jensen Transport of Independence, Iowa was presented the Platinum Safety Award by Great West Casualty Company. The award is based upon year-end, preventable crash results. Jensen transport is an 86 year old family business that owes their success to their simple mantra of “you treat people right.” Congratulations to the employees of Jensen Transport for the dedication needed to earn this recognition!
Geater Machining and Manufacturing of Independence, Iowa has been named by Rockwell Collins as its top supplier for 2016. Rockwell Collins is recognized as one of the world’s premier technology innovators in the aerospace, communication and defense industries. Veteran-owned Geater Machining and Manufacturing, Co. has been servicing the aerospace, electronics and high-tech industries since 1962. The company’s high quality parts and outstanding on-time delivery have developed its reputation into one that is synonymous with trust, and setting high standards for precision machined and fabricated parts. Nicely done!
Prinsco of Jesup Iowa was included in a case study published in Civil and Structural Engineering. The May 2016 article “Strategic Stormwater Control, explained how Prinsco’s innovative 36” diameter GOLDFLO HDPE drainage pipe was incorporated into a Kansas City project. Prinsco’s pipe enable the successful development of new parking garage in the midst of Kansas City’s highly popular arts and boutique shopping area in Midtown KC. Prinsco is a 3rd generation family owned business with locations in 9 states and 2 Canadian provinces.
State Rep. Bruce Bearinger, State Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, BCEDC Director George Lake, County Supervisors Gary Gissel and Ellen Gaffney

Lt. Governor Reynolds Recognizes
Buchanan County's Workforce Efforts

(Independence, IA) Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds was joined by local veterans and officials to recognize Buchanan County for its efforts to recruit and keep qualified workers in Iowa.  On Wednesday, May 4, at the new American Legion Hall in Independence, the Lt. Governor presented certification for the Home Base Iowa Program and the Skilled Iowa Initiative.
Attracting and keeping qualified workers is a challenge for businesses in Iowa and around the nation. Companies can best grow when they find the workers needed to grow and expand their businesses.  The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC), working with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), has undertaken the responsibility of helping Buchanan County businesses find skilled employees.   The effort to help businesses has been led by securing County certification for two statewide workforce support programs.  First, the Home Base Iowa is a program dedicated to helping military veterans move to Iowa by connecting with businesses who need workers.  Secondly, the Skilled Iowa Program provides assessment testing leading to individuals receiving a National Career Readiness Certificate that details their skills and abilities.  Companies seeking workers can use the Skills Certificate to better identify the workers they need. Conversely, workers can more easily find a career by presenting their certificate to potential employers.
BCEDC Director George Lake explained that Buchanan County is one of just a few counties that have secured dual certification. “Being certified in both programs is a very notable accomplishment.  Metrics and thresholds must be met to receive certifications,  For Home Base Iowa, 76 Buchanan County businesses have pledged to make an effort to hire veterans and many local businesses have offered to help veterans move to Buchanan County.  The Skilled Iowa initiative has recruited 133 businesses who will ask for Career Readiness Certificates and over 3,000 residents have taken the Skilled Iowa assessment. There is no single initiative that will magically solve our workforce issues. By working with a variety of programs we will create a more favorable environment for economic growth.”
Lake thanked Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, all veterans and the Independence American Legion Post for use of the Hall. Appreciation was also extended to the committee that helped recruit businesses to be HBI sponsors, sponsoring businesses, the County Supervisors and to Iowa Workforce Development for their support of workforce initiatives.
SBDC Coming to Buchanan County:
Time to Start New or Grow Your Business
Many existing Buchanan County businesses and new start-ups, have met with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)r in the BCEDC offices over the past tow years. Isn’t it time you took the first step to building your business?
Are you thinking about starting or expanding a business, but you’re not sure about how to proceed?  Professionals from the UNI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be operating out The Buchanan County Economic Development (BCEDC) offices on the 3rd Monday of each month.
The SBDC will next visit the BCEDC offices, 112 1st St. Independence, on Monday, June 20 Contact BCEDC Director George Lake at 319-334-7497 to set an appointment to meet with the SBDC.
It's time to take the first step....
Seven Essential Google Analytics Reports
Every Marketer Must Know
You may be using Google Analytics, but are you using it to its full potential? Contributor Khalid Saleh lays out 7 key reports with which every marketer should be familiar.
This article was originally published by: Khalid Saleh on May 30, 2016 at 12:03 pm

“I am offering a highly edited & brief synopsis of the article. I encourage you to read the complete article as there is a lot of good information that you can utilize,” George Lake   Click here to read the full article as originally published.
For marketers, there are few skills more important than a deep understanding of Google Analytics and its conversion measurement capabilities. After all, this is the tool that tells you whether your efforts are actually translating into results.
To help you out, I’ve put together a list of seven custom and standard reports you can use right away to get better insight into your marketing performance.
1. Mobile Performance Report: Ours is a mobile-first world. The total number of mobile users now exceeds the total number of desktop users…and mobile e-commerce is nearly 30 percent of all e-commerce in the US. For marketers, knowing how their sites perform on smaller screens is vital to staying alive in the SERPs and winning over customers. The mobile performance report shows you how well your site (not app) is optimized for mobile and where you need to make improvements.
2. Traffic Acquisition Report: Do you want to know if people are actually clicking on your ads?
The traffic acquisition report will tell you all this and more. For many marketers, this will be their first step in the reporting process. This report will give you a quick breakdown of your traffic sources.
3. Content Efficiency Report: Do you generate a lot of content on your website and find that tracking it is getting a little overwhelming? This report tracks entrances, page views, bounces and goal completions to help you answer questions on website efficiency.
4. Keyword Analysis Report:  Use this data to figure out what keywords are working best for you, how many of them are actually contributing to your goals and what keywords you need to optimize for in the future.
5. New vs. Returning Visitors:  This standard report in Google Analytics will tell you what percentage of your users are coming back to your site.
6. Landing Pages Report:  This report will tell you which pages visitors are landing on when they first enter your site. Based on data from this report, you can figure out how users are interacting with your site.
7. Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate Report:   “Bounce Rate” is the percentage of visitors who don’t take any action and leave from the same page they landed on. Use this report to find pages with low engagement and detect UX problems on your site.
Google Analytics is an essential analytics tool for any marketer, but making the most of it can be challenging. By using a mixture of pre-created custom reports and standard reports, you can gain valuable insight into your users.
Google Analytics’ Solutions Gallery is particularly useful for someone new to analytics. Here, you can import expert-created reports into your Analytics account to build powerful dashboards quickly. You can also use these reports as guides to help you understand this incredible tool better.
About the author:   Khalid Saleh is the CEO and cofounder of Invesp, a leading provider of conversion optimization software and services. In the summer of 2016 he will launch FigPii, the first and only comprehensive conversion rate optimization tool. A recognized expert of marketing strategy, he has presented at marketing conferences across the globe. Khalid has been a frequent guest in key media outlets, including CNN, BBC, SKY, France 24, MSNBC, New York Times, National Public Radio, and more.
Get Started: SBA loans can now be used
to refinance property
By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG  May. 31, 2016 4:46 PM EDT
Small businesses will again be able to use Small Business Administration loans to refinance mortgages and loans on real estate and some types of equipment. The SBA has issued regulations that allow the loans — previously available only to buy, expand or improve property — to be used to refinance existing debt. The agency will begin accepting applications on June 24.
The so-called 504 loans, named for a section of the federal law that authorizes them, are awarded to small businesses that may not have other sources of financing. Companies need to be healthy enough to make payments on the loans out of their cash flow. The loans can be used for buildings, land and machinery and equipment expected to be used over a long term such as some manufacturing machines or farm equipment.
Congress allowed 504 loans to be used for refinancing in the aftermath of the recession to help give small businesses more money to hire new workers, but that permission expired in 2012. Congress made them available for refinancing permanently in a law passed last December but the SBA was required to issue rules to implement the loans. Those were issued Thursday.
 Click here to read the original 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

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Buchanan County Economic Development Co. · P.O. Box 109 · Independence, IA 50644 · USA

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