If you are connected to the tile business, then you’ll probably agree that this has been perhaps the most challenging year on record for your business. The good news is, by most indications, we’ve turned the corner to better business. The housing market continues to improve and so has the pace of sales and installation for tile and related products.

In fact, the Home Buyer Tax Credit extension recently passed by Congress and the President will be a shot in the arm for the tile business, and much more welcome than fresh arrivals of the H1N1 vaccine! According to estimates sited by the National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on the Economy newsletter, the tax credits alone are expected to boost new and existing home sales by 180,000, including sales of about 40,000 new homes and 26,000 sales of vacant homes. These sales are also expected to generate more than 200,000 new jobs, primarily in residential construction and related fields.

In addition to the housing stimulus, property values are making home investment the best buyers market we’ve seen in decades. Economists (and other financial experts) are predicting a slow climb in 2010, but the housing sector will come back before the non-residential construction/commercial replacement markets.

For those that go out and get the business, there will be a solid turn-around with opportunity for excellent growth in 2010. Position your business as the leader and be ahead of the curve as business picks up in the months ahead. Don’t be left waiting to get on that train because once the economy gets rolling down the tracks and it leaves the station, there will be no way to chase it down and catch it! To help you stay on top of the tile industry and your business, the newest offerings in products, installation trends/advancements, and to connect with key suppliers, you’ll want to follow along withTILEmagazine in print, TILE Online (www.tilemagonline.com) andTILE’smonthly eNewsletter.

Here in your hands is the annualTILEGold Book – the tile industry’s Tile Products Resource and Buying Guide. Whether you are sourcing from the printGold Book Buyers Guideor its online version (www.tilemagonline.com/goldbook), you’ll find a comprehensive listing of products, manufacturers, distributors, shows and associations, and more, to help you find what you need.

When in a hurry, Gold Book Online lets you tap into the lightning-speed of search engine capability to pinpoint what you need and where to find it. You’ll even see products and spec sheets, and have the ability to link instantly to a company’s website. With the online Glossary of Tile Terms and Technical Training Schools & Seminars sections, you’ll know you’ve found an industry friend for life so be sure to add them to your favorites!

If you need to update your company’s listing with new or missing information, then I invite you to go online to make the necessary changes instantly. Please email me (johnsonp@bnpmedia.com) with your comments and requests and I’ll be glad to help! Supporting you with information you need to succeed is what we do best.

Stay tuned toTILEand together we’ll survive and thrive. Best to you and your business in the New Year!