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By Brent Willett, PDI President

Brent Willett
Brent Willett
PDI President
Recently, The New York Times has been conducting a series on business incentives nationally called 'The United States of Subsidies'. How quaint. Despite the title, I'd like to direct your attention to Part I of the series, wherein the Times produces economic development incentives figures for every state in the nation both on a total cost and per capita basis.

A top priority for PDI is working to improve the competitiveness of our state in the area of incentives available to help close deals in our communities, and the Times piece paints a stark picture of Iowa here. We are among the ten states nationally with the lowest per capita apportionment of economic development incentives dollars at $73 per person and $0.04 per budget dollar. Even in our neighborhood, we're outpaced almost two to one by Illinois [Illinois!], four to one by Wisconsin, five to one by Kansas, nine to one by Michigan, and ten to one by Nebraska.

Feel free to use these numbers in your next conversation with a site selector.

The point is, we've got to make our policymakers recognize and understand the kind of playing field we're on and the importance -despite how politically noxious the topic can be- of robust funding for economic development incentives and other programming. The proverbial green shoots of growth in many of our communities are real, but if we intend to maintain and accelerate the trend, we've got to have the tools to compete, and that starts with a healthy fund from which IEDA can draw from to make Iowa the competitive choice for business.

Brent Willett
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 IEDA Combined Heat & Power Survey

IEDA in partnership with IUB is working on a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) survey to figure out where the greatest barriers are to CHP implementation. This work is part of the National Governors Associations' Policy Academy on CHP and Industrial Energy Efficiency. CHP or co-generation is a process in which an industrial facility uses its waste energy to produce heat or electricity.

We are targeting two levels of audience for the survey- one that already have CHP in place and second those entities that are interested in CHP but have not implemented CHP systems due to various barriers.

I wanted to see if you will be able to provide assistance in helping us with our second group of audience. Will you please share the attached survey with your potential member entities with industrial facilities that may have an interest in CHP. If you have suggestions on others that we should target, please let us know. The survey itself should not take more than 30 minutes.

You can learn more about the Policy Academy by visiting

Thank you for your assistance and let me know if you have questions.

More Information >>


Iowa Bankers Association


 PDI Grow Iowa Day

PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
(Exhibitors set up at 9:30 a.m.)
State Capitol, Des Moines, IA


9:30 – 10:30 a.m. – Booth Set-Up
Location: The first floor of the Capitol – Rotunda
*You should be able to load/unload your vehicle from the west front entrance of the Capitol.

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Legislative Briefing – Update from PDI's Legislative Committee
Co-Chairs and PDI's lobbyists.
Location: The first floor of the Capitol – Rotunda – In front of West Entrance – Behind PDI Registration/Pizza Tables.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – PDI's Legislative Event – An opportunity to mingle with legislators and staff while enjoying free pizza and refreshments!
Location: The first floor of the Capitol - Rotunda

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. – Booth Breakdown
Location: The first floor of the Capitol - Rotunda.

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. – Legislative De-Briefing
Location: The first floor of the Capitol – Rotunda – In front of West Entrance – Behind PDI Registration/Pizza Tables.

For more information, contact

 Gregg Named Governor's Legislative Liaison
Published in the Business Record Daily AM 11.30.12

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Thursday that Adam Gregg will serve as the administration's new legislative liaison. Gregg graduated first in his class with a political science and history degree from Central College in 2006 and with honors from Drake University Law School in 2009, where he conducted legal research as an Iowa Supreme Court Scholar with Justice Mark Cady and was a member of the Drake Law Review. Most recently, he served as an attorney and lobbyist in the private sector. Branstad said Gregg has extensive knowledge of the legislative process and will be a good consensus builder with both parties. He begins his duties Dec. 10.




 Iowa Lakes Corridor Receives Two Awards
Business Recognition Luncheon earns first place

The Mid-America Economic Development Council presented its annual Economic Development awards at the 2011 MAEDC Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum in Chicago. Award entries were accepted in two markets per category — large market (annual marketing budget over $100,000) and small market (annual marketing budget under $100,000).

