Skip to main content

Blogs

Article | 5 min |
Employee meeting with HR rep
Once upon a time, most businesses could rely on wages and salaries to attract talented employees. Securing the services of strong candidates was often purely a question of money. But much of that has since changed—and quickly—in the post-COVID-19 hiring and retention landscape. For many job-seekers, money is no longer enough. As a result, some businesses needed to prioritize their benefits package to attract top talent. Multiple trends can be seen driving the shift in attention toward employee benefits. Inflation rates hit multi-decade highs in the early 2020s, prompting some job-seekers to...
Article | 5 min |
Hand drawing a 3D chart
A year ago, a headline “The Recession of 2023 might surprise everyone” would have been prescient simply because it didn’t happen. On the contrary, last year showed surprising resilience and a pace of growth no one expected, despite forecasts of a slowdown or recession by most economists. 2023 was supposed to have been the year in which the economy succumbed to the sharpest increase in interest rates in four decades; tightening lending standards by the banks; and the end of pandemic-era government spending. Accumulated savings from Covid-related shutdowns and receipts of stimulus checks were...
Article | 5 min |
Picture of statue at Federal Reserve
Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis. Overall Economic Activity Retail sales, including autos, remained mixed; sales of...
Article | 5 min |
Black and white image of hands typing on a keyboard
Banking partners you can count on to help you achieve growth goals Rockford, IL, along with the rest of the nation looks forward to better economic news in 2024. Regional manufacturing industries working with their banking partners have successfully survived economic turbulence with savvy business practices and smart money-management tools, said Illinois Bank & Trust, a division of HTLF Bank, CEO and President Jeff Hultman. “In general, people are still positive, but they are definitely feeling a little more stressed than a year ago in terms of outlook for business strength in 2024. I wouldn’t...
Article | 5 min |
Man working on his Laptop
Tax season is right around the corner! With a bit of planning before you start filling out tax forms, you can make the process much easier on yourself this year. So, let’s review important insights, as well as the forms and documents you might need to gather to file your tax return ASAP. Filing Your Taxes: What You Need to Get Started Before you begin the filing process, you should first gather the information and documents that the IRS needs to process your tax return. Tax forms often include a lot of technical terms, but basically, you’ll need: Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax...