CHICAGO — Last month, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the recession has likely come to an end, but drycleaners across the country reported declining sales for September, as well as the third quarter of 2009, according to a recent AmericanDrycleaner.com StatShot survey.
Drycleaners in the West saw the biggest sales drop this month. When comparing September 2009 to the same month last year, drycleaners in the region reported an average 11.7% decrease in sales. The South followed, with an average 8.8% decrease. In the Midwest, drycleaners reported an average 8.5% decrease, and in the Northeast, they reported an average 3.6% decrease.
The South was hit hardest in the third quarter of 2009 compared to third-quarter 2008, with drycleaners in the region reporting an average 11.2% drop. In the West, drycleaners reported an average 10.7% drop. In the Midwest, sales were down 8.4%, and in the Northeast, sales fell 6.9%.
“Cashflow continues to be a problem, and I do not anticipate relief soon,” said one drycleaner in the South. “Banks are almost unresponsive to inquiries about commercial loans. None of the banks I have contacted are interested in the ARC loan programs through the SBA. Once again, the federal government fails to help, even though it says programs are available for small business.”
Some drycleaners are beginning to see the end of the recession, however. “Things are getting better, but the hole has to be dug out with small profits,” commented a drycleaner in the South. “We hope the people we owe will continue to let us catch up, small bits at a time.”
AmericanDrycleaner.com’s StatShot includes information on sales, wages, costs and other financial data based on anonymous survey information provided by industry operators. Subscribers to American Drycleaner’s Wire e-mails are invited to participate in these unscientific surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website, on a regular basis. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.
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