Small businesses shouldn't lose hope during tough economic times - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Small businesses shouldn't lose hope during tough economic times


by Jenn Jarvis

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- A recent survey by American Express says almost half of small business owners believe the current economic situation will negatively affect their profits. And while some experts say small businesses will be the hardest hit, others say that may not be the case.

If the Shoe Fits opened about a month ago on Main Street in Cedar Falls.

"I've always gone out of my way whether it was shopping in a different town or going online just to find that one unique shoe," owner Jen Fouts said.

And while the economic uncertainty didn't keep Fouts from setting up shop, it did make her a bit more cautious.

"There's a lot of businesses who start off borrow 50, 100, 200, you know, a quarter of a million dollars to start up a business and I just wanted to take it slow and start off small," she said.

The Regional Business Center helps hundreds of small business owners like Fouts with resources and advice.

"There's really never a bad time to start a business. There's always opportunity in the marketplace, but assessing that opportunity and planning well and really making sure that you're managing your risk in a way that you're comfortable with will help you to be successful," said Maureen Collins-Williams of the RBC.

She says, even in the current economy, banks are still backing businesses

"We have spent a great deal of time this past week on the phone with almost every bank in the region and they're all telling us, look it's ok. The housing market is tightening up just a bit, but we are making commercial loans," Collins-Williams said.

Fouts says local support is also crucial to her success.

"Cedar Falls is really good with supporting their small businesses. There's a lot of women that come down here and they shop down here first and then they'll go to a department store," she said.

Small businesses are on the rise, with almost 12 percent of Americans either already self employed or working toward starting a small business.

Online Reporter: Jenn Jarvis
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