Learning lessons from business closing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Learning lessons from business closing

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- For 22 years Jonathan Sabin and his wife have greeted customers with a warm welcome at their business in downtown Iowa City.  And for 22 years Ellen Mahany has made a visit to the local shop part of her routine.

"I am down in Iowa City twice a week, I go for coffee, I always come to the Vortex," said Mahany.

But after better than two decades of building a strong client base and an even better reputation, a poor economy and last year's flood have forced business to burst.

"I just really think it's going to be a sad thing that it's going to be leaving," said Mahany.

"Probably the biggest disappointment I have is the fact that the people we've developed and our customer base is not going to have a place to shop anymore," said Sabin.

Sabin says the credit crisis means banks won't lend, and the times have contributed to consumers changing their buying habits.   Even in a university town that is somewhat sheltered from the troubling economy, Sabin has been forced to close his doors.

"Even if there is a constant cash flow that seems to be coming out of the University, people still seem to be cutting back, and things are shifting," said Sabin.

In times like these, Sabin says entrepreneurs can be successful if they have little debt, very low overhead, and a lot of cash.  And it helps when consumers choose to shop local.

"I don't think Brick and Mortar stores are going to go away," said Sabin.  "They just have to realize that if they want us to be here, they have to support us."

Something to note from a man who's had years of business experience.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

Online Producer:  Dani Blecha

Powered by Frankly