Contrary to recent public opinion expressed by local business executives at their annual economic outlook, I expect that our economy will grow at twice the rate of the gloomy growth predicted by most commenters.
Retiring executive Dan DiMicco from Nucor says that the economy will be “hard pressed” to match the 2 percent growth in the GDP that was expected for 2012. Duke CEO Jim Rogers adds that structural unemployment will continue to be high…around 6 percent rather than the consensus of 4 percent before the Great Recession. Given the political debate around the “fiscal cliff,” it is no wonder that they are so pessimistic.
From my small business perspective, I think that 2013 will be an important year of transition and that economic growth will move upwards as we begin to face the new direction that has been set in place as the “new normal” since our Great Recession.
Here are 10 reasons for believing that our way of life will be rebounding.
- Federal lawmakers will soon/have substantially resolved the “fiscal cliff” issues setting taxes and spending targets in place that essentially provide a platform for government and for business for the next four years. The votes come easier in 2013 because it will be a tax cut instead of a tax increase. Once these rates and packages are passed, we can all get back to business and apply them to our cost structures.
- The mere fact that President Obama was re-elected for a second term resolves much of the political debate all by itself. He has a limited time to steer public policy before the mid-term elections and following that, our democracy will begin to sort through candidates for 2016. The second term of a President is a “lame duck” term where his political capital will wane as he gets closer to the end of his Presidency. At the same time, President Obama will be free to implement his agenda and conduct the business of the nation in his own way.
- The Affordable Care Act will continue to be implemented. Many small business owners are concerned and even frightened by the act. At the same time, few people really understand the full impact of the act and how it will affect them. As details become clearer, more business owners will learn how they can benefit from this reform. The mere fact that small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can direct their employees to health insurance exchanges will relieve them of the annual exploration of health care costs for their employer benefit packages.
- We are four years into an economic recovery. It is, as predicted, a slow and arduous recovery. Having lost so much manufacturing and jobs overseas, our work force is going through a huge transition to new jobs and new skills. That will continue, but more business sectors are improving. Housing, health care, technology, banking and advanced manufacturing are growing again.
- Larger businesses and banks with substantial excess reserves will be looking to increase their returns on their assets. Their investments will likely stir even greater economic activity. In addition, American energy resources will expand and provide us greater flexibility and opportunity. We just need to grow it safely.
- We are on the cusp of a new wave of technological growth. For the last 20 years, we have learned about computers, memory and processors carrying information for communication exchange and education. The application of that information that has and is being gathered will continue to drive costs down and advancements forward. With new avenues for growth and innovation, we will gain renewed confidence about our economic future.
- Our engagement in the War in Afghanistan will wind down and we will withdraw troops. Our long national nightmare with terrorism will not end, but our efforts will be more targeted and focused to regions and pockets rather than countries.
- The global marketplace will continue to evolve. We will learn more about our customers around the world and what they can contribute as well as what they will consume. At the same time, the United States will get more focused on what can be created and built inside our borders.
- The U.S. economy and cities, in particular, will be looking at new ways to grow and learn and improve the quality of life. Our economic dominance is being challenged, but Americans are great innovators and entrepreneurs. We will design, explore and discover new avenues for growth that will be fun, fascinating and bold. That is our nature.
- We will continue to learn how to do more with less. We will apply “green” technologies. We will find greater comfort in smaller places. We will earn more in a broad spectrum of ideas, thought, art, music and culture.
While I may be accused of being overly optimistic, I figure that we all need to look for the opportunities of the future and how we might engage them. We are smart people living in a great place with great resources. We simply need to apply our brains and mix with other people who will stimulate and challenge us to be better than we might be by ourselves. We are in a new year and we have great prospects ahead!
Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, wrote in his recent book, The Coming Jobs War, that what most people want in our global marketplace is a job.
In order to rebuild the American economy and create new and better jobs, we need to boost innovation and entrepreneurship that will create new businesses and new wealth. Clifton says that the next big economic breakthrough will come from the combination of the forces within big cities, great universities and powerful local leaders. He says the top 100 universities, along with 10,000 local business leaders, represent America’s supercollider for job creation.
Charlotte is likely to become just that…an important supercollider for job creation. We have a dynamic and growing urban area; we have great universities with research capacity already in place and active; we have great community colleges already working to transition workers from one economy to another; we have great local and state leadership to forge the important partnerships that will work together; and we have the business resources, talent and ambition to produce that significant economic growth and advancement that will engage the global economy over the next 50 years. We simply have to create the clusters and connections to stimulate new ideas.
