Friday, November 20, 2009

Reporter's Notebook

- Steve McDonagh can be contacted at

Taking the good news with the bad

It’s not all Gloom and Doom out there.

While the bottom of the recession has been reached at least seven times in the national media and the term “jobless recovery” is quickly becoming a punch line to jokes that are only funny to those who are still employed, the economy really isn’t as bad as it was just a year ago.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s still bad out there and could get worse, depending on how certain future events unfurl – with Mother Nature having a say in things, I am sure.

But more and more often, I hear from business people that are doing better or at least are a little more optimistic about the future. Mind you, no one speaks publicly about this because there are plenty of businesses still teetering on the edge, making those who are doing well right now or starting to see an upswing in orders a little loathe to talk.

However, I did speak with the owner of a local IT company last week who told me that they had their best October ever this year. Another local business owner said he is busier than last year with fewer and shorter gaps between being busy.

At the VBJ, we try to bring you the stories and information important to you. What readers have told us in the past is that they want to know who is doing well and to the extent they are willing to share the secrets to their success, or at least their best practices, for the benefit of other members of the business community.

Our readers also tell us they want to hear about the businesses that don’t make it, with an emphasis on the “how” and the “why,” so that maybe they can learn from the misfortune of others in order to avoid their own.

As we continue to cover this turbulent and trying business environment, the VBJ occasionally receives emails and comments about running “negative stories.” However, we will continue to tell the stories we think our readers want. More often than not, it is a business success story. But we would be remiss if we only reported the positive and skipped the story on the store that failed on Main Street, closed their doors on 99th, or downsized their space out on 192nd.

So tell us what you think, what you like and what you want to know. We’ll do our best to bring it to you in a way that informs, educates and empowers our business community.

Friday Fish Wrap

Paul Speer retired but NOT, again, Congrats Paul……Gina Bacon back at the Chamber and communicating…David Lawson, a Class act…..Dennis Pavlina serving up Bones and recommendations.…Jim Jacks demonstrating his Tao of Pooh…...Tom Hunt paying off and hanging with the young dogs.. …Ralph Stevens – eerily quiet… TVD hawking phones and counting touchdowns….Robert Stewart first one in the pool ….Temple Lenz taking a break and looking for the next one… …Courtney Givens working and celebrating the Under 40 luncheon - well deserved and THANK YOU! …… Bob Dingethal every week is a bye week…..Bye, Bye.