NEW YORK – The Wall Street analysts who know Facebook best are giving the company’s stock a mixed review. Think: like, not love.
A flood of analyst reports from 33 banks gave Facebook’s stock a mix of “Neutral” and “Buy” ratings on Wednesday. And there was at least one review that equated to a “Sell” rating.
It marked the end of the 40-day quiet period following Facebook’s initial public offering. Analysts at banks that led the IPO were finally allowed to give public opinions on the stock, offering the first glimpse of what the IPO’s underwriters really think about Facebook.
Facebook’s much-ballyhooed IPO landed with a thud on May 18, with the stock closing just 23 cents above its $38 IPO price. It hasn’t fared much better since. On Wednesday, it fell $87 cents, or 2.6 percent, to close at $32.23.
Morgan Stanley, the lead bank in the IPO, gave a $38 target price for Facebook’s stock over the next 12 months. That’s the same as the IPO price Facebook has failed to match since its first day of trading. The analyst, Scott Devitt, said Facebook has long-term opportunities in mobile advertising despite recent concerns.
“The mobile ad market remains in its infancy – while we believe Facebook will lead the market in mobile ad targeting, agency and brand transitions to mobile may take longer than expected,” Devitt wrote.
Facebook derives the bulk of its revenue from advertising on its website, and while it has been testing mobile ad products, it warned before its IPO that its mobile users are growing at a faster rate than the revenue that it’s making from them. The disclosure spooked some investors ahead of the company’s initial public offering last month, and likely contributed to the stock’s lukewarm reception.
William Blair’s Ralph Schackart also gave the stock an “Outperform” rating, and said Facebook is “becoming a daily utility,” making it difficult for people to switch to a different platform.
“While virtual, the social interaction that users engage in via updates, status changes, likes, shares, and playlists, among others, builds long-term relationships and audiences,” Schackart wrote.
Mark S. Mahaney of Citi Investment Research also called Facebook an Internet utility, comparing it with the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. Facebook, he noted, will soon reach 1 billion monthly users and 600 million daily average users.
“By any comparison, these are startlingly impressive metrics,” wrote Mahaney in a note to investors. “Facebook could, in fact, become the largest (Internet) platform one day in terms of revenue and profits, given the size and engagement of its user base and its high-margin business model.”
Nonetheless, Mahaney put a “Neutral” rating on Facebook’s stock, calling the company’s dual-class stock structure one of the biggest investment risks. Facebook, like several other technology and media companies, has two classes of shares in order to keep voting control in the hands of its executives and early employees. CEO Mark Zuckerberg controls the company through more than half of its voting stock.
Credit Suisse found “a lot to ‘like’” with Facebook, but gave its stock a “Neutral” rating and a target price of $34. Analyst Spencer Wang said that while Facebook is in a good position to capitalize on the growth of social media, its stock price already reflects a “fair amount” of this growth, limiting his enthusiasm.
Goldman Sachs, which owns a small stake in Facebook and was one of the leading underwriters of its IPO, gave the social network a “Buy” rating. Analyst Heather Bellini said that the company is poised to dominate the next phase of the Internet’s evolution, “and as such will maintain industry high growth rates throughout next decade.”
A rare “Underperform” rating came from Daniel Salmon at BMO Capital Markets. He gave the stock a $25 target price and said that his research shows “mixed” opinions on the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook.
Each month the Business Development Committee of the chamber selects the topic of this article and a member volunteer to write the piece. This month, in consideration of the chamber’s “NEW” Buy North Idaho campaign, committee member Jack Powers discusses the many reasons that a “Buy Local” program can benefit a community. Thank you Jack for this month’s “Shining Star” article.
— Steve Wilson, President/CEO
Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce
The mantra to “buy local” is espoused in communities all across the country for many compelling reasons. To buy local means to nurture locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably. These businesses employ local workers and primarily serve local consumers. To buy local means becoming more self-sufficient as a community. Control moves away from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the hands of the community. When dollars are spent locally, they can in turn be respent locally, raising the overall local economic activity, paying more salaries, and building the local tax base which can lead to new or improved public infrastructure and local government services. This recirculation of money and economic activity leads to an increase of growth and prosperity that is directly proportional to the percentage of money spent locally.
One of the lesser known facts about buying local — the flip side of the “buy local” coin — is that locally owned businesses contribute significantly more to local charities and fundraisers than their national counterparts. In fact, in a case study of the economic impact of locally owned businesses on the local economy conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, charitable contributions made by local businesses were three to four times higher than made by national chain retailers. Historically, charities have long been devoted to improving the quality of life in our communities by helping the underserved, supporting the arts, providing adjunct educational activities and other support where government programs fall short of meeting the needs of the community.
