AMR Bankruptcy Concerns Small Business Owners

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.”

  • susan

    its called “the ripple effect”, like a rock thrown into a pond that is still..of course there will be layoffs even if mr hoton is trying to paint the rosy picture..the question remains, when and how will probably not be until after christmas..the sad thing is they have not yet informed any aa’ers of what the plans are with regard to pensions or benefits or layoffs, even though i read the board of directors had discussed how this would be handled back in august! this is typical of aa management..the old “mudshroom” theory…

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  • Tom

    There won’t be any “ripple” effect, as AA isn’t going to be downsizing at DFW. Don’t be ridiculous – it’s their headquarters and home market. Look at the bankruptcies over United, Delta and US Airways last decade. They reduced size in some smaller markets, but for the most part operated business as usual.

    • susan

      thank you oh great and might “tom”..i was merely commenting on what the article says about small businesses being worried..i am a retired aa’er who has been around the airline business for many years and i have seen layoffs,bankruptcies,chapter7’s and oh yes, a whole bunch of parked braniff aircraftw at dfw when they went belly sir obviously dont understand economics..yes amr hdq is in dfw but layoffs and paycuts dont exactly breed spending sprees at local businesses even if there are still many employees. (the ripple effect).people who must fly will still use aa and eat at the airport..the article refers to businesses around the airport and concern abourt amr employees nos shopping..

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  • ChicagoadamOK

    A viable community cannot be built on an unsustainable business model. AMR has followed a strategy for 30 years that has not produced sustainable profits. This bankruptcy is a result of a long track record of bad leadership, and a remarkable need to overhaul the company’s strategy. Key insights to what went wrong and future needs in Forbes magazine article “Yes AMR, Bankruptcy IS Falure”

    • susan

      if you wish to say amr has had a bad strategy for thiry years, you are correct in some areas..taking over the old twa and its debts and its old aircraft and its senior employees (who were almost all laid off)was bad strategy..the “growth plan” of the early 80’s shich led to many more cities having jet service (then turned over to american eagle eventually)proably was not such a good idea..moving hdq from nyc to dfw and cheaper less taxable facilities while adding to the dfw economy and competing with dl was a good one..i could continue on but i am just one small voice from a large group of aa’ers who will be hurt and affected by this decision..the name of the game is money and the board of directors are all prominent business people who happen to care about the bottom line and not the people who have made aa function..the. pilots union opted for “me first ” attitude knowing full well aa could not sustain their least the twu came to some kind of agreement..profits boil down to the people who keep the travelling public buying tickets on american airlines..if the board of directors and amr management care so little about these groups, and large groups that are union will not compromise, the travelling public feels the anymosity and will choos another carrier where they feel respected….

  • Victoria

    I’m a non-union retiree, with 30+ years of service with AA. Their downfall did start 30 years ago. They spent a fortune moving the company’s headquarters to DFW in 1979, and I relocated from NY with them. They expanded at the DFW airport like crazy, honored all sorts of union negotiations for salary increases, benefits and pensions, and never thought this day would come. Since 1979, AA’s corporate culture is totally entwined in the DFW/TX mentality, and they have totally ignored other points in their system = especially NYC. Well, the day of reckoning has finally arrived, and I, for one, along with many other employees and retirees are really offended to think that the pilots union, especially, along with the flight attendants and Transport Workers Unions, will probably all fare better than current retirees who will probably see their pittance of a pension reduced because of organized labor greed. This along with the greed of the AMR corporate execs and high fuel prices, put the final nail in AMR’s coffin. Sad, but true! And, to add insult to injury, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has announced that they may not be able to fully protect the pension benefits of AA employees and retirees.

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