America’s Main Street Sees Wallets Opening A Bit


As customers timidly return with slightly open wallets, small businesses across America say their concerns over the slumping economy are easing slightly.

As of yet, there is no rush to hire new staff, and indeed Friday’s U.S. payroll figures showed that employers cut another 539,000 jobs in April. But fears of the recession extending into 2010, or deepening into a depression, are fading on Main Street.

“Three to six months ago, about every third person I’d talk to thought there was this huge, other shoe going to drop, and there would be this massive slide into a depression,” said Bill Austin, an executive at a public relations and marketing firm in Phoenix. “I don’t hear anyone who talks like that anymore.”

“(Customers) do feel better about the economy. They can open their wallets,” said Shanka Rika, who runs a family pizza and pasta restaurant in Euless, a town near Dallas.

Rika said turnover had picked up at the restaurant that employs six people, and she may soon even start hiring extra staff. “We are doing better and better,” she said.

Photo by crossfire.

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