Wall Street dampens small-business spirit
The economic troubles start on Wall Street but carry
to businesses throughout the city. (Getty)
David Mezias isnt sure hes in the best business right now: Not many people are in the mood to party.
Lehman Brothers certainly wont be contacting me for an event, said Mezias, managing director of Always Entertaining Inc., a high-end party planning business.
Lehman Brothers, the storied investment bank, filed for bankruptcy last week, and that was just the latest low in a year of lows that included the fall of Bear Stearns in March. Financial sector turmoil may affect about 120,000 jobs in the New York City area, Gov. David Paterson warned last week.
Mezias business, the luxury goods business and any business that caters to the high-finance crowd are certain to take a hit.
I see it coming: smaller party budgets, cancelled holiday entertainment, Mezias said.Knockout Renovation Services Inc., a residential interior remodeling company with high-income clients, has experienced a 15 percent decline in sales this year, according to owner Keith Steier. Still, he is optimistic.
If you run a good business and know how to do things well, unless we go into a severe depression, most of the best businesses will survive, he said.
New York Pipe Dreams, a surf, skate and snowboarding apparel store has also experienced a slow down in sales, according to owner David Cooper. Not just sales are hurting, however.
The business is used to having a line of credit to help operate in the off-season, but the market problems have put a severe clamp on lending.
Cooper applied for a loan a couple of months ago, and thats just not going to happen, he said. I dont think anything will change in credit markets in the near future, even in the distant future.
On top of the slowdown in credit and in sales, Coopers vendors are applying more pressure on their terms and payment plans.
I hope for the best, Cooper said. Well try to be as careful and wise in making choices and hopefully well make it through.