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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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2/2/2013 10:01:00 PM
Business improving locally but growth will be slow, experts say at Prescott Chamber of Commerce annual meeting
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Dist. 4, talks to business owners and others during the Prescott Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at the Prescott Resort Friday afternoon.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Dist. 4, talks to business owners and others during the Prescott Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at the Prescott Resort Friday afternoon.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
The Prescott Chamber Board chairman for 2013, Matt Holdsworth, right, hands 2012 Chairman Hector Riojas an award for his year of service Friday.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
The Prescott Chamber Board chairman for 2013, Matt Holdsworth, right, hands 2012 Chairman Hector Riojas an award for his year of service Friday.
Tim Wiederaenders
Editor, The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - We all wanted economic recovery like a sports car. What we got was a Model T.

That was the message from speakers at the Prescott Chamber of Commerce's annual membership meeting and luncheon Friday at the Prescott Resort.

Keynote speaker Elliott Pollack, an economist with Elliott D. Pollack & Co., said economic growth has been and will be slow.

"The economy has been slow and federal incentives perverse," he said. "The boom will not be in 2013. Growth in 2013 will be better than that of 2012, 2014 will improve on 2013... 2015 will be the boom year we've been wanting.

"We have to be patient."

Pollack said the uncertainty of the fiscal cliff and the unknown costs of Obamacare continue to keep investors wary and growth at a snail's pace.

Evidence of the federal government's disconnect is seen in the American Tax Relief Act, approved on Dec. 31. It will save $737 billion over the next 10 years. Pollack said the country needs to save $4 trillion to $6 trillion to affect the deficit and national debt.

"Only 12 to 15 percent of savings there," he said. "That's not enough."

Two bright spots, he said, are that zero chance exists that the country will default on its debt. "We must admit there is a problem," he said, "and deal with it." Pollack said everyone will feel it, though the "significant cuts" will need to be phased in gradually.

Secondly, while job growth nationally also is slow, Arizona is well on its way toward recovery. Pollack said that in 2006 the state ranked No. 2 in the nation for job growth. While it fell to No. 49 in 2009, Arizona bounced back to No. 5 on the list in 2012.

Work remains, however, Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, said. Of the 300,000 jobs lost in this state from the peak, Arizonans have seen about one-third of them come back.

"We're at a structural deficit," Tobin said, adding that the state needs to include economic development in its plans. He said work is under way to ease regulations and put money back into the hands of small business owners.

"Arizona has put forward significant legislation and cuts, something the federal government has not learned yet," Tobin said, likening the problem to the federal government sitting on Arizona's chest.

"The goal is to continue arm in arm ... we're starting to rise," he said. "California is raising taxes, Arizona is cutting them. We will bring jobs back."

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-District 4, who is a dentist, compared government to a doctor's creed to "do no harm," adding that the feds have overregulated business.

"Rural gets it," he said, adding the message is getting out that "rural Arizona is open for business."

The federal government just needs to "get out of your way," he said, which will come with changes and overhaul in the tax code.

Other speakers included Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall and Yavapai County Supervisor Rowle Simmons, R-District 1.

Kuykendall pointed to the airport as where people will see change and the future of economic development locally. "We're already at 5,000 feet, so the sky's the limit," he quipped.

Simmons, a former mayor of Prescott who now is vice chairman of the Board of Supervisors, echoed the road plan put forward last month by the Arizona Department of Transportation. "With HURF (Highway User Revenue Fund) money down from the state, we will focus on repairing and maintaining roads in the area."

He believes the county needs also to stay the course, adding that he thinks a proposed jail on Prescott Lakes Parkway - near the new juvenile justice center - and its funding mechanism would go to the voters.

The chamber's annual meeting also included a passing of the board's leadership from Hector Riojas of Unisource to the 2013 Chamber Board chairman, Matt Holdsworth, a CPA with Holdsworth & Co.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Article comment by: Dear Just Wait

For folks "in business" you have to have 50 or more employees before you must provide health insurance, as a company. I can't believe there are many businesses of over 50 full time employees that don't already provide that benefit. Also, the employer has no obligation to pay for the insurance, the cost can be handed over to the employees. So please, if your going to hammer the president at least get your facts right.

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Article comment by: THANK YOU HOOTY

for supporting Prescott . Your many $$$ are so appreciated by us the on line shopper . Thanks to Ebay plus hunkering will not be an option . As long as Prescott leaders continue to back slide and procrastinate on big dollar losers (golf) -- I will spend my unused tax dollars somewhere else , thanks T.S.

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Article comment by: County Hack

@ Hooty correct to a point. There is also the Bagdad mine, Ruger, Davidsons, Ace, Gunsite, Caterpillar small business hunting guides, other shooting schools, gun stores, outdoor sports folks Harley-Davidson...etc. and almost 30,000 Veterans in our County that can work. If we think bedroom community we will stay a bedroom community. These politicians missed an chance to court every major firearms manufacturer in the world assembled at the Shot Show in Las Vegas, they will also miss courting the equipment folks at Con Expo, because they think small. imho

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo Is Right

Hooty Hoo is right on in his analysis. Anything else is just empty talk.

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013
Article comment by: Pollack and his agenda

Pollack is just pushing his political agenda. I'm no Obama apologist, but I tire of seeing people like Pollack push his message at the expense of digs on Obama. Get a life. The economy in Prescott sucks because we, as a community, helped inflate the bubble as fast as we could. The Gap, Old Navy, Outback Steakhouse and countless other businesses failed here because it was not economically viable for them to be here in the first place. For Pollack to push this off on Obama shows he's a lame key note speaker and needs to boost our economy by enrolling in Econ 101 at Yavapai CC.

