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Monday Report

From Bonneville Research May 11, 2009
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Crisis Communications:
A friend and colleague Alicia Bremer, president of Bremer Public Relations, who specializes in crisis communications planning and management, emailed the following blog post a couple weeks ago about the Domino's Pizza fiasco on YouTube.
You may not be in the Pizza business, but some version of the following could happen to you!
by Ken Makovsky
Domino's Pizza, one of the nation's largest pizza chains, was victimized by a prank pulled by two employees of a franchise who tainted sandwiches (I'll spare you the details). These two geniuses thought it would be hilarious to film their acts and put the video on YouTube. In short order, the video was viewed more than a million times and discussions were spread throughout via Twitter.

An email to bloggers from Domino's spokesman, Tim McIntyre, was quite telling. He wrote, "We got blindsided by two idiots with a video camera and an awful idea." This comment suggests that Domino's hadn't been fully prepared for the emergence of such a crisis.
Note to CEO's (Mayors): Do you have a crisis plan? If so, check to see if it needs to be updated to include attacks via social media.

How did Domino's handle the situation? From where I sit, badly. Mr. McIntyre said that Domino's executives decided not to respond aggressively, hoping that the controversy would quiet down. While the company had been made aware of the videos by Monday evening via a blogger, it took them until Wednesday to get a Twitter account as well as a YouTube video of the CEO in place to respond to consumer concerns.

What should Domino's have done?
1.      The CEO should have been front and center addressing the issue within minutes of learning all of the details and formulating a response designed to allay customer concerns, regain their trust and defend the brand. All media - social as well as traditional channels - should have been aggressively employed.
2.      The company might have benefited from calling in independent authorities (e.g., health testing services or government health officials) to inspect and vouch for the efficacy and safety of Domino's kitchen practices in every single location.
3.      Domino's might have called in a former cabinet official (preferably one linked to health matters) or a noted domestic doyenne like Martha Stewart to spot check Domino's kitchens at various locations. Their findings could be released quickly and through a host of media channels.
4.      The company could have scheduled and publicized training and/or retraining sessions for all employees, to demonstrate the company's commitment to and concern for the wellbeing of its customers.
Social media has changed the way we learn about and respond to crises. While news of a crisis can spread quickly, relevant companies can use these approaches to quickly respond and prevent further damage to their corporate reputations.
There is no need for any business (government entity, non-profit) to be "blindsided" - particularly a household name like Domino's - when in this age of transparency, it should have been "prepared."
As we all know, crises come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from natural or man-made disasters and human or technical errors, to workplace violence, executive improprieties, social media upsets, and more. And they all entail, in one way or another, reputation or brand management - before and after the crisis.
What would you have done?
There's much more to say about Emergency Preparedness, Business Continuity and Crisis Communications Planning.

Look for more on this in future issues ... and be prepared! 
Public Policy Initiatives:
IA - Culver Signs Bills Promoting Wind Energy Projects.
Gov. Chet Culver recently signed two bills, one of which utilizes unused tax credits to promote small wind energy projects in Iowa, and the other, which lays out economic incentives for wind-component manufacturers who are looking at building or expanding in Iowa, designed to expand the state's wind energy industry. Iowa is home to 1,999 wind turbines that produce nearly 2,800 megawatts of electricity each year, according to the governor's office. Culver noted that Iowa is home to five major wind energy component manufacturers: Acciona, Clipper, Siemens, TPI and Trinity.
MA - Patrick Focuses on Efficiency and Renewable Power.
Gov. Deval Patrick recently announced the launch of the Green Communities Program, which will help municipalities across Massachusetts cut energy bills through greater efficiency and locally generated renewable power. The program is a component of Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, making information and technical assistance available for communities to help them prepare for and make the most of federal recovery funds targeted for energy investments.
CO - Ritter Signs 'Solar Ready Homes' Bill.
Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a measure that will encourage construction of "solar ready homes" as part of a long-term strategy to make the New Energy Economy more accessible to more people and to create new jobs all across the state. "This new law will let us keep bringing the New Energy Economy home as we lead Colorado forward and transform our economy," Gov. Ritter said. "It puts a new energy future directly in the hands of Coloradans, giving them easy access to clean energy technologies and saving them money. And putting more clean energy in more homes will sustain or create more good-paying jobs for the Colorado economy." http://www.allamericanpatriots.ready-homes-bill
AR - Beebe: Buy Arkansas with Recovery Money.
Gov. Mike Beebe asked state agencies this week to "make every effort" to buy materials, goods and services from Arkansas companies with federal funds received through the recovery package. "Investing these dollars to improve Arkansas's economy is our highest priority," the governor wrote. "Domestically produced products purchased with recovery dollars, and the employment of Arkansas-based service providers, will immediately help Arkansas and American companies and, by extension, their employees and families," Beebe said.
TN - Bredesen Announces Program to Educate, Train Youth.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing $25 million to help provide 12,000 jobs for disadvantaged youths in Tennessee. "The money provided by the ARRA is helping reinstate a valuable program that will help train, educate and enrich our youth," said Gov. Phil Bredesen. "We want the participants in this program to walk away with actual workplace experience that will help to better their future," he said.
MA - Patrick Files Broadband Legislation, Prepares for Recovery Funds. Gov. Deval Patrick has filed legislation to help leverage federal economic recovery funds to boost broadband services throughout Massachusetts. "This bill builds on our commitment to provide broadband access to all areas of the Commonwealth, and positions the state for long-term economic growth," said Patrick. "This effort will also help streamline state zoning and permitting rules to expedite the availability of this enabling technology." http://www.allamericanpatrithe-commonwealth-fo
WI - Doyle Announces Recovery Funds for Food Pantries.
Gov. Doyle says the tough economy has created unprecedented demand at local soup kitchens and food pantries. More help is headed to food pantries, homeless shelters and meal sites in Wisconsin. Sixteen organizations that help distribute food and other goods to local pantries and shelters will get $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $2 million in goods will be distributed to more than 300 locations across the state through The Emergency Food Assistance Program.  
Improve Rural Business!
Rural Business Opportunity Grants
POSTED: 4/13/2009
ELIGIBILITY: Nonprofit and public agencies
DEADLINE: 4/30/09
DESCRIPTION: Grants for a variety of activities to improve business opportunities in rural areas.

