Business good for many people in eastern Utah
The national news says the ecomony of the country is bad, and so people look at their area and assume the same is true everywhere.
But regardless of what is going on in the rest of the country, and even the state of Utah, Carbon and Emery Counties are doing well.
Just ask some of those that work with businesses and run businesses in the area. They simply say, "don't buy into the recession."
In a meeting of the minds in late December, business people and some government leaders got together to address the problem of perception, or the perception that national economic downturn is destroying everyone's business more exactly.
That group decided to do something about that view and that was to convince people that the recession is really largely in the minds of individuals.
"We just need to do something to convice people that things are pretty good here," said Tom Anderson of KOAL radio. "We need them to understand that they don't need to buy into the recession."
The decision at the meeting was to make a series of radio spots for KOAL and KUSA hosted by Carbon County's economic director Delynn Fielding that would have various business people from around the two county area speak about their businesses.
As of this week spots have been put together that feature Tony Basso GM, the Sun Advocate/Emery County Progress, Zions Bank and the Eastern Utah Credit Union.
Each ad puts forth a positive message about the area and how the businesses in this part of the state are doing.
"The economy is good and we refuse to participate in the recession in the Castle Valley," says Fielding. "For instance while statewide cars sales have dropped 25 percent, in this area the sales are holding up well."
An example of that is Tony Basso GM.
"The year 2008 was one of the most unprecedented years we have ever seen in the automobile business," said Basso. "We had a record breaking year and at one point during 2008 we were the number one GM dealer in the state for a month. Because of the strengh of our sales, we went from our normal 100 cars in our inventory to 400 vehicles. At one point we saw our business almost quadruple from what it was when we were farther down the street. Our view is that 2009 actually looks better for us than 2008 was. We feel that not only locally but outside our area there is a lot of pent up demand for vehicles. We are also seeing the manufacturers provide better rebates and better financing than we have ever seen in the past."
While many car dealers across the country seem to be having problems financing vehicles, Basso says that has not been a problem in the past and he doesn't expect it to be a problem in the near future either.
"We have many sources to lend from and the local credit unions have been very open in lending to people," stated Basso. "Some of the best rates for financing are available right now."
Fielding says some of that ability to lend for vehicles and other items is because the local lenders have been careful about the loans they made in the past.
"While a lot of lending institutions across the country weren't following conservative lending practices, our local ones were being much more cautious," he said. "As a result they don't have a lot of the problems you hear about on the national news."
Mike Milovich of the Eastern Utah Community Credit Union says that they have plenty of money to lend to people who need it.
"I think 2009 is going to be a year of opportunity for the people of southeastern Utah, but especially in Carbon and Emery Counties," he stated. "In spite of what you read in the news the financial institutions in our area are in very good shape. For instance at our institution mortgage rates are at historic lows and people can refinance their homes and probably save themselves some money. For those that have gotten themselves into and adjustable rate mortgage or any kind of accelerated rate mortgage this is a very good time to get into a better program."
Banks too are ready to lend money for traditional types of endeavors.
"We are as busy as we have ever been," said Scott Olsen, a commercial loan officer at Zions Bank in Price. "Zions is well capitalized based on all standards and we are in a position to lend. In our area right now I am working with businesses that are planning to grow and expand and hire more employees in 2009. They are very optimistic about what their growth will be this year. If a business is looking to expand, now is the time. There is plenty of money and the interest rates are very good."