NORTH PEKIN -- As the economy continues to struggle, it's not uncommon to see businesses closing up shop. One restaurant owner says keeping his business alive is like a rollercoaster ride.
Dave Flowers says a hot summer and a spike in gas prices are just two factors that are hurting his restaurant, Mickie's Pizzeria.
He says in his ten years of business, he's facing one of the toughest times ever. "Our costs have risen just like anyone else, you know food, costs of operation, from utilities, maintaining things."
Flowers said the cost of chicken just went up 25 percent, and he can't pass that cost on to his customers.
Even last summer, he could count on a steady streak of business. "You could count on your weekends as your bread and butter, your Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sundays were always good."
As more businesses are closing their doors, some owners might think less competition is a good thing, but Flowers tells us in the restaurant business, that's not the case.
He said, "It was disheartening to see some places close, you know it's difficult. Some people would think you'd look at that differently as a restaurant owner but that's not it, it's affecting us all."
He says whether the closings are a symptom or a sign, he's just hoping for an upturn and for people to buy locally.
"If someone spends money in my establishment, especially us being a local business, we're going to pass that money into the community," he said.
Mickie's Pizzeria has three area locations - North Pekin, East Peoria and Dunlap.