In the U.S. Presidential campaign, we heard a lot of talk about how jobs would be created and how the U.S. economy would recover from the worst economic downturn since the depression. Now that the race is over, we seem to be mired in another prolonged debate that focuses the fiscal cliff and increasing taxes, cutting spending or some combination of the two in order to reduce our fiscal deficit and work towards a balanced budget 10 to 20 years in the future.
What most businesses want is a stable business environment that is reasonably predictable. Then, given the mix of conditions, regulations and taxes, they will adjust their business models as they are impacted. Businesses will adapt to change and survive as long as they can make a profit and a rate of return on their investments.
The problem with our current economy is much bigger than taxes and regulations. In order to maintain U.S. economic dominance, our economy needs to grow at a much faster rate. It must grow beyond the measly annual growth rate of 1.5 percent for the past several years. Many economists are worried that we are faced with a long period of stagnation with limited growth.
Clifton points out that similar concerns existed 30 years ago when the economies of Japan and Germany were rising dramatically. Economists projected growth rates consistent with their performance at the time and predicted that both Japan and German economies would exceed the United States by 2010. Fortunately, they were wrong. U. S. GDP soared from $3.8 trillion to its current $15 trillion. The U.S. did not fall to third; its GDP grew at nearly five times the forecasted rate and is still No. 1.
What was not predicted in those numbers was the quantum leap in innovation and entrepreneurial growth in the U.S. that surprised everyone. Instead, it was American entrepreneurship that successfully capitalized on technology and the Internet, creating millions of new businesses and new jobs and exporting them everywhere.
Now, we face a similar challenge from global economics. To stay ahead, the U. S. needs a growth rate of 5 percent of GDP annually. We have work to do.
We are fortunate to have several economic concentrations within our regional economy that will support greater innovation and entrepreneurial growth. In addition to our substantial banking sector, we have an active energy cluster formed, organized and encouraged to produce economic breakthroughs and advancements. We can add to those clusters in the areas of sustainability, advanced manufacturing, education and health care among others.
UNC Charlotte wants to be known as the Urban Research Institute among the North Carolina university system. It is well on its way with its focus on economic development and its Research Institute, the NC Research Center, Belk School of Business, the Energy, Production and Infrastructure Center, the School of Informatics, the Public Health School, and many others including a medical school in the future.
Add to that the presence and active educational roles performed by Queens University, Johnson C. Smith University, Davidson University, Wake Forest, and Northeastern.
We are in the right place at the right time to make a huge difference in our future. We are looking for the right business leaders to step forward and become involved in a collaborative effort that will spawn the creation of new business entities built on new ideas that create new wealth for the future of the next generation. If you are interested in participating, we want you and your ideas to join others to spark aggressive economic growth.
Please let me know about you, your interests, ideas and ambitions. Call or write me today!
Americans are among the most discriminating and demanding consumers. We know how and where to shop for what we want and what we’re willing to pay. We buy food, clothing, shelter, vacations, cars, jewelry, plastic surgery, technology, you name it. We buy in retail stores, in wholesale clubs, and online by computer or tablet or smartphone. We know how to find discount codes, obtain shipping for free, and even avoid paying sales taxes for nearly every purchase we make…that is, except health care!
And I do mean health care. I am not talking about health insurance. I am talking about the services of doctor or other health professionals, services in hospitals or clinics or offices, testing and laboratory work, drugs and treatments, as well as extended care. Rarely, if ever, do we even know prices—let alone compare prices—for health care as long as we have had health insurance.
When a doctor recommends lab work, a test, an x-ray, a CAT scan, or an MRI, we simply go where the doctor tells us to go and have the work done. It is only the increasing imposition by insurers of co-insurance and higher deductibles that has caused us to even ask if they are really necessary, but we will usually go and do it anyway.
And if you are bold enough to ask about the cost? Well, good luck with that! In most cases, no one from the doctor on down seems to know the cost of anything beyond the consultation fee. They just provide the services themselves.
Billing—the business side of health care—has the expertise in knowing how best to characterize the charges for services performed to obtain the maximum reimbursement from any given insurer, as well as the co-pay and deductible information to obtain payment from the individual, thereby maximizing the revenue stream for the health care provider. Yes, different rates may be applied to different insurance companies. It is incredibly complex.
