Presidential help for small businesses

February 26, 2009 8:46:12 PM PST
"It's just really scary right now for all kinds of businesses. I mean I see em come, I see em go."

Angie Brown knows how hard it is to see them go a year before she opened "Soul" restaurant in Chestnut Hill, she owned and operated a restaurant in Mt. Airy, it closed in 2007.

"The economy at that point was starting to decline and I got caught up in it," she said. "It's great to have fabulous food coming out of your kitchen, but you also have to sustain your business. You have to stay on top of everything especially taxes because that's where you get hurt the most."

Last October, when she opened "Soul", President Obama pledged to cut or freeze taxes on most small businesses. And his new budget proposal would eliminate capital gains taxes on all small businesses.

After a sluggish start, her business is beginning to pick up.

"Right before the election, you know, everything was like slow. Are we gonna have a customer on a Tuesday night? Now Tuesday nights are full," she said.

Angie's mom, Phyllis puts her stamp on the establishment with desserts like homemade pound cake, with just a hint of lemon.

Angie is the only chef, handling all the cooking.

"The food that my mother makes in this restaurant and serves to our customers is the food that I grew up eating," said co-owner Samantha Johnson.

Angie's daughter, Samantha, is partner and co-owner of the restaurant; at age 24, she's still learning, but brings optimism to the business her mother had nearly lost.

"You can't come in here and meet us and know us and get a feel for what we're trying to do and not appreciate that," Angie explained. "Samantha makes the call, pays the bills and organizes the events."

One such event is "Cooking Kids", cooking classes for children, at "Soul", on Saturdays from 10am to Noon. The first session last weekend featured an introduction to seasonings.

"So they'll know oregano, rosemary, margarine, thyme. We line them up, let them smell them."

These days, the nicest thing Angie, Samantha and Phyllis are smelling, in addition to what's in the kitchen is sweet success because they say our President understands the little guy, the small business owner.

"Absolutely I mean I know for a fact Obama likes to eat out. He likes to go to restaurants, he likes to take his wife out," she said. "Its fun and it's different and its pressure but I think we keep each other on our toes."

"I'm very happy being where we are right now."