Too much uncertainty for smaller to mid-size companies

Barry Zoob

The commercial recovery in Omaha is being driven today by large transactions. It’s the bigger companies making the moves, buying buildings, leasing space or building new headquarters.

The smaller and mid-size companies? They’ve been mostly stagnant.

And this isn’t unusual. In markets across the Midwest, you see bigger companies making the most deals. The smaller firms are mostly sitting on the sidelines.

Why is this? Barry Zoob, senior vice president with the Omaha office of Colliers International, points to uncertainty.

Simply put, mid-size and smaller firms see too many factors both nationally and internationally that they can’t exert any control over. They’re waiting for at least a bit of certainty before they jump back into large-scale commercial deal-making.

“This is an election year, so there is that traditional uncertainty,” Zoob said. “You have a Congress that is locked up and is not really creating any legislation to move the country forward. You have the turmoil in Europe where virtually every country except Germany is upside down with their gross domestic product versus their debt. All of this impacts what might happen with one’s 401(k), IRA or the cash they might have on hand with their businesses. These uncertainties — on top of the fact that the Bush tax deduction is due to expire unless something is done — have a real impact on people. Until we see more clarity in the country and around the globe, companies will continue to take a wait-and-see attitude.”

- Dan Rafter

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