Corporate leaders today sit at a crossroads. Continued economicprosperity has led to favorable business conditions, which havemany companies poised for growth. On the other hand, speculationthat the business cycle may have hit its peak—coupled with talk ofan economic downturn on the horizon and political uncertainty overthe course of this election year—has even the most optimistic CEOsand CFOs carefully weighing any expansion plans.

The number-one question many business leaders are facing: Is nowthe time to take on debt to finance growth? My answer: Given thecost of capital and the still-strong U.S. economy, there has rarelybeen a better time to implement a well-thought-out strategic growthplan.

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