Keep an Eye on the Economy

It’s always a good idea to keep on eye on the economy – whether you’re a local small business owner, or employed by the State of Colorado. Economic indicators can help you determine a wise household spending plan, as well as guide fiscal decision making for your business. So, how are things looking right now, and what should you be focused on? Colorado based hard money lender Glen Weinberg thinks you should be keeping track of how many times you’ve eaten fast food in the last month. If his measure works, he’s doing better than the Federal Reserve.

According to Weinberg, there is a strong correlation between the general economy and fast food restaurant sales. “Historically, sales at fast food restaurants have a strong correlation with general economy which means as one metric moves the other metric typically moves in tangent.” Fast food sales reflect the availability of discretionary income to consumers. If your business relies on discretionary income, it may be a good idea to keep tabs on fast food sales. In 2015, three of the top five showed declining sales compared to 2014, and the overall, sales for the top five were down.

You may also want to monitor apartment vacancies – if they are low, it generally means that people have a good reason (such as a good jobs) to stick around. But keep in mind, not all vacancy increases are a result of people leaving the area. The current increase in Metro Denver apartment vacancies is not a signal of weakening economy, but a simple matter of supply finally passing demand as large numbers of new units have been added to the housing market here in Colorado. A good way to examine what might be behind increased vacancy rate is to look at rent. If rent is still going up, even though there are more vacancies, there’s a good chance housing is still in high demand. According to Denver Business Journal Reporter, Molly Armbrister, year-over-year fourth quarter average apartment rental rates in Metro Denver increased “…in spite of a jump in the average apartment vacancy rate from 4.6 percent to 6.8 percent in the same period.

If your business is experiencing growing pains in either direction, it may be a good time to talk to an attorney. If you need legal help, be sure to contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Attorney. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email:

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