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From the New Kid on the CERC Block

1/20/2012

I’m pleased to have joined CERC just in time to kick off a new year!  After two weeks on the job, I am delighted both by the warm welcome I have received, as well as the number and quality of ideas many of you have shared.  My sincerest gratitude goes to those of you who have reached out and introduced yourselves – and to many more whom I’ll be meeting over the coming weeks and months.

As we know, January is a good month to strategize and set goals for the upcoming year. The mad rush of the holiday season has died down, and we return to more “normal” schedules in both our work and personal lives – at least as much as “normal” can be in our current economic times.

A number of economists predict that in 2012 we will continue a slow slog down the path toward economic recovery.  CERC’s Director of Research Alissa DeJonge agrees with this assessment, but anticipates there may be a few bright spots in Connecticut’s economy as well. The healthcare sector has remained strong during the economic slowdown, and indicators show an uptick in manufacturing over the coming months – and of course, there may be other sectors that surprise us.

As we head slowly down the path toward growth, now is the time to think about how to be ready to capitalize on arising opportunities. Landlords may be handling tenant improvements to make buildings more attractive to prospective tenants. Economic development professionals may be developing strategic development plans for local areas impacted by the recession. Meanwhile, brokers can be directing clients to local economic development offices and Connecticut’s Business Response Center at CERC for local and state business assistance programs, services and incentives for which they may be eligible. This is a time for everyone to share ideas about how to reduce barriers to growth and make Connecticut a more attractive location for businesses and investment.

While the level of transactional activity in the real estate sector may not be what we would like to see over the long term, this is our opportunity to put key resources into place that will help us grow and build a stronger Connecticut. I look forward to exploring these ideas with you over the months ahead, and wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year.

- Rachel Gretencord, CERC, Director of Real Estate

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