“Less worse is the new excellent.”

Just a quick post here about an economic development forecast I attended yesterday for members of the business community in Howard County, MD.  Attendees were enlightened and entertained by economist Anirban Basu of Sage Policy. Mr. Basu, smart and sought after economist — also completely entertaining, had even the most serious folks chuckling with sections of his economic forecast titled after popular reality TV shows (American Idle [sic], The Biggest Loser, Survivor and HC’s Next Top Model, etc.). Though all the news wasn’t great, hence the quote in this article title above, there were some positive signs about the future of business, particularly in the Baltimore-Washington region. Overall, the panel that represented real estate, retail, small business and hospitality was cautiously optimistic, and a survey of local businesses was as well.  Even Mr. Basu, who last year predicted a much longer recession, provided glimmers of hope.
     What were the take-aways from this event? While many businesses reported lower or even revenues, profitability per project was up for some. Businesses that were able to adapt by keeping lean but staying visible are coming out strongest. Staying informed and keeping a sense of humor is always a good idea.

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