“It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.” —Anonymous

If it’s at all possible, we may be in the midst of a most un-recovery-like economic recovery. To many, it doesn’t look or feel much like a recovery. In fact, there have been some very confusing messages. Talk of double dips and stagnation in housing. Murmurs of deflation and quantitative easing. The progress of the recovery seems to be almost glacial.

As the economy worsened, prudence demanded cutting back and riding out the storm. And while the economic challenges resulting from the recession may not be completely over, when will we emerge from our places of safety? When will businesses begin expanding again? When will consumers feel confident enough to borrow? When will we stop looking past someone else—politicians, others in business, our neighbors—to be the source of the economic momentum that we need?

From my perspective, as someone in the business of lending money and helping people make wise financial decisions, the best way to explain what I’ve seen is something I remember from junior high dances. As the dance begins, there are couples all around, but none are dancing. They are waiting…waiting for someone to take to the floor first.

We are at a similar place with our recovery. While we likely no longer face an economic recession, the pace of recovery is slower and more uneven than we have seen in the recent past. What we face now is a recession of confidence. And the question we must ask ourselves is whether our business growth and activity suffers from the economic environment or whether the economy is suffering from a lack of business activity?

Everyone has to make a decision for themselves that fits their situation. But as individuals and business owners consider what to do next, let me point out some of the positives right now:

As Helen Keller once said, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” The Peoria community has so much to offer. It’s a great place to live and work, and despite all that has happened, there is hope. And promise. And the underlying confidence that the people and character of this community shall prevail.

There is ample reason to act, to move boldly and with confidence. The question is: Who will seize the moment and be among the first
to move?
iBi