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Power Panel: How to improve business optimism

October 15, 2008

In response to Wells Fargo Business Survey showing a drop in business optimism, Oregon Biz Report decided to seek for solutions. Here is the question we asked; “Surveys show small business optimism is down in Oregon. What can be done to improve it?”

“Optimism, or its archenemy pessimism, may be based on facts or gut feelings. If a small business is, in fact, seeing sales and profit erosion or balance sheet weakening, a reality check and plan of action to deal with it is critical. If based on “feelings”, it is probably best to stick to your business plan and try not to get caught up in the national or regional malaise. Depending on your capacity to act, times when your competition is bummed out present opportunities to build market share. “
Chuck Martin
Business Savvy, Gearhart

“My thoughts are that as the President of the company I must stay optimistic. Everyone working with me watches my reactions almost by the moment; once they conclude I am depressed, guess what happens. This attitude pertains to employees, vendors, customers and especially our bankers and petroleum suppliers. By birthright I am totally an optimist so it really is not difficult to pick myself up by the bootstraps when I am a little low. I live by Barnum and Bailey’s motto, “The Show Must Go On.” In this instance the “Show” is the business and it must survive; I know I can help it survive with an optimistic attitude and good planning.”
Lila Leathers,
Leathers Oil, Portland

“There is a feeling in the business community that traffic problems are steady getting worse and affecting the bottom line in different ways. Oregon should do something to improve the flow of traffic for auto and trucks. Traffic delays are a big drag on business and their time on the road. People forget that for many small business owners their car is their office. The feeling that traffic is getting worse every year only adds to a growing sense of pessimism that things are not getting better.”
Charles Sauvie,
Economist, Portland

“Oregon needs to do more to encourage industry to locate to Oregon to provide jobs. When unemployment goes up, small business suffers. When unemployment is low, people have money to spend which helps small business. In my business people have a choice as to where to have their car fixed. If I’m the most expensive people will go somewhere else. The State of Oregon is no different in regards to attracting big business. If business taxes are too high, they’ll go to another state.”
TJ Reilly
Same Day Auto Service, Clackamas

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Discuss this article

cc33 October 15, 2008

Right on with traffic. I hit traffic on weekends in the Portland area. You feel that you can never escape it. It makes driving into Portland such a chore.

Gienie October 15, 2008

Were there any comments submitted by people from Lane County? I know the issues here have been huge in Eugene. Business are leaving and relocating themselves over in Veneta/Elmira and Springfield because of the “no growth” agenda in Eugene.

Hynix, as we all know just closed its doors. But because the building is located in an area with traffic congestion. Unfortunately we don’t have any plan to facilitate that traffic and any new business that comes in but may cause the traffic to increase by 100 cars (according to city code) they cannot start their business.

Its truly unfortunate these problems seem to slip through the cracks. I would be curious to hear if anyone in Lane County had submitted any type of response.

Jim Torrey October 15, 2008

We must find a way to deal with the congestion on Beltline from River Road to Coburg Rd going both east and west. The question of finding replacement on for the West Eugene Parkway is also a key issue. The only way we can find solutions to these problems is work togehter as local and state partners. This isn’t getting done now and it needs to happen.

Jim Torrey

Marvin McConoughey October 15, 2008

Leaders should be thinking ahead to conditions after the immediate recession is over. We are not going to return to the wealthy status quo of the past quarter century. What can be done to prepare for a world of increasing energy cost and global demand? How can governments downsize to avoid becoming parasitic on citizens who will be suffering from lower real incomes?

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