How's the economy doing? How is it effecting you? On Thursday, September 28 at the Southampton Arts Center, my five guests and I will be discussing exactly that when the talk-show series Out of the Question
returns to Southampton for the final show of the season.
So - how is the economy doing from your perspective? Depending on where you sit, it's roaring forward or barely limping along.
On the plus side, jobs are expanding. So far this year more than a million have been created. Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, just a notch above last month's 16 year-low.
On the other hand, wages are stagnating. Companies are holding their purse strings tight, a sign they aren't worried their workers will leave and find better-paying jobs elsewhere. Internationally, U.S. exports are rising. However other countries don't like the increasingly nationalistic tone of US trade policy.
On Wall Street, things are going well. Very well. The Dow continues to set records and came into this month up 12 percent over last year.
On Long Island, the situation is cloudier. The job-increase rate is up only half a percent over last year. The rate is less than one-third that of New York State, whose own growth is tepid. Locally, many people complain they're earning less for the same work than they used to, and are increasingly moonlighting to make ends meet.
I expect my special guests on Thursday evening will have their own unique perspectives on this topic, and I know they're looking forward to sharing them. For How's Business?
I've put together a panel of five East End business leaders who between them have a broad perspective of local, national and global business trends.
My guests are: Keith Davis, owner of Golden Pear
Café; Lance Gumbs, owner of Shinnecock Trading Post; Dede Gotthelf, owner of Southampton Inn
; Phil Grucci, CEO of Fireworks By Grucci; and Tom Stringer, Incentives Practice Director, BDO USA.
Keith and Lance are well-known East End retailers who have their fingers on the pulse of the local economy. Dede's clientele comes from around the world, and around the corner. Phil is the sixth-generation chief of one of the world's top fireworks companies. And Tom helps businesses from around the country figure out where they should invest in headquarters and other facilities.
Like all Out of the Question
shows in this series, the emphasis is on conversation. I'll have my questions ready for my guests, as always, but I'm really looking forward to the questions my guests and audiences will ask one another. The series is all about sharing information and opinions, and learning from one another.
For the first time, doors will open at 6 p.m. for a special open networking forum for business people.
Admission is included with the regular ticket ($15), available at the door or online www.brownpapertickets.com
. Come early, bring your business cards and be ready to share your questions - and answers!
Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit www.ootq-show.com and like us on Facebook.
Warren Strugatch is a writer, consultant and radio host. He is producer and moderator of Out of the Question, the Hamptons salon conversation series now in its fourth year.