Economic Summit addresses financial crisis‚ attracts small business owners

There is some good news about the economy‚ Economic Summit panelists conclude

Georgia (Oct 23, 2008) — Economic Summit addresses financial crisis‚ attracts small business owners

Aixa M. Pascual

Abstract

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Frances Weyand Harrison
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Economic Summit addresses financial crisis‚ attracts small business owners

KENNESAW‚ Ga.‚ (Oct. 2‚ 2008)Amidst the doom and gloom of the financial and economic crisis‚ there’s actually some good news: Georgia is better positioned than other states to ride the turmoil‚ according to panelists at a Coles College of Business forum on Oct. 14.

“There’s good news‚” said Joe Brannen‚ president of the Georgia Bankers Association‚ which represents 380 banks. “Georgia’s growing twice as much as the national average. Georgia’s going to come out (of the crisis) faster.”

The Economic Summit & Town Hall Meeting‚ sponsored by the Econometric Center and the Small Business Development Center at the Coles College‚ gave about 50 small business owners the chance to ask Brannen and others about the economy. The other panelists were: Tony Britton‚ senior vice president of Wachovia; Gene Henssler‚ president of G.W. Henssler & Associates; and Don Sabbarese‚ director of the Econometric Center.

Sabbarese said that Georgia’s manufacturing and construction jobs are disappearing at an increasing rate‚ with a decrease of 37‚000 jobs in August‚ compared to August 2007. A series of factors created the perfect storm for the current crisis: people losing jobs‚ income and housing values falling‚ and banks hurting and tightening credit standards as their asset values dropped and their capital dried up. Exports‚ the only bright spot in the economy‚ will slow down as economic growth in Europe decelerates.

“This is a real challenge‚” Sabbarese said. “You’re seeing historic actions by the federal government.”

But there’s reason for optimism‚ at least in Georgia. Two−thirds of Georgia banks are profitable‚ Brannen said‚ and they are well capitalized. And 500 people continue to move to the state each day.

Henssler said that home prices in Atlanta haven’t fallen nearly as much as home prices in other cities‚ like Miami‚ Phoenix and Las Vegas.

“It’s a good news situation as it relates to Atlanta‚” Wachovia’s Britton said. “There are lots of opportunities here in Atlanta. It’s a trying time. We know it’s a tough time.”

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