Carol Peterson, president of the Cancer and Community Charities (better known as the 3Cs), a local organization that has raised hundreds of thousands in donations to help charities in Kootenai County for the past 50 years, confirmed that observation, pointed out that local businesses account for 90 percent of the business donations made to the 3Cs for support of local charities.
“The 3Cs could not exist and do the good work we accomplish in the community without the support of local businesses,” Petersen said.
She added that a healthy symbiotic relationship exists where local businesses support the 3Cs and in turn the community buys businesses’ services and products.
Gary Norton, owner of Silverwood Theme Park values community above all things and confirmed the benefits of the business-charity relationship.
“We are not an island,” said Gary Norton, “It’s our responsibility to help out our neighbors.”
The fact is local businesses are better positioned to respond to the special needs of the community and local businesses know that in order to be successful the communities they serve have to be successful.
In its mission to support local business and the communities, the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce recently launched its Buy North Idaho — Create Mojo (MOre JObs) campaign. It is asking that everyone in our community consider buying locally when making purchases or hiring services. It is an endeavor truly worthy of your support. Take the 360 Degree “Mojo” Pledge by going to www.CdaChamber.com/BuyNI.
When you are choosing services or shopping goods, remember there are two sides of the coin: the benefit of your purchasing decision goes much further than just your immediate transaction. Your choice affects not only your local economy but the quality of life in your community as well.
Summer has finally arrived, well according to the calendar anyway. The Post Falls Visitor Center has had people from around the country, coming to North Idaho for a variety of experiences. The great thing about North Idaho is you can take advantage of events, attractions and experiences year round. I encourage you to visit our website for a complete list of things to see and do in our community. Information: www.visitpostfalls.org or www.postfallschamber.com
While we are on the subject of “the information highway,” in addition to our website, you can tune into KVNI on Thursday mornings, 6:30 a.m. for the latest and greatest news from Post Falls. VP, Jame Davis and I will be bringing you fun facts and rave reviews about our business community. Tune in on July 5 and 19.
Special thanks to our platinum sponsors and volunteers for assisting with the 20th Annual Golf Tournament held at the Highlands Golf Course on June 22; Advanced Benefits management, Frontier Communications, Ground Force Manufacturing, Knudtsen Chevrolet and Northwest Specialty Hospital.
Congratulations to our 2012 River City Leadership Academy Graduates: Kay Viebrock, Barb Chambers, Denise Braden, Lisa Richards, Pat Clevenger, John Weston, Mark Woodworth, Bill Melvin, Melissa Nelson, Linda Wilhelm, Kim Tessier, Michael Call, Tom Nuss, Samantha Babich, Denise Lunderstadt, Jerry Lyon, Stephanie Davenport, Rayelle Anderson, Ronda Mitchell, Ryan Davis, Chris Keim and Charlene Holbrook.
River City Leadership Academy is a program that offers classroom training as well as the exploration of Post Falls, Kootenai County and Idaho treasures. Participants learn about current issues, hot topics and opportunities that affect us as citizens and business leaders. Our goal is for participants to gain leadership skills while creating effective changes in the future of our community.
The city of Post Falls is happy to host the Herborn Band from our associate city, Herborn Germany, on Saturday, July 14 in the Grand Pavilion at 6 p.m. Join us for a free concert in the park.
Last but not least, please register for lunch on July 17 at Red Lion Templin’s at 11:30 a.m. Our program will include guest speaker, Loreen McFaul with a presentation about email marketing and effective electronic communication.
The Hayden Kootenai County Farmers Market defines what the Chamber of Commerce is about. It is one of our families most favorite things to do on a Saturday morning. It is going on now every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I enjoy it for all of the same reasons I enjoy the Hayden chamber.
The market reminds me of “the circle of life” from The Lion King. I enjoy making relationships with the people behind the products and foods that I buy. I develop a trust for the quality of the product and a warm feeling of knowing my buying local is positively affecting families in our community in a direct way. In the same way many of the same people who I buy from every Saturday sit in my dental chair to trust me with their own care. Thus, the circle of life.
Our Hayden Chamber of Commerce paints this same picture. Come to one of our events and begin to develop relationships with the people in our community who you do business with. I promise, like me, you will see the benefits of this and it will come full circle!
The Hayden Chamber of Commerce membership renewals went out this month and with them comes an exciting new offering of benefits this year designed to give you the most opportunities to expand your business and be successful in our community. You can get more information on the Web at www.haydenchamber.org or by calling 762- 1185.
See you soon!
Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4
Fourth of July Festival: The Fourth of July Festival sponsored by Numerica Credit Union starts at 10:30am with the “Backward Bucket Brigade” with volunteers combing the streets for much needed donations for the Festival. At 11 a.m. the Fourth of July American Heroes Parade will be downtown on Sherman. There will be food in the park starting at 11 a.m. and free music from 2-5 p.m. The fireworks display will begin at dusk (around 9:45pm). Information: Diane, (208) 292-1635
THURSDAY, JULY 5
100-Minute Reception: Join the chamber in celebrating 100 years of success with these first Thursdays of the month, 100-Minute Wine & Cheese Receptions. The Receptions will be held at the Chamber Building from 5-6:40 p.m. (100 minutes). Open to members in good standing only, the 100-Minute will be hosted by the Decade Sponsor with each month being a themed program. This month’s Decade Sponsor is Brad Miles Insurance and will celebrate the nineties decade theme. There will be wine, food, good company, prizes and giveaways. Information: Marilee, (208) 415-011
THURSDAY, JULY 12
B.Y.O. Putter — Putt Putt Tournament: Putt golfing at its best! At the Parkside Towers we will host the fourth annual “B.Y.O. Putter” Putt Putt Golf Tournament from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The entry fee for the tournament is $25 and hole sponsorships are available for $100. This is an awesome way to network and have tons of fun at the same time! You don’t have to be a great golfer, this is a fun event for everyone… just bring your own putter! Beverages will be provided by Centennial Distributing. Food will be provided by Texas Roadhouse the Tournament is hosted by Miller Stauffer Architects. Information: Registration contact Brenda, (208) 415-0110. Information: Sponsorships contact Marilee, (208) 415-0111
FRIDAY, JULY 13
2nd Friday ArtWalk: Every second Friday from April to December, stroll through beautiful Downtown Coeur d’Alene and enjoy local and nationally acclaimed artists. Visit supporting galleries, shops, restaurants and businesses with your friends and family. Come and join us from 5-8 p.m., just follow the yellow balloons! Information: Cheryl, (208) 292-1629
TUESDAY, JULY 10
Upbeat Breakfast: United Way is putting on July’s Upbeat Breakfast and OurTownZip is the sponsor. Upbeat Breakfast occurs the second Tuesday of every month at The Coeur d’Alene Resort. On average, about 150 members attend making it one of the most popular networking events in our community. Trade tables allow members to display their business and speak briefly about it to the group. The program features a different speaker each month, highlighting various topics of interest. With a reservation, the cost is $14 and includes breakfast and coffee. Reservations are due at noon the Friday before the breakfast. This month’s sponsor is Inland N.W. Blood Center. Information: Brenda, (208) 415-0110
THURSDAY, JULY 26
Business After Hours: Join us for June’s Business After Hours from 5-6:30 p.m. at George Gee Cadillac/Kia, located at 317 W. Dalton Ave., Ste. D, in Coeur d’Alene. Food and beverages will be provided as well as the opportunity to win some great prizes! Information: Brenda, (208) 415-0110
Post Falls Chamber of Commerce
FRIDAY, JUNE 29
Blood Drive: 2-5 p.m. Post Falls Chamber. Call Jame’ Davis at 773-5016 to schedule your appointment to donate blood.
TUESDAY, JULY 17
Post Falls Chamber Takin’ Care of Business Luncheon: Doors open at 11:15 a.m. — Red Lion Templin’s. Register online by Friday, July 13 at www.postfallschamber.com. Cost is $14 per person. Featured speaker will be Loreen McFaul with Constant Contact.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
Tappas Contest: To promote food vendors for our annual auction, “Tailgating & Tappas at the Track” to be held Sept. 29. Deadline for food vendors to register is Wednesday, July 11. Call us at 773-5016 to receive your invitation to participate.
Annual Julyamsh Pow Wow at the Greyhound Park & Event Center: Free admission, free parking, many events.
