Economic Struggle: Small Business Announces it Will Close

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) -- As prices continue to rise, many small businesses in Region 8 are struggling just to keep afloat.

Consumers are starting to cut back on purchases and many small businesses are feeling the pinch.

Now, one small shop in Pocahontas is preparing to close its doors because of the economy.

"Things were looking up until the first part of this year.  All of my records and reports and everything show that it's going down," said Merle Norman and The Gift Gallery owner Cora Morris.

Morris said the economy is the reason she is going out of business.  In addition to fewer people shopping, she's also seen an increase in the price for merchandise she buys for her business.

"There comes a time when you have to make a decision and it may not be the decision you want to make, but you have to do something," said Morris.

In small towns, small businesses are what people rely on to find the things they need.  When this business closes in a couple of months, people are going to have to go out of town to find the things they're looking for.

"It's going to make a big difference here in Pocahontas because they'll have to go to Jonesboro or maybe Walnut Ridge," said Morris.

Kay Ellis is a regular shopper and said she was very sad to see this store closing down.

"It's another store from our square downtown and that just takes away from what we have to offer anyone wanting to come into Pocahontas," said Ellis.

In addition to being a gift shop, Morris also sells Merle Norman makeup.  Something shoppers like Ellis say they'll have to drive to out of town to buy, which will end up costing them more in the long run.

"Everyday it seems like there's more gloom and doom and I don't see it turning around any time soon," said Ellis.

This could be only the beginning for the struggle of small business owners and the rest of us to make ends meet in our current economic situation.

Morris plans to keep the shop open for another two or three months while she works on liquidating her merchandise.

She has marked her inventory down by 25%.