Main Street looks for optimism

A Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce survey of businesses suggests that economic optimism has yet to hit western Colorado.

“The reality is that business owners on Main Street have not yet seen enough to convince them that things have turned a corner,” chamber President Diane Schwenke said.

Although the survey’s findings are dark — 86 percent of respondents viewed the national economy as weak or extremely weak, and 81 percent said the same of the Grand Valley — other parts of the survey reveal bits of brightness.

Additional layoffs appear not to be in the offing, suggesting that the economy has hit a plateau, Schwenke said.

A 10 percent increase in the number of businesses expecting sales increases in the next 10 months, from 25 percent in 2009 to 35 percent this year, suggests some businesses are withholding judgment on the economic climate.

Those businesses seem to be saying, “We’re not betting on the future, but we’re thinking it might come around,” Schwenke said.


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