Job cuts on Main Street

Small companies account for more than 40% of the nation's payroll - and as the economy worsens, their staffing cuts reverberate through local communities.

1 of 7
BACKNEXT
Expansion - and paycheck - on hold
Expansion - and paycheck - on hold
Knudsen and his wife, who helps run their business.
Kristoffer Knudsen
CEO, Copenhagen Furniture
Lakewood, Colo.

I've owned my furniture business for two years now. Two months ago, I had nine employees, but sales have dropped off so significantly that we are now down to four.

We sell furniture products from Denmark and Scandinavia that are very high-end. In the past, economic dips didn't really impact my customer base, but now, even the wealthiest customers are being cautious. We're eking by and will hopefully make it through by tightening expenses and improving the bottom line any way we can. For me, it is a good feeling to provide my employees with good salaries, so letting them go is a sad state of affairs.

I have gone without a paycheck for months to salvage the business, but all the bad news in the press and the irresponsible politics going on makes it so difficult in the retail environment. I eventually hit the limit on my credit line and couldn't secure another one.

The small staff isn't just difficult because we all have to pick up more responsibilities; not long ago, our hope was to build two or three other small showrooms in locations across the city of Denver. But now, with so few people, it is impossible to expand.

NEXT: Hard times getting harder

LAST UPDATE: Jan 29 2009 | 2:34 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
7 hot businesses to start now It's hard to predict what businesses will take off, but these startup ideas have been drawing tons of interest from entrepreneurs and their customers on Thumbtack.com. More
How will a minimum wage hike hit businesses? Thirteen states increased the minimum wage on Jan. 1, and President Obama supports raising the federal rate to $10.10. 4 small business owners weigh in on how an increase would affect them. More
America's favorite businesses From a science camp for girls to a kombucha brewer, communities around the country voted on their favorite small businesses. These 12 came out on top, each scoring a $250,000 grant from Chase and a trip to Google's headquarters. More
Sponsors

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.