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The dawn of the Obama era and the infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus funds are not enough to clear the economic storm clouds gathered over North America. Here’s the gruesome tale of the tape: Since the beginning of the New Year, the U.S. economy alone has shed nearly 600,000 jobs. Gross domestic product fell by 3.8 percent. And the forecast for the remainder of 2009 calls for sluggish, at best, growth.

The technology sector and the solution provider community are not immune to the recessionary pressures of the general economy, according to the Channel Insider 2009 Market Pulse, a survey of 200 North America solution providers. The research reveals that solution providers are cautiously optimistic about their business prospects in 2009, but expect a dampening of sales, revenues and profitability. In other words, they’re preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.

Solution providers are not taking the sluggish economy in stride. While there is a natural inclination to retreat to a safe place and ride out the downturn, the Market Pulse report shows many solution providers are readying or executing aggressive business development, sales and market plans to weather the recession and position themselves for growth in 2010 and beyond.