Improve Rural Schools!
Small, Rural School Achievement Program
POSTED: 4/28/2009
FUNDING SOURCE: Dept. of Education
DEADLINE: 6/30/09
DESCRIPTION: Formula grants to help rural LEAs improve operations.

Improve Rural Living!
Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program
POSTED: 4/30/2009
ELIGIBILITY: Land-grant universities
$ AVAILABLE: $1,500,000
MAX GRANT SIZE: $350,000
DEADLINE: 7/1/09
DESCRIPTION: Funds to meet national goals for addressing the health and access needs of rural Americans.

Strengthen Rural Areas!
Rural Cooperative Development Grants
POSTED: 4/29/2009
ELIGIBILITY: Nonprofits and IHEs
$ AVAILABLE: $4,424,000
MAX GRANT SIZE: $200,000
DEADLINE: 6/29/09
DESCRIPTION: Grants to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development involving partnerships of IHEs and nonprofit organizations.

Grants to Construct Rural Rental Housing!
Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program for New Construction
POSTED: 4/29/2009
ELIGIBILITY: Nonprofit and public agencies
$ AVAILABLE: $13,902,332
DEADLINE: 6/29/09
DESCRIPTION: Grants to fund the construction of new rental housing developments in rural areas.
This Weeks Map:
Sales Tax Distributions April 2009
Thanks to Matt Liapis of Commerce CRG for producing these maps.

Recent Bonneville Research Projects:
Millrock Commercial Center - Holladay City, Utah
Millrock Park is a 22 acre; 490,000 sq ft master planned commercial office campus located in Holladay Utah.  This Economic Development Project (EDA) used tax increment financing (TIF) to pay for required infrastructure and insured that a difficult site could be developed as a Class A+ office park.  The EDA Benefit Analysis and Project Budget were unanimously approved by the Taxing Entity Committee.  The project is currently ahead of schedule and likely will be "closed-out" five (5) years early.
Contact: Randy Fitts, City Manager, (801) 272-9450
Bonneville Research is a regional consulting firm focused on consulting services to state and local governments including economic analysis for real estate development, public-policy analysis, tourism and economic development. Since its founding in 1976, Bonneville Research has completed assignments throughout the intermountain west yielding unmatched experience in high quality public policy analysis and economic analysis.

In broad terms, Bonneville Research assists state and local governments find workable solutions and to establish quality and sustainable public policy.  We often work with private developers and public agencies in assessing the future economics and outcomes of real estate projects, economic development plans and opportunities for public/private partnerships. Bonneville Research offers a diverse array of economic analysis and tools to answer complex problems.
  • Market and Financial Feasibility Analysis
  • Concept and Development Programming
  • Operational Analysis and Budgeting
  • Service Delivery and Cost Effectiveness Analysis
  • Business Organization and Marketing Strategies
  • Services Repositioning and Disposition
  • Economic Development Plans
  • Demand Assessment for Public and Cultural Facilities
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Economic and Fiscal Impact
  • Grant-writing/Fundraising

Fusing talents of a multi-disciplined staff, the firm's experience has concentrated in four interrelated fields:

  • Economic development and community planning
  • Law enforcement, fire and public safety
  • Recreation, tourism and leisure time
  • Management, benchmarking and best practice services
Bonneville Research
170 South Main Street, Suite # 775
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101


