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Many Hats On Single Heads As Small Businesses Cut Jobs

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 9/17/2009

Today's business owners are willing to assume more roles in the company for the sake of cost-cutting and business streamlining.

How many small business owners have to ship their own packages, answer their own phones, and run their own cash registers? The answer might surprise you.

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In the depths of the economic downturn, many small businesses have been forced to trim jobs in order to stay in the black. And unlike large corporations, a single departure from a small business can drastically change day-to-day operations.

Frequently, the one to shoulder the downsized employee's load is the owner. Occasionally, the owner may be the only employee left standing during particularly harsh economic times.

Nicholas Aguilera, the owner of a print shop that has been in his family since 1972, told CNN that he had to lay off his 82-year-old aunt, who'd worked there for 25 years. He has since performed the duties of a production manager in addition to his regular responsibilities. "My sister and myself - the owners of the company - have cut our pay by 20 percent to let the employees know that we want this thing to work, and we will cut as much as possible," Aguilera says.

Business consultants recommend taking a level-headed look at the current economic conditions and creating realistic long-term plans.

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