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

I spend more here locally than most. Way more and always have. This economy revolves around this: government employees (the VA, County, and City), the school districts, and YRMC. And above all: RETIREES. Those are key. They make it there and spend it here. Aside from that are the service industries, insurance, accounting, law, food, booze, retail stores and whatever. Real estate is a wash. That's about it folks. And it's not gonna grow much in the next 5, so hunker down and settle for what you have.

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013
Article comment by: Another Opinion

@ O O

People are fleeing California! Good, hardworking, productive people!

The high taxes, high prices, crime, and pollution in the once great state has sent many good people fleeing the mess. The state is a financial disaster.

Arizona is a great place to live, and there are many who consider it a place still unravaged by the liberal agenda. Many already know the schtick being pulled here by the left because we heard it ALL before in places like California and KNOW what it has done to our beloved state.

We won't be so stupid and trusting again...

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.


Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013
Article comment by: Revenue During Festivals

Prescott draws people from surrounding areas during our festivals. However, I must say that there could be less loitering around our courthouse square. I see homeless, people sleeping with their baggage, continuance of cigarette smoking and foul language used while walking around the square. Maybe Prescott can cut back on the number of juvenille homes so they can be replaced with families and woking citizens.

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013
Article comment by: County Hack

Time to court those Firearms Manufacturers back east that are getting hammered for being in a legal industry.

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013
Article comment by: @Don't You Just Love These Arrogant........

I suppose Arizona will turn into another California or Illinois (blue state) with high crime, taxes and unemployment? Is this your idea of a great economy and future for Arizona? Hope not, becaue then it would be bankrupt just like most of your blue states.

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Just wait

For this we need "experts"?

Just wait until the Obamacare costs start hitting. Then a bunchl of us go out of business or we break the law to stay in business.


Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: O O

For all the people that don't like it here, pack up your junk and move back to Ca.

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Don't you just love these arrogant, clueless pols and 'seleced' economists.

Preaching to the choir. Reading little speeches selected by the great and powerful right wing lobbyist, The Chamber of Commerce. Sailing merrily along. Patting each other on the back. Gullible. Secure in their ignorance. Not realizing that in less than ten years Arizona will be a blue (Democratic) state. And maybe then Arizona can start to move out of the past, out of the embarrassing backwardness it is mired in today.

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: @till they are gone

@ Till they are gone, you are hurting the ones that didnt put them in office as well. It is a double edged sword. The more you buy on line the less revenue the area has the more job loss we will see. You are not helping the situation at all. You are not helping your democrat friends either except to help them out of a job. Hope you leave the area.
I for one do not care who they voted in and i will help by buying locally because i want to see this area thrive for all the kids growing up here. What an idiot you are.


Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Heads in the clouds! Where are the jobs?

Sounds like a bunch of politicians with their heads in the clouds. Businesses are shutting down in this town and nothing is being done to bring new business in. What are these people smoking and where are the jobs?

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Good Times Are Here

Boom or Bust...usually a boom is brought on by falsehoods and hype, as happened 6-7 years ago and results in a BUST of a domino effect..

A gradual recovery is the only sane way to be assured we are not led into another falsehood. Instant gratification and greed with speed is what put this country in this mess, a lesson to learn.

As for "going out of business" in Prescott, usually the history is an inept person running the business that did not have a business plan nor did they know what a business plan was, going into the business without enough capital to exist for two years without drawing a salary, and not knowing the demographics and supply and demand principles.

Commercial space available?
If a landlord is willing to come into reality on rents, keep the building in repair and work with the tenant on issues, there wouldn't be so many vacancies. Some landlords actually prefer the tax right off.

Money is overflowing in Prescott...it just happens to be in the hands of retirees who are no longer consumers...except for food.

Stop whining and use your energy to do something constructive for the community instead of spewing ignorance and hate in the Reader's Comments. If you have a brilliant idea in how to turn around the economy faster than it is being done, step up to the plate and git er done! Talk is cheap.


Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: PRESCOTT REALITY

OVER 50% OF GROCERYSTORE PURCHASES ARE MADE WITH FOODSTAMPS. ASK YOUR GROCER.

UNEMPLOYEMENT IS DOUBLE WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE..

DRIVE AROUND PRESCOTT AND LOOK AT ALL THE BUSINESSES THAT HAVE GONE UNDER AND ALL THE EMPTY RETAIL SPACES THAT ARE VACANT.

RECOVERY?


Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

You "leaders" will get no tax increases for a jail or anything. We are still in a recession created by government in Washington and Phoenix. The greed for tax revenue removes money from "We the People" and that translates into less disposable income PLUS the tax burden is way too high in total. We have government employees, in general, with better average pay and benefits and pensions with federal employees more than DOUBLE the average private employee. Until that is brought into balance, I will fight ANY tax increases.

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Till they are gone

Ever since Palin and her crosshairs came to AZ I purchase everything I can online but groceries.
Until the Tea Party is out of here I will comtinue to do so. I will not support local businesses who put these haters in power


Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Well That Makes Sense

The clueless giving their opinions on economic growth, Duh! We would be better off letting the state run our business finances and economic growth agendas.

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013
Article comment by: Read the list of so-called leaders: biased low-rank economists and politicians.

Nothing but patently Republican, right-wing, anti-Obama, ultra conservative, anti-government, anti-environment gobbledegook. A waste of time.



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