Jim Pederson, Pederson Group, Inc.

from Jim Pederson

The New Year always feels a bit like a refresher for us in business ­— the start of something new and a time to recharge. With where our economy has been, I can’t think of a time when ringing in the New Year was more welcome. As a businessman and someone who has been vested in Valley business and our public policy for many years, I am especially pleased to have been asked to guest edit this January 2011 edition.

Our state legislature is in a unique situation as they begin their 50th Session this month. With budget deficits projected over the next several years, the loss of thousands of jobs and the sour real estate market, there is plenty that our legislature will be looking to do to improve our economic situation.

Our political leaders and we in the private sector must not be short-sighted in acknowledging what it will take to bring higher-paid jobs to Arizona and to sustain the businesses we already have. Priority number one needs to be the development and improvement of our work force. This involves job training, education and maintaining the sustainability of our quality of life. Without significant investment to satisfy these objectives, the prospects for quality job growth will be limited.

In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh has spoken with leaders of both parties, leaders of the business community and heads of our strongest local business organizations to explore their efforts in shaping and improving our economic condition and job picture for 2011. While much of their efforts will be focused on balancing our state budget, there is important legislation, powerful partnerships and innovative private sector thinking that will make for a hard-working and substantive new year.

As In Business Magazine takes a look at major sectors of the Arizona economy, in this issue, Kate Nolan focuses on manufacturing and asks the question, “Can we compete?” She finds that with some state and municipal incentives, and a concentration on efforts in high-tech, biotech and new types of manufacturing such as sustainable energy, Arizona is getting noticed and has the potential to become a leader in this sector.

With the success of online retail over the holidays last month, e-commerce is becoming as much a part of business as marketing and store-front sales. Don Harris looks at the power of e-commerce and how it is changing the way we do business. He provides some tips and advice from local businesspeople to point out the power of leveraging a good plan.

I know that you will enjoy this issue, as In Business Magazine is truly all about engaging us as businesspeople in the economic development and public policy that will shape our economy and put us back on top.

Jim Pederson
Pederson Group, Inc.

James E. Pederson is CEO of The Pederson Group, Inc., a Phoenix-based real estate development company established in 1983 with more than 5 million square feet of successful neighborhood, community and specialty retail centers throughout Arizona.

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