Cracking the Credit Crunch
As a stormy economic cloud looms overheard, many businesses are struggling to survive. But is there anything that can be done to try and weather the storm? Some Leicestershire business people tell their stories...
Listen: Interview with Jan McCourt
BBC Leicester's Pete Warzynski went to visit Northfield Farm...
Jan McCourt owns Northfield Farm near Oakham. He's tried to make his business immune to the economic downturn by diversifying.
As well as selling award-winning meat he runs a farm shop, holds music festivals, restores antique furniture, gives wine workshops and opens his farm to the public.
He says that sales are up in his farm shop by almost 20%, but his costs have increased dramatically because of the rising price of fuel.
So has diversifying worked in protecting his business against the credit crunch? Jan says it has:
"The simple answer is yes, the slightly more complicated answer is it'll take even more time than we've had so far. It's 10-15 years since I started here and it's still a struggle.
"I think it will continue to be a struggle for the forseeable future, especially because of what's happening on the more global stage."
Listen: Interview with Melton business owners
Pete went to Melton Mowbray to see how the credit crunch is affecting small business owners there...
Tony is the manager of Meltones guitar shop in the town. He says his business hasn't been too badly affected by the credit crunch yet, but people are being more cautious about shopping.
He's not too worried that people are going to stop buying musical instruments because of the downturn though:
"A very small proportion of the population buy musical instruments anyway, so one of the effects of that is that in times of boom, our boom is smaller than it is in some industries.
"But likewise when there's a slump, our slump is relatively small as well, because the actual numbers you're working with of the population are that much smaller."
Listen: Interview with Richard Brucianni
Finally, Pete went to talk to Lutterworth businessman, Richard Brucianni...
Richard supplies hygiene equipment to a variety of countries around the world.
He says that although fuel and raw material costs have gone up, his business is well placed to survive the credit crunch:
"We are part of the real economy in the sense that we actually make things and sell them abroad.
"I think if you are in that real economy and you do actually create value in products and are able to sell those abroad, the credit crunch is really about finance and it's all about this rather theoretical issue of confidence and all the other non-factual items.
"But basically if you're making things and exporting them, that's going to continue. Business to business should survive."
last updated: 24/10/2008 at 17:19