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Post-Election Reaction: Hope, Skepticism Among Local Businesses

President Barack Obama’s re-election sparks hope, disappointment, even resilience among St. Charles small businesses.

The campaign rhetoric is over, the election won by some, lost by others. Barack Obama will lead the nation through a second term. Generally, regardless of who won and who lost — from the presidential race to congressional to state and local campaigns — most agree the economy remains in tough shape.

Further, there are threats on the horizon that could throw the nation back into a tailspin:

The so-called fiscal cliff — a dual tax whammy that will hit after the first of the year, largely because of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Short of congressional action, the outcome will be a significant increase in taxes that could trigger a renewed downward spiral into recession.

Economic troubles that persist in the European Union will continue to have an impact on global markets. More recently, some economists have expressed concern about China’s economy and the implications a slowdown there would have worldwide.

Three local small businesses in recent days shared diverse views about the outcome of the Nov. 6 election, ranging from hopefulness to skepticism about the future, to a confident resilience about making the best of whatever comes down the road.

“I am hopeful for the future of the country,” wrote a partner in a local business consulting firm. “I believe that the president has done his best with what cards he was dealt. I think that the economic crisis that we are in is going to take a long time to rebuild.”

The problem, she writes, is that Americans are not patient and want an immediate solution. “No matter who was in office, they would not be able to pull our economy out of the mess that it was put in long before Obama took office. Also, how do you work with a House and a Senate that cannot pass anything? Our country is so divided that no one is reaching across party lines to get anything done. It will be nice to see what Obama can do in the next four years to change things.”

With his second election behind him, Obama no longer has to consider another presidential campaign, “so he will be in a better position to make a decision without worrying if it will affect his ability to be re-elected. I think the country has been pretty clear that we are sick of all of the petty bickering and childishness of the Democrats and the Republicans. It is time to reach across the aisle and get something done for a change! Frankly I hope Obama gets mean and pisses people off and makes people make a decision on something, ANYTHING!”

The owner of a tech-based company expressed some skepticism about the future, even as he expressed hope for improvement. “I really don't feel like Obama has my interests in mind based on the last four years, but I am hopeful that it will change.” he wrote.

One small-business partner shared an unbridled optimism about the coming four years — but her statement was based more on personal choice rather than dependency upon the president and other elected officials.

“Of course we are optimistic about the next four years. What alternative is there?,” she wrote. “No matter who got elected, we still create our future based in large part on the choices, plans, and actions we take.

“Even if we were handed lemons from the government regarding small business taxes or reforms, it's still up (to us) to make lemonade out of it,” she continued. “Guess that's just the small business owner spirit that resides w/in us!”

All three expressed confidence about the jobless rate improving, although none were certain how quickly that might change.

“I think the unemployment will get worse before it gets better,” said the tech company owner. “I do think we will see more jobs by the end of (Obama’s) four years. Again, that is me being hopeful.”

“We think jobs will grow to some degree,  but maybe not to the extend we were at in the late ’90s,” wrote another businesswoman. “A part of that though, is if folks cant find jobs doing what they used to do, they move on and figure out what they are great at, and then create a market for that,” as many have done repeatedly in the course of the nation’s history. “It’s been done before and can be done again.”

Whatever happens, improvement will not come simply with Band-Aid approaches to fixing the economy, the business adviser wrote. “Jobs are starting to increase, but it is slow. I am under the assumption that if you want something to last and be around for a while, you have to put time into making it right,” she wrote. “If we just put temporary patches on the employment issue, then what happens when we rip off those patches? Bad news.

“I think Obama is right by creating jobs to help our infrastructure. Isn’t that what (President Franklin D.) Roosevelt did to help create jobs during Depression? He sent people into the national parks to create roads, trails, housing, etc. He helped build up the railways. History repeats itself.

“Our roads, railroads and infrastructures are in total disrepair. Our national parks are losing funding, and; therefore, their infrastructure is deteriorating. We need a new way to create energy,” she wrote. “These are just a few ideas, but one thing is for certain — it is time to create MORE jobs to rebuild! I think he has started to do that, but should focus more on doing that.

“Also, obviously, let’s quit exporting production around the world. Let’s throw higher taxes on imports, and less on exports,” she concluded. “Keep people wanting to buy locally and American.”

