Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges attended the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerces annual meeting and asked small business owners, employees and others about the most significant problems facing their businesses. This is what they said:
• The continuance of the uncertainty in where taxes are going, said Darin McClure, president and owner of Mid-Atlantic Associates, an environmental consulting and engineering firm. Also, the increase in health care costs and to a lesser extent, some of our liability insurance.
• It is more of a challenge than it is a problem in our industry, said Roy Page, CEO and founder of Third Degree, a strategic marketing firm. With the various and evolving media channels available its becoming more and more of a challenge to find unique and innovative ways to engage consumers and to be able to afford the right talent, the right tools and the right technology to allow us to compete.
• The lack of solid footing with the economy, said Pam Higdon, owner of Express Employment Professionals. That uncertainty still is interfering with business decisions to move forward with projects and adding staff.
• Capital, not only to get started, but operating capital, said Marion A. Johnson Jr., vice president of operations for the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.
• Public perception, said Chad Fields, vice president of Picasso Pawn.