City of Coeur d’Alene
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 3380 W. Prada Drive, value $132,480, issued May 1
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 4464 W. Long Meadow Drive, value $169,203, issued May 1
Active West Builders L. L. C., SFD with garage, 967 Knoll Lane, value $135,297, issued May 3
Candlelight Christian Fellowship, commercial-move drinking fountain, 5725 N. Pioneer Way, value $2,000, contractor Fine Finish Construction, issued May 3
City of Coeur d’Alene, commercial-equipment cover, 115 Northwest Blvd., value $2,000, issued May 4
Mark Faulkner, commercial-recover awning frames, 601 E. Sherman, value $4,900, contractor F. O. Berg Company, issued May 4
Idaho Departments of Environmental Quality, commercial addition to office building, 2101 N. Lakewood Drive, value $21,000, contractor Parkwood Properties, issued May 4
Atlas Homes L. L. C., SFD with garage, 6664 W. Delerue Drive, value $284,548, issued May 4
Victory Homes, SFD with garage, 3032 W. Dumont, value $130,000, issued May 7
Emmett Sullivan, commercial-siding permit, 5785 N. Government Way, value $5,000, issued May 7
Coeur d’Alene Mines, commercial-create three new office spaces in existing space, 505 E. Front, value $50,000, contractor RJ Biddle Construction, issued May 8
City of Coeur d’Alene, commercial-core drilling of Front Street for McEuen Park, 550 E. Front, contractor Geoengineering Inc., issued May 8
Lake City Playhouse, commercial-siding permit, 1320 E. Garden, value $8,075, contractor McVay Brothers, issued May 8
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 3273 W. Accipter Drive, value $174,348, issued May 8
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 4409 W. Long Meadow Drive, value $139,987, issued May 8
O’Reilly Automotive Inc., commercial-replace shelving, 204 W. Appleway, value $20,000, contractor G M Northrup Corporation, issued May 9
Aspen Homes & Development, SFD with garage, 2550 W. Renoir Drive, value $180,000, issued May 9
American Tower Inc., commercial-install antenna on existing tower, value $20,000, contractor Kasco of Idaho L. L. C., issued May 10
NP Depot L. L. C., commercial-office building restoration, 201 N. Third, value $300,000, contractor Johnson Construction, issued May 10
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 3410 W. Ranero Drive, value $147,100, issued May 10
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 7077 N. Caracara Lane, value $239,743, issued May 10
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 7095 N. Caracara Lane, value $268,461, issued May 10
Aspen Homes & Development, SFD with garage, 2637 W. Renoir Drive, value $340,000, issued May 11
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 4306 W. Long Meadow Drive, value $140,270, issued May 11
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 7408 N. Carrington Lane, value $102,808, issued May 11
Atlas Homes L. L. C., SFD with garage, 2656 N. Sorbonne, value $234,534, issued May 14
Bill Wendlandt, commercial-accessibility upgrades, 820 E. Sherman, value $10,000, contractor Bassett Construction, issued May 15
North Idaho Dermatology, commercial-remove wall/relocate door, 2288 N. Merritt Creek Loop, value $7,500, contractor Basso Construction, issued May 15
Parkwood Properties, commercial tenant improvement-administration office, 700 W. Ironwood Drive, value $20,000, issued May 16
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 3328 W. Pescador Drive, value $143,648, issued May 16
Aspen Homes & Development, SFD with garage, 6718 N. Delerue Drive, value $225,000, issued May 16
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 7392 N. Carrington Lane, value $94,045, issued May 16
Idaho Trust Bank, commercial-partial demolition-interior only, 622 E. Sherman, contractor Ginno Construction, issued May 18
Tom Mort, duplex, 1609 E. Nettleton Gulch Road, value $180,000, issued May 18
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 3362 W. Pescador Drive, value $143,775, issued May 18
Copper Basin Construction Inc., 9 unit condominium, 4576 W. Greenchain Loop, value $1,327,421, issued May 18
Aspen Homes & Development, SFD with garage, 2584 W. Renoir Drive, value $219,879, issued May 21
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 3393 W. Ranero Drive, value $124,808, issued May 22
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 3797 W. Accipter Drive, value $152,251, issued May 22
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 7039 N. Caracara Lane, value $268,756, issued May 22
The Wine Cellar, commercial tenant improvement, 317 E. Sherman, value $300,000, contractor Meridian Construction Management, issued May 23
Lakeside Capital Group, commercial interior remodel, 1859 N. Lakewood Drive, value $65,000, contractor Meridian Construction Management, issued May 23
L&B Chinese Massage, commercial tenant improvement, 2202 N. Government Way, value $50,000, contractor Big Sky Enterprises, issued May 23
Copper Basin Construction, SFD with garage, 4340 W. Wirth Drive, value $204,199, issued May 23
Eric Hedlund Design, commercial-install windows & doors, 754 N. Fourth, value $10,000, issued Mary 25
Northwest Solutions, pocket house, 2827 N. Julie Ann Court, value $69,000, contractor BCR Land Services, issued May 25
Kootenai County Sheriff, commercial-interior remodel/add ramp, 106 E. Dalton, value $10,000, issued May 29
Pat Collett, commercial-repair water damage, 4206 N. Crown, value $12,800, issued May 30
Dave Smith, commercial-install dry chemical extinguishing system, contractor Oxarc, issued May 31
City of Coeur d’Alene, commercial-remove wall/revise ceiling, 3820 N. Ramsey Road, value $900, contractor On-Site Construction, issued May 31
