On Sunday, The Maui News ran a couple of stories that featured local business people looking at prospects for 2010 on the Valley Isle.
While one certainly couldn't characterize their outlook as rosy, the underlying feature of all of them was that 2010 will be a stabilizing year and that 2011 will bring a recovery.
That thinking is certainly in line with a speech we heard economist Paul Brewbaker give in November. Brewbaker, too, emphasized that our two core products - the visitor industry and real estate - are dependent on a turnaround on the Mainland. There are signs that turnaround is beginning, but Brewbaker pointed out that our economy typically lags behind the Mainland by six months to a year.
One other note, too - stability is a good sign. Any recovery has to begin with stopping the decline.
It was interesting to read about the confidence some business people have - they are expanding. Lahaina businessman Michael Moore and his partners, Robert Aguiar and Tim Moore, are opening a new restaurant, Star Noodle, in February. Their company, Hoaloha Na Eha Ltd., already operates Old Lahaina Luau, Aloha Mixed Plate and Hoaloha Catering. They also own half of three other restaurants here.
Marmac Ace Hardware is looking for a good location for a store in Wailuku. Owner David Marrs told the newspaper that if it doesn't happen in 2010, it probably will in 2011.
Recoveries occur when consumer confidence comes back. Perhaps we consumers need to take a lesson from Moore and Marrs - confidence and optimism are the keys to success.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.