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|Articles - September 2011|
|Wednesday, August 24, 2011|
We enter the fall with renewed worry over the economy, losing business optimism locally, nationally and globally. Our readers, who were surveyed in late July for this month’s Input, were asked if they thought things in their region were on the right track or headed in the wrong direction. By a large majority, they said they thought things were headed in the wrong direction, with the gap between the optimists and the pessimists widening since 2008.
At the same time, small-business owners were being surveyed nationally by the National Federation of Independent Business and the results were no less disheartening. According to the NFIB survey, only 10% of small-business owners planned to hire. This is a group that has in the past led the hiring rebound post recession, so if this trend continues, it could signal another recession. “Expectations for growth are low and uncertainty is great,” NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg told Portfolio.com.
A survey of more than 1,500 executives worldwide, taken between June 22 and July 29, showed the corporate world was losing faith in the future early on. Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it found that almost 34% of respondents expected business conditions in the global economy to worsen over the next six months. Three months earlier, there were twice as many optimists as pessimists.
All three of these surveys were conducted before the stock market began it debt-ceiling gyrations after weeks of political gridlock, and the subsequent downgrading of U.S. debt by Standard & Poor’s. One can imagine how confidence has further dropped since then.
In 2008 and 2009, the business press was flooded with stories making the case for optimism. It’s late 2011 and they’re back. A recent report titled “Why It’s Smart to be Optimistic” by Bloomberg Businessweek reminds again that when the going gets rough it’s time to open your mind to optimism so you can seize opportunities.
I have to agree. I know it is almost impossible not to pull the covers over your head or run for the hills when the bad news flows. But I agree with the Oscar Wilde quip, "The basis of optimism is sheer terror." So take in in the bad news — and try to feel better.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Renee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Training, from the mundane to the sublime, bolsters companies and workers in an uncertain world.
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For good or ill, gay marriage inspires many people. They have strong feelings about it. Sometimes those strong feelings are grounded in religion and sometimes they are not. When the workplace is added to the mix, emotions tend to run high. After giving an overview of two current situations, The Bullard Edge is going to outline three key points for consideration and clarity.
Yesterday, a divided National Labor Relations Board dropped another hammer on the employer community. In a long-awaited and much debated move, the Board jettisoned the decades old standard for determining when two independent businesses should be considered joint employers of an individual worker for collective bargaining purposes.
Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
Attendance, breakfast buffet, materials, certificate of attendance and parking are all complimentary on behalf of the firm.
New regulations are in effect and more updates are on the horizon, are you prepared?
The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is pleased to announce 16 finalists — from over 60 nominees — for the 2015 OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards.