So far, Spokane, Wash., has managed to avoid some of the economic troubles seen in other areas of the country. Jobs are growing, and unemployment went down sharply in September, according to state figures. But Marvin Reguindin, president and creative director of Thinking Cap Communications and Design, a multiservice marketing firm, has noticed a drop-off in business lately, mainly from his larger clients.
“They’re being a bit more cautious,” he says, adding that established companies with more money and ability to weather economic stress are nevertheless holding off on new spending. On the other hand, entrepreneurs just starting out are making up a larger portion of Reguindin’s revenue base. That’s because new companies, with financing and short-term contracts in hand, have no choice but to move forward with their business plans.
Reguindin says he makes sure to have a healthy mix of clients -- new and old, big and small -- so he’s not too dependent on one type of company to make a living. But if the economic downturn worsens, he says he may have to dedicate more of his time to finding new clients, and they might be less likely to pay his going rate. As it stands, Reguindin’s hopes of turning a profit this year have been dashed. Instead, he’s looking at a loss.
But lower revenues haven’t made an impact on Reguindin’s quality of life. He credits that to Spokane, where people cook at home regularly, bring their lunches to work, and in general don’t spend money excessively. “People are here for the lifestyle,” he says. “They’re more cautious about how they spend their disposable incomes.”
Still, Reguindin has begun to question even the occasional splurge, like the dinner he and his partner wanted to attend for $80 per person. A year ago they would have gone without pause; now they deliberated whether it was worth it before accepting. “We’re still doing the same things,” he says. “We’re just thinking about them a little bit longer.”
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