Hogfish Bar & Grill, commercial-wall covering, 1920 E. Sherman, value $1,200, issued June 1
City of Hayden
Roseco L. L. C., single family residence with garage, 11366 Riata Road, value $296,382, contractor Victory Homes, issued April 20
Eborall Construction Inc., single family residence, 8546 Indywood Drive, value $205,960, issued May 1
Consolidated Free Library District, commercial-interior remodel, 8385 Government Way, value $15,000, issued April 30
MP Rentals L. L. C. commercial renovations, 2415 Hayden, value $3,200, contractor M B Builders, issued May 3
Viking Construction Inc., single family residence, 8634 Salmonberry Loop, value $248,870, issued May 15
City of Post Falls
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFR tract house, 12436 W. Devonshire, value $193,239, issued May 9
American Tower Corporation, commercial alteration, 1720 W. Seltice Way, value $20,000, issued May 10
Boys & Girls Club, commercial building, 200 W. Mullan, value $976,150, contractor Polin & Young Construction Inc., issued May 17
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFR tract house, 12370 W. Devonshire, value $209,327, issued May 15
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFR tract house, 8207 N. Wentworth, value $131,557, issued May 15
Monogram Homes, SFR tract house, 6399 E. Maplewood, value $166,596, contractor Mort Construction Inc., issued May 23
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFR tract house, 8189 N. Wentworth, value $183,239, issued May 22
English Funeral Chapel, commercial alteration, 1700 N. Spokane, value $25,000, contractor Morgan Cole Inc., issued May 23
Copper Basin Construction, SFR tract house, 2977 N. O’Connor Blvd., value $210,081, issued May 25
Monarch Development, SFR tract house, 3133 N. Gracedale Court, value $301,599, issued May 31
Kootenai Rental, commercial alteration, 120 E. Railroad, value $16,000, contractor Small’s Construction, issued June 1
City of Rathdrum
Jeremy Brennan, single family residence, 15204 N. Pristine Circle, value $164,439, contractor Cornerstone Inc., issued May 23
Monarch Development, single family residence, 15409 N. Liane Lane, value $221,920, issued May 24
North Kootenai Water, commercial-interior remodel, 13649 N. Meyer Road, value $52,800, contractor Small’s Construction, issued May 7
Shane & Kara Vrevich, single family residence, 9255 W. Ridge Line Lane, Coeur d’Alene, value $246,421, contractor TBD, issued May 1
Dennis Franz Productions, single family residence, 4636 S. Chadwick, Coeur d’Alene, value $162,408, issued May 3
Richard R. Scarsella, single family residence, 19742 S. Watson Road, Coeur d’Alene, value $311,468, contractor Black Wolf Homes & Development, issued May 2
Karen Charbonneau, single family residence, 4332 S. Stateline Road, Post Falls, value $37,704, contractor Stratford Building Corporation, issued April 30
Mildred J. Scarcello, commercial structure, 3532 W. Scarcello Road, Rathdrum, value $5,000, contractor Strate Line Inc., issued May 10
Kenneth F. Skidds, commercial addition, 21709 N. Viewpoint Drive #8, Rathdrum, value $5,081, contractor Panhandle Roofing Company, issued May 8
Frank N. Tomlinson, residential pole structure, 2256 E. Rock Springs Lane, Hayden,
value $110,574, contractor CDA Structures, issued May 7
Paul W. Middlemore, single family residence, 19126 W. Riverview Drive, Post Falls, value $316,740, issued May 15
Martin R. Robbins, single family residence, 626 W. Parkside, Worley, value $126,166, contractor Britton Family Homes, issued May 14
Brian Giesbrecht, single family residence, 31275 N. Sienna Loop, Athol, value $228,482, contractor Reality Homes Inc., issued May 17
American Tower Inc., commercial addition, 50515 N. Old Highway 95, Rathdrum, vale $20,000, contractor Liberty Electric, issued May 24
Kootenai Youth Recreation, commercial, 3525 W. Seltice Way, Coeur d’Alene, value $20,000, contractor Yesco, issued May 22
Avista Corporation, commercial, 4027 S. Bonnell Road, Coeur d’Alene, value $20,000, contractor TBD, issued May 25
Camp Fire USA Inland Northwest, commercial-retaining wall, 34313 W. Coeur d’Alene Lake Shore, Coeur d’Alene, value $11,550 Issued May 25
Wade B. Wolcott, single family residence, 10710 W. Chatcholet Road, Worley, value $771,672, issued May 22
Timbered Ridge Custom Homes, single family residence, 11640 E. Simms Lane Athol, value $288,356, issued May 24
John D. Moroney, commercial addition, 4916 W. Village Blvd. #11, Rathdrum, value $16,200, contractor DJ’s Roofing, issued May 30
Aspen Holdings L. L. C., single family residence, 5801 W. Quaking Aspen Drive, Coeur d’Alene, value $312,815, issued May 31
Josiah Drewien, single family residence, 11570 E. Mokins Bay Road, Hayden, value $154,219, issued May 30
Kyle Mungari, single family residence, 7231 N. Huetter Road, Post Falls, value $612,223, contractor Get Er Done Home Improvement, issued June 1
Kyle Mungari, garage/carport, 7231 N. Huetter Road, Post Falls, value $62,713, contractor Get Er Done Home Improvement, issued June 1
D & L Developers L. L. C., single family residence, 23597 N. Rapalla Court, Athol, value $272,689, contractor D&L Concrete Construction, issued June 1
Employee wellness benefits more than the individual
COEUR d’ALENE — Being healthy is important. Most of us try to eat right and exercise for our own good and for our family. A few years ago Kootenai Health asked the question, how does having healthy employees affect a business? Now thanks to Kootenai’s self-developed MyHealth program, we know exactly what having healthy employees means to an organization.