In this issue of Greater Charlotte Biz, we have focused on BIG DATA and BIG INSIGHTS. With the continuing expansion and application of information technology, we want you to learn about the impact of this information being collected and how to use it to your advantage.
When purchasers of health care and payers of health care come together with their BIG data, they can begin to analyze the care, compare costs and quality to enable us to make better health care decisions. Large employers and large insurers are well-positioned to demand and analyze this information on behalf of their insureds. Individuals and small businesses are likely to gain this opportunity through the health insurance exchanges as they grow and develop. This data aggregation will support better and more cost-saving choices.
Of note in this regard, is a company named Castlight Health, founded in 2008 to “enable employers and health plans to lower the cost of health care and provide individuals unbiased pricing and quality information to make smart health care purchase decisions. Named #1 on The Wall Street Journal list of “The Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies” for 2011, Castlight is building a search engine for health care prices, quality and coverage for large companies.
Others providing health care cost comparisons include: New Choice Health, Healthcare Blue Book, ClearCost Health, OutOfPocket.com, Change Healthcare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health, and Hospital Compare (HHS/Medicare).
Imagine knowing in advance the range of costs for particular procedures. Imagine being able to compare doctors, find their locations, learn about their charges, and review their outcomes and satisfaction ratings. Imagine being able to do the same for hospitals. This information only becomes available and valuable when the inputs from hundreds and even thousands of discharge records are collected. Think how Big Data can positively impact your health care choices and your life!
Moreover, consider how such data accumulation can lead to Big Insights impacting your health care and your life. The individual health experiences and records of thousands of others will be available for comparison to symptoms and courses of treatment, aiding in more accurate diagnoses and more appropriate health care options.
Price transparency can significantly change the way health care is purchased in the United States. The lack of price information in health care has been a big driver of skyrocketing health care costs. Most patients never see the charges, employers are busy paying for coverage, and insurers are batted around by providers. As long as patients pay for health care with someone else’s credit card, they will ignore costs and seek all the care they can get.
What is important is to seek quality care at reasonable prices. Lining up the incentives in the right direction will go a long ways to reduce costs and improve care in very BIG ways. We have BIG steps to take in managing our health care costs.
One year from now, on October 1, 2013, you should be able to choose your health insurance plan under the NEW federal rules from a Health Insurance Exchange. While you may not be able to choose from a North Carolina Exchange, you will be able to choose from a federal exchange.
Under the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) and the portions of the act found to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to affordable coverage through a new competitive health insurance market—state-based Affordable Insurance Exchanges or the federal exchange.
These will be one-stop shops to find and compare affordable, quality private health insurance options available for you and your families. Exchanges will bring new transparency to the market so that Americans will be able to compare plans based on benefits, price and quality. It is hoped that by increasing competition between private insurance companies and allowing individuals and small businesses to band together to purchase insurance, exchanges will help to lower costs.
Unfortunately, the State of North Carolina and the State of South Carolina have yet to begin to set up their own exchanges. In the event that they fail to form statewide exchanges, citizens of those states will be given the option of signing up for insurance coverage from a federal insurance exchange. States will be allowed to establish exchanges in the future should they choose to do so on their own timetable.
In 2007, the first exchange was launched as the Massachusetts Health Connector. Ada May Roberts was among the first to sign up for health insurance. She recounts her experience:
Ada May Roberts worried each year about renewing her health insurance. She feared being told the price had doubled or the insurance company would not renew her policy.
So every fall, the Massachusetts innkeeper spent hours with insurance salespeople, reading the fine print and filling out medical forms. Then she prayed she’d be covered.
All that changed three years ago. On the first day the Massachusetts Health Connector opened, Roberts typed her name, birthday and zip code into a website. In five minutes, she had a list of 22 plans—rated gold, silver or bronze. It took her only 10 minutes to buy health insurance. Since then, her rates have dropped $300 a month, and she never fears being kicked off.
“I’m happy, happy, happy,” says the 59-year-old. “The weight of uncertainty has been lifted. Massachusetts got it right.”
Utah has the only other operating exchange at this time.
Regardless of the politics and threats of repeal, the ACA law is the law and the act is being implemented. In 2014, every individual will be required to purchase health insurance coverage. Many individuals and employees of firms with fewer than 50 employees will qualify for subsidies to make the coverage affordable through an expanded Medicaid program. Subsidies will be available for individuals and families through a cost sharing program under Medicaid up to 400 percent of the poverty level or about $88,200 for a family of four.