Bob Springmeyer
Bonneville Research
In This Issue
Crisis Communications:
Public Policy Initiatives:
This Weeks Map:
This Weeks Leads:
Top 15 Wasatch Front New Housing Projects
(New Home Closings Qtr 1 2009)
Rank  -  Project  -  # Closings  -  City  -  Product Type
1 Daybreak 65 South Jordan Att/Det
2 The Ranches 42 Eagle Mountain Att/Det
3 Foxboro 34 North Salt Lake Att/Det
4 Tuscan Village 26 Orem Attached
5 Maple Mountain Townhomes 24 Spanish Fork Attached
6 Ivory Ridge 22 Lehi Att/Det
7 Grasslands 20 Springville Detached
7 Suncrest 20 Draper Att/Det
9 Spanish Vista 18 Spanish Fork Detached
10 Highbury 17 West Valley Att/Det
11 Arbors 14 Provo Attached
12 Castlewood Estates 12 Riverton Detached
12 Willow Park Villas 12 Lehi Attached
14 Creekside Village 11 Lindon Detached
14 Rosecrest 11 Herriman Att/Det
Source: NewReach

Economic Notes:
Productivity and Costs +0.8%
Nonfarm business productivity in the first quarter rose 0.8% at an annualized rate, and unit labor costs increased at a 3.3% pace. Hours worked fell more sharply than output during the quarter, leading to the gain in productivity. The increase in unit labor costs was stronger than expected and will weigh on corporate profits.
Employment Index +2 pts
The Monster Employment Index rose 2 points between March and April to 120. On a month-ago basis, 14 of the 20 industries tracked by the index saw increases in job availability, although seasonal increases in job advertising likely played a role in driving the index higher. By comparison, on a year-ago basis, the index fell 31%. This is the steepest percentage decline on record, which suggests labor demand remains weak.
Mass Layoffs -17.5K
The number of announced job cuts eased in April to 132,509, from more than 150,000 in March. The tally has decreased in every month since January. However, the number of people affected by job cuts still remains elevated and was nearly 50% higher in April than a year ago.
Consumer Credit -34K
Consumer credit balances fell sharply in March. Total credit declined by $11.1 billion to $2.551 trillion. Both revolving and nonrevolving credit balances fell by similar amounts. An influx of cash has lessened the need for consumer to borrow, while lending standards are still tight.
MBA Mortgage Applications Survey +2.0%
In the week ending May 1, the MBA market index improved, rising 2% to 979.7. Both the refinance and purchase indices showed modest gains. The purchase index ended at 264.3, a gain of 5% from the week before. Meanwhile, the refinance index increased 1.2% to finish at 5,169.3.
Chain Store Sales +0.7%
Chain store sales improved in April, with more retailers posting improved same-store sales growth. In aggregate, sales rose 0.7% for the month, according to the ICSC, following six months of declines. However, the gain was due to the shift in Easter; average growth over March and April remained negative. Further, sales fell 2.7% excluding Wal-Mart. Gasoline prices were also hurt, undermining sales at warehouse clubs. Luxury sales continued to tumble, as consumers remain intensely focused on necessities as the overall spending picture remains weak.
Oil and Gas Inventories +.6 mb
Crude oil inventories rose by 600,000 barrels during the week ending May 1, according to the Energy Information Administration, below expectations of a 2.5 million barrel build. Gasoline inventories fell by 200,000 barrels, falling well short of expectations of a 550,000 barrel build. Distillate inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels, above expectations of a 900,000 barrel build. Refinery operating capacity surged from 82.7% to 85.3%, surpassing expectations. Total domestic petroleum demand fell. This report will cause oil prices to fall.
Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report +95 B cf
Working gas in underground storage rose by 95 billion cubic feet during the week ending May 1. The consensus estimate was for an increase of 92 bcf.

Ross Dress for Less
Ross Stores, Inc. trades as Ross Dress for Less at 922 locations nationwide and internationally.  The stores, offering family apparel, accessories, footwear and home décor items, occupy spaces of 30,187 sq.ft. in regional malls and power and strip centers.  Plans call for 52 openings nationwide during the coming 18 months.  Typical leases run 10 years.  Specific improvements are required.  Preferred demographics include a population of 30,000 within three miles earning up to $40,000 as the average household income.  Major competitors include Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.
For more information, contact Gregg McGillis, Ross Stores, Inc., 4440 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588-3050
Tilted Kilt
Tilted Kilt operates 12 locations throughout AZ, CA, CO, FL, IA, IL and WI. The sports pubs and eateries occupy spaces of 5,000 sq.ft. to 8,000 sq.ft. in pad sites, freestanding locations, downtown areas, regional malls and strip centers. Plans call for five to eight openings throughout CT, MA, NY and RI during the coming 18 months, with representation by MJB Real Estate Services Corp. The company requires a full liquor license at all locations. Preferred demographics include a population of 100,000 within three to five miles earning $70,000 as the average household income. A vanilla shell and tenant improvement allowance are required. The company is franchising.
For more information, contact Rich DiDonato, MJB Real Estate Services Corp., 735 Post Road, Westport, CT 06880
Fast Frame USA, Inc. trades as Fast Frame at 300 locations nationwide and internationally.  The stores, offering custom framing, artwork and accessories, occupy spaces of 1,500 sq.ft. in strip centers.  Growth opportunities are sought nationwide during the coming 18 months.  Typical leases run five years with options.  The company prefers to locate in upscale shopping centers with major anchors.  The company is franchising.
 For more information, contact:Brenda Hales, Fast Frame USA, Inc., 1200 Lawrence Drive, Suite 300, Newbury Park, CA 91320
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