#DownturnDiaries: Economic downturn forces YYC businesses to adapt

Calgary business owner experiences second downturn since 2008

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Helen Nguyen, owner of Coco And Violet, opened her women’s contemporary line boutique in August 2008, right in the midst of a recession. Now in the middle of an even worse decline due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry, she is doing what she can to keep her store viable. Financial experts are predicting slow growth in Alberta, and if prices remain depressed, local clothing boutiques could be impacted.

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#DownturnDiaries: The economic downturn perspective of an educator

A Cochrane high school teacher reflects on how the falling oil prices affects his profession

downturnthumb2Grant Hoe has been teaching at Bow Valley High School in Cochrane for a decade now. He recently took the time to answer a few questions, through social media, about his take on falling oil prices in Alberta. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

How long have you been teaching for? What got you into it?

I've been teaching high school social studies for 10 years. It was always something in the back of my mind that I thought I would enjoy and would be good at. I was right on both counts... I think?

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#DownturnDiaries: Calgary realtor predicts window of opportunity during downturn

Economic struggle expected to create solid buyer's market

downturnthumb2After 24 years in real estate, Iris Talbot looks back on the many highs and lows in Calgary's market. This hasn't been the first rodeo for her in times of economic struggle, but the experience doesn't make the downturn easier. Although some realtors are optimistic about the market, Talbot reminds Calgarians to stay vigilant on what she understands to be a current buyer's market.

"What I see happening in this market is that we have more listings. There's greater uncertainty, people are being laid off, and overall, you have many different kinds of people in the market right now," says Talbot.

Last year, many houses took only a week to sell at what Talbot describes as high but reasonable prices. She remembers, though, that some clients faced higher risk when they sold houses in order to buy. She says a year later, some houses are still selling fast, but the rates have dropped dramatically, with last month's total sales dropping over 38 per cent, according to statistics published by the Calgary Real Estate Board.

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#DownturnDiaries: ‘Work is starting to dry up,’ says Calgary oil and gas account manager

Service company NOV Tuboscope may be running low on well work, but now overwhelmed with saving money for operators

downturnthumbStu Shultz, 49, is an account manager for NOV Tuboscope, a 75-year-old international service company for oil and gas. Tuboscope helps maximize the life cycle of wells through a variety of wellbore technologies and pipe retrieval processes. The Calgary Journal spoke to Schultz about how the downturn has affected this industry in a phone interview.

How hard has this downturn hit your company?

Well it's hit everybody hard. For us it's had significant impact but not to the point where we are in any trouble. Work is just starting to dry up. When you work for a service company like me, there is the drilling side of the business and then there is completion. We are on the completion side more, so we are not affected as immediately as those on the drilling side.

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#DownturnDiaries: Electronic engineering company weathers economic downturn

XACT Company Director holds positive outlook despite anticipated postponed oil and gas projects

downturnthumbLarry Amos is part-owner and director of Calgary-based electronics engineering company, XACT Engineering Manufacturing Solutions. The privately owned company is tied to oil and gas markets, producing tools and equipment used for drilling and fracking. The Calgary Journal's Jordan Kroschinsky caught up with Amos via email. The Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you arrive in this field?

I was always taking electronics apart. I can probably tell you every component that goes into a Walkman and while that's not a life skill, I suppose that the manufacturing aspect of electronics has always interested me. 

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#DownturnDiaries: The current Alberta oil downturn, emphasizes the importance of financial literacy

Brian Betz, from Money Mentors says that being financially prepared is good practice in any economical circumstance

downturnthumb2Financial counsellor, Brian Betz has worked at Money Mentors for 13 years.Money Mentors is the only not-for-profit credit-counselling agency in Alberta, which through a number of services helps Calgarians with various financial problems.

In a recent phone interview with the Calgary Journal, Betz offered his perspective on the impacts of the recent slump in crude prices. Some parts of the Q & A have been edited for length and clarity.

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