Business and Economy

Business/Economy
7:44 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Iowa Communities Struggling to Survive

Iowa's smallest towns are shrinking- the total population living in towns of one-thousand people or less decreased by seven percent in the last decade.  We conclude our summer series on Iowa towns and cities with a look at communities struggling to survive.  Charity talks with Jeff Schott of the University of Iowa's Institute of Public Affairs.  Schott reveals the latest census numbers focusing on parts of the state experiencing population loss.  Also joining the conversation- Sac County Economic Development Director Shirley Phillips, Decorah author Robert Wolf and Cedar Rapids entrepreneur

Business/Economy
3:38 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Wasendorf Waits

Russell Wasendorf Sr. outside his now closed 18 million dollar office building in rural Cedar Falls
Waterloo Courier

Russell Wasendorf had hoped tomorrow would be the day he’d be released on bail...

But the hearing's been postponed, so the former head of Peregrine Financial Group remains in jail…

and the business empire he built,  first in Chicago and then later in Iowa,  continues to crumble. 

His once fairy tale like existence came to an abrupt end earlier this month.

Read more
Business/Economy
5:54 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Drought sinks teeth into Iowa cities

A sign warning of a blue-green algae bloom is posted on Sandpiper beach on Saylorville Lake. The Des Moines Water Works could tap this lake for its water supply if water levels along the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers continue to decrease.
Clay Masters IPR

With drought conditions now gripping more than half the country, many farmers in Iowa are waiting to see if they’ll even have much of a crop to harvest. While farm country feels the brunt of the drought, those in the city are also being hit. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

Business/Economy
7:03 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Financial Fallout

Courtesy

Economic development officials have begun to assess the fallout from the abrupt closure of the Cedar Falls-based international brokerage firm, Peregrine Financial Group doing business as PFGBest.  The company is being investigated by both governmental and regulatory officials for fraud and misuse of customer money.  220 million dollars is reportedly missing, Company founder, 64 year old Russell Wasendorf Sr. attempted suicide on Monday. CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber, Steve Dust says they're reacting to what they know and discounting what they can't verify.

Business/Economy
6:28 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Can't find a law job? Think small.

John Pabst, 66, practices law in Albia, Iowa, in the Victorian house he and his father bought as a law office in the late 1970s.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

Plenty of young aspiring lawyers dream of landing at a high-powered big-city firm after graduating. So an internship in a sleepy, rural town might not sound like a dream summer job. But that’s just what three law schools in Iowa and Nebraska are encouraging their students to consider.

And with new grads facing one of the worst job markets in decades, some say working in smaller towns is looking better.

Read more
Business/Economy
6:53 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

New Skills=New Life

Tanaha Pettit of Waterloo, who was in prison in 2009, has completed the new manufacturing careers certificate program and works at Bruns Machine in Cedar Falls.
Pat Blank

The job market can be a challenge for anyone these days, but imagine what it’s like for someone who’s spent time in prison or who has a less than stellar work history for other reasons.  Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank reports on an innovative program in Northeast Iowa that’s slowly making a difference.

Business/Economy
4:40 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Last Call for Flooded Residents

Nearly four years after the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids, you can still sell your damaged home to the city. That window’s about to close, however. More than 100 people have signed up for the final round of buyouts – even though they’ve stuck it out this long. Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Wells reports.

Business/Economy
8:05 am
Tue May 8, 2012

How Not to Live in Your Mom's Basement After Graduation

With all the gloomy news about job prospects these days, seniors can feel like their diploma is a one-way ticket to mom’s basement. But there are young adults who’ve landed on their feet – and learned how to make it in this tough economy.

Business
7:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Digital Upgrades Threaten Small Town Theatres

The theater in Forest City is one small town cinema that closed due to digital conversion costs.
IPR/Dean Borg

The familiar movie-opening theme is fading in many of Iowa’s small communities. Many main-street theaters, caught in a technological dilemma, are closing. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg, reports some communities are scrambling to preserve main stret silver screens.

Business
5:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Higher gas prices may affect volunteer programs

The Triple A’s average price for a gallon of regular gas this week is three dollars and ninety cents a gallon. That has a lot of people thinking about how much and where they drive. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank reports, it’s also taking a bite out of some volunteer programs like Meals on Wheels.

Business and Economy
6:00 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Being African-American in Iowa: Economy

Today, we continue with our “Being in Iowa” series. All this week, IPR reporter Rob Dillard is asking the question, what does it mean to be African-American in the state? Nearly a third of all blacks in Iowa live below the poverty line. They earn on average less than half of white households, and their unemployment rate is more than double the overall state figure. Rob introduces us to three African-Americans, who are working to improve their economic standing with some assistance along the way.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Wed July 7, 2010

China's labor shortage hits home

Soaring labor costs in China and a strengthening Chinese currency that makes exports more expensive is being felt in Iowa. Products, especially electronic components are becoming harder to get and in some cases are slowing the progress of building projects. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with Des Moines architect Tim Hickman about how China's economy and the economic climate of other countries factors into the budget of projects here.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Thu June 17, 2010

Immigration economics expert advocates legal path to citizenship

Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon talks with Raul Hinojosa, founder of the North American Integration and Development Center in California, about the economics of immigration in Iowa.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Sun June 13, 2010

Cedar Rapids: Two Years After the Flood

Two years ago at this time communities across Iowa were underwater. The floods of 2008 impacted dozens of neighborhoods but those in Cedar Rapids were among the hardest hit. Iowa Public Radio's Kate Wells and Alex Heuer report on signs of progress and the challenges still facing the community.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Mon May 24, 2010

IBM's Impact in Dubuque

By the end of the year, IBM will employ about 1,300 people in Dubuque. Local leaders are calling the technology giant's move to the city last August a resurgence and the community has become a testing ground for business expansion within the United States.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Sun May 23, 2010

Community banks fear impact of Wall Street reforms

Some small-town Iowa bankers say while they support reforms aimed at big banks, they shouldn't have to deal with additional regulations aimed at Wall Street.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Wed May 12, 2010

Lyon County Casino

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is granting just one new casino license. Commissioners say only Lyon County in the northwest corner of the state can move ahead with its project. Iowa Public Radio’s Rob Dillard reports the commissioners say they’re worried casinos in Ottumwa, Fort Dodge and Tama County would pull business away from existing casinos.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Mon May 3, 2010

Casino Hearing

Several hundred people crammed into a hotel conference room in Johnston today (Tuesday) to voice their support for, or opposition to, four new gaming licenses.

Read more
Business and Economy
11:00 pm
Sun March 28, 2010

Tax credit expiration means uncertainty for housing market

With federal tax credits designed to stimulate the housing market expiring in a month, some real estate observers worry about what will happen to the market after April 30.

Read more

Pages