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    Arkansas small business owners respond to fiscal cliff

    8:32 PM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - With a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff, Arkansas business owners met Thursday to discuss impact on the economy and their companies.

    On a windy day in Little Rock, the Hillcrest neighborhood traffic remained steady despite the late afternoon hour. Traffic means customers, local dollars, and burgers.

    "They're going to come out, and they are going to buy more cheeseburgers," said Josh Blevins, owner of The House Gastropub.

    Blevins said the middle class makes up most of his clientele.

    "They're the people that keep my employees employed," said Blevins.

    Blevins, along with two other business owners in Little Rock, spoke out about the fiscal cliff debate Thursday and all agree the government should seek tax reform for the middle class. They said their success or failure hinges on the wallets of the group.

    "Back when things were good, I had six locations and 48 employees. I now have two locations and nine employees," said Jay Orsi, owner of Three Rivers Title Service.

    While the political go-round continues, the owners said consumers shy away from business.

    "The fiscal cliff, the uncertainty surrounding it is causing people not to spend like they used to," said Blevins.

    "They've pulled back as far as ordering, servicing, and material that they might intake, packaging for example," said Charles Cervantes, owner of Cervantes Recycling and Technical Equipment.

    No matter the decision from Washington, Blevins wants a solution to flip more burgers.

    "I would love to see money in working folks, middle class folks pockets who will actually come out and spend their money in my restaurant," said Blevins.

    The owners said they would rather see a thorough long term financial solution, rather than a knee-jerk, quick fix to a growing financial problem.

    These tax rates expire at the first of the year and will affect nearly every American.

    Twitter: @dustinbwilson1

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