The past several years have been tough, and small business survival is a major concern. Discretionary spending often determines if a small business will make a profit. In a recession, discretionary income takes a sharp downturn. Other economic factors exert pressure as well. Markets continue to be squeezed from increasing competition, diminishing loyalty in local purchasing, and, in some cases, shrinking markets. The bottom line – small businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water. Owning and operating a small business is hard in the best of times. It’s doubly tough during the worst of times.