- International Business
- Overall business confidence improved just a bit at
the close of 2008 but remains very dark, with hiring
intentions and expectations regarding the outlook in
mid-2009 dropping to record lows. Businesses are
about equally pessimistic in North America, South
America and Europe, and while Asian business
confidence is not quite as dark, it is weakening
rapidly. Sentiment is bad across all industries but
dropped to a new low among global manufacturers.
Businesses have little pricing power. The entire global
economy is mired in recession, according to the
business confidence survey results.
- ECRI Weekly Leading Index
- The ECRI Weekly Leading Index increased to 108
for the week ending December 26 from a revised
106.8 (previously 106.6). The smoothed, annualized
growth rate rose to -28.7% from an unrevised -29.2%.
This is the third consecutive improvement, but does
not alter the ECRI's overall downward trend.
Significant deterioration in the ECRI suggests a
severe downturn that will last well into 2009.
- Semiconductor Billings
- Global semiconductor sales fell by a massive
8.2% m/m in November to $20.8 billion on a three-
month moving average basis. In annual terms, sales
fell by 9.9%. This is considerably weaker than typical
seasonal trends, if not for falling memory chip prices,
annual sales would be stronger.
- Jobless Claims
- Initial jobless claims decreased by 94,000 to
492,000 for the week ending December 27. Far fewer
initial claims were filed than expected. The week did,
however, include Christmas, and holidays have been
known to be more volatile for this indicator. Overall,
labor market trends have indicated persistent
- MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
- In the week ending December 26, the MBA
composite market index showed the slightest
increase to close the week at 1,245.7. After weeks of
improving, the refinance index decreased to 6,733.8,
down 0.4%. The purchase index, however, increased
1.4% this week to close at 320.9.
- Oil and Gas Inventories
- Crude oil inventories increased by 500,000 barrels
during the week ending December 26, according to
the Energy Information Administration. The
consensus expectation was for a decline of 1.5 million
barrels. Distillate supplies increased by 700,000
barrels, below expectations of a 1.1 million barrel
increase. Gasoline inventories rose by 800,000
barrels, well below expectations of a 1.5 million barrel
- Natural Gas Storage Report
- Working gas in underground storage decreased
by 143 billion cubic feet during the week ending
December 26. The consensus estimate was for a
decline of 151 billion cubic feet.
THIS WEEKS LEADS:
- Sandella's LLC trades as Sandella's Café at 150
- The upscale, fast casual
cafes offer sandwiches, paninis, quesadillas, salads,
grilled flatbreads, rice bowls, smoothies, coffee and
teas, and occupy spaces of 1,000 sq.ft. to 1,500 sq.ft.
in strip centers and urban/downtown areas.
Growth opportunities are sought throughout the
existing market during the coming 18 months.
Preferred cotenants include super grocery stores,
bookstores, movie theaters, spas and other high
- The company prefers to locate in
areas with a strong residential and daytime
- For more information, contact
Damilowski, Sandella's LLC,
- 9 Brookside Place,
West Redding, CT 06896;
- Web site:
- Dots, LLC trades as Dots at 411 locations
throughout the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and Mid-
Atlantic, in addition to TX.
- The stores, offering
women's apparel at affordable prices, occupy spaces
of 4,000 sq.ft. to 5,000 sq.ft. in power, specialty and
- Plans call for 50 to 75 openings
throughout the existing markets during the coming 18
- Typical leases run five years with three,
- A vanilla shell is required.
Preferred cotenants include grocery stores and
- Preferred demographics include a
population of 90,000 within three miles earning
$55,000 as the average household income.
- For more information, contact
- John Clark,
- Dots, LLC,
- 30801 Carter Street,
- Web site: www.dots.com.
Note: The following is clearly written for
nonprofits, but much is applicable to all entities
including public organizations
And Now for Something Different About
Nonprofits and the Economy 1/1/09
- Unhappy New Year! . . . as the nonprofit chorus
seems to be singing. As if we don't need more
troubles on top of the ultra-negative projections about
the economy, the advice about what nonprofits should
do is depressingly empty. Whenever we see
something like "Fundraising in Challenging Times,"
we feel compelled to read it: What if the magic
answer's here?! But after reading these articles and
hearing these speeches, we feel, well, unsatisfied.
- Scanning dozens of "what to do" lists recently, their
lack of nutrition seems to fall into three groups. A lot of
the advice is too abstract and even pious: "Focus on
the mission" or "Be strategic." I'm reminded of a
nonprofit exec from the for-profit sector who reflected
that she had given out such advice as a board
member and then, when receiving it as an executive
director, couldn't believe how obnoxious it was. Other
suggestions such as, "Monitor expenses closely,"
and "Delay the start of capital projects" are good
advice but kind of "duh." And then there's the good
advice (like "Diversify your revenue streams") that's
good advice the same way "lose weight" and "achieve
inner peace" are good advice: the reason we aren't
doing it isn't because it hadn't occurred to us.
