Larry Mocha,president, ASPSCO: “I’m glad I stayed with it. Because of what I have learned, I have a new appreciation for existing businesses and those who try to start a business. However, if I were to do it again, I would like to help people start or run their businesses rather than attempt to start another one. It is way too difficult now. David Greiner, president, Greiner Buick GMC: I certainly would not start a business right now based on the regulatory environment and the lack of consumer confidence. The red tape in California to open something new is rather daunting. The only way to enter the marketplace is by going into something that would experience no startup time or revenue interruption. Having said all that, now is an ideal time to buy an existing business that could be purchased for less than its asset value assuming it has some sort of revenue stream and provides a necessary service.
Joseph Dutra, president and CEO, Kimmie Candy Co. When I started Kimmie Candy, I did not consider regulatory hurdles because I did not know about them yet; I jumped in feet first. Even when I considered all the factors in the economy, I still moved forward. Would I do it again? Yes, Yes and Yes. I like the excitement and the challenge of starting a business.
Ronald Barnes, chairman, Midwest BankCentre: I can’t speak for our business owner clients as to whether they would consider starting their business today given all the uncertainty out of Washington and economically. However, I would say the dysfunction in Washington and the perceived anti-business sentiment along with the concern over unresolved, long-term structural issues surrounding the deficit and debt picture has caused our business customer to hold back relative to new investment and hiring.
Cristi Cristich, CEO and founder, Cristek Interconnects: Tough economies are always fertile ground for creative risk takers in general, because they can design a business model to capitalize on the prevailing challenges. Having said that, this business environment has nothing to offer someone considering launching a manufacturing business as a private enterprise. The tax, healthcare and regulatory situation makes in completely untenable for me to put my capital at risk to create jobs.
David M. Greenspon, president and owner, Competitive Edge: Our manufacturing is heavily regulated by the EPA and we are impacted by the costs of skyrocketing healthcare which will be required on a mandatory basis in 2013 for almost 150 current employees. The pending tax hikes on my Sub-S corporation will also impact profitability and make it less rewarding to do the long hours of work and take risks. A slowing economy causes some customers to fall behind in payments. All business owners question whether to stay in business, sell out, or retire when they face difficult economic times. It takes so much time and energy to build a business, so I am not quick to quit. Fact is, an entrepreneur will always look to start a business rather than sitting on the sidelines.
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