Articles

Nervous banks cut off some borrowers, tighten reins on others

Local companies that rely on credit have seen their borrowing power shrink and in some cases disappear as a deep freeze
in the nation’s credit markets drives fears of a broad economic slowdown. A handful of businesses, including
a Greenwood security firm and an Indianapolis contractor, already have shut down after credit dried up,
and others are on the ropes as troubled banks seek to limit their loan exposure.

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Tough economy touching all industries, but some are hurting more than others

Stock markets are falling, jobs are disappearing, and the outlook for the economy seems grim. Banks, real estate developers,
retailers and manufacturers are taking the worst hits, but all types of businesses in central Indiana are hurting. From health
care to technology, education to philanthropy, every industry is trying to take the setbacks in stride.

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Wet spring, slow economy slice into area golf business

On a typical Saturday at Smock Golf Course on the city’s south side, visitors are treated to a symphony of thwacks, pings
and the occasional plunk. In good or bad economic times, it seems, people in Indiana and across the country have always played
golf. But these days, the sound of that symphony has waned. Nationwide, the number of rounds of golf played through the first
half of this year is down 2 percent from last year. In Central Indiana, the situation is worse.

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Car makers turn up pressure for bigger, but fewer, stores

Domestic automakers were already scheming about new ways to chop dealers–cutting costs to service them–as their market share
drained to Toyota and other foreign competitors. Now, an economy standing on the brakes could drive another round of dealer
consolidations that might not be a good deal for family-owned peddlers of metal.

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Local builders slash jobs, offices to survive housing slump

At the market’s peak, builders churned out more than 12,000 new homes a year in central Indiana. In the current slump, new-home
production has dropped to fewer than 7,000 per year, leaving builders with no choice but to slash prices, eliminate hundreds
of jobs, and look to unload huge chunks of office space.

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Weak dollar boosting state manufacturers

The sliding value of the U.S. dollar is boosting financial results for some of Indiana’s big exporters. The dollar recently
hit its lowest point in 15 years against an index of other major currencies, such as the euro, the Chinese yuan and Canadian
dollar.

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