Recession still on according to two small business owners. (Final draft)

Posted on October 8, 2010 
Filed under Assignments

A resounding “no” was the answer to the question, “Do you consider the recession over?”, posed to two small business owners here in Sioux City.

The Federal Small Business Administration defines a small business as (depending on the type of business) having up to as many as 1,500 employees.  Many small businesses have fewer, and in some cases, many fewer people on the payroll.

According to SCORE, small businesses employ just over half of the country’s private sector workforce, and represent 99.7% of all employer firms (i.e., firms with less than 500 employees).  Small businesses have long been heralded as the ‘engines of the economy’.

That said, two small business owners were interviewed recently about how they feel about the economy today, statements from the government notwithstanding.

Jereme Muller, of local booking agency Comedy Productions responded: “Here we deal with a lot of different businesses and when they call us their budgets are maybe usually half of what they used to be, or their workforce is half of what it used to be, and we’ve had a lot less calls from some of our normal clients.” He relates that half of the comedy clubs that they book for have closed. He goes on: “Last time when the economy was down, people still went out and spent their money, this time they aren’t.”

“Our business is different,” relates Dave Patch of Patch Craft Hobby,”…when the economy is somewhat screwed up, and they don’t want to spend a lot of money to go out . . . say they don’t want to take a hundred dollars to go out to eat for the family, they  may spend a hundred dollars on modeling supplies, but that may last them for four months. The dollar stretches a lot farther in our industry.” When asked about regular customers, Dave continues: “We’re not seeing people as often . . . this recession has drug on longer.”

Whether or not the recovery has or has not begun, or has stumbled, both Dave and Jereme believe that there will be an end, and are working to prepare for it. Muller says: ”It has made us a lot leaner, we have done a lot more marketing, so when the people are ready to buy, we’re still in their face. Rather than wilt and die, we’re trying to fight it and make sure that when it does come back we’re ready to go.“  Dave Patch goes on to say “We’re really looking at all the purchases we make – trying to get the most for every dollar we spend.”



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