Recession Survival

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 27, 2009 at 7:50 PM EDT

How long will the recession and its drag on the local economy last?

An expert with the Greater Binghamton Chamber shared his estimate at an economic development forum.

And one local business shares its insight to how to speed up recovery.

Here's Action News reporter Landon Sears.

"Hopefully we'll see some relief by the end of 2010 is what I'm hearing," said Frank Berrish of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Economic Development.

The end of 2010.

These business leaders meeting with the Greater Binghamton Chamber hear they should prepare to ride out two more full years of recession.

Akraturn President Doug Gardner is ahead of the curve.

"Our business is doing well because we've seen the recession coming and we purchased equipment to make our business competitive with overseas companies. "China. That's our biggest competitor," said Gardner.

Aktraturn has manufacturing sites here in Johnson City and Kirkwood.

It cuts metal for use in other industries.

Revenue was up 77 percent in the last year.

Gardner says Akraturn invested more than 1 million dollars into this high tech laser machine to make metal plates like this one better and faster.

He says they did it to keep jobs and production going here in the Southern Tier and to compete with their main competitors overseas.

Akraturn has doubled it's employment from 17 to 34 jobs in the past year.

Gardner believes other companies should invest more money in their workforce and improving their products instead of looking to cut costs.

"If we can go in with customers and convince them to buy it here, it'll all turn around. It will all turn around. There's no doubt about it because the more jobs I can put in, the more people I can hire that can go out and buy a new car," said Gardner.

A reverse of the trickle-effect he says is keeping the recession going.

In Johnson City, Landon Sears, WBNG-TV, Action News.

Akraturn says it may actually add 10 to 15 more employees in the next year.

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