(WMC-TV) - A study released Tuesday says that small 'mom and pop' businesses could in jeopardy come 2013.
The study done by the National Federation of Independent Business says that with the looming fiscal cliff, the promise of higher health care costs, and the ripple effects from Hurricane Sandy, the future for small businesses in bleak.
Don Connell and wife Jane have been in business around Ripley's court square for 29 years.
He says he has 'been there and done that' when it comes to working through a sour economy.
"Things are just unstable and with a lot of poverty in this area, it's hard to tell what's going to happen in 2013," Connell explained.
He says it is still too early to tell whether or not his retail business has picked up in 2012.
The study released Tuesday indicates the small business outlook is at one of it's lowest points in history.
"I'm not worried about it. I lived through the recession of 1984 and we pulled through that," said Connell. "We buy stuff from New Jersey and other hard hit areas and many of those are still out of work."
Rosemary Bridges, who is with the South Tipton County Chamber of Commerce, says business is up.
She said many business owners in Covington and Munford have a good feeling about next year's numbers.
"We had 35 business licenses issued in November and 30 in October, so that means we're growing and people are optimistic of these opening new businesses," Bridges said.
Connell and his wife say staying optimistic is key when it comes to staying alive in a small town.
"I think we will have a better Christmas this year than we did last year. People tended to start shopping early this year and I hope it continues through the holiday season," added Connell.
To read the entire study from the National Federation of Independent Business, click here.