Finding a consistent message from the region’s business leaders is normally a difficult task. Some companies follow the business cycle, some don’t. Some companies pick the right investments at just the right time, some don’t.
But as the global equity markets go through Dramamine-requiring convolutions and the world’s economy looks to sink back into recession, there is no question that the mood is getting ugly.
The seventh edition of the PBN Business Survey shows businesses that have learned to do more with less but that also are becoming less inclined to make capital investments.
Yes, they are looking to keep up small-scale hiring – a result that jibes with the state’s July employment report, which showed that Rhode Island added jobs for the sixth consecutive month, although the jobless rate remained stubbornly high at 10.8 percent.
But after five consecutive surveys in which optimism about their business outlook improved, this summer’s survey showed a drop back to the levels of last summer. And the survey was completed before all the August market craziness.
So how should we react to that souring mood? I suggest that after reading the story about the survey results and hearing from some of the region’s executives, you turn the page and hear from those companies that continue to grow.
Our Fastest Growing Companies Top Lists – for the first time we split the one list into three based on revenue – compares 2010 with 2008 sales, so any company on one of the three lists is doing something very right.
There are many lessons to be found in their stories, ones that should help any business looking not just to weather the current economic challenges, but prosper. And they might just lighten your mood a little, too.
Mark S. Murphy