Dr. Joanne Fava
Co-owner, Chiropractic Sports Medicine
“We have seen ups and downs, but 2005-09 was the worst. We’ve been in business since 1994 and tried to be smart about lowering our overhead, but our landlord was not willing to negotiate, and there were no cars in the parking lot for any of the [adjacent] stores. Finally, in November 2009, we relocated closer to I-75. We were able to negotiate a low rent, and the new landlord granted our requests. Our new space has a gym next door, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. With the move we anticipated a slower pace, but we got busier.”
Co-owner, LaPensee Plumbing & Pools
“We laid off 22 people in 2009-10, but now we have more employees than before we started those layoffs. When things were tight, customers would look for necessities to ‘just get by.’ Now they are choosing better quality items, thinking, ‘I don’t want to have to spend this money again.’ We bought our own building 3 ½ years ago; we did buy high, but we were able to get three times the showroom space we had, and we’ve seen more flow coming into the showroom. We have a great long-term property, and we’re here to make this work.”
Co-owner, Ryder Bikes
“Compared to the past couple of years, both stores [Sarasota and Bradenton] are running, year-to-date [in August], at about 30 percent above 2010 and 15 percent above 2009. We own our building on Cortez in Bradenton, and we just finished our two-year lease at the Sarasota location [on Dolphin Street, downtown]. We extended that to five years, because good commercial spaces are getting gobbled up, and we wanted to capture [Sarasota space] before rates go up again. Social media helps create a buzz, but our 12 employees’ [knowledge and training] are what make us stand out in the industry.”
Stay in School
Education impacts work-life earnings five times more than other demographic factors such as gender, race or Hispanic origin, according to a U.S. Census Bureau study released in September 2011.
What’s the best way to fix our nation’s fiscal deficit?
Cut spending and raise revenues
Pass a balanced budget amendment
Source: Biz(941) reader poll.