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AMR Bankruptcy Concerns Small Business Owners

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GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – In the wake of American Airlines’s parent company AMR filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, some small businesses are worried about whether the move will affect their bottom lines.

AMR is one of the region’s largest employers, hiring about 25,000 employees who also live in the area.

Many reside and shop in Grapevine, which borders Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

At ‘Miscellaneous’ in the historic downtown area, many regular customers are AMR employees. They even offer a 10 percent discount to those who work for the airline.

“About half of our business is tourists and half of it is local people who live in this area, so we try to cater to them,” said co-owner Judy Jobin.

“They shop here and we do feel the impact,” added Jobin’s business partner Liz Womack. “That will affect me as a business owner.”

Many small business owners like Jobin and Womack worry about how possible layoffs within AMR could impact their sales.

“We are your bricks and mortar here, we’re your mom and pop,” said Debi Meek, owner of Bermuda Gold and Silver in Grapevine, “and there is a concern for all of us here on Main Street.”

“Our hotels are impacted by American bringing in people for training,” said Curt Cleaver who owns a hotel management company, “and if they aren’t training that’s a big part of our business or revenue.”

Danielle Boyd, whose family owns Pura Vida Tan in Grapevine along Main Street, wonders if her AMR customers would cut out luxuries like tanning if they lose their jobs.

“If people are cutting back they’re going to cut back in the areas that are not absolutely necessary,” Boyd said.

While the airline’s bankruptcy may ultimately be felt across the area, at Miscellaneous, one of their regular AMR customers isn’t letting it cripple his Christmas spirit.

“He was very optimistic. He had a smile on his face and said it was out of his hands now,” Jobin said, “He was in the Christmas spirit and said he was going to try and think positive.”

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