If you have a new business, we want to hear about it

April 23, 2011|Stuart Samuels

Some old guys may have come up with a better mouse trap, their entrepreneurial spirit providing another beacon of hope in the long, dark climb out of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.

Actually, they are called Old Guys LLC. As you may have noticed on the April 10 Money page in The Herald-Mail, Ken Fehlauer, Jim Colombo, J.R. Arnold and Nick Carter of Hagerstown have eschewed retirement to come up with an idea for a new business.

Pooling their years of experience and knowledge, the equal partners have come up with a "customer no-cost" vehicle-purchasing assistance business. In short, they will help you find the right new or used car to buy, depending on how much you want to spend — and the dealer, not you, pays them.

At last that's the theory; whether it will work remains to be seen, but you have to admire their spunk and willingness to light a candle rather than sitting around cursing the recessionary darkness or playing bingo.

Napoleon once derisively called the English "a nation of shopkeepers" — a nation, I might add, that helped kick his butt at Waterloo.

Americans, on the other hand, since the beginning, could probably be described as a nation of ideas, especially those designed to make a buck. Yes, we are mostly capitalists without apology, from snake oil to high-tech startups, and, like it or not, it has been the driving force in the nation's rise to power and prominence in its 235-year history.

So after years of dire news of persistent record-setting joblessness, especially in the Tri-State area, it is with a cautionary sigh of relief that we are seeing more business startups like the Old Guys materializing for our weekly New Business Spotlight in this newspaper.  

Undoubtedly, the creation of new and sustainable small businesses will be the transfusion needed to start the American economy's heart pumping again at full speed — that is, once people are convinced it's safe to spend what money they have on more consumer goods and services.

It is a mantra repeated by every politician: Small businesses create jobs, and jobs create more spending and tax revenue to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare for of all of us.

Granted, the failure rate for new businesses, especially restaurants, still is staggering, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to come up with a way to make a buck and fill a perceived economic niche.

If you have a business and want to be featured on the Money page in our New Business Spotlight, it's a simple process. If your business is less than a year old, all you have to do is fill in the questionnaire below and email it to or send via fax to 301-714-0245, ATTN: New Business Spotlight:

Name of business:



Opening date:

Products and services:

Target market:

How did you get into your business, and what motivated you to start it?

Previous business experience:

Number of employees:


Phone number:



And who knows, maybe customers will beat a path to your door.

Stuart Samuels is night city editor for The Herald-Mail Co. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2336, or via email at

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