Birmingham small business owners confident they can survive another recession

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – There are still many questions surrounding the possibility of a recession, and while some are pessimistic about what’s to come, others remain optimistic.

The owners of Ted’s are confident they’ll be fine.

“I firmly believe that my wife and I — we will find a way to survive,” Tasso Stulupis said. “Ted’s was founded in 1973 and has been through a lot. It survived.”

The restaurant survived the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many small businesses feel the same way, says Ty West, editor-in-chief of The Playbook.

“So we’re seeing a lot of pessimism about the global economy, we’re seeing a lot of pessimism about the national economy, we’re seeing a weird disconnect, but there’s still a large percentage of small businesses that are optimistic about their business at the moment,” Weiss Te said.

In the Birmingham metropolitan area, many businesses did not feel threatened, he said. If a recession does occur, the South tends to be the last to be hit, he added.

Tulupis said the pandemic has taught them many lessons about how to survive in everyday life, even in times of uncertainty. Because of this, they are bracing themselves for a sharp economic downturn.

“My wife and I have taken a tough stance to increase our cash flow,” he added. “It’s not necessarily that we want to have $100 in cash in our pockets, it’s just that the operating account has some buffer.”

“What you’re seeing is more and more businesses being more nimble and really thinking about diversifying their revenue streams,” West said. “You have some opportunities there, so you’re going to see businesses that are doing well are businesses that are very proactive and really think about these things.”

Both West and Touloupis say small business owners have to jump on the bandwagon to stay afloat.

“We have to adapt,” Tulupis said. “If you can’t be a chameleon, you better start packing and retire somewhere.”

West added that if a recession does happen soon, it will look very different from the 2008 recession. The best thing right now is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

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