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They rightly call it The Great Recession | Federal Way business briefs

There's a good reason they call today's economic doldrums The Great Recession.

Kris Sjoblom, economist and vice president of the Washington Research Council, was the keynote speaker at the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce's economic forecast breakfast Jan. 25 at The Commons Mall.

His presentation, aptly titled "They rightly call it The Great Recession," sent a clear message from in the form of charts depicting the Great Recession's path compared to past economic downturns. If the current recession took 10 years to reach its peak, it will take another 10 years for the economy to reach full recovery — which could happen by 2018, Sjoblom said.

"This recession has been universal," he said, noting how the nation's financial crisis formed its roots in the late 1990s. "We're on track for the third longest recession in Washington."

Sjoblom, who teaches economics at the University of Washington, has also served on the Washington State Governor's Council of Economic Advisors. He suggested that trouble is brewing internationally that will affect the U.S. economy. Economists are watching the Chinese economy, which is considered "uncertain and unfocused." In Europe, Sjoblom said, the euro currency faces an inevitable collapse as the continent faces its own economic crisis among several nations.

At the event, three guest panelists also opined on the economy as it applies to their businesses: Melanie Dressel CEO of Columbia Bank; Mikal Thomsen, Trilogy Partners; Andy Wappler, spokesman for Puget Sound Energy.

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Federal Way business licenses

The City of Federal Way issued 25 new or renewed business licenses in January. Licenses were issued to businesses specializing in educational services, retail, health services, insurance, food and beverage, legal services, personal services, real estate and jewelry, among others.

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Federal Way earns finance award

The City of Federal Way has won its 20th consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, awarded by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

The award is in honor of Federal Way's comprehensive annual financial report. The city's finance department prepares its financial statements, including monthly financial reports and an annual report. The reports monitor the city's present-day and projected expenditures and revenues.

"The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and reporting, finance director Tho Kraus said. "This award underscores the city's commitment to providing excellent management and reporting of taxpayer dollars.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals.

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