Report: Business Confidence Positive, But Some Fear Slowing Economy

March 28, 2017 10:13 PM

Business confidence in the Northland remains positive, but some people in the region think the economy is slowing.

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Those are some of the key findings presented by students from the University of Minnesota Duluth, UW-Superior, and the College of St. Scholastica at the seventh Regional Economic Indicators Forum on Tuesday. The ongoing economic study covers fifteen counties in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, involving the National Bank of Commerce, the colleges and universities, and small business development centers in the two states.

Research by CSS found that half of those surveyed anticipate growth in the next six months. Though business confidence has decreased slightly, overall confidence remains positive.

A UWS study found that both random households and participants in the forum think that the economy is slowing down, but both groups are optimistic about the economy. And a UMD analysis found quick growth in the tourism industry since 2014.

Business leaders got some suggestions on linking tourism and economic development from the keynote speaker, AnnDee Johnson of Longwoods International, who used the "Pure Michigan" campaign as an example of a unified campaign for both tourism and development.

"What I gleaned from this is having a very strong brand and using that strong brand to promote your community in both tourism and economic development is very powerful, very strong, and probably something we could do a better job of," said Steven Burgess, the President and CEO of National Bank of Commerce.

The entire REIF report can be read at .

Another forum is scheduled for Oct. 31.


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