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Bank deposits, loans rising, but so are bankruptcies

Local executives and business owners are mixed in their assessments of the Long Island economy. Some even believe the worst isn't over.

The good and the bad.Robert Allen, president of the 500-plus employee Teachers Federal Credit Union in Farmingville, says his institution's dollar amount of deposits jumped 40 percent in the first quarter compared with last year, and loans rose 23 percent. But bankruptcies among customers are also up.

"We've got a little ways to go," Allen said of the economy.

Green salvation. Ted Bier, president and founder of T.M. Bier & Associates Inc., a Glen Cove energy-conservation company that designs and installs lighting, air-conditioning and heating systems, said he feels lucky to be green. "We've got a market that is strong," said Bier, whose company has 75 employees.

Most work these days involves retrofitting existing buildings to make them energy-efficient. On the other hand, demand from new construction is virtually dead because of the decline in commercial real estate. "We don't see a recovery" in that market, he said. "If anything it's still declining."

Shift in psychology.Charles Massimo, president of CJM Fiscal Management, a Melville financial services firm, said that in the past six months clients seem more willing to invest. "We are seeing people who are much more positive on the market as a whole," said Massimo, whose company has five employees.

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