Despite Housing’s Woes, Florida Dealers Still Have Many OpportunitiesBy Chris Wilmot
Article Date: 01-01-2008
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
AED At-Large Director
Flagler Construction Equipment,
The "pot of gold" is still in Florida. The past few years of economic growth have been unprecedented in recent history, but 2007 brought a market correction driven by an overbuilt and overpriced housing market. Florida led the nation in this area; we now face a foreclosure crisis that will carry through most of 2008. We face several more challenges before we turn the corner and growth returns.
The rising fuel costs and pending legislation that affect mining and aggregate production could have a huge impact on all the construction-related markets. However, not all is lost. Research shows that 600 people a day are still moving to Florida. This, coupled with a $3.8 billion transportation budget and nearly 1,500 bridges in need of repair or replacement, should improve traffic congestion and keep road and bridge contractors busy for 2008.
Nonresidential markets are still a bright spot for Florida. The continued growth of urban development drives citizens to live closer to where they work. This opens new city centers that become new work communities. The need for new schools and improved education resources is a high priority for state legislation.
Equipment dealers in Florida have all reinvested in their businesses in the past four years. We have improved facilities, made technology a priority, raised the competency of our employees and improved the levels of service to our mutual customers. All of these improvements will be necessary as we try to serve a shriking market in 2008.
The challenge that Florida equipment dealers will have in 2008 is to match customer needs to businesses that were built to handle much larger volumes. Our plan for 2008 is to stay the course, recognize the problems our good customers are also experiencing and be there with an umbrella when it is raining!
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