Saturday, August 8, 2009

Survey Results: Feeling the Pinch, but with Some Optimism

My August survey results showed some interesting results. Reflecting the national news, people have cut back on their own consumption, seen layoffs and other cutbacks in the workplace, but also seem confident that the worst of the recession is behind us--or almost behind us.

Here are the basics:

1. Economic Outlook: 59% think the recession has already "bottomed out" or is bottoming out now. 16% think there is no hope until 2010.

2. Workplace Cutbacks: respondents have experienced the following steps in their workplace: 54.8% - salary freezes/cuts; 51.9% - layoffs; benefit cuts - 19.2%; furloughs - 12.5%; four day weeks - 7.7%. 23% said they've seen no changes.

3. Spending: Families cut back in numerous areas of spending: 42.3% drastically cut back on travel (73% cut back by some amount); 37.4% drastically cut back on clothing (71.5%); 28.5% drastically cut back on eating out (76.5%); 28% drastically cut back on charitable giving (64.8%)

4. Measures to Deal w County Budget: very clear results on what citizens want to see County do to deal with its budget problem:
1) Consolidate/Share Services (75% positive-8% negative);
2) Invest in Economic Development (56.5% positive-21.8% negative);
3) Cut Spending To Match Reduced Revenues (including layoffs/furloughs) (46.3% positive-25.4% negative; 28.5% neutral);
4) Raise taxes to keep critical services going (16.3% positive-59.4% negative)

5. Levies on Ballot: facing five levies on the ballot, 50% would vote for 3 levies or fewer; 50% would vote for more than 4 or 5

6. Effect of Stimulus: Respondents were generally optimistic about the stimulus package: 27.6% say we're already starting to see the results, and 37% say we'll see the results soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

County Launches "Recovery Zone" Financing Process

Yesterday, Hamilton County rolled out a new financing program to spur economic development and job creation within Hamilton County.

Working with the Hamilton County Development Company (HCDC), the County has launched a competitive process for private sector projects to access $22,947,000 in tax exempt financing via the Recovery Zone Facility Bonds (FZFBs) that were part of the national "stimulus" legislation.

This financing program is available to private and non-profit enterprises to access tax exempt financing for facility improvements and expansions. Hamilton County is one of the first counties in Ohio to develop criteria and establish a process for allocating the FZFBs.

The Commission will focus on projects that result in new jobs and sales tax growth in the county, among other criteria.

The first deadline for projects to submit applications will be in late August.

The bottom line, with this and other approaches: we're doing everything we can to get our economy moving again and create jobs. This new program should help push some important projects forward at this critical time, and will lead to millions of dollars invested in the local economy."

For information on the Recovery Zone Facility Bonds Program please contact the Hamilton County Development Company at (513) 631-8292 or visit their website at WWW.HCDC.COM.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Take the New Economic Survey

The national and local economy are at a crossroads. Some good signs amid continued challenging times. What's your view? How has it affected you? Are you optimistic we've "bottomed out"? What would you do in my shoes to help spur recovery?

Let me know by taking my Summer Economy Survey by clicking here.
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