President, The Broken Egg
"I expect a banner season. We’re showing significant increases in sales at all three restaurants, from 7 percent at our Lakewood Ranch location to a high of 28 percent at our newest restaurant on Clark Road, which opened in February 2010. That’s not the norm; I attribute that high increase to a greater awareness of where we’re located there. I’ve talked to a lot of my colleagues in the restaurant business, and everybody’s pretty satisfied with their sales right now."
Owner, Rugs As Art
"Business in 2011 was better than 2010, and we’re seeing in January 2012 a better start than last year, so we’re going in the correct direction. New homeowners are purchasing, we’re seeing remodeling being done, people from overseas—our European buddies—are purchasing and setting up homes, and our designers are busier. In 2008 through 2010, our customers were purchasing lower price points, but now through 2011, they’re going back to slightly higher price points, not over the top. We’re also seeing a movement back into the hand-knotted realm; in 2009 our handmade inventory was almost at a standstill. We were very proud to win a Retailer of the Year award from the Oriental Rug Importers Association in January alongside Jordan’s of Boston and Macy’s. When they announced us, I turned to my wife and said, 'Did they call our name?"
Owner, Blink Tech
"Blink Tech is a web engineering shop; we create websites and go a step further by developing the entire footprint of web entrepreneurship—content, security, etc. Our pipeline of business is the best we’ve had in years, but until we have ink on the contract, it’s paperwork at best. I work with a lot of start-ups, and since December, we’ve had a noticeable shift in calls coming in. For me, it means people psychologically are feeling this is the time to do that. It’s like in football: When you throw the football, you don’t aim at the player, you aim where the player is going to go. We’re positioning ourselves for mobile web development right now. That’s absolutely the focus, because in the next year we believe that the critical mass will go towards mobile access."