INSIDE OUR ECONOMY: Restaurateurs make concessions, keep doors open

There were a couple of times in the past six months when Amanda and Jason Hayden considered closing the doors of Cafe 212 in downtown Tupelo. But loyal customers kept them going.
“From the fall of last year until February was the hardest time for us,” said Amanda Hayden, 29. “There were a few weeks there when we weren’t sure which way things were going to go. We wouldn’t have made it without the locals coming in here and supporting our business.”
The couple didn’t have to lay off any employees at the restaurant, which they opened in April 2006, but they did cut back on hours.
At home, the couple also made concessions. Jason Hayden gave up regular golf, which could cost $30 per round, and took up disc golf, which is free. They also cut back on dining out and rented movies at home instead of making day trips to Memphis to shop and eat.
And Jason Hayden discovered he has a new middle name: Mr. Fix-It.
“I’ve taught myself to fix everything I would normally call a handyman for,” said the 29-year-old.
Both Haydens agreed that they feel the worst of the economic downturn is behind them.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

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