The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and Salem Golf Club hosted a multi-chamber mixer event on Thursday, February 8, entitled “Forecast Your Future: What to Expect for Your Business in 2018. Jen Zinzi, executive director of the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce welcomed the attendees from various businesses and introduced the moderator Amy Polacko, Arbonne International.
Panelist Kathy Boyle, president Chapin Hill Advisors Inc. presented a realistic approach that some found a bit hard to swallow. The housing market is being affected by the lack of new homeowners. Millennials are coming home to roost. “60% of 25 year olds are living at home,” explained Ms. Boyle, “and 30% of 30 year olds. With 85 million millennials, that number is astounding. Ms. Boyle also stated that those planning to retire need to take a hard look at how much you will need to have saved in order to live comfortably. People are living longer. A 65-year-old woman today, has a life expectancy of 87. In our area with annual expenses averaging around $150,000 per year, that means you will need about 3 million in savings. The numbers were shocking, but the math is undeniable.
Panelist Brian Reklaitis, vice president, M&T Bank, had good news for business owners looking to expand. Banks are looking to provide small business loans and angel investors are looking for good investment opportunities. “Interest rates are low right now,” explained Mr. Reklaitis, “if you have plans to invest in new equipment or a new location, this is a good time to explore your options.” Moderator, Amy Polack added that businesses owners should make sure they go to a banker that is well versed in small business loans.
Panelist Collene Torres, tax supervisor, Reynolds & Rowella, discussed the changes coming with the new tax laws. Business owners were advised to talk to their accountants about the changes. “Changes that may seem negative,” Ms. Torres clarified, “may be offset by a changes that will have a positive affect on your bottom line or at least balance out.”
Following the presentation and a brief Q&A, attendees mingled as they enjoyed a variety of refreshments provided by the Salem Golf Club and mini readings with a Tarot Card reader, healer, astrologer or psychic. Tours were also given of the Salem Golf Club’s new fitness center.
“An informative event like this offer an opportunity for neighboring Chambers to network,” stated Rose Aglieco, Executive Director of Brewster Chamber of Commerce, “Salem Golf Club was an excellent central location and it’s new fitness center is beautiful.” Salem Golf Club is located at 18 Bloomer Rd, North Salem, NY 10560.