The Curry Coastal Pilot

Every year, when the organizers of the Business Outlook Conference sit down to finalize the agenda, there are always too many topics and ideas. It is a challenge to fit everything we would like to cover into the one-day format, and still leave an hour or so at the end of the business day for everyone to go back and clear up any messages.

When the conference convenes on Tuesday, the topics make it clear that 2009 is a year of changes and challenges. Presented by the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce, the Business Outlook Conference organizers are chamber president Les Cohen, Lee Musser of Musser Accounting, Aleta Mankamyer and Peggy Goergen of Southwestern Oregon Community College, and Curry Coastal Pilot Publisher Charles Kocher.

The normal conference format has some items that are very popular with participants. A quick national economic overview from Dr. John Mitchell is always a hit. Giving the crowd enough time to network is important, and so is spotlighting a successful area business. Focusing on one special issue saves everyone some time and trouble to get information and training; this year it's employment issues.

But when the organizers looked at the rest of the format this year, it became clear that there were some changes in the economic scene that could be reflected in the schedule.

We all know times are tough for every industry, so the typical review of local situations instead became a Business Survival Panel. With very little new construction going on, the Futures Forum will focus on the changes coming in health care. Some change is already here, so the final segment talks about "Going Green" and then adjourns to tour the eco-friendly Welcome Center at Crissey Field.

If nothing else, the day will give everyone involved an opportunity to compare notes about making it through the year. We hope you find it important enough to join us Tuesday.