NAM Board Member Fletcher Steele, the president of Pine Hall Brick in North Carolina, reports on the White House meeting as recounted in this story from Media General News Service. Pine Hall Brick supplies bricks to builders:
The burst of the housing bubble has hit them hard, Steele said, and business is down 40 percent from what it was two years ago. Earlier this week, the company had to lay off 19 people, he said.
Under the current economic conditions, Steele told the president next year is projected to be worse.
The group met with Bush for about 40 minutes and each businessperson was able to talk to the president about how the rough economic times are affecting them.
Steele said Bush was interested in what each person had to say, asked questions and was sympathetic to the group’s concerns.
Bush used the occasion to illustrate the impact of congressional inaction on a bailout proposal and pressed the House to pass the bill.
“This issue has gone way beyond New York and Wall Street,” Bush said.
Steele said he is philosophically opposed to the bailout, but supports it because it’s needed.
“We need a floor for the falling consumer confidence,” he said.
UPDATE: (6:15 p.m.): And there’s a locally produced TV story from WXII-TV Channel 12, complete with video and more detail about Pine Hall Brick. Good job.
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