No one needs to tell any entrepreneur in California that the business climate in the state is constantly wavering. But a report by the California State Assembly has confirmed it.

California is experiencing drastically higher costs of doing business compared with the rest of the nation.

A survey of these components showed there are weaknesses that threaten California’s long-term economic strength. In particular, the state needs to improve its government fiscal policies so that it can make long-term investments in infrastructure, K-12 education, and work-force development. If the state does not regain competitiveness in these areas, it is expected that the state’s advantages in entrepreneurship, finance and technology will erode.

According to the survey, 66 percent of small business owners felt the business climate in California was poor or very poor, with the top issues being the rising cost of healthcare, quality of education, infrastructure, regulations, energy, taxes, immigration, workers compensation and access to capital.

With the economy struggling in its current state, many businesses are wondering what they can do to stay afloat during these difficult economic times.

The No. 1 thing businesses have always been advised to do is to save during the good times so that they are able to invest during the bad times.

The worst thing businesses can do during hard economic times, according to the experts, is cutback on marketing and advertising. While the competition is cutting back, small businesses are able to spend their way to increased market share, making their businesses stronger.

Additionally the recession makes it a good time to take advantage of deflation by considering various investment opportunities. Many contractors, suppliers, and landlords are desperate for business and highly discount their products and services for those in position to take advantage of these situations.

In times of great upheaval in society, the very foundations of life and business undergo changes that transform industries and companies, and redefine the way business is conducted and profits are realized.

One emerging trend, according to economist Peter Dawson, is the frugal consumer.
“Consumerism will not be the same following the great recession. We have entered an era of the frugal consumer. This is a shift towards a more permanent condition of consumerism, which will change the way businesses operate. Companies of all sizes will need to re-evaluate old business assumptions and adapt to new conditions. People of all income and demographic levels are reducing compulsive spending and carefully looking for value and products that provide greater meaning to their lives.”

Another emerging trend comes with the aging of the millennial generation. Also known as Generation Y, and including those born between 1978 and 2000, this group is 75 million strong. Having lived the digital life, their entrance into the work force has enabled them to be more adaptable, collaborative and innovative than any other generation.

Generation Y is much more accepting of diversity and how they embrace all cultures, classes and community. Neil Howe has been a great predictor of generational impact on American society. Howe sees the nation entering a crisis point and believes the millennials will lead the country out of it and that businesses will have to embrace the youth unlike ever before.

Green business is nothing new, yet what is different that it’s now becoming a movement for many companies. Given a presidential push, the green movement has accelerated into overdrive. With billions in government stimulus funds and venture capital, the earth-friendly companies in biofuels, solar, wind and more will stand to reap big rewards going forward as the face of commerce changes for the benefit of Mother Earth.

“These business trends will pose a challenge for business and society as a whole. What we see now is an entire restructuring of the world as we know it. Business will need the agility and adaptability to ride these trends into the future,” says Dawson.

Our Weekly is doing its part to keep up with the trends by following the business experts’ advice with the introduction of the West Coast Business, Technology, Green and Health Expo. Not only has the company decided to expand its business portfolio in the middle of a recession, but it has also managed to incorporate green living and sustainability into the Expo. And it has, from the beginning, strived to keep up with the times with emerging technology and a relatively young staff.

Visitors to the Expo, which will be held on August 12-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, will get to witness Our Weekly’s innovative prowess and experience the numerous business workshops, job fair, Jr. Business Camp, celebrity fashion show, Gospel concert, Healthier You competition, celebrity chefs, food demonstration, and much more. Businesses interested in participating should call (323) 905-1306. Also, check the website at www.WestCoastExpo.biz.