Monday, October 26, 2009

Businesses Stay Afloat in Harsh Economy

Stimulus plans and bailouts are all the rage. The downward spiral of the economy has affected a lot of Americans, and businesses have had to close up shop, while some are still going strong. Some of the businesses in the Publix shopping center across from Vol State are taking a different approach.

Rachel Mullins is the owner of The Red Tulip. “It has definitely gotten slower because of the economy. We have added Vera Bradley items, and we are gearing up for Christmas. We have been here for four years.
We get some students from Volunteer State, and some of our best customers are the staff. They come here for a gift on their lunch hour,” said Mullins.
The Red Tulip has specialty gifts, home accessories, and invitations. They also offer baby items. “We do personalized gifts and invitations,” Mullins said. Mullins said that they are having success with adding Vera Bradley to the collection. The Red Tulip is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:30 pm.
Scott Lannom owner of Painturo’s has been in business across from Vol State for over three years. “The economy has affected us. We have seen at least a thirty percent fall in sales, and we have to watch our labor and food costs. We haven’t had to let anybody go, but it is a roller coaster. We’ll be slammed one weekend and on a wait, and the following week we won’t have as much business,” said Lannom.
Lannom said that customers have stated that they tend to wait for the coupons to come out. “Last year alone I gave over $50,000 in discounts,” Lannom said. Lannom said that some people may see that as losing over $50,000 in these down economic times, but this could be one of the things that helped him stay in business. People are still coming to his restaurant. Dustin McBurnett works at Painturo’s and said, “We get a whole bunch of repeat customers, and Vol-State students come in the mornings sometimes.”

The newest addition to the shopping center is Yogurt Oasis, which specializes in non-fat yogurt. They have been in Gallatin for over three weeks. Dale Malleck is the owner and said, “This is our third store. We have one in Nashville in the West End area, and one in Stones River Mall in Murfreesboro.”
“I wanted to offer customers a great tasting healthy option. College students often put on the freshman fifteen, and this yogurt can help combat that,” said Malleck.

“The economy is affecting everybody. We are still doing well, and get a lot of customers. Some customers that come in say that the economy is bad. I have people coming in almost every day looking for a job. You know the economy is bad when you have people with a college degree saying that they will take a job that pays minimum wage,” said Malleck.
Yogurt Oasis offers a ten percent discount to students, firefighters, and police officers. It is only forty five cents an ounce, and customers can add select toppings.

Businesses offering discounts and coupons seem to be staying afloat and adapting to the ever changing economy.
Volunteer State Community College

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!