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Landscapers dust selves off after recession storm

Industry News

The prospect of a growing economic recovery has Chattanooga-area lawn care business owners heaving a sign of relief.

| September 23, 2010

It’s been a rough two years in the landscaping business, but the prospect of a growing economic recovery has Chattanooga-area lawn care business owners heaving a sign of relief.

“People have finally been willing to go ahead and schedule the landscaping that they’ve been thinking about for two or three years,” said Janet Phillips, owner of Landscape Arts Inc. “They’re ready to go, so they quit worrying about the economy.”

She lost 40 percent of her business in 2009 to customer penny-pinching, though she said she’s picking most of it back up this year.

A declining economy usually leads to consumers’ cutting back on luxury goods such as jewelry, expensive clothing, and contracted lawn care, said John Garrett, an economics professor at UTC. But the good news is that demand for such services could return as the economy improves over the next three years, he added.

“If people are economizing, lawn care is one of the first things they can economize on,” Garrett said. “Luxury goods and services should come back relatively steadily in line with the economy, but then again it’s a slow process.”

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