Monday, December 29, 2008

Daily Briefing, 12/29/2008

Good Morning everyone! We hope that everyone had a great few days of from Christmas. Now that we are back at it, here is your Chamber news.

The Morning call summarizes the top 10 business stories of the year, noting that Lehigh Valley businesses (like businesses around the country) took a hit thanks to the global issues. Local victims included Mack Trucks, the Sands Bethlehem and Air Products. In Easton, new census figures show that Hispanics are now a higher percentage of the population than African Americans, making them the largest minority group in Easton, although both groups have seen their numbers increase (both in terms of totals and overall percentage of the population) since 2000. In Bethlehem, the city is considering the addition of four new parking garages at a $30 million cost. The Mayor notes that this is a great time to be doing such projects as interest rates are very low.

In local government news, Lower Milford, Catasauqua and Slatington have approved their budgets. Lower Milford has created a fire and local services tax and Catasauqua has increased garbage fees.

Violence in the middle east is starting to affect the economy of the U.S., as oil has risen 8% on fears of an all-out war between Isreal and Hamas. The overall price of oil is still down 60%. Meanwhile, with gas prices down, truck and SUV sales are up and appear set to outpace car sales this month.

Business Matters will be discussing a very timely subject: the Election of Barack Obama. Is he really the change we need? Tune in today (Monday, 7:30pm) and hear what our guests have to say. This show features Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham, Allentown School Board President Bob Smith, Republican Activist Charles Snelling and Lehigh County Commissioner David Jones.

And, we conclude today with this: GO EAGLES!

Have a great Monday!

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