Not all is negative with local economy |

Not all is negative with local economy

Against the steady march of negative economic news, there are actually some reasons for optimism in the capital city. None of that is to diminish the severity of this situation, where the most recent headlines have focused on sales tax and gaming revenues that continue to fall and, like everywhere else, the shrinking retirement funds of residents.

There also was a report this week suggesting the capital city’s population will fall over the next three years before turning around and growing slowly again. The most troubling part of that is the predicted reduction is attributed to the loss of public sector jobs. Government jobs are being left unfilled, and the seemingly imminent closure of the Nevada State Prison could cut many more jobs from the region. Jobs have also been lost with the closure of Mervyns and manufacturer Parker Hannifin, but others have been added at recently opened stores and Bodines Casino.

However, the public sector will continue to be the dominant employer, and that’s an asset that many communities do not have to lean on. It may help the city rebound more quickly once the economy shows signs of life again.

And when it does, homes will be more affordable after this ongoing adjustment.

Local business recruitment officials report that, despite the slowing economy, they continue to get inquiries from companies looking to relocate. The actual relocations will not likely occur until confidence is restored in the economy, but the interest is a good sign that could bear fruit later.

Commercial construction projects have actually been up this year over last, and other businesses are scheduled for opening next year, including Sportsman’s Warehouse and (bring on the jokes) the Ormsby House, whose owners have said the project will be completed before 2009 is over.

On other fronts, the bypass will be completed to Fairview Drive before long and dozens of residents continue to work on plans for downtown revitalization. The proposed Brewery Arts Center amphitheater is just one example of a project to be enthused about.

One final reason for hope is the quality of candidates local residents will choose from in the upcoming election. If we pick the right ones, the recovery might start sooner than you’d think.