Power Panel: How to improve business optimism

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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