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During economic slumps, small businesses usually suffer more than large ones. One way to keep afloat is to “recession-proof” the businesses by presenting its products as necessary commodities. Then customers are more inclined to continue purchasing, even as they tighten their belts.

Carol Hood, owner of the East Side Grooming Shop, has educated her customers on the importance of pet grooming, placing it on the level of healthcare in her clients' minds. As a result, her business has flourished despite economic tough times. “Our business hasn't suffered from what I call the recession at all. And it's because of the owners' attitude toward their animals,” she said.

The company has also taken steps to make it easier for clients to pay. “If I know that a person is out of work and they have a dog that needs grooming, they call and we work with them. They can pay in partial payments if they have to,” Hood said.

For ethical reasons, Hood has focused on grooming pets rather than show dogs. “So many of your show dogs don't ever live a real life, you know,” she said. This sound moral business code has proven to her clients that Hood truly cares about every pet she handles. “They're living in people's homes and they're considered as members of the family,” she said. “And they are treated like that, too.”
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