NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - As the country heads into 2013, the financial climate brings uncertainty.  On Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at a general meeting of the New Providence Business and Professional Association, representatives from Lassus Wherley Financial Advisors in New Providence spoke about current economic conditions and projections for the future.

The meeting was held at the NJ Film School, which recently opened in October and are new members to the NPBPA. The presentation was provided by Clare Wherley, CEO and founder, and Anne Kehl, an investment officer.

Kehl outlined several positive things regarding the economy and some negative ones, as well. She said overall, the economy is improving slowly, but it will take time to be what it once was. Some positive points for 2013 included that the HR8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, will cut the budget deficit by one and a half percent, and that housing statistics are improving.

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“We think that the housing is one of the real fundamental drivers of the economy going forward,” Kehl said.

Also, consumer finances have improved dramatically since 2007 because consumers have a lot less debt and many corporations are also flush with cash. Most importantly, confidence could increase once the country gets past the spending cuts and the debt ceiling debate, she said.

Some negative issues for 2013 include that spending cuts have yet to be made, the debt ceiling is approaching, and cutting the deficit will impact all workers.  Kehl said because the payroll tax cut of the past few years was not extended, paychecks this year may be less than 2012 because people are now paying 6.2 percent instead of 4.2 percent.

“I think for a lot of folks that’s going to come as a surprise,” she said.

Co-owner of the NJ Film School Liz Messineo said she is glad they moved to New Providence and joined the NPBPA. They attended a meeting in April, prior to moving here, and felt the small business community organization was important, so when they opened in October, they joined.

In challenging economic times, when big corporations run the world, networking and helping each other is crucial, Messineo said.

“Being a small business owner is really unique,” she said. “It’s a corporate world that we live in so if you have your own business, it’s tough to compete with the big guys. I’m trying very hard to get my patrons to patronize the other businesses downtown.”