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Not everyone in the country is lucky enough to live in Boise, Idaho. This year, the city once again ranked #1 on Livabilty's list of Top Places to Live for cities above 20,000 and below a million residents, and according to a 2018 Forbes list, it's the fastest growing city in the country.
For local commercial insurance professionals, this growth presents new opportunities and new risks for their clients. It has changed the way they approach discussions with business leaders.
Micah Deckart and Adam Guyton, commercial insurance agents at PayneWest Insurance and long-term residents of Boise, note the innovative business community and culture are among the city’s greatest assets.
"Boise residents and businesses are known for being open to new ideas, which brings a lot of new residents who want to make their mark on their home city," says Deckart.
"But the benefit of a growing community can also be a challenge to employers," notes Guyton. "The unemployment rate and increased competition in Boise makes attracting and retaining talent a serious challenge.”
Because Deckart and Guyton’s approach is to look at business risks holistically, they have worked with employers of all sizes to quantify the direct and indirect costs of attracting and retaining employees, as well as strategies for the future.
"We ask a lot of questions to our clients," notes Guyton. "Maybe more than they're used to. But it's a process that leads to strategies that align with their business.”
With a workforce prone for turnover, HR departments have to be creative in evaluating their benefits packages, and that means more than just a complimentary bagel breakfast and a gym membership.
"Many businesses are turning to ways to lower their benefits costs, and sometimes the best plan means more hands-on attention, like with self-funded plans or captive plans," says Trish Quarles, PayneWest benefits planning sales executive. "We make sure that any changes are the right ones for the business, as well as its employees, based on long-term work and planning we do with our clients."
In August, PayneWest released its 2019 Riscovery Insights Report, a look at the top pressing concerns and business risks through a survey of more than 180 leaders across the Northwest. In addition to workforce and labor, business perpetuation and compliance were both major issues.
Perpetuation planning for many local businesses has been top of mind as current baby boomer business leaders are balancing a focus on growth with an eye on transition and business continuity in the coming years. According to the PayneWest report, 59 percent of businesses do not have a documented succession plan in place.
“To deal with these risks, we bring an integrated team to our clients. We know communities are linked together, but the city's growth is linked to its businesses, its employees and the people who support all of them,” said Deckart.