September 5th, 2010
12:16 PM ET
11 years ago

Small business pares down to succeed

Washington (CNN) - After her bicycle shop fell victim to a tough economic climate, Denise D'Amour took some time to regroup and then tried again.

In less than one year, she opened a stripped-down version of her Capitol Hill Bikes store: a tighter operation in a smaller space with fewer employees and less overhead.

"We've become lean and mean," D'Amour said. "Mostly I think we've learned to deal within the tough environment. There's not a lot of people coming to offer me money. There's not a lot of stuff that will improve our cash position that we were suffering from nine months ago, except for our own ingenuity."

Both then and now, D'Amour said the chief problem for small business owners is access to financing. And lawmakers want small businesses to know this complaint is reaching Washington.

President Obama urged Congress last week to move forward on a bill designed to help small businesses, including a $30 billion lending fund to loosen credit lines and $12 billion in tax breaks.

That will help but it won't solve the problem, said Anne Mathias, director of policy research at Concept Captial.

"It's not going to bring a rush of people into stores to buy whatever it is these different small businesses have to offer, but it will help," she said. "It'll help kind of at the back end."

Republicans say the bill won't have much effect and are urging the president to extend the Bush administration's tax cuts.

Todd McCracken, the president of the National Small Business Association disagrees.

"Putting money in the pockets of both consumers and small business people so they can take advantage of the opportunities when they come along is crucial," McCracken said Sunday morning on State of the Union with Candy Crowley.

D'Amour does see cause for hope at her store, however. She employs 10 people now and she's looking to hire more.

"Our customers have come back, and they're spending some money now," she said. "So the economy has improved somewhat."

Filed under: Economy • issues • Jobs
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. vic

    People don’t want to spend their money because of the current economy and unemployment number. They like to spend small on items if they get credits then we can see the cash flow when small business see the cash floe they will hire more people

    Small businesses need help

    September 5, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Downsizing is what all business has to do, until we restore manufacturing to this country, through import taxes on American companies importing their products from offshore.

    September 5, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Livin the good life

    The owners of the business I work for [yes, I am thankful for having a job but, they) do not want to hire more people. They only want the remaining ones to do 24/7 and not want us to take vacation/holidays.
    We used to have 10+ employees but now only 3. The same work is being done, just by fewer people. It takes a toll on customer service and quality after a while...Beau Colby

    September 5, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. King

    In 18 months the dems have strip down the corrosive bubble that the gop had build up for 8 years. The platform is stripped and a new and stirdy foundation has been formed without any buble. Dems and repubs lets build together and take back our rightfull spot as world leaders. By creating new energy and green jobs because a coutry go as far as the products they creates. Every thing else supports the product: such as parts, sales, marketing etc. We need to stop sending our factories that makes products over seas.

    September 5, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Realist

    Small business is getting what it deserves. How many hire illegals putting US Citizens out of work?? Out of Work Citizens can buy and Illegals send the money out of the country.

    September 5, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. D, Bunker

    Leave it to the teatards and GOBPbaggers to ignore the facts: Small business organizations WANT Obama's small business legislation to pass. Too bad for the average American that the out of touch righties will ignore facts and believe lies instead.

    September 5, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Small businesses need our support and patronage. And the big banks – that we bailed out – need to follow President Obama's request to loosen up credit, so small businesses have access to capital.

    September 5, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    All the big corporations out there that are sitting on $3 trillion dollars in cash need to grow a pair and start investing in our country.

    I believe big corporations are playing a very self-centered and dangerous game of hoping to make our economy so bad that people will forget that tried-and-failed Republican economic policies are what created this mess and will vote the Republicans back into power.

    Why? Because Republicans want to cut taxes for the wealthy (including those big corporation CEOs), who'll use that money to invest overseas where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exist.

    Talk about putting party before country! That's the GOP for you ...

    September 5, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Donkey Party

    These small business owners have had 10 years to thrive with their tax breaks, and we have a beat-up economy to show for it. Let the tax cuts expire for the top 3%, they don't want or need the extension.

    September 5, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. jim

    You mean she wasn't able to get a government grant.Perish the thought. I guess that's reserved for big businesses and union companies!!!

    September 5, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |