December 20, 2014

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How to Handle the Downturn

Florida's business leaders recently gathered to address the state's financial condition and to assess the $850-billion federal bailout plan. Watch what they had to say.

Florida’s business leaders gathered Oct. 7 in Orlando at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Future of Florida Forum to address the state’s current financial condition and to set long-term economic priorities. The event began with an assessment of Congress and the Bush administration’s $850 billion economic recovery plan by Sandy Baruah, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“It’s not about the Gordon Gekkos of Wall Street . . . it’s about the Mr. & Mrs. Smiths of Main Street,” said Baruah. “We are free market folks, who believe in free enterprise. But government has an obligation to act when it is the only entity that can act.”

Reacting to the current economic climate Susan Story, CEO of Gulf Power and Chair of the Florida Chamber said, “Tough times don’t create character. Tough times reveal character.”

Allan Bense, former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and Political Chair of the Florida Chamber said, “Florida has sizzle. We will always have sizzle. Do you want to come to Florida or do you want to come to Montana? We're going to take it on the chin (economically) the next year, or year-and-a-half. But we'll be back."

Addressing Florida’s economic challenges Dr. David Denslow, University of Florida economist said, "It's going to be tough. We're in for it. Florida is going to be worse than the rest of the nation's economy because of the state's dependence on slumping retail, tourism and financial markets.”

Dr. Tony Villamil, president and CEO, Washington Economics Group said, “This is not the end of civilization as we know it, but a difficult business cycle for Florida. The good old days of 2004-06 are gone for a long time."

Florida Chamber polling shows uncertainty about when our economy will recover and is the top issue as voters go to the polls in November.

Tags: Politics & Law, Central, Banking & Finance, Government/Politics & Law

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