Wall Street Crisis Hits Home For Main Street Business Owners

By Al Showers - bio | email

BAY St. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Some small business owners in Bay St. Louis say the national economic crisis is hitting home. Yuki Northington's shop, The Social Chair, has already started to feel the pitch from the Wall Street mess.

"I think it scares people. They have to buy groceries, they have to buy gas, and we're more of a want verses a need. And I think that people really think about that extra five or ten dollars, so it does hurt small businesses," Northington said.

You get the same reaction from shop owners in the 100 block of Main Street.

"We're definitely feeling the effects of it. It's a trickle down effect. Everyone is afraid to spend unless it's something they truly need," Pam Collins said.

As for the federal bailout proposal, you'll find little sympathy from these business owners struggling to keep their doors open.

"I think it's frustrating for small businesses on Main Street. They are talking about billions and billions of dollars, and we're just worried about paying the rent and making payroll at the end of the month. That's why people keep hearing over and over 'from Wall Street to Main Street,' because they look at the issues and the income levels are so different and the dollar amounts are so vast. And we're just trying to scrape by and keep trying to hang on until things get better," Northington said.

Pam Collins says the federal government turned its back on small businesses after Hurricane Katrina when they asked for additional assistance to help get them back on their feet.

"We were not asking for that much. I believe the figures were in the $4 million range for Hancock County, verses how many billions or trillions for this? It's crazy. If they can not help small businesses, why should small businesses and taxpayers turn around and bail out Wall Street? It's not right, and truly the heart of America is small business," Collins said.

Main Street shop owners say they are optimistic about the near future. With Christmas just around the corner, they are hoping people will spend money on gifts whether the economy is still in a crisis or not.