To eat, the generous hosts of LACC and Wells Fargo, the sponsors of the Monthly Lunch, had assembled a buffet table for their gracious guests, which included bowls of chili, baked potatoes, baked chicken breasts, broccoli, mixed fruit, and a delicious apple turnover that was impossible to refuse. It’s safe to say that all attendees left the event with stomachs as full as their minds and hearts!
Following the meal, guests were ushered into a conference room to begin the speaking portion of the Monthly Lunch, at which time the room was presented with a PowerPoint that read “Connecting, Empowering, Mentoring, Growing,” a core mission of the LACC and a message in itself.
The first portion of speakers was for the “Cultural Minute,” in which it was said that, moving forward, LACC members and event attendees would be offered “more of an experience with art,” as they work to implement “major incentives for the Mint Museum to serve the LACC.”
The second portion of speakers was entitled “Legal Minute,” in which Moses Luski, a representative lawyer of Shumaker, Loop, & Kendrick, LLP, provided guests with “tax tips for the New Year.” After providing three tips, which included tips for small business owners and for employers under the PPACA, Luski left the crowd informed and prepared to utilize his tax tips. At this time, the third portion of speakers, “Community Minute,” was welcomed to the stage.
After the initial minutes were concluded, Astrid Chirinos, the Executive Director of the LACC, extended her gratitude to LACC members, volunteers, and Monthly Lunch attendees, saying, “I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
Shortly thereafter, Jay H. Bryson, a Managing Director and Global Economist, was welcomed to the stage to discuss the current state of the global economy, as well as its future.
“In general,” Bryson began, “what we’re looking for is expansion at, albeit, a relatively low pace.”
Bryson discussed the fact that 2/3 of economy is consumer spending, noting, “Growth in consumer spending likely will remain rather slow.”
He went on to say, “There are still some things that we think will cause headwinds to consumer spending.”
Among these "headwinds,"
“One piece of good news,” he added, “housing is starting to come back,” comparing inflation to the traditional tale of Goldilocks: “not too hot; not too cold.”
On the topic of economy in developing countries, Bryson commended the strength of “the economic state of most developing countries, particularly Latin American countries."
He went on to say, “Most developing countries have either a Current Account surplus or very manageable Current Account deficits.”
The state of the economy of developing countries has, according to Bryson, “improved dramatically over the past 20 years.” He attributes this improved state of economy to low inflation rates and controlled government spending and budget.
“It’s another slow year for the global economy,” said Bryson. “It’s not a recession, but it’s a slow year.”
He ended his discourse with a piece of advice for small business owners during this year in the economy: “Do your homework.” He assured them that they should still strive to expand their businesses but that “caution is still advised.”
Following his closing remarks, Bryson welcomed attendees of the LACC Monthly Lunch to participate in a Question and Answer session.
One attendee asked, “Do you think the consumer can ever return to the way he or she was?” to which Bryson responded, “I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to 3%, but, yes, we will go back to normal.”
He further developed his answer, by adding, “The good news is that consumers continue to spend; the bad news is that it isn’t where it was.”
A second attendee asked, “What has happened to the value of the dollar?” to which Bryson responded by providing the “upsides of a weaker currency,” like less expensive exports, an increase in the prices of imports, and an increase in GDP growth. He did, however, cite increased inflation as a damaging effect of currency devaluation.
The Monthly Lunch was concluded when Bryson received a Certificate of Appreciation from the LACC.
Chirinos thanked attendees for their participance, saying, “We wish you great prosperity, health, and happiness in 2013.”
The CGR Creative team left the event feeling enlightened, inspired, and excited to be involved with an organization as sensational as the Latin American Chamber of Commerce. They extended their sincerest gratitude, saying that they look forward to attending similar events in the future.
For more information on the LACC, or about their Latin American Women's Carnival on February 9, visit http://www.lacccharlotte.com. To learn more about CGR Creative's marketing in Charlotte, visit http://www.cgrcreative.com.