Local Eateries Continue to Struggle

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

Entrepreneurs who have ever opened their own business know it is neither your typical 9 to 5 job nor is it easy by any means.

Add that to a hurt economy and restaurant giants and local owners are bound to have to fight to stay open.

Next month will mark the one year anniversary of 3 G's hotdog stand just south of downtown Dothan.

The opening of the eatery in the middle of a recession came with its hardships.

"It's a struggle everyday, I mean you know, have a good week this week maybe a bad week next week so you kind of have to pull from one to the other," said Judy Boling, Manager of 3 G’s.

According to the Unites States Small Business Administration, 7 out of 10 restaurants survive the first two years.

And only half last 5 years.

Debbie Tyler says that string is wearing thin at her restaurant, K.D. O'Shea's.

"Here, it's pretty much on a weekly basis, you know, if you have a couple of bad nights you're starting to sweat it," said Tyler.

Fear of the unexpected is what scares Tyler.

In what used to be a mostly predictable business has now changed to a cross of the fingers and a hopeful spirit.

"I have always been the eternal optimist and I see the good things and I go, aw man, cool, things are turning around, you know," said Tyler.

With one successful restaurant in Ozark, Robin Thagard is hoping to see the same for the second location of Colby's in downtown Dothan.

She says so far so good.

Down the street, Katie Hart is hoping for the same success re-opening River Nile in a familiar location.

"I think that a lot, especially with small businesses I think that we have had to pinch pennies so much that now that it's starting to come back up, get our head above water, we're still cautious and I think that's what's going to help us become successful again,” said Hart.

There is no definite date on when River Nile will open.

Hart says it will be in the next couple of weeks.

Studies show only a quarter of new businesses will remain open for 15 or more years.

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