FARMINGDALE - Amid the volatile market, small businesses on Long Island are growing fearful that the financial crisis of 2008 will make a comeback, wiping out all of their gains.

Tom Falcone opened the restaurant Cheeburger Cheeburger in Farmingdale two years ago. Now, he would like to expand, but he says that because of uncertainty in the stock market, banks are reluctant to lend money to a small business like his.

Economists say the key to the survival of small businesses is getting back to the basics.

"You win by knowing your customer base and catering to their unique needs," says Dr. Pearl Kamer, an economist with the Long Island Association.

Kamer says the Island will likely go through a period of slow economic growth, coupled with increasing costs, that would last anywhere from a year to 18 months. Stocks plunge as attention returns to weak economyDow rallies after Fed statement, up 429 points Wall Street takes a dive on first day after downgradeU.S. downgrade raises anxiety, if not interest ratesS&P downgrades U.S. credit rating from AAA