President Obama easily won re-election on Tuesday, now he has the unenviable task of dealing with an impending “fiscal cliff” of mandatory budget cuts, tax increases and deficit reduction, and unemployment that remains stubbornly high.
Locally, business owners in Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park and Beverly are hopeful the economy is on track but they have concerns.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said John Appleton, owner of Red Wing Shoes at 3347 W. 95th St. in Evergreen Park.
“The economy is a far greater picture than who the president is,” he said. “Problems in Europe affect us as the world economy is so intertwined.”
“Unless there’s compromise between Obama and Congress over the fiscal cliff, we face the real possibility of a recession,” he said.
Appleton is also concerned about the lack of jobs.
“Unemployment will remain a problem for the next four years,” he said. “Partly because businesses are looking to make former full-time jobs into part-time positions and partly because the president is not in tune with the country.”
Taxes remain a sticking point for the economic recovery for Tom Galateo, owner of Kenwood Liquors at 10750 S. Cicero Ave. in Oak Lawn.
“Over taxation takes spending money away from people,” he said. “It interferes with the natural growth of the economy.”
“I still think we’re in a recession,” he said. “We need more jobs so people can earn money. That’s where taxes should come from, putting people back to work.”
“As a businessman, I’m hopeful the president will lead us in the right direction and we can move forward and get back to business. Everything has been on hold for the past year because of the election,” Galeteo said.
Randy Dreznes, co-owner of Beverly Records and Costumes at 11628 S. Western Ave. in the Beverly community, says he’s glad the election is over.
“Now that he has his second term, Obama is going to try to get a few things done,” he said. “If Romney had been elected, he would have spent his time trying to get re-elected. That’s what politicians do.”
“I’m positive and optimistic about the next four years,” he said. “Obama might be on to something. A lot of the people like him.”
Dreznes said the job picture remains a concern.
“It seems that more people are working, but I think the government needs to fund new jobs for public works projects. Then the jobs need to be distributed honestly.”