Good news about the economy – and your business

I attended a webinar on Tuesday called “A Business Owner’s Guide to the 2009 Economy.”  Jeff Thredgold, economic futurist and owner of Thredgold Economic Associates, hosted the event.

Technology is what it is so of course, my computer didn’t function perfectly enough for me to view the entire presentation, but the most useful pieces of information probably came at the conclusion of the presentation, when the floor was open for questions from real business owners.  Here a few useful notes I managed to scribble as I fought with my web browser:

About the recession

  • Thredgold and other experts predict we will be out of the recession by the end of the year.
  • The recession officially began in December 2007.
  • The recession from the early 1990s lasted only 8 months.
  • 3.1 million jobs were lost in 2008.
  • Unemployment may still hit 9 or 10 percent.
  • Unemployment was above 10% for 8 months in the recession of the 1980s.

Q&A from business owners attending webinar

  • How can businesses take advantage of economic stimulus plan?
    • Do research in your own market.  Where and how is the money going to be used in your state?  For example, in New York, $2 million is going toward education.  How can you get in on those contracts?
    • The Small Business Association is offering fee relief for certain small business loan applications and is increasing loan guarantees by as much as 90% on some loans.  The SBA is also offering bridge loans up to $30,000, guaranteed up to 100%, for helping small business owners pay off existing loans.
  • What are the economic implications of the new business trend (the trend towards more small businesses opening when the economy is down) ?  Will we see consumer spending going to support local small businesses?
    • The small business sector leads the American economy out of recession.
    • 5 million people have been lost their jobs since December 2007.  Many of them will be starting their own businesses, but here are some questions they need to ask themselves before taking that risk:
      • Do you have adequate capital?
      • A solid business plan with a way for people to walk in?
      • Can I get the financing I need?
      • What are my goals for future?
  • Why are more customers asking to pay me electronically?
    • There’s a benefit to customers for paying with credit cards.  They may be in rewards programs, and they can delay their own cash-out flow.
    • There’s a benefit to businesses: it makes you easy to do business with.
    • They might want to pay with ACH or wire transfer.  That’s also about convenience for customers.
  • How do small business owners stay in business in tough times?
    • Hang in there!
    • Consumer spending has contracted significantly, but as consumers see the news getting better, they’ll be more willing to spend money.
    • The Dow has rallied and the S&P 500 is up 25% since it bottomed out.  Just get through the next 3 to 6 months, and we’ll be okay.
    • Holding onto your market share now is critical.
    • Look for opportunities and seize them so that you can bounce back stronger than ever when the economy gets better.


© Mariam Williams and Research Works, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams or, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Research Works and Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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