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Archive for the ‘election’ Category

How’s Business?

By Jeff Pett, Fleetwood Group

That used to be such an innocent question.  “How’s business?” was an almost automatic follow up to any introduction between people in the business community.  These days you’re not quite sure if you should go there.

On the other hand, people have gotten a whole lot more open with their personal financial lives, haven’t they?  Who would have talked so openly a few years ago about their financial woes?  I have family and friends who are remarkably candid when it comes to talking about these difficulties.  Misery really does love company.

So how IS your business?  The busiest time of the year is now in the rear view mirror, and for us the April through August time-frame had a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde feel to it.  Our sales took off in April through the first half of June with incoming orders nicely outpacing 2009.  Then they withered about halfway through June and July before going completely anemic in August.  Two weeks into September we are bumping along at about the same pace as last September… which is nothing to write home about.

With midterm elections just seven weeks away, the country isn’t exactly exuding confidence about the future.  Since we all work in a world where money doesn’t get spent on things like new or renovated schools until the public feels good about their ability to pay taxes, it doesn’t look too good for the upcoming “selling season” and laying a good foundation for next summer.  Nor does it look too good for the party in power.  Let’s hope we see something substantial come out of Washington this winter, after the election, that settles down the pace of change, rolls back some of the planned spending surge, and gives people some confidence that our future actually COULD be better than today.

Until that happens, we can expect the answer to the question, “How’s business?” to be: “Pretty anemic.”  Voting matters!

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