“Having healthier employees is very important,” said Josh Burton, RN, employee health supervisor and senior health coach. “Those employees that are healthier overall are more productive.”
Many studies show that employees who are struggling with their health or finances are much less productive at work. While they are physically at work, these employees are mentally unable to focus and their mind may wander on to other personal issues. This idea is called presenteeism. Employees who are generally more active, eat better and are less stressed have lower rates of presenteeism. These employees are able to focus on their job and are measurably more productive while on the clock.
A 2010 analysis by the National Institute of Health studied more than 10,000 employees in multiple professions and worksites across the U.S. By doing so, researchers were able to quantify the direct (medical expenditures) and indirect (productivity) cost burden of overweight and obese employees. Researchers found that obese employees had 20 percent more doctor visits than merely overweight employees or those with a healthy weight. Both overweight and obese employees had a 12 percent higher rate of presenteeism.
“Unhealthy employees are more likely to think about other things at work, which means that the employer is paying them to sit at their desk and not work during that time,” Burton said. “The study found that obese employees can actually cost an organization five times more in these indirect costs than an average, healthy-weight employee.”
The MyHealth program is not about making employees feel badly about themselves, or alienating those who may be overweight. It’s about making sure everyone who wants to improve their health has every opportunity to do so. To help promote employee wellness and offset unwanted health-care costs, Kootenai Health decided to be proactive and create incentivized programs to get employees moving.
“We now have several initiatives in place to help our employees achieve their goals, whether it’s fitness or otherwise,” Burton said. “It’s easy for employers to host a summer walking series with a raffle prize or lottery tickets. It doesn’t cost a lot to motivate employees.”
Kootenai’s MyHealth programs help employees reach weight loss and fitness goals and promote physical activity and healthy eating. Employees are often reimbursed for their efforts to make healthier choices. Programs like Weight Watchers at the Workplace and the LiveWell program help hold employees accountable and allow them to gain support from coworkers at weekly meetings. Both programs help employees look at what they’re eating and alter it to fit a healthier lifestyle by cutting carbohydrates, reducing calories and including more protein and fresh vegetables in their diets.
“It’s a challenge, but it helps knowing that my coworkers, family and employer are supporting my efforts,” said Julie Hoerner, emergency director and LiveWell participant. “Knowing that my employer is paying for the program is motivating.”
Beginning in 2012, Kootenai Health also joined forces with PEAK Fitness to offer employees discounted memberships. With this, Kootenai decided to offer reimbursements for employees who competed in PEAK’s “Biggest Loser” challenge. For Rose Mulcahy, Nurse Case Manager, it was just the motivation she needed to begin an exercise regimen.
“When Kootenai decided to offer discounted rates at PEAK, I joined the gym and got a personal trainer,” Mulcahy said. “Between that and the Biggest Loser challenge, I developed an exercise habit which will help me to stay healthy for the rest of my life.”
Another benefit to keeping employees active is giving them an outlet to relieve stress and boost their mood. During the summer, MyHealth sponsors a walking series and step challenges to encourage employees to get outside during the work day. Employees are also given the opportunity to attend free yoga classes.
MyHealth also works with employees to relieve stress through financial counseling. MyFinances is an ongoing series of financial seminars that are free to employees and their spouses.
“Finances are something we all want to ignore but we all worry and stress over,” Burton said. “If we can help alleviate even a small amount of stress, we’ll have a more engaged employee.”
Many local employers, especially those who are self-insured, are beginning to reward employees that are non-smokers by lowering their insurance costs. Kootenai decided to take it one step further by also reimbursing employees for smoking cessation products and services.
“Smokers, like obese people, tend to have longer hospital stays and more frequent health problems,” Burton said. “Those direct health-care costs can really take away from an employer’s bottom line. Those excess medical funds could be used more proactively to improve health rather than trying to recover it after the fact.”
MyHealth is growing and expanding its services for employees. In the next year personal health coaches will be added to help individuals manage and track their progress.
Also in the works is an option during benefit enrollment where employees can have blood work done so they can see and understand their blood pressure and cholesterol readings. “Know Your Numbers” is geared toward helping employees stay informed about their current health information.
“So many of us don’t know our basic health information,” Burton said. “This wellness profile will inform employees of where they stand health-wise. Our goal is to have happier, healthier employees.”
Many of these ideas can be implemented or modified to fit your workplace. Hosting a Weight Watchers program at work or having a summer walking series are easy and affordable ways to promote health and wellness to your employees. If you’re interested in learning more about ways you can incorporate employee wellness into your business or organization feel free to contact Josh Burton at (208) 666-3053.
Before too long, North Idaho College will be forming its first full class of job creators.
The initial energy for its entrepreneurial enthusiasm comes from Avista Utilities.
The Avista Business Entrepreneurship Network is expanding from five-year anchor Spokane Community College to include NIC, Rogue Community College in Medford, Ore., and Walla Walla Community College-Clarkston. While SCC has been hatching big and not so big business ideas with Avista’s help since 2007, the other three colleges likely will launch their programs in the fall of 2013. But there’s every indication the wait will be worthwhile.
“One of the best strategies for pulling out of the longest, deepest recession of our time is to enable broad-based innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Roger Woodworth, vice president and chief strategy officer for Avista. “That’s why we’re partnering with SCC to extend their unique entrepreneurship program to other colleges throughout the region we serve.”
Each of the participating colleges receives $100,000 from Avista — the money coming from Avista funds not linked to customers’ rates — over three years. At North Idaho College, the disbursements will likely be $35,000 each of the first two years and $30,000 the third year, said Steve Trabun, Avista regional business manager and project manager for the entrepreneur program.
“However they can best use those dollars to get that program up and running,” Trabun said of NIC’s start-up funds. He added that “$100,000 by no means will sustain the program. What we’ve asked for from them is a commitment for the long term at their school.”
In NIC’s case, the commitment will involve the NIC Foundation matching Avista’s $100,000 — perhaps at $20,000 a year over five years, Trabun said. That money will help support scholarships and grants for students.
While some details and a lot of work remain before NIC can launch its program, the successes at SCC bode well for North Idaho. And the fact that SCC’s outgoing president, Joe Dunlap, is NIC’s incoming president should help ease any growing pains here.
“Avista and Spokane Community College have really done all the legwork,” said NIC spokesman Mark Browning. “They’ll speed up our timeline and make us more efficient. Ideally, we’d like to have it going in January ‘13 because we really see the need for it.”
Browning said the only significant obstacle now is finding physical space for the NIC program, but he’s confident that will be done. He said instructors are already lined up and the college is thrilled to have this opportunity.
“The program is different and allows us to approach things differently,” he said. “We can be more responsive to what business and industry need, and that’s what community colleges are all about.”
NIC’s program is likely to mirror SCC’s, where Trabun explained that 25 to 30 students are accepted into each “cohort,” or class. Students must bring a business idea with them, and the nine-month, 30-credit program involves a rigorous academic blend of business and entrepreneurial-centric classes, as well as ongoing mentoring and advisement through the program and beyond.
While SCC has created and refined a very workable model that the other colleges can adopt, Woodworth said the program’s framework contains some flexibility.
“It’s not prescriptive — they’ll have some license to innovate themselves,” he said. He added that each program’s effectiveness is expected to grow over time.
At SCC, 28 business have been created from the first four cohorts. While these have produced just 38 jobs directly, Woodworth said there’s a greater goal in mind.
“You always want to see that number bigger,” he said of the jobs tally. “What you feel good about is a different approach. You don’t know where those businesses will go in the long term. Where they are today is not where they’ll be in the long term.”
Jeffrey Waybright, the enterprenuerial program coordinator at SCC, predicted bright days ahead for NIC.
“President Dunlap was a great supporter of the program here and I know he’ll be a great supporter over there,” he said.
Waybright said that five years of operating the Avista program at SCC has attracted “all kinds” of students from “all over the board.” For instance, a 23-year-old was frustrated that there wasn’t a go-to place to book small local bands for, say, graduation ceremonies or wedding receptions. He’s now launching his own booking agency, thanks to the SCC program.
A retired husband-and-wife team have created their own company, focusing on unmet needs of retirees. And the program has also attracted knowledgeable, skilled people who had found themselves unemployed.
“They say, ‘I’m having trouble finding work, so I’m going to make my own work,” Waybright said.
Waybright praised Avista in general and Trabun specifically for their support.
“It was a huge infusion of capital to get the program up and running and I doubt we could have gotten started without them,” he said. He added that Trabun frequently works with Waybright to continue to build the Spokane-area network of graduating entrepreneurs with regional resources.
At all of the schools participating in the Avista program, networking is an essential element. Waybright and Trabun both lauded Avista’s Coeur d’Alene-area business manager, Patty Shea, as someone who knows how to connect people and resources.
“I can hardly wait to get started,” Shea said.
Shea is ideal for helping NIC get its program off the ground. Her head is with Avista and the board of directors for North Idaho’s economic development agency, Jobs Plus, but her heart is with the community college. Shea started her post-high school education at a community college before going on to earn her bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Eastern Washington University.
With Shea helping lead the way locally on networking, mentors and advisers will be in demand.
“That’s the last link of support they need,” Trabun said. “They need to have ongoing mentoring and advice — someone who can be kind of their business coach.”
