Small Businesses May Be Safer in Tough Economy

Friday, February 6th 2009, 6:50 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The struggling economy is forcing many companies to lay off employees or shut down. But some small businesses are still thriving.

One small local business owner said economic hardships aren't really affecting him, and he hopes they never do.

Inside of Celtic Bear Cabinetry everything's handmade for homes across the metro.

"We've got some good clients who build some good homes, so they've been able to keep us busy," Celtic Bear Cabinetry owner Mike Warren said.

There are only five employees, and so far the struggling economy is not drastically impacting them. They dropped their prices and believe the high quality product lands them more sales.

"I feel very fortunate," Warren said. "My house payment's getting made, my truck payment's getting made, my electricity is on."

As more people lose their jobs, they're turning to small businesses as a solution.

"We happen to have entrepreneurship center here at OCU, and they get calls all the time from people who want to start their own business," OCU economics professor Steve Agee said.

While opening and running a successful business is a challenge, Agee said being your own boss has quite an appeal.

"You get to make the decisions. You don't have to rely on a company or a boss or a supervisor or a president of a company, so your fate is in your own hands," the OCU Economist said.

The owners of Celtic Bear Cabinetry have that luxury of controlling what happens here. But, they're still uncertain about the future, as new home sales slow and builders cut back.

"That's a concern once my clients start tapping out their loans then, we're on the front lines here, we're first to fall," the small business owner said.

In this economy, even business owners who are successful now, wonder if that success will continue while this recession drags on. Economists said many people who've lost their job are looking at opening a business or going back to school.