The law specifically exempts all firms that have fewer than 50 employees—96 percent of all firms in the United States or 5.8 million out of 6 million total firms—from any employer responsibility requirements. These 5.8 million firms employ nearly 34 million workers. More than 96 percent of firms with 50 or more employees already offer health insurance to their workers. Less than 0.2 percent of all firms (about 10,000 out of 6 million) may face employer responsibility requirements. Many firms that do not currently offer coverage will be more likely to do so because of lower premiums and wider choices in the Exchange.
Hopefully, states will choose to form their own health insurance exchanges. States have been given greater flexibility to set up exchanges under the rules established by the Health and Human Services Department. Exchanges will provide access to Qualified Health Plans (QHPs). These plans will be subjected to a specified list of requirements including marketing, choice of providers, plan networks, essential benefits and other features and be licensed by the state.
QHPs may provide coverage at Bronze (60%), Silver (70%), Gold (80%) and Platinum (90%) levels paid by the insurer. Included in the benefit packages will be essential health benefits (EHBs) defined as ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health, substance abuse and behavioral treatments, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness and chronic disease management and pediatric services including oral and vision care.
We look forward to action by North Carolina and South Carolina that will establish consumer friendly exchanges within their state boundaries soon. Until then, we will choose from the federal exchange.
Galles Communications Group, Inc., publisher of Greater Charlotte Bizmagazine, opened its Charlotte office just 13 years ago over Labor Day weekend in 1999. After getting settled, hiring staff, developing the initial layout and design of the magazine, and preparing a media kit and rate card, we published the first issue in January 2000 and we have published every month since.
Neither rain nor snow—nor 9/11, the dotcom bust, the telecom bust, the War on Terrorism, the collapse of Enron, the collapse of the banking industry, the Great Recession, nor the sluggish recovery of our economy—has kept us from delivering a new magazine with new faces and new stories every month.
Altogether, we have published 153 issues and written over 800 biz profiles. We have been true to our mission: To help business owners learn about each other and about the abundance of business resources in this marketplace. We take tremendous pride in having introduced so many great stories into our business milieu.
Little did we know when we chose Charlotte that we would be among so many people moving here, making it the fastest growing metropolitan area in the first decade of the 21st century. We are proud to have participated in the community’s business success over such an expansive period. With over 110,000 readers each month in our 16-county Charlotte USA region, we have celebrated business growth and development every step of the way.
With this issue, you will notice some changes in Greater Charlotte Bizmagazine. While our mission remains intact, we want to expand it serve as a medium, a sort of agar, for thought leadership within this business community as it strives to survive and prosper in the increasingly globalized marketplace.
Alongside that expansion of our mission, you may notice some formatting changes—paper size and stock, fonts, layouts, etc.—that hopefully will more readily convey the intent of the information being presented. We have been on a quest to determine how to serve our readers better and would welcome hearing from you as you experience these changes.
Most importantly, we want to discuss important topics, trends, issues, themes and ideas that we hope will provoke your thinking and even your action as business owners, managers and executives. Bob Dylan wrote the song, The Times They Are a-Changin’. And the pace of change gets ever more rapid. We want to contribute to the discussion of change in our community. At the same time, we will remain a feature-based publication focused on area business owners and their entities and their business activity.
In this September issue, we are focusing on entrepreneurship. Charlotte has been spoiled by the growth of the textiles, the power companies and the banks. We are fortunate to continue to attract companies seeking to move to a more favorable location.
Much credit is due to the city leaders who have brought us to today. Most importantly, they created the Charlotte Douglas International Airport that puts our city at the center of the East Coast. Under their leadership, the city offers an exceptional quality of life that attracts talent and young people as well as businesses, conventions and professional sports teams. We even have inexpensive, reliable and quality power and electrical generation for all comers.
In October, we will take an inside look at how Charlotte will become a global hub for distribution with high-tech manufacturing and creative ideations at the same time. In November, we will examine the grasp of digital data, how it is mined, collected, analyzed and then applied for greater profits and/or cost savings.
Our changes reflect our determination to engage our readers in open discussion about what they are thinking and doing to advance their businesses as the world changes every day. We want to take an active role in promoting thought and thought leadership through discourse and debate so that we can learn more from each other and be constructive and synergistic at the same time.
We can learn together. As Dylan’s song concludes,
The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.
