Here’s Bob’s column from Sunday. Some cool products and services to look forward to in 2009!
For Sunday, December 28
Here are a few predictions for 2009 from different sources. (Don’t forget to remind me next year how many of these came to pass.)
Three products to watch from Fortune Magazine’s Tech Daily:
Mini-notebook computers, known as netbooks, sold 11 million units worldwide in 2008, up from just around a million in 2007. Sales could double in 2009. These stripped-down, low priced portables (no DVD drive, less processing power) could make them an ideal solution in emerging markets. Analysts think the minis will also appeal to cost-conscious consumers in the United States. Good for Dell and HP? We’ll see.
The difficult economy will also help “cloud services”….software via the net (think photo sharing). Software-as-a-service companies have always promoted themselves as capital-efficient alternatives to installed software. Instead of financing a big software purchase and installation, companies can “pay as they go” under the cloud services model.
Even with tight money, consumers will spend their dollars on a few fun games and gadgets, like Nintendo’s Wii and handheld gaming systems like Nintendo’s DS, says Kumu Puri, an executive with Accenture. And no matter how challenging things get out there, American consumers are unlikely to part with their broadband connections. Accenture’s study found that we are more likely to get rid of cable television channels or mobile phones than high-speed Internet connections.
Three predictions from the World Future Society:
Careers (and college studies that prepare students for them) are becoming more specialized. Instead of simply majoring in business, students explore niche majors such as sustainable business, strategic intelligence, and entrepreneurship. Other unusual majors are neuroscience and nanotechnology, computer and digital forensics, and comic book art. Don’t laugh – the market for comic books and graphically illustrated novels in the US has grown 12% since 2006. It’s cheap fun.
The race for biomedical and genetic enhancement will rival the space race of the 1960s and 70s. Humanity is ready to pursue biomedical and genetic enhancement, says UCLA ethics professor Gregory Stock. The money is already being invested by major pharmaceutical companies.
Access to electricity has expanded from 40% connected in 1970 to 73% in 2000, and will reach 83% by 2030. Electricity is fundamental to raising living standards and accessing the world’s products and services. Impoverished areas such as sub-Saharan Africa still have low rates of electrification; Uganda is just 3.7% electrified.
Here’s an interesting product prediction from Mintel, a global products research company:
Manufacturers will reach for exotic fruits and fresh, soothing flavors with a touch of spice to jazz up their new products. Nature-inspired aromas will also be a real hit in 2009. From food and drink to household and personal care items, Mintel’s Lynn Dornblaser reveals the new tastes and smells she expects to hit global markets soon:
Persimmon…viewed as a unique and exotic fruit, persimmon is poised to make a major splash in food and beverage. Blended with more common fruits, persimmon is found in a new Japanese yogurt that contains white peaches and apricots.
Star fruit…unusually shaped, distinctly flavored. It will appear in cosmetics and food products.
Lavender…will move beyond the home and personal care categories and into food and beverage next year. Already seen in products such as Lindt Chocolat Lemon-Lavender candy, lavender will be paired with more familiar ingredients to bring a naturally soothing, aromatic quality to food and drink.
While 2009 may be a tough year, entrepreneurs will continue to develop new products and services, regardless of the fiscal climate. That optimistic, confident drive to invent and succeed is the spirit that keeps our American economic engine going.
If you didn’t make last night’s Business After Hours event at Dossenbach’s Finer Furniture, you missed out on a great time! A large crowd gathered at the downtown furniture store, including some new faces which is always great to see.
Alan and his crew put together a very festive BAH with lots of good food, great door prizes and gifts. It was a bit of a haul to get to the actual gathering location in the store and attendees had to follow yellow signs to find their way, but the payoff was great! Everyone was cheerful, business cards were exchanged, Kelly Klug (our fearless Ambassador co-chairperson) and I even did some Ambassador recruiting!
Special thanks to Dossenbach’s for sponsoring the December BAH!!!
Today, the Progress Energy Leedership Sanford Class of 2009 was treated to a tour at the city’s waste water treatment plant, or “reclamation facility” as they call it.
As Bob wasn’t able to take the class on this tour (and has probably done it numerous times before anyway), I (Jennifer) got to go instead. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t thrilled at first…but I am so glad that I got to tag along. It was one of the most interesting field trips I’ve been on…and I’ve been to Angola Prison in Louisiana. On a field trip, I promise.
I highly recommend taking this tour!! All of the employees were very personable and informative. Robert was our tour guide and we couldn’t have asked for better. He is knowledgeable, passionate, humorous and doesn’t speak over your head. We had a great time with him.
Everyone left with smiles on their faces and noted that they’d had a good time. Here are some pictures of the group.
