Local Experts Provide Economic Insight For Delmarva Businesses - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Local Experts Provide Economic Insight For Delmarva Businesses

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SALISBURY, Md. - We've avoided the fiscal cliff, but it's still not over - leaders in Washington continue to tackle what is being called the second half of the fiscal cliff. So how do businesses on Delmarva move forward, despite the economic uncertainty?

"We were coming off of a year where income taxes were going up, capital gains taxes were going up, estate taxes were going up - so there was a lot of planning and energy around that. Then suddenly we have a whole new set of rules and so we're looking at that and say, 'gee, what does that mean in terms of investment? What does that mean in terms of my planning? What does that mean in terms of my business?'" Chris Kreicker of Wilmington Trust said.

Experts at the 2013 Economic Forecast conference are looking at their own solutions. But they admit, it's not easy considering everyone's situation is different. For instance - how will businesses and employees deal with health care reform?

"People now need to start evaluating whether they will pay the penalty or buy health insurance, where in the past, people have been able to avoid buying health insurance without any consequences. For the large employers, they now have to pay a penalty if they don't offer health insurance to their employees," Chris Keen of Keen Insurance Associates said.

Dr. Peggy Naleppa, President and CEO of Peninsula Regional Medical Center says it's all about flexibility. "With inflation growing at 1.5 to 2 %, you can see we've already been in the mode of appreciating less resources and need to work smarter about the way that we work. And that doesn't necessarily translate to reductions in positions as opposed to transforming the way that we deliver care - transforming the way that we care for that patient so that they don't get readmitted is a good example. Helping with home monitoring programs, working with our physical leaders on how to keep that patient from returning to the emergency room," she said.

Leaders are cautiously optimistic the economy will stabilize and get back to a place of growth, but they say it's going to take a lot of patience.

"We would argue that over the next 7 years, our forecast horizon, that normalization is what we can expect. So seeing rates - interest rates move up a little higher, seeing growth move up a little higher. But it's going to take us a while to fight through some of those issues. If we can get the spending part of the fiscal cliff addressed, the debt ceiling addressed, those are things that I think will unleash the animal spirits and get people feeling more confident about hiring and about investing," Kreicker said.

 

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