Friday, October 23, 2009

Business Growth Expo

Especially now that I know that Atlanta is not among the nation's "relative" boom towns, I am glad I'm going to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's "Business Growth Expo" next week, courtesy of Judi Adams Sanek, who, in a short span of time has positioned herself as a prominent member of Atlanta Women in Business. Way to go!

This will be an opportunity to "be among the first to get a glimpse into the local economy for 2010", thanks to Rajeev Dhawan of Georgia State University, Jeff Humphries of the University of Georgia and Roger Tutterow of Mercer University. I can hardly wait!

See you there?

Economic Recovery

In Maria Bartiromo's interview with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (BusinessWeek, November 2 issue), he comments that: "A recovery that's going to work requires a recovery led by private demand." (my emphasis).

So, it's up to us?

Certainly, we all know that for a long time -- more than half a century, I would guess -- the U.S. economy has floated on consumer spending. But, Mr. Secretary, I think we're spent out! Unemployment is hovering around 10% (17% if underemployment is taken into consideration), home mortgage foreclosures are not declining, health care costs continue to rise and an oil change that used to cost $26 is now $32.

I think you've got to look elsewhere - Wall Street, maybe? - and let us lick our financial wounds, shore up our tattered finances, strap on some optimistic gear and worry about ourselves before we worry about getting the country, much less the world, out of a recession by buying more computers, leasing a bigger office or going to international conferences. Frankly, as small business owners, we're a bit tired right now.

Not Exactly a "boomtown"

When BusinessWeek posted its list of 42 relative boom towns (I'm glad "relative" was part of the announcement), I excitedly searched for Atlanta's ranking. It's absent. So much for that.

Georgia is on the list, with Augusta (# 24) - the military, medicine - but having Jackson MS, Columbia SC and Memphis TN on the list and Atlanta not, that is not a good thing. We're in the midst of a Mayoral election campaign; let the best woman win - we need a little boost into national rankings here.

Faring best in the BusinessWeek rankings are cities in Texas and upstate New York - go figure! I wouldn't live in either place - for cultural reasons in the former and the weather in the latter.