(CNN Student News) -- March 17, 2009
Small Business Troubles - Explore the struggles facing small businesses in the current recession.
Economic World Tour - Take a world economic tour to examine the impact of the financial crisis.
Summer Jobs for Adults - Hear why older applicants are lining up for summer jobs often done by teens.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MISSION CONTROL: 6-5-4-3-2-1, and booster ignition. Liftoff! Space shuttle Discovery taking the space station to full power for full science.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You heard it. The space shuttle Discovery, heading to the international space station. That is how we launch into today's edition of CNN Student News. Hi, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz.
AZUZ: First up, the topic that seems to be on everyone's mind these days: the economy. CNN is tackling this subject all week long in special programming called "Road to Rescue," looking at the impact of the financial crisis and when things might get better. Today, we're starting with small businesses. The government considers that to be any company with 500 employees or fewer, which means about 99.7% of all U.S. companies are small businesses. They employ about half of the workers in private industries, and they've generated about 60-80% of the country's new jobs during the last 10 years. Many of these small businesses are struggling thanks to the current recession, and President Obama wants to help them out by making it easier for small businesses to get loans from banks. Mary Snow explores how one business owner is weathering the current crisis.
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MARY SNOW, CNN REPORTER: With one eye on selling books, Peter Soter keeps his other eye on the president's plan to help small businesses. Soter says it could be the last hope for keeping his five-year-old bookstore open. He's recently thought about closing it.
PETER SOTER, OWNER, MORNINGSIDE BOOK SHOP: There is a possibility that we may say, "Forget it, I've got two young kids," and start out. But it really scares me. I really don't want to start all over again.
SNOW: Soter says two banks in recent months have turned him away for loans. He says he contacted the Small Business Administration for help in December, and has been sitting tight, looking towards the president to help boost lending. In recent months, he's laid off one employee, is now down to eight, including him and his wife. He's cut back on inventory, relied on credit cards, even borrowed money from friends.
SOTER: Friends have been very kind, but you can only do that for so long before it becomes, you're not borrowing from friends, you are abusing a friendship, you know. Really, I just don't want to do that.
SNOW: Soter wants to apply for a $100,000 loan from the Small Business Administration, and says it's hard to watch massive government bailouts and think of millions ending up paid out in bonuses to AIG employees.
SOTER: It's killing me, it's killing me. It hurts me, because I'm not looking for a lot of money here to make a business work that employs people, that is a good member of the community, that is important. You know, bookstores are good things.
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Word to the Wise
MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: A Word to the Wise...
gross domestic product (GDP) (noun) also referred to as GDP, it's the total value of all goods and services produced in a country during a given year
AZUZ: In 2008, the U.S. had the highest GDP in the world for an individual country, around $14.5 trillion. China, Germany, India, Russia: they were all ranked in the top 10 as well. But the financial crisis is being felt across the globe. CNN correspondents check in with reports on its impact in this economic world tour.
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JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, CHINA: I'm John Vause in Beijing. China is dealing with a dramatic fall in exports, a direct result of consumers around the world, especially the U.S., cutting back their spending. Tens of thousands of factories have closed, 20 million workers are out of a job, and unemployment is also rising among university graduates and professionals. And after a boom in housing, real estate prices are starting to fall, state media reporting there's a glut of residential properties in the big cities, which may take years to sell.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, GERMANY: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Berlin, Germany. And Germany is the largest exporter of industrial goods in the world. The big issue in this country: the auto industry. Porsche, BMW, VW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have already laid off tens of thousands of temporary workers. GM also employs about 25,000 people in this country, and the German government says it's in talks with GM in Detroit to save as many of those jobs as possible.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT, INDIA: I'm Sara Sidner in New Delhi, India, where the Indian Home Minister just last month said that India was one of just a handful of countries that is a shining example of a resilient economy. Now, he credits much of that to domestic consumption. And if you take a look at this everyday, working man's kind of market, it is full of people and they are buying. Now, economists warn there are some troubling figures out there and they have to do with production. The gross domestic product increased by 5.3% in the third quarter, but that's down from 9% in the last couple of years. What does all this mean? Economists say there's a severe slowdown here, but India is not in a recession right now.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, RUSSIA: I'm Matthew Chance in Moscow. And Russia has been hit extremely hard in the global economic downturn, and there's evidence people here are increasingly pessimistic about the state of their finances and what the government can do about them. In one opinion poll this month, it suggests that 58% of Russians believe the economic crisis is deepening; just 3% that the crisis will be over this time next year. The efforts of the Russian government, which has tried to inject billions of dollars to support the economy, has been noticed, but according to the polls conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation in Moscow, 39% of Russians believe the government cannot protect them from the negative effects of the crisis even if it wanted to.
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WRIGHT: Time for the Shoutout, and to see if you were paying attention! What's the official currency of Russia? Is it the: A) Ruble, B) Mark, C) Rupee or D) Drachma? You've got three seconds -- GO! The ruble is the official currency of Russia. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Summer is coming soon, and some of you might already be planning where to work when school lets out. But with the unemployment rate the highest it's been in more than 25 years, older applicants are lining up for some seasonal jobs that are often filled by teens. Marcus Washington of affiliate WTVF in Nashville visits a job fair at one Tennessee theme park.
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MARCUS WASHINGTON, WTVF REPORTER: The outpour of people looking for jobs on this rainy Saturday, waiting in line, filling out applications and interviewing, are proof of how popular this job fair is at Nashville Shores.
MYLES OLIVER, JOB SEEKER: Going easy on the questions, making sure it looks professional.
WASHINGTON: This would be Myles Oliver's first job.
OLIVER: I need a job because I need some extra cash in my pocket for the summer.
WASHINGTON: But in the sea of faces, getting the job means more than extra money.
SAMANTHA WYETT, JOB SEEKER: I got a kid at home I've got to take care of.
WASHINGTON: Samantha Wyett has been without a job for six months. She says she's looked just about everywhere.
WYETT: It ain't been much in the papers or nothing, but anything that pops up, I'm there.
WASHINGTON: And with the economy in the shape it's in, Wyett says she will do just about anything to provide for her family.
WYETT: I can't swim, so it won't do no good to be no life guard.
WASHINGTON: The work at Nashville Shores is seasonal, but right now they're seeing more adults just looking for work to make ends meet.
DANIEL STROBEL, NASHVILLE SHORES: Typically, we would see teenagers or college students. This year, we're seeing a lot more older people, 18 years and older.
WASHINGTON: With Saturday's weather less than perfect, there have been nearly as many applicants in the first day as there were in the three-day job fair last year.
STROBEL: It's been a rainy, cold day, but the number of applicants that have shown up already, just really a testament of how bad people really need jobs.
WYETT: I'm just looking for a job and hoping to get one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: With so many people applying for jobs, it's getting harder to just walk into one. So, if you've had a summer job before, if you're looking for one now, we want to know, how do you make yourself stand out? Share your tips on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com!
Before We Go
AZUZ: And finally today, the Chicago River is dying... or maybe we should say being dyed! It's all part of a Saint Patrick's Day tradition when the Windy City waterway goes green. Hundreds of residents turned out for the annual event, which organizers call a "modern-day miracle," probably helps to have a bunch of dye. Either way, it's another example of how everyone and everything is a little bit Irish on Saint Patrick's Day.
AZUZ: Must be something in the water. We hope you guys have a bonney Saint Patrick's Day. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.