Local business leaders say President Barack Obama’s re-election brings some certainty but many uncertainties, and challenges remain.
“The most certain thing about the election (Tuesday) is that we now know who the president is for the next four years,” said Mark Maassel, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum.
However, Maassel said the election doesn’t remove the uncertainty around the situations in Europe and Asia, the softness of the economy and the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
“The challenges remain,” Maassel said. “I think every business person is looking forward to a continuation of some of the policies they have seen put in place. Certainly the health care issue will remain. That is going to present some huge challenges not only to employers but to the health care providers themselves.”
Regarding health care, Gene Diamond, CEO of Franciscan Alliance's Northern Indiana Region, said the re-election of Obama maintains the status quo as far as "Obamacare" is concerned. The law is likely to be fully implemented.
“We have assumed this would be the case, so we have continued to prepare accordingly,” Diamond said. “Those preparations will, if anything, accelerate as new regulations implementing the law go into effect during the coming months."
Maassel said that the “financial cliff” when a number of tax breaks disappear in January will impact both individuals and businesses.
Maassel said Northwest Indiana is as well positioned as possible for economic growth.
“Our state has made many huge strides during the last several years to reposition ourselves for the future,” Maassel said.
Maassel cited Indiana’s balanced budget, the vast improvement in terms of getting environmental permits put in place and the significant improvement in air quality as positive steps in the right direction.
Century 21 Executive broker/Realtor Saso Joveski said no matter who the president is the ultimate responsibility for success or failure comes down to the individual.
“You're going to progress and better yourself and find motivation to make a successful business, or be a great employee and treat others with compassion and respect or you'll find excuses to blame the president, whoever it might be, for your short comings and failures,” Joveski said.
“... As long as we grasp the concept that the president only has so much of an impact on this country, we will really dictate the rest. If I am going to spend my day complaining, I am not going to get anything done.”