Small businesses faring better in Amarillo

by Larry Lemmons
Newschannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - In many areas across the country small businesses continue to struggle as the credit crunch remains. This makes it hard to expand or sometimes even make payroll.

Of course the national economy has affected small business in Amarillo, but the fact is, apparently, if you've got good credit here, you can get a loan.

J. Pat Hickman, CEO and President of Happy State Bank says, "We've seen a little erosion in the last 12 months, but generally speaking the small businesses we deal with are having some pretty good years."

One such business is Hughes Cleaning Equipment. They service high pressure washers and steam cleaners and manufacture chemicals for oil fields and car washes. They've been in business since 1978 and had a booth at the Farm and Ranch Show.

Todd Hughes says, "We felt some of the economic hard times. The oil business has been off and we do an extremely large amount of business when the oil business is booming."

But he says he hasn't had a problem getting loans he's picking up business at the Show.  "We've had an excellent show this year. We've sold several pieces of equipment and got a whole bunch of leads to work on in the next few weeks."

Carol Cooper owns Possibilities, selling clothes and accessories. She's been in business three years and has recently expanded the store. "You know honestly, we've got a great banker and I like I said, we've been truly blessed so the business has been good and we continue to grow and we've had a great two years and we've got lots of support from our local bank."

Hickman concludes, "A number of folks are having better sales than in past years so it's sounding pretty good for the city of Amarillo."

Despite these bright spots, retail sales are down ten percent from last year.