Economic Forecasts: Retail Trade, Business Development, Commercial Real Estate, Community Development and Not-for-Profit | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record


Frank wallmeyer

Owner and President, Standard Feed and Seed Inc.

Frank wallmeyer

Main problem: inflation, which is the sum of the higher costs of raw materials, labor, energy and freight plus the cost of the disruption of the supply chain.

To try to lessen the blow to our customers, it required us to be extremely diligent in sourcing and asking a lot of questions.

Are we sure we have the best price? Should we consider using another provider? Is there an acceptable substitute? How much is the freight? What are the terms? Can we get guaranteed prices by pre-booking orders? So what can we do to be smarter, more efficient, and better control in-store spending? How long can we hold our prices before we have to increase them?

At the end of the day, we cannot stop or prevent inflation, but we can do everything in our power to try to mitigate its damaging effects on our customers.


Ben hakimian

President, Hakimian Holdings Inc.

Ben hakimian

Main Problem: As a commercial property acquisition and redevelopment company, it has become increasingly difficult to find economically reasonable deals.

There is a kind of ‘buy it all’ sentiment in the market nationwide, fueled mainly by low interest rates and higher inflation projections.

The real estate industry as a whole is cyclical in nature and although this new environment has prolonged the expansion period longer than in a normal cycle, as always, nothing goes up forever.

There is an old saying in real estate that “when non-professionals start investing, it’s the beginning of the end for growth” and we see a lot of things happening.

With that in mind, we have refinanced many of our properties and taken a higher cash position in anticipation of the downturn, which we believe will provide more opportunities with stronger fundamentals and a higher return on capital.


David smith

president, Smith McKee Construction LLC; President 2022, NAIOP Northeast Florida

David smith

Main problem: the evolution of the workforce.

The current labor shortages affecting the supply chain and logistics coupled with the evolution of the office workplace are causing various impacts on the commercial real estate industry.

In this environment, the response strategy must be focused on offering creative solutions and alternatives to traditional processes, means and methods to meet market demands.

This requires setting the right expectations with customers early in the process and being proactive in proposing actions that will meet their needs while mitigating cost and schedule issues.

Communication is as always essential, with parties at all stages of the transaction and delivery processes expected to provide a high level of transparency and flexibility as CRE teams help navigate the evolving challenges of this market.


Travis L. Williams

Vice President of Operations and Impact, LIFT JAX

Travis L. Williams

Main Issue: To ensure that the continued economic recovery equitably reaches all communities.

LIFT JAX has brought together business, philanthropic, civic and community leaders to address these challenges by implementing the Custom Built Communities approach for neighborhood revitalization.

This place-based approach to community transformation is built on four pillars: mixed-income housing, community well-being, cradle-to-career education and long-term financial vitality.

We were fortunate enough to partner with the Historic Eastside community to implement this approach and bring this national model to Jacksonville. In 2022, we plan to do our part to ensure that community development work is thoughtful, strategic, financially supported, and done “with” and not “to” the community.

We also ensure that the progress we make is sustainable. Our partnership with leaders and community organizations, namely the CDC Historic Eastside, is key to ensuring sustainability and designing solutions that residents want to see in their own neighborhood.


Husband Kuraishi

President and CEO, Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Husband Kuraishi

Main problem: The upward pressure on wages and many critical inputs.

While these may seem like universal issues facing the entire economy, unlike the for-profit sector, the non-profit sector cannot pass the higher prices on to consumers.

The double whammy also comes from the fact that the salaries of nonprofits are generally lower than those of the for-profit sector. As a granting foundation with long-standing relationships with many of our grantees, the duPont Fund launched in 2020 experiential training programs to improve our grantees’ ability to cope with the rapid pace of change.

Our grantees told us in 2019 that they value support beyond grants. Capacity building programs focus on improving transparency and building trust; listen to clients and constituents and act on that feedback; improve digital fundraising skills; and how to create diverse, equitable and inclusive boards.

Over 120 beneficiaries have participated in our programs and we look forward to continuing them.

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