5 of 7
BACKNEXT
Running in the red
Running in the red
Dee Lanning
President, Triad Heating Air and Refrigeration
Winston-Salem, N.C.

The HVAC industry in North Carolina is taking a large hit. The homeowners can't get loans to fix their heat/AC. We do commercial and residential work, but our home contractors are seeing their homes fall to foreclosure before they are completed. The cities in the area encourage small businesses to bid on construction, and we have worked hard to gain some of this work. But for these big projects, we need to secure materials now, and that really pinches us. We've been operating in the red for most of year, and my husband and I are dumping a lot of our personal income into the business to stay afloat. But we're not going to be able to continue that while paying the mortgage.

Last week, I had eight employees, but this week I have five. That means I'm putting in 10-12 hours a day, plus weekends and any necessary night hours, as our company provides 24-hour emergency service. This cut helped with my insurance and payroll expenses, but I'm still paying off the business, which we bought in 2006, while trying to afford materials for our upcoming contracts. It's scary. My phone is ringing off the hook, but it's not customers - it's the bill collector.

NEXT: More work, but no hiring

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.