2 holiday news nuggets to help run your business

Where does a small-business owner who has no time to read through all the pages of the local newspaper find the news that can help him or her in business?

Two items in the Denver Post over the holiday weekend had nuggets of  information that offer the small-business operator insight into the market conditions they face in Colorado.

In a long exposition of national trends that might effect Colorado markets in 2012, Henry Dubroff and John J. Huggins write of the economy in general:

“The real economy continues to improve…. The sharp drop in the unemployment rate in November probably indicates that a large group of formerly jobless workers are starting their own ventures, an idea suggested by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis during a radio interview in Los Angeles in early December. Stronger retail sales numbers may suggest that a growing number of people are working for cash under informal arrangements or juggling multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. Small improvements in the labor market can translate into big numbers for merchants and online shopping destinations.”

That analysis tells the business owner that more confidence in an improving economy is warranted, and that new competitors may be ready to challenge their hold on the market. It also suggests the time to invest in the future is now, unless you want to remain one step behind those competitors.

The second nugget from the Post was delivered today in a story about former Gov. Bill Ritter’s contributions from his now defunct campaign fund to nonprofits and charities including a nonpartisan Colorado Forum Fund led by Gail Klapper that is looking into Colorado budget issues.

Nonpartisan or not, Ritter’s $100,000 contribution, the largest amount given to an organization described in Karen Crummy’s story,  shows Ritter’s commitment to getting structural state finance problems fixed sometime soon.

That effort should be a concern of all business people in Colorado. Gov. John Hickenlooper’s attempts to make Colorado more “business friendly” can only go so far if the state cannot fund its own infrastructure which includes highways, public schools, higher education, prisons and the justice system, and a social welfare system that measures Colorado’s compassion for its sick and less fortunate citizens.

State finance problems have to be solved in the near future; if not, the state’s leaders can be accused of the same kind of “kick-the-can” lack of leadership that Dubroff and Huggins (read their full article here) use to label our the Congress and the Obama administration. Fact is the Ritter administration, the Owens administration before it, and the Hickenlooper administration so far, along with the state legislature and Colorado’s business community,  can all be accused of that lack of political courage for more than the last decade.

Small business has an interest in seeing the structural finance problems resolved. The future prosperity of small businesses depends on the prosperity of all the state’s citizens.

So keep an eye on the Colorado Forum Fund. It may have your small-business interests at heart, and may prove to be Ritter’s best investment in the state to date.  — Robert Schwab, editor PioneerHQ.com

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