Local businesses feeling financial hurt

Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- It's a problem trickling from Wall Street to Mulberry Street.   Local store owners are feeling the brunt of tightening credit and rising prices.

The Hen Pen, a small Montgomery business has been around for 23 years, but owners say 2008 has proved to be one of the slowest years of all.

"I think that we're going to see a lot of small businesses go out by the end of the year because they just can't survive," explained Alice McMullan, the store's owner.

A looming credit crunch is one of the main reasons.  Without the financial backbone of a chain, businesses owners are finding it hard to keep up when numbers are down.

"[Bigger companies] want you to pay as you order now instead of giving you the 30 day grace period," McMullan said.

While many retailers are seeing slowing sales, places like consignment shops are getting new shoppers who can't afford to pay full price.

"During the credit crunch--during high gas prices and all that--I've picked up a lot of new customers," explained Eleanor Davis, owner of Repeat Performance in Montgomery.

As the nation battles an economic crisis, small businesses are holding steady and hoping for the best.

"I've lived with a positive attitude for so long.  I'm not going to change now," Davis exclaimed.

"We all want to stay.  We all want to have another year, because this is what we enjoy doing," McMullan said.