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation received two awards at the conference: first place in the small market division for the Business Recognition Luncheon (in the category of business retention and expansion), and second place in the small market division for its 2011-2012 Annual Report.

More Information >>

 Iowa Business Leaders Optimistic about Tax Relief
Quad City Times, December 12, 2012 2:35 pm, Rod Boshart

Business leaders from Iowa's largest communities expressed optimism Wednesday that the 2013 legislative session will produce meaningful and significant tax relief that will aid business growth and job creation.

Iowa Chamber Alliance members said they will again push for reductions in rates for commercial and industrial property and support better equity among all property classes in Iowa. They also supported efforts to simplify and reduce corporate income taxes and to flatten and streamline the personal income tax code.


 MidAmerican Recognized for Wind Energy Expansion
Published in the Business Record Daily AM, 11.30.12

MidAmerican Energy Co. received the Green Energy Supplier Award at the 2012 Platts Global Energy Awards ceremony held Thursday in New York City. The Des Moines-based utility company was honored for its 2011 and 2012 wind expansion projects in Iowa, which add another 1,001 megawatts of renewable energy to the company's generation portfolio. MidAmerican is the No. 1 owner of wind-powered generation capacity among rate-regulated utilities in the U.S. When its wind expansion is complete, approximately 30 percent of the utility company's total owned generation capacity will come from wind.

 StartUpCity Spencer Receives Ripple Effect Grant

Iowa Network Services (INS), located in West Des Moines, Iowa, announced the award of a Ripple Effect community planning grant to StartUpCity Spencer, a technology startup incubator and collaborative workspace located in Spencer, Iowa. A $5,000.00 grant was made to StartUpCity Spencer to support the incubator's technical assistance to entrepreneurs in Northwest Iowa. INS supports Spencer's efforts to prepare the community for the newest and most innovative technology jobs and startup businesses. The INS grant was applied for by Spencer Municipal Utilities (SMU), the city's full-service utility provider. In addition to the INS commitment, prior financial contributions to the incubator have been made by the city of Spencer, SMU, Clay County, local banks, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and other private donors. “INS supports the emergence of early-stage, technology-based businesses and is pleased that we can assist Spencer's efforts with support of these companies through their start-up incubator,” states Ron Keller, INS President/CEO. “Spencer is a direct enterprise customer of INS that receives end-to-end communication service. Our grant will enable StartUpCity Spencer to provide significant technical assistance to entrepreneurs in the area.”

More Information >>

 Economic Indicators Stabilize, Remain Positive
Iowa Business Council Releases Fourth Quarter Results

Expectations in sales, capital spending, and employment for Iowa's largest employers over the coming six months were steady or modestly higher as business leaders express a positive, though cautious, economic outlook. The 2012Q4 Iowa Business Council (IBC) Overall Economic Outlook Survey Index (OSI) rose to 62 — one point higher than three months ago (61) and the same as this time last year (62). The 2012Q4 survey was completed by 22 of the corporate members of the Iowa Business Council during the second half of November, the results of which were released today.

More Information >>

 Iowa Spends $223 Million a Year in Business Incentives
Published in the Business Record Daily PM, 12.5.12

The New York Times spent 10 months investigating incentives awarded to businesses by hundreds of cities, counties and states. Because there is no nationwide database of these incentives, the Times put together an interactive database and found that local governments give up $80.4 billion in incentives each year. Iowa spent at least $223 million per year on incentive programs. Click here to see the breakdown of incentives given to Iowa companies. Click here to see how Iowa compares with other states.



With the unveil of PDI's new website scheduled
for the second week of January, vendors now have a prominent place
on the home page to advertise!

Check out the rates for the PDI newsletter and/or website at:


Registration Information Coming Soon!
February 26, 2013
DMACC...Building 7. . . . . . .Lakefront Room
2006 South Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny, IA 50021


Is workforce a top issue for your organization?

PDI is planning a WORKFORCE SUMMIT to address the issue with information, tools, best practices and resources.

PDI Grow Iowa Day is Wednesday, February 27, 2012. Plan to attend both events!

