Name: Larry Ashford
Occupation: Owner of Smitty's, a men's clothing store and check-cashing center
His take: The past couple of years have been lean and Christmas was slow, but people have adjusted. "I don't believe there'll be a recession," he says. "Things are a little better lately." What bothers one merchant? "people are making no extra money, but costs are going up - it's as simple as that."
Last updated February 08 2008: 8:04 AM ET