Here’s how five citizens answered this week’s question posed by Capital Times freelancer Kevin Murphy. What do you think? Please join the discussion.

“Yes. I’m a business owner, and how you’re doing has a lot to do with the type of business you’re in. I do specialty chocolates, and people are still having anniversaries, weddings and birthdays, and even in a down economy people can afford a special treat on occasion and still feel pretty good about themselves. Maybe heavy consumables aren’t doing so well, but who doesn’t love chocolate?”

Gail Ambrosius

business owner

Madison

“Not really. I’m always making it, but I can see that it has affected a lot of other people badly. I’ve cut back on a few things, although my budget was limited to start with. It hasn’t affected me as much because I don’t have a family, so as a single person I’m able to maintain pretty well. Things haven’t gotten much better — and basic services like buses and food have gone up and you feel that. If you have to go multiple places in a day, you can spend $10 or $12 a day for transportation. There’s the food crunch too, of course. I eat at restaurants that don’t have a dollar menu, but nothing expensive.”

Dwayne Blue

contractor

Madison

“I guess things are improving. We had the financial crisis but everyone is recovering and realizing that we can’t run things the way we did back then. We all tightened our belts a little bit and got back on the financial track. Obama has got a couple of programs that supposedly have been helping. I’ve managed by curbing the excess spending and just watching it more carefully.”

Peter Guerin

collector for a bank

Verona

“No. I work for the state so that’s probably not going to go in the right direction for me eventually with the changes that are going to happen. The paychecks will be getting smaller while necessities are going up. The price of gas is huge; it’s come down a little but it’s still up there too high. It would be nice if income kept up the cost of living.”

Leroy Swiecichowski

bank examiner

Portage

“Me personally, it’s getting a little better. Sales have been going up slow but steady. Hopefully, that will impact my income. It hasn’t right now but maybe in the future. We’re a small business and we’re still very much in growth mode so I’m pleased that things are improving. Costs are also going up, but business has been a little better now than in the past.”

Ena Langendijk

sales

Madison

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