At SCC, for instance, each cohort requires three faculty members and 40 to 50 business professionals from the community, Trabun said.
“All of that becomes an education base for a toolkit to get these students ready to actually go off and start their business,” he said.
Trabun and Woodworth said Avista is adding a sweetener for the “cream of the crop”: possible access to some start-up funds. All program graduates can apply for Avista microenterprise loans, likely $10,000 to $15,000, with the top one or two graduates being awarded them. They’re loans, not grants, but they’ll provide critical early-stage funds for more than the immediate recipients, Woodworth said.
“For those who rise to the top, they’re taking on an obligation so they can help others,” he said. “When they pay it back, the revolving fund will be used to help others. It becomes a magnet for the spirit of entrepereneurship that can lead to greater things.”
Without a problem to be solved, a solution would never emerge. When people need something, they invariably come up with a way of getting it.
During this recession, many people have found themselves in need and looked for creative ways to generate new sources of income by satisfying other people’s needs. This entrepreneurial spirit led to a surge in nonemployer businesses, spurred by dislocated workers and recent university graduates as wage and salary employment declined.
Nonemployer businesses have no paid employees, generate annual receipts of $1,000 or more and are subject to federal income taxes. Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating very small unincorporated businesses. In some cases they are the owner’s principal source of income.
Idaho was recently ranked in the top 15 states on the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. The index calculated that about 390 of every 100,000 adults 20 to 64 who did not have a business before, started businesses each month in 2010 and spent at least 15 hours a month working at it.
Several North Idaho companies started out much that way such as Coldwater Creek, Litehouse and Namaste — to name only a few.
According to the index, entrepreneurial activity is highest in Western and Southern states, and lowest in the Midwestern and Northeastern states. And from 2009 to 2010, entrepreneurial activity rates increased in the West, further widening the gap between the West and other regions.
There were more than 21 million nonemployer businesses in the United States in 2009. The state of Idaho had 107,030. That was nearly seven percent of the population. Nearly half of Idaho’s 44 counties are at or above the national and state average of 6.9 percent of the population involved in a nonemployer business. Blaine County contains the highest percentage of nonemployers at 13.8 percent, just over 3,000 firms. Teton and Valley counties followed closely behind at 13.3 percent.
Three of the five counties in North Idaho have averages higher than the state. Bonner County leads the region in the percentage of nonemployer businesses at 8.8 percent and is in the top 10 counties in the state. Boundary at 7.5 and Kootenai at 7.3 percent follow.
The industry with the most entrepreneurial activity was construction, accounting for 16 percent of the nonemployer firms in North Idaho with $160 million in receipts in 2009. Benewah and Shoshone counties differ slightly from the other three northern counties. Other services were the focus of the largest number of nonemployer businesses in both counties — specifically personal and laundry services.
Bonner County, which had the largest percentage of nonemployer businesses, not only had many one-man construction companies but also real estate and professional service companies among its 4,000 nonemployer firms.
Although construction contains the most entrepreneurial activity, the aerospace industry has trickled into Idaho. As many engineers are problem solving, many have come up with new products and spun off into new companies. Several aerospace companies within North Idaho have started just like that. Aerocet Inc., located in Priest River, and Tamarack Aerospace Group in Sandpoint are prime examples of innovative leaders in the aerospace industry in North Idaho.
Aerocet was founded upon a visionary. Tom Hamilton’s aviation design expertise and innovativeness led to the success of the 25-year-old composite aircraft float manufacturer. Aerocet has successfully launched the first female molded composite kit aircraft in the world, with more than 3,700 kits produced and is still in production today under the Glasair and Glastar brand. In addition, key personnel designed and launched the Quest Aircraft Kodiak STOL aircraft project which resulted in the spinoff company, Quest Aircraft, the manufacturer of the Kodiak. Quest now has more than 120 employees with more than 160 orders of the 10-seat Kodiak STOL aircraft.
Tamarack Aerospace specializes in researching, developing and producing efficiency modifications and product upgrades for the aerospace industry. The business received its first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) — required by the FAA to make any changes to a production aircraft — in May and expects to receive its Parts Manufacturing Authority — required by the FAA to manufacture parts for production aircraft — this month. The STC represents technological advancements in the industry and has two other STCs in the works for the same airframe.
As the aerospace industry and its supply chain continues to expand in Idaho, the need for collaboration and partnerships also grow. The Idaho Aerospace Alliance is filling that need as many manufacturers located within the state, that support both commercial and defense aerospace industries, have come together to build the aerospace industry within the state of Idaho.
Most businesses that have weathered this recession diversified their market base. The aerospace industry is yet another tool in Idaho’s toolkit in diversifying its economic base while generating good paying jobs for Idaho residents. It has been the foresight of entrepreneurs that has diversified our economy.
Alivia Metts is Regional Economist with the Idaho Department of Labor.