Small Businesses Struggling in Tough Economy

By: John Rogers Email
By: John Rogers Email

Deweece Blair is 14 years past retirement age, but she's not at home tending a garden.

The 79-year-old runs Blair's Flowers and Gifts in Quitman, Georgia.

She's sold flower arrangements for 30 years, but the hours are not always rosy.

Blair says, "I may get up at 5 o'clock in the morning, and come to work...I may work until 10 or 11 at night if I have enough to keep me busy."

She's had three employees when business was booming, but now she works alone, unable to pay for full-time help.

Blair says since May, sales have dropped significantly.

In the midst of this, she says some of her expenses have doubled....and she's barely making a profit.

"I got less and less orders and now mainly what we survive on is funeral work," Blair says.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says nationwide, many small businesses cannot make payroll, or purchase essential inventory.

But Blair won't let this stop her.

Family friend William Wheeler says, "She's a wonderful person, she's a hard worker."

"Its more fun working than it is staying home," Blair says.

And Blair says she'll keep working as long as she can...and she's hopeful that business will blossom once again.

Blair says flowers are more of a luxury item....and this decline in sales is a trend in flower shops around the area.


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