Small businesses feeling crunch of tough economic times

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Bush administration's $700 billion bailout plan will not unfreeze the credit markets anytime soon, officials said Monday, and many banks are still having trouble getting access to cash.

The credit shortage and subsequent stock market falls have caused many investors to exit stocks and move money.

In a recent poll, 67 percent of small business owners surveyed said they were affected by the economic crisis.

Sharon Levette Coleman, owner of Rit Zee Florist on South Main, said it's not the first time in her 20 years in business that she's seen tough times.

"This is the second time I've been through what you would call a 'recession.' and sales are reversing," she said.

Coleman is not alone.  Sam Huff, chief operating officer of Spindini, said dinner sales are not what they used to be.
"A lot of people are not going out as frequently as they used to.  A customer 20 miles out won't go 20 miles.  They'll only go 10 miles because of gas," he said.

Huff believes America, including the Mid-South, will soon hit the economic bottom.

"The only way to go is up.  The sooner the better because right now it's not a lot of fun," Huff said.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.