SIKESTON - The Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed economics expert Bruce Domazlicky as guest speaker for the SACC monthly membership luncheon Thursday.
"We have a strong and competitive business community in Sikeston and Miner," said SACC President Shad Old, noting the SACC membership is in excess of 500 members. "We have the strongest and more diversified membership seen in 52 years."
Speaking at the first membership luncheon of the year, Old hit upon a concern of his before turning the floor over to the guest speaker.
"The buzzword, as far as the Chamber of Commerce is concerned, in 2002 is networking," Old said. Despite the vast resources available in the community, he "thinks we're missing the boat" and hopes to improve communication.
Domazlicky, representing the Southeast Missouri State University's Center for Economic and Business Research, delivered a short presentation on the national and local economy, where it is at and where it is going.
To the oft-asked question of "are we in a recession" Domazlicky stated yes and that indications show it started officially in March 2001. On the good side, he stated there are signs of getting out of it.
Domazlicky said the reason behind the recession was a buildup of inventories and over-investment in capital goods, namely in the technology sector.
While the inventory problem can be solved with little trouble, "over-investment is a different animal and it could take longer to recover from," he said.
One of the keys to recovery is consumer spending while in the meantime, the federal government is doing its part - the Federal Reserve lowered rates 11 times last year, tax rates have been reduced and federal spending is on the rise.
"We're poised for recovery," Domazlicky said.
In other Chamber business:
* The Artrain exhibit at the Depot will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Among the highlights are 78 original works of art; this is the only stop in Missouri for the Artrain.
* Sikeston's Charter Commission will hold its next public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
* The Sikeston Lions Club's annual Chili Day fundraiser is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30-7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Eagles Club. Tickets are $5.
* The Sikeston American Legion will host a fish fry fundraiser for the YMCA on Feb. 16.
* Entertainers will be announced on Feb. 28 for the 2002 Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo. The press conference will take place at the Jaycee Rodeo Grounds.
* The Seventh Annual Business/Technology/Job Expo is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 1 at the Sikeston Senior High Field House. This event is sponsored by the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sikeston Public Schools.
Local businesses are invited to set up booths and can contact the SACC office for more information.
* The SACC annual awards banquet is planned for April 19.