NJ businesses struggle along with sinking U.S. economy

Business owners across the Garden State say they're suffering from the current economic crisis sweeping the nation.

The recent Wall Street downturn and proposed $700 billion government bailout of the banking industry, along with higher fuel and supply costs, have many smaller businesses struggling to stay afloat.

Tumble Bee Children's Gym owner Della Volpe is feeling the economic sting as her classes thin. The owner runs 27 classes a week, only four of which are now full.

"We just started a new program in September and our numbers are down about 22 percent," she explains.

Volpe isn't alone in her tale of woe. Ray Novini has had to lay off workers and boost prices at Esposito's Pizza in Emerson. Novini says he can only hope his homemade recipes keep patrons coming in.

"That's all I got going for me," says Novini.

Richie Dimeglio, a bartender at the Brookside Tavern in Dumont, says business has actually been booming lately. Dimeglio says the poor economy may actually play a part in pushing people to drink, though.

"People come in to cry in their beer," says Dimeglio.

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