Dubuque Business Leaders Predict Trends in 2013

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - With financial concerns looming in Washington, local business leaders are making predictions about what's to come in 2013. This year also brought out a record attendance for the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce's annual business forecast luncheon.

2013 has started out rough for some workers in Dubuque. A recent blow the economy came last week, when Quad Graphics announced it will close it's facility in Dubuque, cutting more than 200 jobs.

Greater Dubuque Development's Rick Dickinson said, "The imperative is that employers in our area capture that talent before that talent leaves. "

Economic developers do expect an expansion at Bodine Electric in Peosta that would mean new jobs.

"That's the secret sauce in Dubuque. It's incremental improvement. 10 here, 20 there, " said Dickinson.

Financially, all eyes are on Washington as concerns grown about the debt ceiling as well as the the aftermath of the payroll tax cuts not being renewed.

American Trust and Savings Bank's Bob Peacock said, "that's going to have a negative impact on disposable income so that's going to temper any growth we have in the economy. "

Peacock expects Dubuque to follow the trend of a surge in auto sales.

"The average age of the car out there in the driveways or on the streets is 11.2 years old. We've gone through a time when people have done without new vehicles and the time is coming to make that change," said Peacock.

Peacock also expects interest rates to remain low and improvements in the housing market.

"It's going to be better then 2012. Is it going to be great, no. But we are moving in the right direction," said Peacock.

Tourism officials are expecting a banner year after the completion of the All-star Ball Park Heaven near the Field of Dreams movie site.

They expect thousands of people to visit Dubuque when they're in Dyersville for baseball tournaments.

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