Recession? Maybe. Tough times for many Lino Lakes businesses? Absolutely.
As our government continues to assure us that we are not heading into a recession, many local businesses are struggling due to the slowing economy.
“From what I see and what I’ve heard from people things are slow at a lot of places around here,” Cathy Seidenstricker, Moundsview High School special education para said, “I work at Michello’s restaurant during the week helping kids with the school work program and I see that first hand…not enough people are coming in to support the business.”
Other restaurants don’t seem to be faring much better.
“All of my accounts are down right now,” Mike Johnson, sales representative for Reinhart Food Service said, “ People aren’t ordering as much food as they normally do because sales in their restaurants have dropped off a lot in the last few months.”
Unfortunately this problem seems to extend past local restaurants as many businesses are struggling.
“Lately I have had fewer repeat customers,” Katie Allen, owner of Allure Salon said, “What I keep hearing in my business is that people aren’t going out simply because they don’t have the money…and those that do still don‘t because they are worried about being the next laid off at their jobs”
Even work programs at the local schools are being affected.
“Businesses are even beginning to cut down the number of students they let us place in work programs because they can’t afford to pay them,” said Seidenstricker.
One thing these business owners agree on is that they believe their current struggles are directly linked to the economy.
“The economy is terrible,” Shawn Dieringer, Manager at Spirit Hills Liquor said, “Is there really any question that we are in a recession?”
The federal government’s answer to this problem is the new economic stimulus package recently signed by President George W. Bush.
According to the United States House of Representatives website, most taxpayers can expect to receive an additional rebate sometime in the upcoming months. This rebate will range from $600 for individuals who earn less than $75,000 per year to $1200 for couples that earn up to $150,000 per year. In addition, families will receive an additional $300 per child.
It is the government’s hope that this package will help boost our nation’s struggling economy. But do local businesses owners feel that this will be enough to help?
“It’s not even a band aid on a huge sore. It doesn’t even begin to cover what we need to get the economy stimulated,” said Allen.
Other owners were cautiously optimistic about the plan.
“I think it could help some, there are people that will go out and spend that money,” said Dieringer, “But I think it will depend on the situation because a lot of people are having trouble paying their bills and house payments and I think the money will go towards those types of things first.”
In addition to the stimulus plan there are other things these business owners feel could be done to help.
“If the government really wants to help small businesses they should alleviate payroll taxes,” said Allen, “ My tax alone is $2000 every two weeks, to me that cost is astronomical.”
Only time will tell how much of an effect the government’s stimulus package will have on our economy.
Lets hope for the sake of these struggling businesses that it is a positive one.
Chris Szyplinski is a student in a journalism class at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.