If we are as successful in capturing thought leadership on how to react to and anticipate the changing world around us as Dylan was capturing the social and political upheaval of the ’60s, we will have accomplished our mission to further the survival to thrival of the Charlotte business community.
We offer thanks to all who have contributed to our success in Charlotte and ask that you continue to let us know your thoughts on subjects you think should be discussed.
You may have heard about the “fiscal cliff” facing the American economy. Major fiscal events can happen simultaneously at the end of 2012 and early in 2013. These include the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts, the payroll tax cut and other tax-relief provisions. They also include the first installment of the $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts of domestic and defense programs required under last summer’s bipartisan deficit reduction agreement.
It is also likely that lawmakers will have to raise the debt ceiling again, potentially triggering another standoff in Congress. If and/or when these events take place, many predict we will be driven into another deep economic downturn.
We can do better, but you need to help. Here’s how!
Local financial advisors and coaches, Bill and Mary Staton, recently wrote me about an incredibly important organization. This is their invitation.
“Erskine Bowles and I have been friends since the early 1970s and for a brief time, we worked at the same investment firm. Today he’s spearheading a grass-roots campaign for the United States to get its financial house in order.
“Business leaders, politicians, and policy experts are coming together to galvanize citizen support for a comprehensive debt-reduction plan. The challenge is to make Congress see the potential for an America beyond partisan politics, ultimately united to meet this challenge.
“Erskine asks each of us: Will you get your neighbors and friends to join you to FixTheDebt by immediately signing up at: http://FixTheDebt.org?
“As former Senator Sam Nunn points out, ‘This is not physics, this is not calculus, this is arithmetic.’
“Mary and I realize this country faces the most predictable preventable financial crisis in history. And along with the FixTheDebt leadership, we know there are solutions to this gigantic problem. We also know that if our country is going to overcome Congressional impasse and infighting, it will require each and every one us to get involved—and stay involved.
“FixTheDebt.org is an American movement for fiscal responsibility at the national level. Please sign up at http://FixTheDebt.org. By adding your voice, we can make sure that this country does not face a relapse into recession. When you do, you’ll demonstrate to Congress your commitment to a comprehensive debt-reduction deal.”
Thank you, Bill and Mary Staton! Well said!
You might like to know The Campaign to Fix the Debt is built around the following core principles:
„Policymakers should acknowledge that our growing debt is a serious threat to the economic well-being and security of the United States.
„It is urgent and essential that we put in place a plan to fix America’s debt. An effective plan must stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put it on a downward path.
„This plan should be enacted now, but implemented gradually to protect the fragile economic recovery and to give Americans time to prepare for the changes in the federal budget.
„In order to develop a fiscal plan that can succeed both financially and politically, it must be bipartisan and reforms to all areas of the budget should be included. The plan should: (i) reform Medicare and Medicaid, improve efficiency in the overall health care system, and limit future cost growth; (ii) strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries; and (iii) include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues, and reduces the deficit.
„The recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, which saved $4 trillion and addressed all parts of the budget, as well as other solutions and proposals that have been put forward, provide effective frameworks for such a plan.
„The plan should be conducive to long-term economic growth, protect the vulnerable, include credible enforcement mechanisms to ensure that the debt reduction is achieved, and leave the next generation better off.
“It will take all of us to spread the word and bring fiscal integrity back to the halls of government. It can—and must—be done!!”
The presidential election this year and the debates on health care, taxes and spending that are taking place within families, businesses and communities are being confronted by the realities of our democratic system created in our U.S. Constitution. We are discovering the limitations of our governmental and free enterprise systems that must be overcome by people working together with personal and shared responsibility to maintain the quality of life and the values that serve our collective and individual interests.
Adopted in 1787, our forefathers organized our system of democracy. Having established the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, they designated a separation of powers between them. This separation serves as a system of checks and balances helping them to function together so that we can be confident about our future. At the same time, the same U.S. Constitution provides for the balance of power between the federal government and the states.
The Supreme Court’s recent decision with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), informally referred to as Obamacare, demonstrates the application of constitutional principles on both fronts. It upheld the individual mandate under the taxing authority as opposed to the commerce clause and precluded the federal government from withholding Medicaid funds from states that choose not to participate in the law’s Medicaid expansion.
