What”s on the mind – and in the hearts – of businesses throughout Gwinnett? With 2010 behind, what are the hopes, dreams, and in some cases, sighs of relief coming from the companies and businesses that make up the economic fabric of this diverse county?
GBJ checked in first with a local businessman who has his finger on the pulse of Gwinnett, well, because his business revolves around serving other businesses.
“How”s business?” is always the first question out of my mouth,”# says Raymer Sale, president of E2E Resources and E2E Benefit Services, an 18-year old insurance and employee benefits service firm in Lawrenceville. “In our business, we really notice what the economy is doing.”#
Sale”s barometer is the number of companies that are going out of business, and the reduction in companies” employee population. What he”s noticed is that most are holding the line or continuing to shrink their staff – but the shrinking has slowed down.
“We”re actually seeing a little bit of growth, nothing spectacular, but things are starting to move and some companies are adding employees here and there,”# says Sale. His own firms” experience over the last three years tells the same story that most share.
After a very good year in 2007, the bottom fell out in 2008 with a significant loss in revenue stream that forced layoffs. By the end of 2009, his companies were able to recover revenue to just $100 over the previous year. So, closing out 2010, he”s ecstatic about a two to four percent increase in profit and the addition of four employees to his 15-member staff.
“I think 2011 will be similar to 2010, especially the second half of 2011,”# says Donny Phillips, owner of Atlanta Flooring Design Centers in Suwanee, which has served the retail, commercial and builder industries here for 25 years.