Recession Progression: Main Line Real Estate Agents, Business Owners and Financial Advisers on the Economic Turnaround

The economy finally seems to be righting itself (sort of). But where does that leave us? Local business owners have plenty to say about its impact on their clientele—and let’s just say that it hasn’t exactly been spend, spend, spend.

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It’s two weeks before Thanksgiving and the beginning of  Hanukkah,  and Maurice Tannenbaum figured he’d be booked solid through Christmas Eve. At one point during his 13-year  tenure as the owner of the tony Gladwyne salon, OMG, clients waited up to eight weeks to score an appointment at $300 per cut (throw in a few hundred more for color). “It ain’t what it used to be,” says Tannenbaum. “Business these days is very sporadic and unpredictable.”

Recession, readjustment, economic shift—call it what you will. Tannenbaum has had no choice but to adjust, even if that means offering e-blast discounts and granting day-of appointments to fill his schedule. He can’t put his finger on exactly what’s going on at the moment, but he’s certain of one thing: “It’s very challenging to be a small business owner today.” 

Granted, Gladwyne isn’t Las Vegas or Fort Myers, Fla. Like the rest of the Main Line and western suburbs, it wasn’t as hobbled by the sort of unprecedented foreclosures that hit Nevada, Florida and other volatile real estate markets—though home values did drop and sales slowed for a time. Around here, the repercussions were more subtle. But when things were good, boy, were they ever good.

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