The present situation is not very promising..
But I think the situation will change in a quarter or two. It always takes some to time to recover from global depression. Hopefully the booming times come again
I too live in the Chicago area (far western suburb) and deal with Chicago and suburban schools, both high schools and colleges. I voted that it would be a very good year for me. My business deals with sports, and schools still seem to have money to spend on sports. Sure they are cutting back slightly. The hospitality room at a tournament now contains chips and bottled water instead of pizza, subway sandwiches, BBQ sandwiches and a variety of drinks, etc., but the fees they pay officials has not gone down. In fact, I have more work scheduled for 2009 than I have in any past year, and I even raised all of my pricing last summer. Most of the work I do at sporting events involves computers (timing, results, stats, etc.), some with software being that which I have written. It is my own business that I run. The biggest problem I have seen in the last couple of years is more competition. I have been in this long enough that I have my loyal customers and am gaining new ones this year as well.
Last night Nightline ran a piece on the housing market of the rich and famous and how even their houses are not selling in this market. They tried to point out that this was a sign that perhaps the market was beginning to bottom out since those types of houses are usually the last to see change in the market. I think we have a long ways to go. I think it will start to bottom out when schools, high schools in particular, start cutting way back on money they spend on sports. Right now I am not seeing much of that yet. When they start not being able to afford new uniforms, reduce the size of a team to reduce travel expenses, reduce the number of non-conference games to save on fees they pay officials, and can not afford to hire me to do the computer work at sporting events, then we will have hit the bottom.
I also deal with non-school related sports such as road race running. Races I worked at during the fall of 2008 seemed to increase the number of runners, not decrease. People are spending money, but they are starting to do so more wisely. They are continuing to do those things that they want to do and like to do and cutting back in other areas. Perhaps they do not participate in as many road races, but more people are participating as a whole, or at least at the ones I am at. I am even adding new races in 2009 that are holding a race for the first time. This of course all means more money for me. Thus, I voted that 2009 will be no worse than 2008, and almost certainly much better. I guess it just depends upon the industry you are in within the Chicago area as to how well 2009 looks to be.
That's a great analysis, this recession may hit some area, geographic, suburban vs. urban, industry a lot harder than others. My clients are local Chicago inner city retailers, wholesalers and manufactureres, seems they are being hit hard.
Sports is an interesting area, maybe participant sports, your market will be less affected.
Hyde Park Systems Group
I do think that sports will be hit by it eventually. And in some respects it probably already is. I would have to ask the ticket takers, but it is very possible that attendance is already down slightly. If 300 people typically attend a basketball game and it is now down to 275, looking at the stands one might see only a small difference, if any at all. On the other hand, the school may only be collecting $825 instead of $900 at each game for instance. Eventually this will have an affect on supplies that they can provide the team with, new balls, pads for football, bats for baseball, towel service, etc.
I haven't noticed much of a difference in the length of the lines at the concession stand either, but that doesn't mean that people aren't spending less. Instead of buying a hot dog, chips, candy bar and drink they may just be purchasing a hot dog and drink or perhaps popcorn and a drink. This means that the concession stand is purchasing less food from the store, which can then affect the retailers and wholesalers that you are referring to.
With less concession stand money, the athletes may have to purchase their own shoes for basketball for instance, instead of the sports boosters providing them. Instead of having 3 pairs for the season they get by with just 2 (one for practice and one for games). This of course affects the shoe manufactures and retailers. By purchasing their own shoes, the athlete and their family then have less money to spend on other clothing, which also affects the clothing industry.
Eventually, the school would need to divert money it spends on the games and events themselves to provide the necessities of the sport. Thus, cutting back on the number of games or events, or worse yet, cutting an entire sport. Due to the lack of funding, some schools have even resorted to cutting all sports for a year. Although that is a bit extreme, some districts have had to do that when referendums don't get passed and they need to divert money from sports to other areas of the school.
Eventually of course, that can all affect my income as they would just not have the funds to be able to hire me and either find alternative ways of doing the same thing, or do without. The survey is asking about 2009 though. Right now, 2009 is looking pretty awesome for me. 2010 or 2011 might be slightly different. So far I've been pretty resourceful at finding products and services that schools can use, so I'm hoping it doesn't get too bad for me.
Apparently you are seeing the other side of things and are getting hit harder now. I'm not sure which would be worse, getting hit harder now or in a year or 2 when hopefully things are beginning to improve as a whole. Perhaps I should just see this as a warning of things yet to come and save what I can now, to be prepared for the future.
Can someone afford one now? In Chennai, India people have already started to keep a close track of coins which is going out of wallets. I am not sounding pessimistic but just reflecting the reality that is going on here.
I would say, there should be a significant patronage for public transport services to save fuel (fossil) consumption and bring the acute road traffic under control.
But that is for my company only. The US economy will not recover till 2010 or 2011.
For me I will do better financially in 2009 than I did in 2008 just as I have for the last 14 consecutive years. Well that is if the new president does not cut the cancer research budget forcing NIH to not fully fund their contracts.
We have 18 months of backlog, so 2009 is taken care off. I don't know how much new business will they be able to bring in though. Hopefully the economy will get better before I have to start worrying about that.
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