If Congress avoids the fiscal cliff by Jan. 1, Kansas City's economic outlook is a pretty picture, one that is painted in a report released by the Chamber of Commerce.
The industry that would reap the most rewards is the service industry, which could see 15,000 more workers.
The restaurant business is a family affair - Megan Garrelts and her husband Colby are working on opening their second restaurant, Rye, in Leawood, KS. The Garrelts opened Bluestem in Westport in 2004.
"Through any economic time for birthday celebrations, anniversaries, people are always going out to dinner, they're always celebrating in restaurants so service grows, restaurants grow," Megan Garrelts said.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, it's their kind of Kansas City success story other service-related businesses can expect should Congress avoid a looming fiscal cliff.
But it's not necessarily what business owners look to when making their decisions.
"We look at more seasonal economic things. More day-to-day, weather-related and those kinds of things really impact us immediately in our service industry," Megan Garrelts said.
She said she leaves the long-term outlook to the experts. The Mid-America Regional Council said avoiding the fiscal cliff could add up to 15,000 service jobs next year. Hitting the so-called cliff could mean 12,000 fewer jobs created.
The 50 new jobs at Rye is an accomplishment the Garrelts said has more to do with common sense and confidence in what they believe is a growing economy.
"We did really common sense things: ran budgets, figured out our fixed costs, our bottom lines and, at the end of the day, cut things we didn't need and added things we wanted to sustain," Megan Garrelts said.
Aside from the total 21,000 new jobs that are expected to come with avoiding it, if Congress hits the fiscal cliff, the middle income earners will see taxes go up by $2,800.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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