Small businesses stay afloat sinking economy


    By Randall Jeppesen

    A year-end survey by the National Federation of Independent Business said Utah”s economic condition is in fairly good shape.

    The NFIB found that 52 percent of the state”s small-businesses said they are in good condition. Another 43 percent said that economic conditions are fair.

    NFBI/Utah state director Ron Casper said that over the last twelve months local firms had been doing everything they could to stay in business, including a slowdown in hiring new employees and making drastic cutbacks.

    But Sept. 11th left its mark on Utah”s economy.

    Casper said tourist areas such as Park City almost came to a standstill after the attacks.

    One ray of hope for these locations is the Winter Olympic games that are just around the corner.

    The high profit expectations for the games have dropped dramatically, but the games will still be a much-needed boost to many tourist areas.

    Casper said he believes specialty businesses will be the biggest benefactors.

    Accent Promotional Products of Provo is one of the small businesses that felt a decline after September 11th.

    President and owner of the company Doc Hansen said this past year”s profits have been softer than normal and the company was unable to hire any new employees.

    He said his company”s sales were actually up for the year, but the increase was because of price cuts and special offers made by the company.

    But despite the difficulties, Hansen said he has a positive outlook on the future and is even putting together plans to expand.

    “If we all just get together and bet on ourselves, we will make it through,” Hansen said.

    Cameron Dibb, a BYU student who works for the Waterford Institute, said he hasn”t noticed any cutbacks where he works.

    He said the company, which makes educational software, even has plans for expansion.

    According to Casper, small businesses” owners put paychecks in the hands of six out of every ten working Americans. For this reason, Casper said the opinions of small-business owners matter just as much as any giant corporation.

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