For more information contact

 Promote Your Membership In PDI

PDI wants to hear about all the great things happen with our members. We know all our members are very active and are great about sharing their success stories with their local media, whether it be projects, events or innovative ideas. PDI wants to know too so we can share this great stories. PDI would encourage all our members to add us to your local media press release list so we can include them in our PDI Post Newsletter. Please consider adding to your media list.

PDI also would encourage all our members to include the PDI logo and website link on their organization's website. You can contact Lynn Harkin at PDI for logo and link information.

Lastly, PDI has pop-up banners, a table top display, spec manuals and legislative information available for you to use at your organizations' board meetings, annual meetings, etc. Contact for more information.

 New Member

Tim Coffey, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Clear Lake, IA

 Job Postings:

Economic Development Coordinator, Cedar Rapids, IA
Director Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB) Clinton, IA

More Information >>

 PDI Holiday Schedule

For your planning purposes, the PDI association offices will be closed for the holidays on:
Monday, December 24
Tuesday, December 25
Wednesday, December 26 for Christmas
Monday, December 31
Tuesday, January 1 for the New Year



 Configuring Your Smart Phone/Tablet for True Mobile Productivity
By Randy Dean, MBA – The “Totally Obsessed” Time Management Technology Guy

(As featured in his August 2012 Timely Tips E-Newsletter — see information on how to subscribe below.)

This month, I would like to share with you some of the key aspects in my very popular new program on Smart Phone Success & Terrific Tablets. In this program, I basically share how you can set up a tablet or smart phone to be a really powerful productivity tool (and not just a Words With Friends or Angry Birds game player!)

When I built this program, I looked at the basic productivity configuration I had on my business laptop, and then compared it to the many popular apps and the basic configuration of my smart phone and tablet devices. And, I discovered, with a bit of tinkering and a few app uploads, I could easily make my smart phone and/or tablet a nearly complete surrogate for my business laptop. Here's how:

More Information >>



 Expert Webinar: Economic Development & Apps

December 18, 10 – 11 AM CST
More Information & Registration >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

January 14, 2013 - March 11, 2013 - Online registration coming soon.

 PDI Workforce Summit

February 26, 2013
DMACC Building 7, Lakefront Room
Ankeny, IA

 PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Iowa State Capitol Complex, Des Moines, Iowa

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

March 10-14, 2013
NCED Conference Center and Hotel
Norman, Oklahoma
More Information & Registration >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course

April 21-25, 2013
Blue Springs, MO
[PDI Scholarships are available thru 3/31/13] - (800) 782-9520

 PDI Spring Event

In conjunction with the SMART Conference
May 1-3, 2013
Renaissance Savery Hotel, Des Moines, IA

 2013 C2ER Annual Conference & LMI Training Institute Annual Forum

May 20-25, 2013 Nashville, TN Full agenda coming in January More information >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Entrepreneurship Course

June 10, 2013 - August 5, 2013 - Online registration coming soon

 University of Oklahoma EDI Strategic Planning Course
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI Fall Conference

September 25-27, 2013
Park Place Event Centre
Wingate by Wyndham and AmericInn Hotel
Cedar Falls, Iowa

 PDI Fall Conference

SEPETMBER 24-26, 2014 (new date)
Honey Creek Resort State Park
Moravia, Iowa

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

October 20-24, 2013
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

November 4, 2013 - January 13, 2014 - Online registration coming soon.

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email


PDI Thanks the 2012 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa
Council Bluffs Regional Economic Development Commission

Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Triple Event Sponsors
ITC Midwest
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.
Iowa Economic Development Authority

Conference Supporting Sponsors
Black Hills Energy
Iowa Workforce Development

Conference Exhibit Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Ady Voltedge
Convergent Non Profit Fundraising
Iowa Business Growth
Iowa State University CIRAS
JEO Consulting Group Inc.
North Iowa Corridor Development Corp.
Peoples Company
Spring Only
Viebicher Associates Inc.

Fall Only
Iowa City Area Development Group Inc.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Small Business Development Centers
Iowa Telecommunications Association

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
& Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative

Contributing Sponsors - Spring Only
Iowa Utility Association

Contributing Sponsors - Fall Only
Access Energy Cooperative
Buchanan County Economic Development
Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Midland Power Cooperative


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