Tag Archives: craig doyle

veterans

Advancing Arizona’s Heroes

This week, our nation took time to celebrate the enormous contributions and sacrifices of those who have served in our Armed Forces. Just in time for Veterans Day, the Arizona Chamber Foundation released its latest policy brief, Economic Opportunity for Arizona Veterans. This new report highlights the importance of veteran employment and outlines specific policy recommendations for Arizona.

Arizona is home to an estimated 76,000 Second Gulf War veterans. According to national unemployment numbers for August 2012, these veterans face an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent, compared to the national rate of 8.1 percent. These veterans serve as an untapped resource for Arizona employers – one that has the ability to significantly grow and help diversify Arizona’s economy.

Military service prepares veterans with work ethic, teamwork and leadership skills. There are clear economic opportunities and synergies between the talents veterans bring to the workforce and the needs of private industry. Yet many veterans continue to face obstacles when transitioning to civilian employment. As the report recognizes, it’s incumbent on business and elected leaders to harness this talent by:

1) Adopting best practices for hiring and retaining veterans

2) Implementing policies to  facilitate the transition from military to civilian life

3) Streamlining and clarifying the wealth of public, private and non-profit resources that are available

To that end, the Arizona Chamber has established the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee with a vision of making Arizona one of the most attractive states for veterans to live and work. The committee serves as a resource and connector for employers that are interested in helping veterans transition from military service to civilian employment. The committee also works to support public policies that aid in this transition.

The committee has created a resource toolkit to help veterans and employers navigate the wide array of resources available. Additional next steps in addressing this issue include:

1) Finalizing a specific policy proposal to allow relevant military experience to count toward the certification requirements for occupations requiring a professional license.

2) Developing a strategy for disseminating company best practices for hiring and retaining veterans, reservists and National Guardsmen.

3) Partnering with like-minded organizations and interested elected officials to provide meaningful connections between employers and veterans.

Media response to these efforts has been overwhelmingly positive. Yesterday’s edition of Arizona Illustrated featured Suzanne Kinney, executive director of the Foundation and Captain Craig Doyle, chairman of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, in a discussion on the report’s findings and the importance of this topic. The issue is gaining traction and the efforts of Arizona businesses are being recognized.

It’s important to acknowledge the cross-section of Arizona Chamber member companies that were interviewed for the Foundation’s report: Amazon, Intel, Magellan Health Services, Northern Arizona University, Raytheon, Swift Transportation, University of Phoenix, USAA, and Wells Fargo. These companies along with the Arizona Department of Veterans Services provided valuable insight regarding best practices for recruiting and retaining vets. Many other chamber member companies, such as US Airways with their nationally-recognized Honor Flight Network, are taking action to support veterans as well. A key goal of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee is to help other interested employers adopt proven strategies that will lead to more veterans successfully transitioning to civilian employment.

The Chamber also owes many thanks to Captain Craig Doyle for his leadership and continued service.
An Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, Captain Doyle recently returned from the Asian Pacific Theater, his third activation since September 11, 2001. While there, he was the first Naval Reserve Officer to serve as Commanding Officer of the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka.  His mission included all operational, planning and logistical support for the Far East region. With both business and military leadership experience, Captain Doyle brings indispensable personal experience to this important endeavor.

We look forward to further advancing the mission of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee during the 2012 legislative session and continuing the recognition of this issue throughout the state. We will be working diligently to help more Arizona businesses implement proven programs to recruit, promote and retain veterans and to advance public policies that support veteran employment and entrepreneurship.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. http://www.azchamber.com/

Business Lending - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Now Is The Right Time For Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now is the Right Time for Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now might be the right time for businesses looking for financial backing to reach out to banks to help with plans for expansion and growth.

“When small businesses are given the tools to grow, that means growth for the economy,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We have the ability to provide capital to those businesses that can grow.”

The status of business lending in Arizona has been in question during a tough economy, but the reaction from Arizona banking representatives has been similar across the board: banks are lending, and the number of loans issued has increased over the past year.

Most banks in Arizona have weathered the economic crisis fairly well, and have had the ability to continue to make loans.

Dean Rennell, a regional president at Wells Fargo Bank says he has seen a steady improvement in business lending over the past year.

During that period Wells Fargo extended approximately $14.9 billion in loans to small businesses nationwide, a 13 percent increase over the year before.

In Arizona alone, Rennell says he has seen Wells Fargo’s lending increase 15 percent over the past year.

“Borrowers are showing improved financial performance,” Rennell says. “That means they’ve adjusted to what people are calling the ‘new normal,’ and they’ve diversified and become more efficient.”

Rennell is seeing a significant amount of loans from small businesses looking to buy competitors or real estate, or expand the company.

Companies that had cut back on expenses are now starting to invest in new equipment and technology that they had refrained from purchasing in the past.

“We’re seeing expansion requests and some businesses are taking advantage of the opportunities they see in the marketplace,” Rennell says.

Arizona banks have been able to lend during the recession because Arizona has a large number of companies that are well managed and credit-worthy, experts say.

“Most banks in Arizona are capitalized and have enough liquidity and capacity to make loans,” says Curt Hansen, executive vice president of the National Bank of Arizona. “There are a lot of well-run large and small banks, and Arizona is a good market long-term.”

When looking at possible loans, banks still desire the same qualifications they have in the past, such as a good track record, a strong management team and an ability to weather tough times.

The biggest difference now is that banks are paying more attention to the actual documents required for the loan.

“Bankers are looking at borrower’s ability to withstand short-term shocks and the borrower’s ability to repay the loans requesting,” Hansen says.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass, has seen an increasing number of loan requests coming from the small business segment.

“Almost 70 percent of business owners in Arizona belong to the smaller business segment, and that’s the segment where we’re seeing growth,” Herndon says. “Those entrepreneurs and business owners were cautious before and are beginning to venture out more.”

Most businesses large or small have some form of lending, whether it is a line of credit, equipment loan or real estate loan. Lines of credit are necessary for companies to continue to operate, and many companies are renewing the lines of credit they already have.

BBVA Compass Phoenix saw double-digit loan growth in 2010 of about 12 percent, and has seen about a 15 percent increase in 2011.

The only area where Herndon says he doesn’t see as many loans being issued is in real estate lending.

According to Herndon, the uncertainty in the Arizona housing market plays a huge role in the decline of real estate lending. People are still wondering if values have hit bottom.

“The economy is still a concern, and the political climate,” Herndon says. “Most of the companies and businesses here need a banking relationship in order to maintain and grow their company. The demand for loans is definitely increasing and I’m hopeful this trend will continue to improve.”

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For more information about business lending and financial backing, visit:

comerica.com
wellsfargo.com

nbarizona.com

bbvacompass.com

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011