As I said, I highly recommend taking a trip to this facility. You’ll be surprised just how interesting this tour is!
It’s the end of the year which is a pretty quiet time for the Chamber. At least compared to the previous, oh, 5 months. But we still have lots going on!
Last week, despite the terrible weather, we had great attendance at the holiday open house and the Biz in Tough Times seminar. This week, our Leedership Sanford class will meet with city officials, we’re offering our quarterly Member Orientation and Dossenbach’s Finer Furniture is hosting a Business After Hours you won’t want to miss!
And don’t forget! The Chamber Ambassadors are taking applications for 2009. They will only accept 30 Ambassadors!! You can download the application form on line.
The 2009 Sanford Christmas Parade will be here before you know it! I know lots of folks are excited to be a part of this 58 year tradition, so I’m telling you everything you need to know!
For participating as a Parade Friend, a Media Sponsor, Band Sponsor or to buy a Float, download this form and submit it to the Chamber. The sooner the better! sponsorship-information1
If you (and your organization) are interested in being in the parade–either as a marching or motorized unit–download this form and submit it to the Chamber with your information. Remember…all entries must have a Christmas theme. So, if you’re entering your company vehicle, you need to decorate it for Christmas!! parade-participant-form1
Finally, we wanted to share some photos from Christmas Parade Past…these are from our local historian Jimmy Haire. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Do you feel that chill in the morning air? Feels like fall to me. I’m not trying to rush the seasons but before you know it, Christmas will be here. This coming week at the Chamber will start a fast-paced 30 days as we begin preparing for the Sanford Christmas Parade. The parade this year will be a daytime event held on Sunday afternoon, November 23 at 2:30 PM. The parade will follow the traditional route: beginning at the Elks Club going east on Wicker St. to Steele St., then back west on Carthage St. (although Jimmy Haire tells me that early on, the parade traveled down Moore St.).
As those of you who are as old as I am will remember, the parade was produced by the Sanford Jaycees for 58 years. Unfortunately, like many other civic clubs across the country, membership declined to just a few core volunteers. The Chamber was approached about managing this year’s parade and we agreed. What would our community be without a Christmas Parade? (Note: The Central Carolina Jaycees remain a vital organization in our community. Their club recently produced the Pumpkin Festival in support of the Lee County Partnership for Children…visit their website at www.centralcarolinajaycees.org ) We hope we can begin some new traditions and continue some old ones.
We are excited about the possibilities for partnering with our merchants and businesses, as well as our churches and civic organizations. Our aim is to ensure that the parade is a success for all who are involved and affected by it: organizers, participants, merchants along the parade route and certainly those who come to watch.
Of course, it costs money to put on the parade. Bands no longer attend parades for free. Fuel for buses is expensive. Floats, built and decorated by professionals, are costly to rent. In these difficult economic times, the Chamber’s goal for this year’s parade is to break even. Our web site contains the information about participating in this year’s parade. If you have any questions, please call the Chamber at 775-7341.
The Sanford Parade was for many years the largest nighttime parade in North Carolina. This year’s parade will be during the day in the hopes that more families with young children and senior citizens will attend. If the response is good, we’ll continue it as a daytime parade. If not, we’ll switch back to a night event. In cooperation with The Chamber, Downtown Sanford Inc. is planning a community event at Depot Park after the parade. Here is the schedule of events for the afternoon of Sunday, November 23rd:
Noon to 7 pm: Downtown Merchants Holiday Showcase
§ Some downtown merchants will be open and offer special purchase items especially for Christmas shoppers. Some merchants will offer discount coupons to encourage shoppers to return after Sunday for special Christmas purchases.
§ Best window display and best storefront contest
§ The Parade will being at 2:30 in the afternoon and reach Steele St. at approximately 3
§ Following the Parade, Santa will be at Depot Park. Later, a community caroling concert will feature church choirs.
§ The Christmas Tree Lighting will take place at 6 PM.
Thanks to our friends at Sanford Contractors for hosting this month’s Business After Hours. They had a nice crowd come out to visit and network in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. But mostly, everyone there wanted to win the $500!! Congrats to Sam Sillaman of All Digital Printing for taking home the prize!!
Well, not at the same time, but on the same day! This Wednesday, you can come to our Lunch and Learn seminar: Leading Meetings So Your Audience Will Follow. Great if you’re the person running meetings. Also great if you’re the person sitting in the meeting and would like to share some helpful tips to make it better. Sounds like a lunch hour well-spent.
Then, you can join us for a Business After Hours event at Sanford Contractors. The evening promises to be special with a grand prize giveaway of $500 IN CASH!!!! Who wouldn’t want to be there for a prize that great?