This issue of the Business Journal showcases some good things about our area’s companies. So take a breather from the barrage of information concerning our down economy and read our report on the 50 Fastest Growing Private Companies. It’s our fourth annual compilation of fast-growing firms. This year it’s based on revenue growth from 2005-2007. Obviously, this time period is before the economy truly tanked so some of these companies on the list may be a little more jittery now than they were. But as our coverage reveals, certain sectors such as tech will be able to ride things out better than other industries. Companies still need their computers to work at full speed in bad times as in good times. Spoke to the owners of some of our fastest growing firms and asked them how things have been going in 2008. Not as good, most of them say, but they’re still growing. These are the creative people anyway and they’re finding ways to deal. Some are offering new services or products that cost less for instance offering repairs on products rather than selling them new ones. It’s all in the customers and clients. The smart firms are holding their clients close, doing some extra things for them to help them through the downturn and not charging them for it. They’ll remember you in the good times if you do that. At the event last week honoring our Fastest 50, the CEO of last year’s No. 1 company, CapNet Financial Services, was asked to speak about how he has grown his company this year. Dustin White said that it’s challenging doing business during this credit crunch because his company is a lender focusing on offering financing to small businesses for their equipment. But there are some benefits from all this, he said one being the fact that he’s getting some good talent in the industry to come work for him because of the slowdown. Our list next year may be very different with the auto sector and anything real estate related having trouble keeping up no matter how hard they try. But we’ll also probably find that the innovative, nimble and creative companies will succeed somehow especially the ones that have been around for awhile. They’ll also keep their good customers and their good employees close to them as they ride things out. Election Post-Mortem We want to offer readers information that they haven’t read anywhere else, so I’ll go light on talking about the election. How are the results going to affect local business? The larger question of an Obama administration and what it will do won’t have any immediate effects. Our president-elect has such monumental problems to deal with that it will take awhile to sort out and I think all of us will give him our support as he and others in charge of the government grapple with all this. The bleeding of jobs needs to be stopped and consumers must not be afraid to consume again. Long-term structural problems in our financial industry and markets must be fixed but a stimulus package of some sort is needed right now, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is publicly proclaiming. We may just have to ignore the deficit to spark a boost in confidence. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at email@example.com .