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Businesses hold their own during slowdown

 

Posted 11/08/16 (Tue)

Businesses hold their own during slowdown

By Kevin Killough
While the larger companies experience layoffs and some boom-time startups are gone, local businesses are hanging in for the long haul during the slowdown.
Jessica Nygaard purchased Shear Image last February from long-time owner Christie Eide. 
She hasn’t seen any declines since she’s been operating. 
“We are very busy still,” she said. 
Oil services
Local businesses servicing the oil industry do see a lot more decline in revenues, but they also are not as quick to let go of their place in the community. 
“We have positioned ourselves to remain viable well into the future,” said Jon Becker, marking administrator for WHAM LLC/Dry Fork Supply. 
WHAM provides well-head automation and measurement services. Dry Fork Supply was established in 2007 and is co-owned by TJ Halverson, who is originally from Tioga, and Loretta and Schell Murphy out of Wyoming. 
Dry Fork Supply was started six years ago and operated at first out of a little farm south of Tioga. 
Becker said they had parts stacked to the ceiling in those early days. 
The two businesses now operate next door to each other at a location in the industrial area on the south side of Tioga. The joining has helped them diversify their services. 
When the boom brought them more businesses than they knew what to do with, Becker said they weren’t interested in growing as big as they could.
Their business model focused on quality of service, he explained, and a smaller company serving fewer customers can give anyone of them more attention.
“We got to take care of the customers we’ve got,” Becker said. 
Since the slowdown, they’ve had no lay-offs. They had a few people move on to other opportunities and they have reduced hours, but he said after a few years of 60-plus-hours a week, there have been few complaints.  
Food services
Jodeen Bergstrom-Dean, owner of the 42 Bistro, recently upgraded her business, moving to a new location and taking advantage of some commercial space that opened when a restaurant went bust. 
The restaurant recently held a grand opening and Bergstrom-Dean said she had a lot of people come in for the event. 
She said things in the auxiliary service industry are getting by, but she doesn’t describe the situation as comfortably as other businesses. 
“I think we’re all taking a hit,” she said. 
She said she has to keep her labor costs down as much as possible without sacrificing service, and control inventory closely.
“I think those are the two things you can control,” she said. 
She said increased competition from new restaurants opening is really squeezing the market, and a lot of people are being careful with their money as they wait out the results of the election. 
Until that happens, there’s “no dollars being spent.”