I was at a meeting yesterday with some of my favorite business allies in the Chicago area and I walked away enthused about the news I heard.
Harriet Parker who runs the #1 Small Business Development Center in the state of IL (in # of startups) kicked off the meeting by talking about how busy she has been since the start of the year. She has seen seventy (70) clients since 1/1/12 and is booked solid through march. (That’s a very good sign!) considering there were tumbleweeds rolling through her office 18 months ago. She talked about how a mass of new clients were coming to the table with viable businesses and a strong commitment to get them launched. Some of her past clients were coming back with a renewed focus on growing their business and making investments to get the growth kicked off.
Austin Dempsey (third generation leader of Batavia Enterprises) joined us a few minutes later and while loosening his tie he said “Man! if the first 6 weeks of 2012 are any indication of how the year is going to go, this is going to be one banner year!”. He went on to explain that he has seen a significant (double digit) uptick in businesses taking on new office space and existing clients expanding facilities.
“Business owners seem to be fed up of waiting. They’re pulling the trigger and making their growth initiatives a reality”.
That’s really, really good news.
This has nothing to do with politics. Personally, I don’t think real entrepreneurs let Washington DC control any of their decisions. This has everything to do with the economy and the future of our country.
We hear is said all over the place – “Small business owners and startups are the key to economic recovery”. Unfortunately, 2009-11 was all about small business owners recovering from the 2008 crash while reinventing themselves, restructuring financing and geting healthy again. Reports like the ones I heard from Harriet and Austin combined with what I am experiencing with entrepreneurs we come in contact with suggest we [entrepreneurs] are making our move.
The politicians on both sides of the aisle will try to take credit for the recovery I believe is starting. We as entrepreneurs will know where the recovery really came from. It will come from the same place it always comes – entrepreneurs! We don’t do it for the politics or the press or the accolades. We do it to provide a better quality of life for our families, our employees, our customers and our community…period!
I wonder if others feel the same way about this whole notion of – “there’s something different about 2012”