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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

Trying to Make Sense of Economic Climate

As you can see by reading Reporter Thom Senzee’s front-page story in this issue, we took the temperature of several different local industries to see how they were doing in this economic downturn and what changes they may be experiencing. It’s not clear cut and obviously many companies are having real difficult times but others are hanging in there with some industries doing better than others. We didn’t have space to examine all industries but we plan on keeping a close watch on things in the coming months. Just this past week, AIG and Yahoo announced layoffs that will affect our local area. Mervyns, Linens N Things and Shoe Pavilion are going out of business bringing job losses and vacancies to local shopping centers. As we survey the wreckage, two things are foremost in my mind: 1. Making sure that we don’t over-cover or under-cover the bad news. 2. We need to find business owners and managers who are creative and see how they are getting through this mess. So, this is my appeal to readers to help us find these people. Perhaps there’s a business that is repositioning itself with a new product line or going after different customers than in the past. Or a business owner that is managing not to lay off employees through the hard times. Or a company that is actually boosting its marketing or public relations budget rather than slashing it like many companies do when the going gets rough. Marketing is often considered a “frill” when you’re having a hard time paying your employees. I suspect I’ll find some of these people at our Nov. 5 event honoring the Valley-area’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies that we will write about in our next issue. Granted, the past few months may have even temporarily knocked the wind out of the sails of some of these firms, but it’s generally the nature of people who lead such companies to find a way around problems. So e-mail me at the address below or call me if you know of such stories. Also, let us know what we’re missing in terms of the bad news too. Perhaps there are issues that need to be better explained. There is a lot of clutter out there concerning the economy and the business climate these days. I ask every business owner I come in contact with how business is for them these days. Many say it is slow. But not all. As I said, the real picture is not clear cut. It’s our job to make it a little less murky. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at editor@sfvbj.com .

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