Op­ti­mism or pes­simism in 2016?

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - Blake Doyle is The Guardian’s small busi­ness colum­nist. He can be reached at blake@is­landrecruit­ing.com.

As most peo­ple fi­nally get a mo­ment to catch their breath from a busy Christ­mas sea­son, a pe­riod of rest and re­flec­tion can be­gin. Many will con­sider the year that is com­ing to a close and look for­ward to a fresh start into a new year.

If your glass of eg­gnog is half empty, there is much to be con­cerned with. How­ever, if you are an op­ti­mist then a fresh start brings ex­cit­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The price of fuel is un­ex­pect­edly low, and should re­flect lower through the course of the com­ing months. With­out an­a­lyz­ing the con­se­quences of low fuel prices, the av­er­age Is­lan­der will be warmer with a few ex­tra dol­lars in the jeans each month.

For many Is­lan­ders fed­eral in­come taxes will drop, sym­bol­i­cally, this year and provin­cial min­i­mum wages will in­crease. Again, com­plex­i­ties to both of th­ese ac­tions but the net re­sult is most peo­ple will have a lit­tle more money to cir­cu­late in the econ­omy and hope­fully stim­u­late our lo­cal busi­nesses.

Un­for­tu­nately, some peo­ple will not main­tain their em­ploy­ment in 2016. While fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally dis­rup­tive, this too creates an op­por­tu­nity. A chance to rein­vent your po­si­tion in the labour mar­ket, maybe adapt to en­trepreneur­ship or trans­form to a new ca­reer. Change can be good and in the medium-term things tend to bal­ance out net pos­i­tive.

Any­one who doesn't make an in­come from snow re­moval has to be skip­ping along side­walks th­ese days. We have been spared a good six weeks of win­ter. At this point we re­al­is­ti­cally have not more than 10 weeks left. The days are get­ting longer and we can look for­ward to an oc­ca­sional thaw to keep spir­its up.

What are we miss­ing? We touched on the weather, the econ­omy, price of fuel....oh yes,... pol­i­tics.

Well there is some­thing to be said for hav­ing po­lit­i­cal align­ment on the fed­eral and provin­cial lev­els. The stars have con­nected from that per­spec­tive, but they are well lined up across the na­tion po­ten­tially di­lut­ing gross im­pacts. If ever there ever were a time in our econ­omy where we may look to fed­eral eco­nomic in­vest­ment, this would be the pe­riod. I am op­ti­mistic the econ­omy will ben­e­fit from this align­ment in 2016.

With en­thu­si­asm for rea­sons be­yond those touched upon I am op­ti­mistic about the com­ing year, clos­ing 2015 and a fresh start to a new cal­en­dar year. Wish­ing all the best of the sea­son and into the new year!

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