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Donna Chipp November 12, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I have very little hope that our economy will turn around any time soon. Obamacare is going to force a lot of businesses to layoff full time employees and hire back only part-timers. Gas prices will continue to rise since President Obama is on record as saying he doesn't care if gas goes up to $8 a gallon. My sales revenue in 2012 is only half of what is was in 2011 ... and my opinion is that gas prices going from $2 to $4 a gallon this year is one major reason. I had hopes that the Romney/Ryan plan to make our country energy independent would drive down gas prices. Romney's business experience would certainly have helped cut down those "corporate" federal expenses while moving a lot of program management down to the "regional" state offices. It makes me sad that so many women voted for President Obama because they were afraid of losing the so-called "right to an abortion" if they want one. Most probably don't realize that Obamacare will allow late term abortions -- meaning babies up to 9 months can be aborted and doctors/nurses by federal law cannot help them. They will be left to die. What a barbaric practice for our great nation -- but what does one expect from a Democratic party that has abandoned any pretense of honoring God as witnessed during their convention. Owning and operating Donna's Jewelry Box the past 3-1/2 years has been fun, frustrating, and very rewarding. I am going to miss it. Donna Chipp
Carol Damascus November 12, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Donna, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The only god Obama knows is himself. His so called jobs are temporary. He has never ran a business himself so he doesn't know what he doesn't know. But he got millions of people to vote for Santa Claus out of fear, lies and hatred. It is sad that people didn't think of the big picture, beyond abortion and the murder of full term babies. What happened to religion in these people..Taxing the rich, 250k is a millionaire? Keep milking the cow and it will eventually go dry.
Mike Garrity November 13, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Donna and Carol: What utter nonsense. If you're going to state "facts" about abortion or Obama saying "he doesn't care" if gas is $8 a gallon, such as you do above, please supply your proof. Where, besides the conspiracy theorists, can this be found? Answer is, it can't because you simply either made it up or blindly repeated a falsehood. Donna, your failure at business is on you, no one else. You selected your location...a retail dead zone for many businesses before you...and you selected your business...pretty gee-gaws people can live without, and one that relies heavily on disposable income. But go ahead, continue to live in your fantasy world of wild conspiracies where over 60 million people were duped, where presidents control gasoline prices, and where forcing your religious views on others is acceptable. Keep holding on to those beliefs...and my party will keep winning the White House.
Donna Chipp November 13, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Mike, were you one of those delegates booing God at the Democratic convention? I am not a conspiracy theorist ... you are the one that has blinders on. My store is right across from Baker Hotel with an entrance on First Street Plaza. If that is a dead zone, then the entire City of St. Charles is in it. The government does control gas prices ... especially in the way they reduce and eliminate our own resources making our country dependent on foreign sources. You are right, my business failure is on me. Funny that the President says if you have a business and it is a success (like mine was last year) you did not do it alone. Now you are saying the failure is all my fault ... not the $4+ a gallon gas prices or the rising unemployment rates that limit household's spending. Typical Democratic reasoning. Have a great day.
Donna Chipp November 13, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I did do some Goodgle research on gas prices, Mike. Read this. “The president appears to believe that the more than doubling of the price of gasoline since 2009 is an indicator of growth in the economy."," Jonathan Lesser, an energy economist and president of the consulting firm Continental Economics, told FoxNews.com. Obama's theory is based on the assumption that an improved economy boosts demand and, with it, prices. The problem is, consumption has trended steadily downward since 2009, which the Energy Department attributes to the higher prices, economic conditions and more efficient vehicles. That means other factors are sending the per-gallon price upward, Lesser said. ... According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the price of a barrel of oil has nearly tripled from the a barrel it cost when President Obama took the oath of office in January 2009. But that's not from economic growth, they say. Oil costs more because of instability in the Middle East and the decline of the dollar - the currency to which oil prices are pegged. Commodity analyst Dave Judday said the Obama administration's reluctance to lease federal lands to oil and gas drillers, blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline and refusal to allow more offshore drilling hasn't helped.
Mike Garrity November 13, 2012 at 08:20 PM
You quote Fox "News" as a source? Home of Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and other deep thinkers? There's your problem. Gasoline prices are driven by refinery activity, and currently refineries are holding at 80-85% production. Less gas, more money for middlemen. Oh, my source is the Wall Street Journal...no fan of Obama, but they do know why gasoline prices are high. Finally, Donna, your location, and that whole side of Main has been home to at least twelve different businesses over the past ten years. They come, they go. It's a dead zone. Only McNally's looks to survive.

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