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Landscape Business Improving




Business in the landscaping industry is picking up as inquiries for new work jumped 72.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010, which represents a 25.3-percent increase from the same quarter 2009, according to a survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects.


Another positive signal is that more than 20 percent of landscape firms planned to hire employees during the second quarter. This is the highest number of companies hiring since the third quarter of 2008. John Reiner, president of Oakland Nursery in Columbus, Ohio, told The Columbus Dispatch that consumers appear willing to invest more in landscaping this year.

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Business may be finally getting back to ''normal'' for many green industry companies. In April, the American Society of Landscape Architects released its Business Quarterly survey, which indicated that companies are reporting higher levels of billable hours, hiring and, most importantly, inquiries for new work. The organization is cautiously optimistic that this is a sign that the lack of new design and construction projects during the past two years may finally be coming to an end.

''The large number of inquiries marks an important sign of recovery, but by no means is this suddenly a booming economy for landscape architects,'' said ASLA executive vice president and CEO Nancy Somerville. Inquiries for new work jumped 72.7 percent with steady or higher levels. This is an increase from 53.7 percent during the last quarter of 2009 and 25.3 percent for the same quarter last year. Another good sign is that 21.6 percent of landscape firms planned to hire new employees during the second quarter. This is the highest number to report hiring plans since the third quarter of 2008. Sandy Munley, executive director of the Ohio Landscape Association, told the Columbus Dispatch that the industry prior to the recent economic downturn had been fortunate to experience years of steady growth. She said this recession was the first to really impact the industry. She said many association members are very optimistic because they have seen an increase in inquiries. John Reiner, president of Oakland Nursery in Columbus, told the newspaper that the recession changed the consumer mindset about landscaping projects-the type and how much they were willing to spend. He said last year's projects were smaller in regards to size and budget. This year people are willing to invest more. They are adding amenities like lighting and irrigation, which they weren't willing to purchase last year.


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June 25, 2019, 7:50 am PDT

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