Looking at the economy from the street level

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Some interesting observations from David St.Lawrence who lives in a rural town (Floyd, VA).
Early signs of an economic recovery?
I think we will see signs of recovery at the grassroots level before it is visible on a national scale.

With all of the chest beating and finger pointing going on in Washington, DC, it's hard to separate fact from fiction. In fact, it's hard to tell the real players from those who are under indictment or investigation for fraud, acts of treason, and so forth. The phrase "confederacy of dunces" comes to mind.

It does not seem there is much near term hope for the economy with the government printing money and raising taxes like there is no tomorrow. The machinations in Washington are providing more entertainment and outrage than results at this time so the outlook seems uncertain.

On the other hand, here in rural Virginia life goes on without the benefit of smoke and mirrors or teleprompters. The grim realities of growing unemployment and tight money are being dealt with every day by hard working merchants, contractors and a host of self-employed small business owners.

I can't pretend to know why things are getting better recently, but I have experienced a major increase in customer orders over the past few weeks and have heard the same news from many other businesses in Floyd County.

My custom picture framing business has improved so much that I am working longer hours than ever before and have had to bring on additional help just to keep from being overwhelmed.

In talking to my suppliers, I hear encouraging news of increasing business volume and the very interesting news that their collection departments are seeing a marked increase in customers catching up on unpaid bills.

Almost every business I have been following has been offering special deals like higher discounts and free shipping to motivate customers to buy now. For the first time in months, some of these companies are cutting back on the special deals, leading me to conclude that their business is picking up also.

Here in Floyd, the prevailing mood is guarded optimism. We are happy to see the increase in local business and in tourist traffic, but we continue to offer special deals and do not feel that we are out of the woods yet. Every customer is a treasure and the way to keep them coming back is by providing outstanding customer service and convenience.
Good news -- it's hard to say what is happening in this neck of the woods, our business is primarily tourist driven and the ski season is winding down and it will be a good two months before the river-rafting/hiking/fishing/camping season comes up to speed. Considering that David's business is picture framing (a luxury item more than a necessity), this is good news that he is busy enough to consider an employee. Being decoupled from the day to day machinations of Washington, DC, New York, etc... is a good thing!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 11, 2009 6:17 PM.

We need more politicians like this - Mayor Hazel McCallion was the previous entry in this blog.

Heh - gotta get one for my truck is the next entry in this blog.

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