Economic trends affect local businesses


Both new and well-established restaurants are feeling the effects of the economy these days.

Maid-Rite owner Fred Turner and Kristin Bozinovich, Rammy’s Sub Contractors manager, both agree the falling economy has had an impact on their respective businesses.

Maid-Rite, 3206 Sycamore Road, is not the first experience Turner has had owning his own business. He and his wife owned an accounting and tax business for 17 years. Less than a year ago, they sold it.

Four and a half months later, Turner’s Maid-Rite was open and fully operational. But he’s afraid that the current state of the economy may start his business off on the wrong foot.

“I think that [the rising gas prices and falling economy] will make people feel uneasy. If people don’t feel confident [in the economy], they won’t be willing to go out to eat as much,” Turner said.

New businesses are not the only ones affected. Bozinovich, who has worked at Rammy’s, 870 W. Lincoln Highway, for two and a half years, has not seen a sharp increase or decrease in business. Although Rammy’s patronage remains steady, Bozinovich knows that can change.

“With today’s economy, restaurants are the first to be cut out of [customer’s] budgets,” she said.

Bozinovich said location is essential when it comes to gaining customers. Because Rammy’s is located right next to campus, the customer flow is different than stores closer to the dorms and Greek Row. Sub restaurants like Jimmy John’s become less threatening, she said.

Advertising also impacts customer frequency. Direesa Keepers, freshman speech therapy major, enjoys coupons that local stores have to offer.

“I use coupons more and more as I get older,” Keepers said.

Local businesses have accommodated to the college crowd. Maid-Rite offers “dollar-off” coupons and frequent buyer cards. Turner also advertises in local papers, and “we plan to have radio spots shortly,” he said.

Rammy’s has “Dollar Shake Tuesdays,” “Dollar-Off Sub of the Week” on Sundays and “Tax Free Fridays.” They also have frequent buyer cards and are on the Northern Pact discount card.

Because they have not appeared in any newspaper advertisements, Bozinovich said she believes the lack of advertising has caused a drop in customers.

Both stores are looking to increase sales soon. Turner is sure that although businesses are going through rough times, a positive future is in store.