State’s economy tips up; let’s not mess it up

State’s economy tips up; let’s not mess it up

Northrim Bank held its annual briefings for its customers and community and business leaders in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau this week. The core message is that the state’s economy is beginning to tip up after more than three years of recession, so let’s not mess it up. Joe Schierhorn, Northrim’s gentlemanly CEO, didn’t quite put it that bluntly, but that was his point. Basically, Northrim is optimistic about oil work on the slope picking up and the bank itself has weathered the recession well. Northrim’s commercial loans were up 3 percent last year, Schierhorn said in a briefing, although that was more due to business moves by the bank to gain market share than any real increase in commercial activity. The bank is worried about the effects of large state budget reductions being imposed in one year, as proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, but Northrim hasn’t yet seen projects delayed except in health care. Overall, however, there is caution in the business community, Schierhorn told us. That will dampen investment until the situation with the state budget becomes clear.

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