Finding and Catching Wind to Sail in a Dead Calm Downturn (Part 1).

Officially, the great recession is over, as it started in December, 2007, and ended in June, 2009, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research[1].  However, many Americans would beg to differ.  A recent national survey by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, returned to question over half of their participants from an earlier, 2009 survey by the same University, and found that many were still struggling.[2]

In an economic climate such as this, where nothing seems to be moving forwards and the publicly-stated, national U.S. unemployment rate hovers around 9% (“nine percent”),[3] people really need to become creative in finding ways to sustain their core competencies, legally pay the bills (with or without downsizing), and keep their minds and their families together, as the psychological and social toll of this prolonged and stubbornly persistent slump on working-age adults, senior citizens, and children, alike, just continues to rise.

Admittedly, it certainly helps when governments, hurt by falling revenues from payroll and property taxes, stamp duties, and other receivables, and sometimes feeling forced to sell assets to make-up the short-term shortfall,[4] tighten-up their policies, better manage their regulatory and policy coordination,[5] and otherwise play their part in creating a more “recovery-friendly” business environment.  As a leading example, New Jersey, embarked on a general scheme to better publicize some of the many benefits and programs available to assist small businesses.[6]  In addition, the state has announced specific initiatives to assist businesses struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene,[7] and to aggressively curtail its own expenses on state health and pension benefits; although this last step is facing some stiff and concerted resistance from assorted stakeholders in the status quo.[8]

To ask quite plainly: where, then, should people turn, and what should they do, and how?  This is both an issue and a crisis.

Stay tuned to the “Effective Lead and Opportunity Marketing” page, available here: http://www.ogalaws.wordpress.com/effective-lead-marketing/

 

Author:

Ekundayo George is a Lawyer and Strategic Consultant.  He is a published author in Environmental Law and Policy; licensed to practice law in multiple states of the United States of America, as well as Ontario, Canada; and has over a decade of solid legal experience in business law and counseling, diverse litigation, and regulatory practice.

Hyperlinks to external sites are provided as a courtesy and convenience, only, and no warranty is made or responsibility assumed for their content, accuracy, or availability.

This article does not constitute legal advice or create any lawyer-client relationship.


[1]  http://www.njbiz.com/article/20110902/NJBIZ01/110909970/-1/enews_SouthJersey?utm_s  (Federal jobs report even weaker than expected, economists say).

[2]  http://njbiz.com/article/20110902/NJBIZ01/110909974/-1/enews_dailyt5   (Rutgers survey finds unemployed continue to struggle after two years).

[3]  Supra, Note 1.

[4]  Overseas, in the United Kingdom, the government of the day has implemented a bank levy, to both bring-down its own budget deficit, and discourage excessive risk taking by its financial institutions. (Q&A: Bank levy explained).  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12391532

The State of Ohio recently sold a state correctional institution to a private entity for $72.7 million, so saving on the annual running costs of $13 million. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/09/01/world-us-ohio-private-prison.html (Ohio sells prison to private company).

Across the United States, the current economic malaise has led to widespread shedding of critical assets and infrastructure by states and municipalities. (States and cities selling public assets to cover their costs). http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/states-and-cities-selling-public-assets

In New Jersey’s BergenCounty, we see one example of the deep discounts at which most if not all, of these assets are being sold, as the last sale price for this specific building, when it sold in 2005, was $31.4 million.  http://www.northjersey.com/news/124632949_Former_Samsung_home_sells_for__8_5_million.html  (Former Samsung home sells for $8.5  million).

[5] Also, internationally, we see that the G20, for example, is now more attuned to the urgent need for coordinated monitoring, policy formulation, and policy implementation, to both promote and sustain global macroeconomic stability. (G20 agrees guidelines to measure economic imbalances).  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13098537

[6] (New legislation aims to streamline financing process for small firms).  http://njbiz.com/article/20110902/NJBIZ01/110909969/-1/enews_dailyt5

[7] The New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Kim Guadagno, has announced that funds from the state’s Main Street Business Assistance Program will now be made available faster and more efficiently, through partnering with more financial institutions in the state and with the establishment of multiple satellite offices for the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), and other agencies in municipalities outside Trenton, the state capital.  This will aid New Jersey citizens by “allowing business owners to have a one-stop shop for disaster assistance rather than having to contact various state agencies in Trenton.”  (Guadagno prepares state to assist businesses struggling in Irene’s wake).  http://njbiz.com/article/20110901/NJBIZ01/110909988/-1/enews_dailyT4

For its part, the New Jersey state Small Business Administration (SBA) has also launched a joint program for combined disaster-recovery centers with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under which businesses and Not-for-Profit entities in the state of New Jersey impacted by Hurricane Irene, can each apply to borrow up to $2.0 million in Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans for their repairs or damages.  State-wide expansion to all New Jersey counties was enabled by President Barack H. Obama, when he signed the New Jersey disaster declaration on August 31, 2011 (FEMA and SBA open first disaster recovery center).  http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/129356528_Disaster_recovery_center_opens_in_Paterson.html

[8]  (N.J. public employee unions file suit to overturn state changes in pension and health benefits).  http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-public-employee-unions-sue-to-overturn-state-changes-in-pension-and-health-benefits

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