Economic Survey Shows Business Leaders Remain Optimistic
- The retail sector has been hit harder than other industries due to a plethora of issues related to gas prices, higher operating costs, and a need to pass on price increases.
- Local firms that sell to Milwaukee and Waukesha markets are under performing local firms that sell regionally or nationally/internationally.
- The stress on revenue and profits from high operating costs includes wages and raw materials.
- The percent of firms expecting to improve in 2009 exceeds actual 2008 performance.
- Fuel and raw material costs, a top reason for poor performance, have decreased dramatically.
- The technology sector appears to be positioning for a positive move in 2009 and the manufacturing sector shows strength.
The survey results indicate that continued challenges lie ahead, but with possible post-survey improvements in both commodity prices and fuel costs, business leaders have reason to remain optimistic.
A round table discussion will follow the presentation with scheduled participants: Cliff Anglewicz, CEO of Yale Equipment Services, Inc.; Sue Marks, CEO of Pinstripe, Inc.; Rob Parry, CEO of ZBB Energy Corporation; and John Pence, CEO of W.J. Pence Company. Dave Vetta, President & CEO of First Business Bank - Milwaukee will chair and moderate the event.
The complete 33-page report prepared by Chanchal Tamrakar, Paul Hahn and Michael Kirk of the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research, will be available on the First Business Website, (see Featured Links), starting Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008.
About First Business Bank - Milwaukee First Business Bank - Milwaukee was established in 2000 to provide a full range of commercial banking services to Milwaukee-area businesses and business people. It is chartered as a unit bank with a CEO, not a branch president, and a board of directors rather than an advisory board. This structure allows it to understand Milwaukee-area businesses and respond quickly and proactively to their needs.
About Carroll University Carroll, Wisconsin’s oldest four-year institution of higher education is an independent, co-educational comprehensive university grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Incorporated in 1846, it offers bachelor’s degrees in 41 majors and graduate degrees in education and software engineering, as well as a clinical doctorate in physical therapy. The institution’s name was changed from Carroll College to Carroll University on July 1, 2008.
About First Business Financial Services, Inc.
First Business Financial Services (Nasdaq:FBIZ) is a $1.3 billion Wisconsin-based bank holding company that specializes in focused financial solutions for businesses, key executives, and high net worth individuals through its operating companies. It is the 2nd largest Wisconsin-based commercial bank holding company listed on NASDAQ or the NYSE. Its companies include: First Business Bank - Madison; First Business Bank - Milwaukee; First Business Bank - Northeast; First Business Trust & Investments; First Business Equipment Finance, LLC; and First Business Capital Corp. For additional information, visit www.firstbusiness.com or call (608) 238-8008.
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