Birmingham small business owner feeling confident they could survive another recession

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

The owner of Ted’s restaurant is confident that it will go well.

“I strongly believe in my wife and I, that we will find a way to survive,” said Tasos Touloupis. “Ted’s was established in 1973 and has experienced many things. He has survived.”

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

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

“So we’re seeing a lot of pessimism about the global economy, a lot of pessimism about the domestic economy, and we’re seeing a weird disconnect where still, a good percentage of small businesses are internally optimistic about their business right now.” said the West.

He says in the Birmingham metro area, many businesses don’t feel threatened. He adds that if a recession occurs, the South tends to be the last to hit.

Touloupis says the pandemic taught them many lessons about how to survive on a daily basis, even through uncertainty. Because of this, they are prepared in case the economy drops dramatically.

“My wife and I have taken a firm stance to increase our cash flow,” he added. “We don’t necessarily want to have $100 cash in our pocket, but for the operating account to have some cushion.”

“What you’ve seen is more companies being more nimble and really thinking about diversifying their revenue streams,” West said. “You have some opportunities there, so you see the companies that are doing well are the ones that have been very proactive in really thinking about these things.”

Both West and Touloupis say small business owners have to move with the tide to stay afloat.

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

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


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