Credit freeze hurting LI's mom and pop stores

It didn?t take long for the national credit crunch to start taking its toll on Long Island?s many small businesses.
Banks are having difficulty borrowing given the recent failures of so many important financial entities, which means they?re tightening up on giving out loans. That credit freeze has trickled down from banks to product manufacturers to small businesses on Long Island.
Tom Schuman says his Bay Shore hardware store is doing well financially, but would be doing much better if the economy were more secure.
"Instead of the bill coming due in 90 to 120 days, the bill is due in 30 days and they used to give you a grace period,? Schuman says. ?No more."
Ninety percent of Long Island?s businesses are considered small. Economist Pearl Kamer, of the Long Island Association, says small businesses have less access to capital, which creates a domino effect whereby they could end up laying off workers.
"Consumers might need to support their local downtown merchants now more than they have in the past," Kamer says.
Kamer says if Congress passes a rescue bill , it will be another several months before the credit markets function normally.