By Graham Clark July 31, 2010

Donna D. Easton, Owner and pastry chef

Ezra Fine Foods

I do have a couple of positions that will start out as part-time over the summer, and hopefully will turn into full time in the fall. I just received the Small Business of the Year award from Manatee County; so in light of that, as well as just being cautiously optimistic about the future, I do have the potential to bring in one or two positions. When you approach the summer in our area, especially with the recession and the possibility of the oil coming ashore here, it’s kind of frightening. But receiving the award actually gave me the confidence I needed to go ahead and take my business to the next level.

Terry Thompson, President & CEO, Webtivity Design Solutions

Not right now. I’ve recently hired; instead of paying a contractor, I decided to bring a person on full time. We have enhanced our services, going from a web design or web development company to really expanding our Internet marketing capabilities. We are taking on search engine marketing clients, and we’re also doing social media for clients. So if those areas continue to grow, that’s where my opportunity would be to add an additional person or two.

John Hargreaves, Founder & President, Maintenance Too Paper

We’re not hiring at all. My philosophy is to keep the business flowing and try to break even in the slowest time of the year—June through October—and then focus on really pushing strong through the rest of the year. Day care centers are busy in the summer, so we do sell supplies to childcare or summer school programs, but overall everybody slows down. I’ll be working to try to bring in one to two more people, probably in October or November.

Jim Boyd, CEO

Boyd Insurance & Investment Services

We are not hiring right now. That said, we’re a growing business, and we’re always looking for good people. If a good sales candidate came along we would certainly entertain the notion of working with them. But right now we’re in a spot where we’ve got a full complement of team members. Several of our clients have not been able to weather the financial storm. Other clients have had to downsize their operations as a result of the marketplace. They still have the need for business auto insurance, but they may have five vehicles instead of 10. Our retention remains pretty strong with our clients. I’m guessing at this point it’s probably going to be 2011 before we hire any additional team members.

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