Small businesses still bloom in recession

May 4, 2009 6:50:51 PM PDT
In this recession, the news is filled with layoffs, bankruptcies and businesses closing, but there are small signs of hope.

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NewPark Mall in Newark is caught in the nation's biggest real estate bankruptcy. Its operator, General Growth Properties, is reorganizing. But in the midst of economic turmoil, Shani Masood opened a new store there last month. She turned her jewelry hobby into an entrepreneurial venture.

"We don't have to sit like, 'oh the recession is coming, we have to sit here and stop everything,' no, we have to work hard, we have to work with the economy," Masood said.

Masood and her brother invested $35,000 in start up costs, rent, signs, gift bags and the unique inventory which ranges in price from $20 to $500.

"This jewelry is within a nice price range, not too much, not little and it's good quality," customer Sarahi Alcaraz said.

When customers respond, money changes hands and an entire process moves forward. Any new business triggers an economic chain reaction from jobs and people spending their paychecks to generating sales tax revenue that fund government services.

When a $100 anklet is sold, it brings in another $9.75 in state and city taxes.

Every sale also represents another order and another delivery, all which fuel the economy.

"So there are supply chains to be considered, there are services to be rendered to employees, just as they are brought into certain neighborhood such as eating establishments, banking facilities, etc," San Jose State University economics professor Colleen Haight said.

For now, Masood is helping to employ family members, but she hopes to expand her business and open more stores in other Bay Area malls and be part of a bigger economic recovery.

"We have to help everybody, think positively, it can work very good," Masood said.

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