Parent Business Owners Cope with Economy

by Nate Maas
From The Envoy, Edgewood High School Student Newspaper

Local businesses have already begun to feel the effects of the global recession. With the American economy on the decline and unemployment on the rise, local businesses have tried to cope with the recession as best as they can.

Thomas Zimbrick, who¬†owns Zimbrick in Madison,¬†says that the biggest force on¬†his industry is the tightening of¬†the credit market. Consumers¬†either have a difficult time getting¬†a loan or are very hesitant¬†to make a big purchase right¬†now. “Consumer confidence is¬†just way down,” said Mr.¬†Zimbrick. To counteract this¬†before the recession had hit full¬†force, Mr. Zimbrick put plans¬†into effect that would lessen the¬†impact of the recession. He¬†instituted a hiring freeze and¬†has combined some jobs. He¬†has also decreased the inventory¬†of new cars and cut the amount¬†of money allowed to advertising.¬†All of these measures have¬†worked well so far, but the¬†recession is far from over. “The¬†thing to rake away from all¬∑this¬†is to focus on what things are¬†under your control,” said Mr.¬†Zimbrick.

Another industry that¬†the recession has affected is real¬†estate. Kurt Welton, one of the¬†founders of Welton Enterprises¬†Inc., saw signs of the recession¬†before it had even started. Mr.¬†Welton owns an industrial realty¬†business. His company constructs¬†buildings and leases¬†space out to businesses. It is a¬†contractual industry which¬†means that businesses renting ¬†space from Welton Enterprises¬†Inc. must hold that space for the¬†duration of the lease. Because¬†industrial realty is on a contractual¬†business, it is one of the¬†last ~ to feel the effects of a¬†recession. Welton Enterprises¬†Inc. actually had its best year in¬†2008, but with the recession¬†having been in full swing far¬†over a year now, Mr. Welton¬†whose businesses have slowed¬†are now trying to renegotiate¬†contracts to save money by¬†downsizing. In preparation for¬†the downturn, Mr. Welton has¬†made sure that the number of¬†contracts that run out in 2009¬†will be as few as possible. He¬†has also attempted to minimize¬†maintenance costs prior to signing¬†new leases. Another thing¬†that Mr. Welton cites as a contributor¬†in beating the recession¬†is prayer. “I start every meeting with a prayer,” Said Mr. Welton. “You can’t discount the power of prayer.”

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