Sunday morning...a time to sit back and enjoy some time visiting about things that went on last week and a peek into the coming days. Think of this as our virtual coffee shop. We'll get back to business tomorrow. But for now, grab a cup and let's talk...it's Sunday Morning Coffee.
A couple of interesting stats from the economy...Iowa farmland increased in value by 8% over April 2009. That means that an acre of land that was valued at $3,500 last year is now sitting at $3,780. If you owned 500 acres (a very small farm) your land is now worth about $1,890,000. Not too shabby.
Staying on "farm news" - Many farmers are getting thousands of dollars on top of a record sales year. It's all about "disaster payments" and some folks are not happy with the system. Here is the story from the Sunday Des Moines Register.
Meanwhile banks in Iowa reported some nice profits for the first quarter of 2010. John Sorensen, president and CEO of the Iowa Bankers Association said last week, "Banks have the capital and the liquidity to lend to creditworthy borrowers." I hear from small business owners and business start-ups from all over the state who tell me that credit is still tight and unless you own, outright, that 500 acres of farmland..."Good luck getting a small business loan", they tell me. I know several who have been turned down or offered less than attractive rates even though the business being purchased has been successful for years.
Dampening the positive economic news is the fact that unemployment in Iowa shot up to 6.9% from 6.8% last month. "Less people...more profit?" Just asking. But, even at 6.9% we're so much better off than many states. Comforting...if you're employed.
All of the above is a mixed bag for my Republican friends. "Gosh, you think the programs put into place might be, (Gulp)...working?" Meanwhile my Democratic friends will find a way to screw everything up...watch.
Speaking of politics, my friend Bob Vander Plaats took it to former governor Terry Branstad during the Des Moines Register/Iowa Public Television GOP Debates last week. Telling anybody who would listen, Vander Plaats said that Branstad raised taxes and allowed all sorts of negative social things like (gasp) more gambling. Meanwhile Rob Roberts wants everybody to get along. But why take my word for it...here is the hour-long video from IPTV.
Enough depressing news.... We went to the Iowa Cubsbaseball game last night. Every time we get to go to Principal ParkI marvel at what a beautiful facility we have. The park is really first rate and with the skyline of Des Moines in the background, good people to sit with...we are so fortunate. Cubs won 1 - 0 over the Sky Soxs (farm club for the Colorado Rockies) in a quick game that went less than two hours. (Photo: Flicker)
My bride is in full training mode for RAGBRAI and she has even gotten me out several times. I was telling friends that we did ten miles (really nothing) the other evening. They were shocked, "Ten MILES!" It was impressive...if only to them. ;-)
I think I've got two weeks of vacation left. The studios for WebcastOne...LIVE are done and the equipment is being moved in over the next several days. Dry testing the first week of June and then flipping the switch that second week. If you ever followed our shows on Des Moines Local...LIVE you knew about the delivery problems. We're confident that is a thing of the past. We've spent these 90 days working on those issues and more. Should be fun. If you want a peak, here is the WebcastOne...LIVE website.
A bit of business: I'll make this brief. Last week I traveled to Atlantic, Iowa to do a presentation for the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce on Social Media and Small Business. I am more than ever convinced that this new form of marketing IS NOT for everybody. But there are some solid rules of the road. If you would like to learn more here is a quick post and video...about not taking yourself too seriously.
Like I said at the top...not much more than a conversation between friends at the coffee shop. The thing about that is...it's a conversation. So, send me your comments (below), drop me an e-mail or let's continue the conversation on Twitter: @MichaelLibbie (personal and business) @InsightADV (Business Baby...business.). Thanks for coming by!