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News stories tagged with "recession"

Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe

A Year of Hard Choices: Bucking the trend, a business built to last

On Monday, SUNY Potsdam economics professor Greg Gardner described a theory of development that he believes may be a good fit for the North Country in today's economy. Instead of trying to hook that big fish to create hundreds of jobs at once, Gardner says make your community attractive to young entrepreneurs. "Having educated creative people who then want to live in your community because it's a nice place to live," Gardner says, "and if they can't find a job, they'll just make one." For today's installment of A Year of Hard Choices, we meet a Canton couple who fit this profile to a "T". Ken and Katrina Hebb own the Blackbird Café on the main corner in the village. They say despite the recession, their business is thriving. David Sommerstein has their story.  Go to full article
Sandy Maine hopes to break into mass market retail with "Bug Off."
Sandy Maine hopes to break into mass market retail with "Bug Off."

A Year of Hard Choices: SunFeather Soap - tough times, hope for the future

In our Year of Hard Choices series today, we go to a mainstay of the North Country's homegrown business community. You find the SunFeather Soap Company in a tidy, low building on the old state road outside Parishville, in St. Lawrence County. Martha Foley went for a tour, and got a lesson in small business 101.  Go to full article
Greg Gardner
Greg Gardner

A Year of Hard Choices: challenges and opportunities

Our series starts with a conversation about the state of the region--economically speaking. Greg Gardner has been a student of the North Country economy since coming to the region 15 years ago. He teaches management and business strategy at SUNY Potsdam. He and his wife live outside Watertown. Gardner says the NC economy is fairly simple--service-oriented and shaped by a relatively small population, spread over a large area. It's highly seasonal--tourism, farming. Typically, employment and spending go down in the winter, up in the summer. Lots of stable civic jobs, from education to prisons, buffer the region somewhat from highs and lows elsewhere.

Like the rest of the nation, the North Country just had about 10 years of steady economic growth. But that's quickly eroded over the last six months. Manufacturing and farming, economic engines that ship exports out and bring fresh cash in, have been hit hard. Demand for their products has dropped, and financing for their operations has dried up.

Meanwhile, state spending tapered off dramatically in some areas. Using employment as a gauge, Gardner said the NC economy right now looks about the way it did in the early '90s, with unemployment ranging from 9 to 11%, expecting that to moderate in the summer. Now, Gardner says, the downturn is touching more and more people.  Go to full article

Home foreclosure worries grow in North Country

The North Country has managed to dodge the worst parts of the home-mortgage crisis that has devastated the country's economy. Foreclosures in this region haven't spiked as they have in other parts of the country. But some real estate experts say the souring economy and the growing number of lay-offs has begun to hit more homeowners. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Recession proof construction

In the middle of a recession that's crippling the construction field, there's at least one sector of industry that's doing pretty well. That's "material reuse." Taking pieces of old buildings and using them in new ones. Advocates say used materials could save developers a heap of money. Samara Freemark has the story of one re-use company that's both green and in the black.  Go to full article

Lowville, pt.2: inside the safety net

This week, we're viewing the recession through the lens of one North Country community: the village of Lowville in Lewis County. Yesterday we heard from Main Street merchants struggling to make a living. Climb the hill from Main Street, up the Tug Hill Plateau, toward the East's largest wind farm, and you reach Lewis County's social services building. Inside, caseworkers are flooded with new clients. Heating assistance and food stamp applications are up 40%. As David Sommerstein reports, those who hold the safety net want even more people to use it.  Go to full article
Gov. David Paterson spoke to a capacity crowd in Watertown.
Gov. David Paterson spoke to a capacity crowd in Watertown.

Paterson says 2009 "year of bad medicine"

Coming off his first State of the State address, Governor David Paterson is taking his prescription for the state's $15.4-billion deficit on the road. The first stop on his Upstate tour was last night at the North Side Improvement League in Watertown. His message to the packed house of 400 people was as grim as it was simple: 2009 will be "the year of bad medicine" for New York State. Paterson offered little new from previous speeches. But as David Sommerstein reports, his frankness appeared to win the crowd.  Go to full article
American Management Association has trained execs since the 1920s
American Management Association has trained execs since the 1920s

Saranac Lake company sees tough economy as a teaching moment

One of America's oldest management-training companies in the U.S. is also one of the biggest private employers in Saranac Lake. The American Management Association, based in New York City, offers guidance and skills-development to executives wrestling with the sour economy. But AMA is itself facing tough times. Fewer companies have the budgets to pay for AMA's training courses and declining enrollments have triggered lay-offs. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Lloyd's of Lowville
Lloyd's of Lowville

What would you do with a tax rebate?

The Bush Administration wants part of an economic stimulus package to include tax rebates: $800 for individuals, $1600 for couples. Officials hope the checks will induce people to spend money and boost the economy. David Sommerstein stopped by Lloyd's of Lowville Diner Monday. Amidst sizzling burgers and cups of coffee, he asked patrons what they thought of the stimulus plan, and what they'd do with their rebate check...  Go to full article

NY Lawmakers Optimistic About Economy

Many economists are now saying the recession is over. The revenue estimates released by the state Assembly and Senate reflect that optimism. Both houses have discovered more money for possible use for favored programs. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

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