Economy leaves small business owners struggling

By CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The poor economy appears to be taking a toll on small business owners.
Some folks say the tough climate is either going to make or break them.
"I put in a lot of hours, sometimes 16 sometimes 18, and almost seven days a week," said small business owner, Steven Majeed of Cape Girardeau.
He explains operating two businesses in this economy is tough.
That's why he's focusing on keeping his convenience store open, and shut down "Stevie's Steakburger" for the winter.
"If you don't have cash flow, you don't have a lot of choices," Majeed said.  "You go under or close your doors."
Majeed says he kept his burger business open for three months before deciding to close up shop temporarily.
"If we can lease it or sell it, that would be great," he said of the business on Broadway Street in Cape.
But leasing to new customers isn't easy according to property owner Chad Hartle.
In fact, he says hanging on to existing renters is hard enough.
He says he found out the "Jackson Bakery" was toast last week.
"I was surprised," Hartle said.  "We found out they were no longer operating the bakery.  We had to get in and make sure utilities were turned back on, get heat in the building, and protect the building."
Now Hartle says he's looking for new clients to make some dough.
"It's very hard," he said.  "We have no control over the business, and whenever they open up, we expect them to live up to their lease.  When they can't, it really puts us in a bind."
All the same, Steven Majeed says small business owners have more of an advantage than some big chain stores like Circuit City, which recently announced plans to close down across the country.
"If they have cash flow and if it's a very small manageable business, actually they can manage with their family," he said.  "If they have to hire people and run that place, it's very hard."
Majeed says he's prepared to do what it takes to survive.
He points out often times maintaining a winning attitude is half the battle.
The former owners of "Jackson Bakery" did not return our call.
Chad Hartle tells Heartland News he hasn't been able to get in touch with them either.
He tells anyone considering opening up a new business you should put in quite a bit of thought into your plan and make sure its viable before you launch it.