Welcome to the IMA Executive News & Views Blog. The blog format reflects our efforts to provide IMA members with timely, relevant and thought provoking information in a form that is accessible for easy reference. IMA’s Executive News & Views Blog will be updated on a regular basis. Weekly news update emails will be sent out to notify subscribers of new information posted on the blog. IMA members are welcome to submit material for the blog, or request specific information. Simply email Editor Stefany Henson at shenson@ima-net.org with your information or request. Editorial submissions are subject to review. 

Wednesday
Jan282015

Four Smart Marketing Resolutions for 2015

By Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger in the Industry Word Blog at the U.S. Small Business Administration

Happy New Year! Have you resolved to take your small business to bigger and better heights in 2015? Then one of the best moves you can make is to upgrade your marketing. Here are four marketing resolutions that every small business owner should consider making for 2015.

1.) Invest more money in your marketing. I see so many small business owners who make the (sometimes fatal) mistake of playing Scrooge when it comes to their marketing. By pinching pennies, they may save a few dollars here and there, but they lose out on bigger opportunities. It’s important to look at marketing costs as investments in your business and your brand—not as expenses.

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Wednesday
Jan282015

President Obama, Congress Should Tackle Infrastructure, Middle Market Executives Say

New Report Shows Middle-Market Job Growth Doubled Year-Over-Year

A new survey released January 20th shows that middle-market executives want Congress and President Barack Obama to focus on ways to overhaul the tax code, expand access to foreign markets, and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure.

The fourth quarter (Q4) Middle Market Indicator (MMI) also shows that growth in year-over-year middle market hiring doubled between Q4 2013 and Q4 2014. Middle-market firms created 2.3 million jobs last year, as employment grew for the year at a rate of 5 percent. The middle market is projected to create 64 percent of all new jobs in 2015.

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Wednesday
Jan142015

The 2014 Elections Are Over. What’s Next?

In November, Americans sent a powerful message to Washington from the polls: the status quo is not working anymore. Voters believe there is too much over-regulation and uncertainty from our federal government. They know that manufacturers in the United States won’t take the risks necessary to grow and create more jobs if they aren’t confident in our nation’s long-term economic plans. From onerous energy regulations to expiring tax credits that encourage investment in new technologies and worker training to the threat of shutting down the Export-Import Bank, manufacturers agreed upon the need for change. They believe that for far too long, the government has impeded growth, not advocated for it.

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Wednesday
Jan142015

New 2015 SBA Illinois District Resource Guide

Earlier this year, SBA’s Illinois District Office published its newest edition of its Illinois Resource Guide.

The Guide is full of information about SBA’s programs for small businesses as well as our partners, SCORE, the Illinois Small Business Development Network, lenders across Illinois and a variety of other forms of assistance to small businesses.

For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov

Wednesday
Jan142015

NAM’s Quarterly Manufacturing Webcasts

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) live Q1 Manufacturing Webcast is Thursday, January 22. The program will begin at 10:00 am CDT and will be archived for later viewing.

Join us as NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray provides an overview of current U.S. and global macroeconomic trends, highlights economic opportunities and challenges facing manufacturers and gives an economic forecast for the year ahead. A live Q&A session will follow.

Registration is required prior to the webcasts, and we have reserved space for 400 participants.

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Wednesday
Jan072015

Is your corporate culture a catalyst for innovation?

From IMA member Plante Moran …

Plante Moran’s annual innovation survey sought to discover the link, if any, between culture and innovation. Over 400 business leaders confirmed a strong, positive culture is paramount for innovation success and strong business results. Why? Because culture is key for supporting a main driver of innovation — employees.

What are the elements of a successful culture of innovation and how are idea generators cultivated and inspired in the corporate playground? Plante Moran’s 2014 innovation survey revealed how elite organizations take innovation to new heights.

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Wednesday
Jan072015

AskRail and Union Pacific Emergency Preparedness Network Map

Union Pacific (UP) is dedicated to keeping America thriving by providing efficient and safe transport of the products that fuel the nation’s economy, including crude oil, ethanol, wind turbines, solar panels and coal. While crude oil represents only about one percent of Union Pacific’s overall freight revenue and while accidents are extremely rare, Union Pacific is committed to taking greater steps to ensure the safety of UP employees and of the communities through which UP trains pass. UP has introduced two new tools that the company and its rail partners have developed to enhance efforts and to empower first responders and others responsible for the safety of their communities.

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Wednesday
Dec172014

Illinois Trucking Association: Hours of Service Relief Passes

On December 13, 2014, Congress passed the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill providing funding for the vast majority of the federal government, including the Department of Transportation, for the current fiscal year. The President is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. Officially titled the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, the bill is over 1,700 pages long and, as you can imagine, has a host of detailed spending and policy-related provisions affecting many industries.

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Wednesday
Dec102014

IMA Appointed to Governor-Elect Rauner’s Economic Development Transition

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association outlined goals for revitalizing Illinois’ economy in the first meeting of Governor-elect Rauner’s economic development transition committee the week of December 1st. The IMA was the first business group to endorse Rauner earlier in the year and coordinated activities with the campaign over the summer and fall that included being one of the largest financial contributors. Greg Baise, IMA president & CEO, was asked to sit on the small committee designed to provide a blueprint for making Illinois more competitive.

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Wednesday
Dec102014

Powering Africa: Summit set to advance deals and partnerships for Africa’s power industries in Washington D.C. this January

Powering Africa: Summit To Be Held in Washington DC, January 28-30th 2015, With Commitments From 12 African Countries To Further Advance Private Sector Participation In Africa’s Power Sector

Over the last 20 years EnergyNet has coordinated investor meetings with some of the most reliable and successful power developers operating on the continent of Africa. Symbion Power, GE, Siemens, Copperbelt, Goldwind, Azura Power, Aldwych, Karpowership, Globeleq, Schneider Electric, ESBi, Transcorp, Chint, China State Grid, Hanergy and others have all been companies that have made long term commitments to the sector and invested in sustainable solutions. These are powerful companies with strong balance sheets backed by some of the biggest banks.

Despite all this interest, knowledge and experience, billions of dollars has been spent on development over the last 20 years and many projects have not reached financial closure. Therefore, one key question is how sustainable is the current way of doing things?

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