Impact of national crisis on Tulsa's economy

Sunday, September 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

"You know you have that fear in the back of the mind because you don't know what's going to happen with war, and economy." That’s from a Tulsa business owner.

Our local economy is feeling the effects of the national crisis - but some small businesses are holding on to optimism. It's called a ripple effect, effects on the national economy trickle down to local communities. Since the Attack on America, we've seen massive layoffs in the airline industry and dramatic drops in the stock market. This affects how people spend - or don't spend - their money. News on Six consumer reporter Diane White looks at how small businesses in Tulsa are reacting.

Drive through Brookside, you'll find retail shops, restaurants, and salons. One spa has been open six years. Owner Deborah Perrin is also a nail technician - whose handiwork reflects the mood of the country following the Attack on America. The economic ripple effect has touched her business. "I did feel it a bit the first few days." Deborah Perrin, owner of Brookside Spa, "Things like hair, nails, all of your luxury items. Things we do every day but we don't really think of them but honestly they are a luxury - you know they had to kind of think a little bit." But business is picking up - she believes it's because clients want more than a manicure. "Nail techs and stylists are kind of like your bartender - it feels good to talk to them and let them know what's going on and how you feel about this and that." Up the street, it's a slow Saturday at the Creamery Shop. John Forslund owns the store, along with his wife. "Overall we saw about 20 percent drop in business as well." But as customers' outlooks improve, they're slowly returning and spending money. And these business owners believe they can ride out a recession. Mary Forslund: "We're hoping that if it should happen - that people would still have enough money to come in and get an ice cream cone."

And while many business owners and their customers are worried about the economy and what could happen...they tell us their concerns run much deeper. You know you have that fear in the back of the mind because you don't know what's going to happen with war, and economy our families our men and our sons and our husbands and all of that." So she follows a simple philosophy. "Just taking it a day at a time that's exactly right - and enjoying every minute." During a time when no one is sure what the next minute will bring.