The economy continues to grow, but relatively slow. That was part of the message delivered by Dr. Ed Seifried, professor emeritus of economics and business at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., during the Denton Chamber of Commerce quarterly membership luncheon Thursday at the University of North Texas Gateway Center.
“It’s as if the economy is waiting until the results of this year’s election,” Seifried said. “Trouble in Europe is causing cash flows into safe harbors, and interest rates in Germany, United Kingdom and, particularly, the U.S., are dropping to record lows.
“However, I doubt most recent interest rate stimulus will do much for housing or other rate-sensitive industries at this point.”
Seifried said interest rates have hit rock bottom and are close to zero, and since there is no negative interest rate, it could be a good time for small businesses to consider renovations to their facilities and for homeowners to consider refinancing.
He advised keeping interest rates near zero until at least 2014, the year rates are expected to increase, according to the Federal Open Market Committee.
Additionally, Seifried said, a cheaper dollar could mean a growing export sector.
During his presentation, Seifried spent a good amount of time focusing on the country’s energy independence movement.
“I believe if we can find the political will to continue exploration and recovery, the movement will be difficult to stop,” he said. “It seems clear we have very robust and deep supplies of natural gas throughout many regions of the country.
“We need market forces to help ratchet up the demand for this fuel so an equilibrium price level can be reached in the market that will satisfy both producers and consumers.”
Seifried pointed to Peterbilt and other companies like it that are already switching its vehicles to natural gas and allowing the country to become more energy independent.
“Once that occurs, investors will be pleasantly surprised as the GDP [gross domestic product] growth rate moves to higher and higher levels,” he said. “We can also anticipate significant job growth once the energy independence movement moves forward.”
Also, during the chamber event, Tony Clark, president and CEO of Northstar Bank, and Michele Barber, senior vice president, provided a $2,000 donation to Serve Denton, a new local nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and helping other nonprofits in Denton County.
Linwood-Alford Florist and Oxide Gallery will be moving from 501 W. Hickory to 231 W. Hickory St. by Aug. 1.
Warren Hooper, owner of Linwood-Alford Florist, said moving to a new location will allow the business to be closer to Denton’s historic downtown Square. It will also allow the business to become a more active part of the local community.
In addition to a new location of 3,000 square feet, the business will introduce a new name: Oxide Fine Art & Floral Gallery.
“This new concept combines the best of Linwood-Alford Florists’ floral talent with Oxide’s dedication to showcasing the talents of our local artists,” Hooper wrote in an e-mail.
Hooper called it a natural merging of the two businesses into one unified vision.
“The flower shop has been changing for the past year into something more, and this is the final step in that change. The new name fits my new vision for the future.”
For more information, visit the Facebook page under “Oxide Gallery.”
The Aldi grocery chain will open its latest store in Dallas on Thursday.
The new store will showcase Aldi’s new look with higher ceilings, improved natural lighting and environmentally friendly building materials such as recycled materials and energy-saving refrigeration and light bulbs, according to a news release.
Additionally, Aldi will also open another store in Cedar Hill on June 21.
Aldi opened 75 stores in the United States in 2011 and plans to open more than 80 stores by the end of this year. ALDI has approximately 1,200 U.S. stores located in 32 states.
When asked about a possible Denton Aldi grocery store, Charlie Rice-Minoso, a spokesman with Weber and Shandwick public relations firm, said the company has plans to open a Denton location next year.
“However, we cannot provide specific dates or locations at this time,” he wrote in an e-mail.
The company has a 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Denton but, as of yet, no local supermarket.
For more information, visit www.aldi.us.
Basic broadband is available to 97.08 percent of Texas households, up from 96.76 percent last October, leaving 260,419 (180,000 rural) state households unable to connect to basic, non-mobile, high-speed Internet.
The findings were part of a report released Thursday by Connected Texas, an entity that wants increased broadband Internet access, adoption and use across the state.
This release reflects Connected Texas’ fifth round of broadband data updates to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a news release said.
The data, gathered as part of the State Broadband Initiative program, is used to populate the National Broadband Map.
The findings are also part of the very first Broadband Summit to take place Tuesday in Dallas.
For more information, visit http://www.connectedtx.org.
In celebration of the upcoming summer season, Dogwood Estates, an independent senior retirement community, will provide “Spring into Summer” events Friday through Sunday.
Events include special summer treats from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday and a complimentary supper for those who RSVP, a Lemonade Happy Hour from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday and a Holiday Luau from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Dogwood Estates is located at 2820 Wind River Lane in Denton.
For more information, or to RSVP, call 940-383-8600.
The Denton Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Commerce program will have a Red, White & Jazz wine tasting event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 14 at the Milestone, 9850 Jim Christal Road in Krum.
Wine education will be provided by The Cellar 22 and Wine Squared.
Entertainment will be provided by the University of North Texas College of Music Jazz Trio and appetizers will be provided by Hannah’s Off the Square and the Cupboard.
The event will include a raffle for donated prizes.
Cost is $30 per person or $50 per couple.
For more information, visit www.denton-chamber.org or call 940-382-9693.
A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II Aerial Demonstration will be featured at the 2012 Denton Airshow on June 16.
The event will also feature Ray Kinney in the Commemorative Air Force FG1D Corsair, Mike Gallaway in the Extra 300, Aaron Taylor in his T-6 Texan, Adam Baker in the Pitts S2, the Texas Twisters, Andrew Wright and many more attractions.
Static displays will include both modern and vintage aircraft to celebrate Father’s Day weekend, according to a news press release.
Gates open at 8:30 a.m. at the Denton Airport, 5000 Airport Road.
Cost is $10 for adults and children; kids younger than 6 are free.
For more information, call 940-484-1603.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.