Optimism in a tough climate

It’s been a mixed bag for news about business so far this
year.

According to national news, depending on who one listens to,
the economy is either improving, remaining stagnant or continuing a decline.
Locally, the news might be a little better. Then again, that, too, all depends
on who one talks to.

A few weeks ago we reported that Mike Brady, the president
of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, sees signs of improvement in the
county. He said some manufacturers in DelCo are beginning to reinvest in
themselves. That’s a good thing.

The bad thing, according to Mr. Brady, is that retail is a
lagging indicator and it may take another year for retail businesses to
recover.

On top of that, stores such as Genuardi’s and Walgreen’s are
pulling up stakes in the immediate vicinity. Granted, Walgreen’s is only moving
a few miles down Route 202 and, even with
Genuardi’s closing, there are still plenty of supermarkets in the area
so people won’t have to travel too far to buy groceries. Still, though, we’re
sorry to see them leave. There will be empty storefronts until their current
locations can be filled. When that will be remains to be determined.

Other local businesses, especially retail, are hoping and
praying that there is a recovery much sooner than Mr. Brady has predicted. And
some of those businesses, whose owners have been speaking only anonymously, are
considering moving to new locations. Even with new rules that relax township
sign laws, some of the owners still think local townships are anti business.

Yet, other owners are optimistic and there are new
businesses opening.

Janice Small, owner of Small’s Treasures that just opened in
Pennsbury, said she knows it’s risky opening a business now, but it’s a risk
worth taking. There’s also another new business—an antique store—that is
scheduled to open in Pennsbury in another few weeks.

And, as reported this week, Ozzie Isci has taken over the
old Chadds Ford Tavern, renaming it the Chadds Ford Pub. Mr. Isci is quite
positive about making a go of the business. He seems to a classic example of
the American immigrant story, relying on hard work and a positive attitude.

What this all means is that life goes on and, as long as
governments—on all level—stay out of the way, the free market will prevail. And
the faster that governments get out of the way, the faster that recovery will
be.

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