Scholars and politicians will undoubtedly parse the complicated ruling unrelentingly over the next few months and its impact on the upcoming elections remains to be seen. It is important to note that the lengthy opinion gives guidance to the legislative branch about how the law must be written to be upheld. The campaign will give guidance to the next legislative session about how to improve upon it.
That does not mean this is a “done deal.” This is a process, a continuum of actions. It will continue to change over time; it is a developing series of actions by all participants. And it is important that we all participate.
We need to listen and learn and apply a little American ingenuity to reach agreement. We need dialogue that carries us toward solutions and away from obstructionism and isolation. We need less rancor, less name-calling, less noise, less animosity. We need more respect for each other, more civil discourse and debate that leads to the solution of problems.
Compromise has become a “dirty” word. It seems that people are choosing to disagree rather than seek agreement. That only postpones the problems and makes them worse. Compromise does not necessarily mean acquiescence or giving in to the other side. It means hammering out an agreement that works to benefit of each side in the negotiations. The goal is to create a win- win.
What bothers me most are those who stop, stonewall, arrest, avoid, block, break, cease, close, cutoff, cut, choke, clog, desist, disrupt, forestall, hinder, impede, interrupt, intercept, muzzle, obstruct, occlude, plug, put a stop to, rein in, repress, restrain, seal, shut down, shut off, shut out, silence, stall, staunch, stay, stem, still, stopper, suspend, throw over, turn off, and ward off any attempts at working together to improve, fix or resolve our challenges. Any of these actions or responses gets in the way of learning from each other.
We have never before faced the circumstances and challenges that we face today. We find ourselves confounded by labels, political parties, red states, blue states, gender, race, religion and so many other constructs that push us away from being Americans. At a time when the pace of change from technology and global competition is challenging us to rethink how we conduct business and compete, we must find answers that move us forward.
Let’s raise the dialogue. Let’s elevate the thought level. Let’s seek solutions. Promote debate. Promote answers. Incremental steps or giant leaps are hugely important to finding our way in this new world.
As you may know, Greater Charlotte Biz celebrated its first anniversary with last month’s issue. Our mission continues to be to create a quality publication reaching the most complete business circulation in the greater Charlotte community. We aim to inform, educate and entertain area business owners, managers and executives at nearly every business location with more than seven employees. Our circulation continues to increase with the magazine now being mailed directly to over 19,500 business decision-makers in this ten-county region. Considering that each magazine is passed along to an average of four to six other individuals, Greater Charlotte Biz reaches over 100,000 readers every month.
Greater Charlotte Biz has two fundamental purposes. One is to deliver great stories to our readers about local business owners and executives and inform them about the abundance of local business resources, products and services. The other is to provide an effective vehicle for business-to-business marketing and building greater brand awareness in our rapidly expanding marketplace. Over the past year, we have written over 112 stories, articles, columns and features about local businesses and their management and have also been the vehicle for over 85 different advertisers of goods and services to area businesses. In the past year, we have included real estate biz and technology biz as regular features in every magazine. With this issue, we are adding auto biz and dining biz to help you learn about other products and services suited to your business needs.
Feedback from readers and advertisers has been phenomenal. One person commented that he received over 20 different magazines each month, but the only one he always reads cover to cover is Greater Charlotte Biz. One of our biz profile subjects recently called to tell me that he was incredibly impressed by the attention he had received as a result of our story about him. Another person we profiled remarked about the number of ‘high caliber’ people about town who had called her after the publication of her story. Advertisers also tell us about the outstanding response they are getting from their ads in Greater Charlotte Biz. One spoke about the number of favorable responses that he has received from advertising in our magazine as compared to advertising in other print publications. Another called to tell us about the incredible number of calls the company had received from people wanting to see the product advertised in our pages.
As we begin our second year, we want to continue to improve and be responsive to your needs. We would value your input on our Reader Survey providing us with information about you, your business, your outlook for business and your business needs. We hope to establish an ongoing dialogue with you regarding our local economy. In a planned series of surveys through our magazine and on our Web site, we will make it easy for you to participate in our surveys at your leisure. And to show our appreciation for your time we will be awarding three $500 advertising certificates good for business advertisements in Greater Charlotte Biz during 2001.
Thank you for your continued interest and for your feedback. We appreciate your ideas, your comments and your criticisms so that we can better serve your needs.
Please don’t hesitate to make suggestions regarding published issues or stories you think might be interesting. We seek to improve our content and format with every issue that we produce. You are most important to us.
John Paul Galles is the publisher of Greater Charlotte Biz.