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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

Prepare for the Worst, Hope for Better: OC Business Leaders

Three OC business execs provided the following comments on their local outlook for the economy and respective industries. Comments are edited for clarity.

Tim Goff, president of the hardware and home improvement unit of Spectrum Brands in Lake Forest:

• “We are preparing for the worst and hoping for better in terms of sales and will be working hard on productivity and cost out to help preserve margins.”

• Business conditions next year will be slowing. “We are tied to new construction housing, and we expect that to have a rough first half of 2023.”

• As for a business outlook: “Overall a slight decline as home improvement should be flat’ish to slightly down.”

• Biggest challenge for 2023: “Getting cost out from our suppliers and navigating the significant slowdown in demand from pandemic levels of 18 months ago.”

Terry Brennan, president, Leighton Group Inc., an environmental engineering, materials test and inspection services firm in Irvine.

• “As money becomes more expensive it will have a negative impact on our housing market and some commercial and industrial sectors. In our public sector there may be some improvement in our Transportation (roads) sector.”

• “At this time I see flattening in our overall market.”

• Biggest challenge for 2023: “Since we are a geotechnical engineering and environmental consulting firm, staffing will continue to be challenging giving the shifts in the markets and the expertise the different markets may require.”

Wayne Pinnell, managing partner at Irvine’s Haskell & White LLP certified public accountants.

• “The public accounting industry continues industry continues to be strong, despite the ebbs and flows of the market conditions.”

• “While transactional matters and IPOs may be lighter at the moment, there continues to be a high demand for traditional audit, tax and advisory services.”

• “ Our industry is also not immune to the worker shortage as most public accounting firms will acknowledge the unquenched thirst for talent in the marketplace.”

• “So, while demand for services continues to increase, the shortage of talent continues to be the biggest challenge; one that is being met with more creative recruiting strategies, benefits and efforts to balance life and work demands.”

—Kevin Costelloe

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Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal

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