The Little Guy

Family Businesses Losing Out

As some retail sales are showing signs of hope, American family-run businesses are really feeling the crunch. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses with 19 employees or less—nearly all of them family run—lost 757,000 jobs from the second quarter of 2007 through the third quarter of 2008. The New York Times reports that more American families are shuttering businesses that have been the family for generations, and are being forced to lay off relatives. In the words of Scott Peterson, whose business maintaining flag polls has been in the family since 1926, "We're losing, other than our own physical bodies, everything."