I am not an economist so I do not know, for sure, if we are just in a recession, or in a double dip recession, or, even, heading for a depression.  All I know is that it is scary out there.   Sometimes it feels as if the whole world economy is about to fall down around our ankles and we are all going to be caught with our pants down.

It has been painful to see how the economic downturn of the last couple of years or so has affected our members.  It is just as painful to realize that there is no end in sight and that things could get worse before they get better.  It is equally as frightening how fast it seemed to happen.   I can remember, not long ago, looking at real estate in Arizona when you had to outbid other potential buyers and now you can’t give the same property away.  

It just proves how fragile our economy is, how interrelated it is to the rest of the world, and how easily it can fall apart.   Did we live beyond our means, did we all go on a reckless spending spree, or are we the victims of big banks and Wall Street?   Perhaps, the answer is all of that and more.    

The only thing we all have left to rely on is our perseverance and a little bit of hope for the future.   I do believe that, as they say, all things must pass and that this hardship will also pass.   Eventually, the economy will get better, even though, it will most likely also be different and those small businesses that have survived the storm will once again thrive and prosper.

In the meantime, all you can do is take care of business and hope that you are among those left standing.

Perhaps, 2011 will bring better economic times for all of us.