Hard Times on Main Street

Small businesses everywhere are staggering from sky-high interest rates

It was a protest that both spoke of frustration and a sense of enveloping helplessness. Silver-haired Chicago Businessman William H. Hoyerman, 55, walked outside the red brick entrance of his truck-body plant, General Body Co., and lowered the American flag to half-mast. He then sent letters to his suppliers and customers, exhorting them to do the same. Said he: "Let us fly our flags at half-mast in mourning for the millions of employees and businesses like ourselves, who are being hurt by high interest rates."

Small businesses, which are roughly denned as those firms...

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