By Thomas J. Shara, CEO
With the New Year underway, many business owners and leaders are wondering if we can expect the same tough economy—or if there will be an improvement this year. At Lakeland Bank, we see several indications that it’s improving. Recently, I shared some thoughts on this topic with The Business Edge, a publication of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, along with other business leaders who see reasons to be hopeful about the year ahead.
In our industry, the most notable indication the economy is turning was that our commercial loan originations were up 26 percent in 2011 over 2010. Businesses were growing. They had solid business plans and were ready to either renovate existing locations or move to higher quality office space. Some of this activity produced construction jobs and the purchase of materials further supported the local economy.
And, we also believe the State’s move toward a more business-friendly climate is contributing to a better economic outlook for New Jersey.
For more observations about what is helping the New Jersey economy, read what other area business leaders said about the outlook for the Garden State