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Recession In The Village Section
Money, like religion, politics, and sex, is a sensitive topic of public conversation. But as Occupy Wall Street protesters lambast commercial banks, the decision of where to bank has become increasingly public.
In the midst of a continuing national recession, business at most downtown merchants remained steady or slightly down in 2010.
Leaders of Friends Care Community announced this week that they will not pursue the senior apartment building they had planned for the Barr property downtown, due to the economic downturn and Friends’ commitment to keeping the rent affordable.
Almost a full year after the national economic seizure, nonprofit organizations in the village are feeling the squeeze in their budgets. The crash affected most markedly the heftily endowed, and it hurt most cruelly the service-oriented groups. While contraction to reduce expenditures is an option, many local nonprofits are choosing to maintain or expand their programs in hopes of riding out a temporary financial slump.
In some ways, Yellow Springs has been insulated from the most profound aspects of the current economic turmoil. Overall, local housing prices have remained steady, foreclosures are few and several of the village’s largest businesses are linked to the relatively recession-proof industries of education and health care.
RECESSION IN THE VILLAGE This is the fifth in a series of articles looking at how the unstable economy is affecting various aspects of Yellow Springs life, including businesses, nonprofits, the arts, housing and schools. The aftermath of the sub-prime mortgage fallout finds the nationwide housing sector still in a serious rut caused by widespread […]
The health of the local economy is tied not only to the village’s largest employers, but also to the many smaller ones that together contribute substantially to Village coffers. With the many entrepreneurs educated at Antioch College, Yellow Springs has a rich legacy of fostering start-ups, and that small-business diversity is a critical part of the stability of the local economy, according to Village Manager Mark Cundiff.
While the turbulent economic climate has affected all regions of the country, some municipalities are faring better than others. So far, Yellow Springs seems to be one of the relatively fortunate towns, as most of the largest employers in Yellow Springs report overall stability, even as they face the coming year with caution.
Illustrating how money circulates through small economies, area contractors can often be found downtown on early weekday mornings and around the lunch hour. When local property owners support local contractors, the contractors in turn support downtown merchants, whether it’s a few extra parts from the hardware store or lunch from the deli.
Amidst a national economic recession that has led to job loss, lower housing values and less-accessible consumer credit, all contractors surveyed in recent interviews were looking at creative ways to stay afloat. While many felt Yellow Springs is spared of the gravest economic fallout, each has encountered economic ripples in some aspect of their business.
In a village that has seen five retail shops close in the last six months, it is no small feat to keep a business thriving, especially during a recession. A sampling of business owners interviewed last week agreed for the most part that trade has been slow this whole past year, and some have been hit by 10 to 25 percent losses over the past few months.