- As is too often the case, the advice from the
philanthropic-consultant industrial complex is enough
to make a person depressed or even angry. I heard a
well-known nonprofit guru tell an audience, "And when
we were really stuck about what to do, I picked up the
phone and called my friend Al Gore." I felt like throwing
a shoe at him! How is this a replicable, usable
- Here are four ideas that may or may not be better
than the others, but at least you may not have heard
- Declare an emergency. When people
have permission to think and act out of the normal
grooves, they can be bolder, more creative, energized,
or at least more ready to accept changes. So say it out
loud: "We are in an emergency period (or we are
going into an emergency period). Our funding looks
okay through the next four months, but there's a good
shot we'll get some bad news starting then. We need
to start making changes and coming up with some
contingency plans that go beyond what we've done
before." An emergency doesn't mean people should
panic . . . an emergency means considering the bold
and wacky ideas that are either brand new or used to
be off the table.
- Schedule worrying for later. Your nonprofit
may be on a growth curve, and/or you have looked at
your revenue projections and things are okay. Don't
feel guilty if you aren't worrying just because everyone
else is. And for many people, it's smarter not to make
decisions until, for instance, you hear from the county
agency that funds you or you see what the February
dinner brings in. Instead of worrying, try a few scenario
exercises: "Let's imagine that by next quarter we've
heard that our biggest grant won't be renewed. What
will we wish we had done three months before?"
- Do less with less. Of course there is
more need, more demand, and we probably have less
money. And we love the gritty heartfelt nature of the
cry, "We need to do more with less!" Pause. But it's not
only unsustainable, it probably means you will be able
to do even less in the future. If a program's funding
has been cut by 30%, you may need to do 30% less.
The best decision may be to be open fewer days a
week, hold fewer performances, or stop taking
children over 5. On the other hand, working harder
might be necessary, at least for awhile, but only if it's
to get to a different business model.
- Ask for help, even if you don't know what would
help. Yes, I'm talking about you executive
directors. Especially you. As an ED watching the
gruesome implosion of a nearby nonprofit, I once said
to a fellow ED, "There but for the grace of God go we."
She disagreed: "That wouldn't happen to us. We
would ask for help." I realized that as executives we
only like to tell the board about a problem if we already
have a solution in mind. It's much harder to go and
say, "Help. I don't know what to do."
- Call a community summit on your behalf,
and see if they can support you. In the end, we
can only do what our constituents will support us to
do. A near-broke community center we know called
together their funders, friends, and community leaders
and laid out their situation. In effect they said, "We
know we've made mistakes and that we're still flawed.
If you all think we're worth saving, we need you to save
us now. If you - our constituencies - can't or won't step
in, we can't do it on our own. And now we're going to
leave the room so you can discuss what you can do or
can't do to help us."
- A colleague once told me his "Four
- Show up.
- Let go.
- What more can any of
us do, really?
- Here's to a good year for all of us.
- Source: Board Café - Blue Avacado,
Next Week - A 360-Degree Look at Your
Seeing Ourselves as Others See Us
Home sweet home: The future of American
There are more than 2,000 malls in the U.S., and
the face of the mall as we know it is changing. While
open-air malls, as opposed to enclosed shopping
centers, are on the rise, so are the possibilities for
mall-based housing. Many new projects have
attached housing complexes to malls as part of a
strategy to develop them as lifestyle and community
centers in addition to shopping destinations.
Source: ICSC, 2008
Wal-Mart alone among retailers expected to
see December sales gains
Wal-Mart is the lone retailer expected to make
gains for December, projected to see a 2.8% increase
for the month as the rest of the industry drops 6.3%.
The retailer "is winning because it provides its
customers with more value and merchandise," one
analyst said. "That's so important right now because
consumers are extremely careful with their money."
Source: ICSC, 2008
|Working with clients to make good things happen!
Bonneville Research is a regional consulting firm
focused on consulting services to state and local
governments including economic analysis for real
estate development, public-policy analysis, tourism
and economic development.
Since its founding in
1976, Bonneville Research has completed
assignments throughout the intermountain west
yielding unmatched experience in high quality public
policy analysis and economic analysis.
Helping Clients Succeed
Our services include:
- Financial Analysis
- Business License Studies
- Impact Fee analysis
- Urban Renewal & Redevelopment
Analysis and Budgets
- Strategy and Policy Analysis
- Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis
- Statistical and Survey Research
- Public Sector Mission
Each of our studies is tailored to address
the unique needs of our clients and their communities.
Successful client work requires a
superior team of
outstanding people working fluidly together.
Bonneville Research is the one firm with
the experience and expertise to help
governments and nonprofit organizations
We work to help clients achieve enduring
and improve the communities in which we
If we can help, please call or email us at: