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Worry Among Business Owners in Wake of Obama Reelection

Palos Patch asked several business owners about Tuesday's presidential election results and what it meant for the business community. A few who responded were less than hopeful.

Coming off of Tuesday's reelection, President Obama will soon tackle the coming "fiscal cliff" and the country still has high unemployment.

Locally, the worry for several Palos Heights business owners goes beyond those issues.

Palos Patch reached out to owners, asking for their opinion of the presidential election and what they thought will happen to the economy and jobs market over the four years as a result. Three owners who responded didn't sound too thrilled.

"Hopefully, things will start moving, as long as everyone works together to solve the problem," said Lorie Stone. She owns Celtic Cottage, a Harlem Avenue story that sells jewelry, clothing, housewares and seasonal items from Celtic countries.

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President Obama retained his office and likely will keep the same policies, Stone said, so the change that needs to happen is in Congress. She felt it was imperative for senators and representatives in both parties to come together and compromise.

Others might have a more bleak forecast for the coming years.

George Rock seems to be among them. The owner of Every Good Gift on 127th Street said he believes the economy could improve but has less confidence in America's president.

"The economy should be able to recover on its own unless obstacles are put in place," Rock said. "The health care law is one of those things, right off the bat.”

Obama's policies over the past four years, Rock said, have delayed recovery and, if they continue, will only hurt.

“I just don’t think he understands what businesses need," Rock said.

The economy has showed signs of improvement, through reported increased job creation and an unemployment rate that's slowly ticking down. But the recovery has been seen as sluggish and slow to come. Tuesday's results also broke a record: Obama is the first President since FDR to be reelected while the unemployment rate was above 6 percent.

Whether an improving economy has reached all corners of the U.S. is tough to gauge. For some, signs of improvement aren't apparent.

“My son had to move to Germany, with a computer degree, to get a job," said Gino Maira, owner of Mama Vesuvio's Italian restaurant.

Maira said he has three children who graduated from college in the last couple of year and are having trouble finding jobs. He's also heard of older workers being laid off more frequently than ever before. Maira thinks the jobless rate is false and not a true reflection of the job market.

"I’ve never seen this before and I’ve seen it in the last year," Maira said.

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