War Taking Toll on the Self-Employed

NY Times:

Within months of James J. Maddix’s departure for Iraq, his Big Daddy Taxi service in Kalamazoo, Mich., bit the dust.

Big Daddy, which specialized in driving people home from bars, was bringing in about $175,000 a year when Mr. Maddix, 30, was sent on active duty in December 2003. Without him at the helm to orchestrate an operation that paid part-timers to operate his 10 vans, the business quickly fell apart. “I hired a manager, but within a month, it wasn’t working out,” Mr. Maddix said.

When he came home in February after 14 months overseas, mostly at Camp Anaconda northwest of Baghdad, he found himself $110,000 in debt. Now, he says, his only way to survive and start a new business is probably to declare bankruptcy.

In ways that do not make headlines, the war on terror is taking a rising toll on small business.


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