Tag Archives: Economy

Shopping Local for the Economy this Holiday Season

Last month we had the pleasure of co-hosting the 2011 Business Outlook Panel and Lunch, a presentation forecasting the economy in the upcoming year by a panel from the Indiana University The Kelley School of Business. Their forecast was, for the most part, “optimistically pessimistic.” Though my take on our local economy is more along the lines of “cautiously optimistic,” their outlook prompted me to think about our economy, and what, if anything, we can do to stimulate growth. I quickly realized, the holidays are coming up, which presents an excellent opportunity for the local economy to get jump started.

Our area businesses are geared up and ready for the holiday-buying season. Inventory stands ready, as do expectations. Nationally, the buzzwords around this year’s buying season include “lackluster” and “muted”. Such rhetoric does nothing to build consumers’ confidence nor does it encourage shoppers to venture out within their communities to celebrate all their hometowns offer.   Such rhetoric doesn’t help to get the economy rolling.  So while we may not be able to make a major difference in the economy nationally, we all play a role in shaping our local economy by the decisions we make as to where to make our holiday purchases. I challenge you to take an active role by consciously making the decision to stay IN Bloomington and buy local this holiday season. Continue reading

Better Schools Mean Better Business and Better Community

This column by Travis Vencel, chairman of the board, and Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO, of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest column in The Herald Times on April 12, 2010.

“Better Business. Better Community.” A simple statement that reflects The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s belief that a strong business climate leads to a higher quality of life for everyone.

But as we all know, it takes many components to build a “better community.” That is why, through The Chamber’s Franklin Initiative, we work daily in our schools to make a difference in young lives, with particular attention paid to at-risk youth. This is a focus area for The Chamber because we also believe that better education creates better business and a better community. Continue reading