According to the National Association for Business Economics’ October 2009 Industry Survey, industry demand increased during the July to September period for the first time in five quarters. Moreover, expectations for future capital spending improved for the fourth straight quarter and turned positive, on balance, for the first time in a year.

NABE’s report gives substance to the notion building among economists and companies-2010 will usher in some degree of economic growth and business decisions are being made with this economic advancement in mind. While the vitality of that economic growth remains to be seen, one thing is for sure: Increasingly, businesses are regaining confidence and gradually making plans to attend industry events, follow through with capital investments and rebuild material inventories.

We’ve had it on the editorial calendar all along, but Flexible Packaging’s annual Suppliers Guide comes at just the right time. This valuable resource connects you with the trade shows and meetings, industry associations and equipment, materials and service providers that will serve your business well not only as economic conditions improve in 2010, but also as customers continue to demand better productivity and processes even further in the future.

One year ago, as fourth quarter ledgers crumbled before the eyes of accounting and sales departments everywhere, companies put investments and improvements at arm’s length, vowing to handle such matters “when the time comes.” Now, however, companies are gradually reconsidering those investments and deciding, “The time is now.”

Charter Films-the subject of our Cover Story this month-very recently asserted that the time to take the next step in its progression had arrived. Now, the young but established and highly successful blown film manufacturer stands poised to reap still more successes. The filmmaker enters the barrier film market this month, and as Charter’s director of sales and marketing Brian Beuning reiterates “Despite the fact that it’s a tough marketplace…it’s the ideal time to bring this asset on.” A well-timed innovation combined with a continued commitment to current technologies and employee training stands to bring the company a lucrative 2010.

If the timing is right for your company, how will you make your plans?

Sayre Kos, Editor-in-Chief, 847-740-6210