New local store taking advantage of small business optimism

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COLUMBIA - Bottles clink as workers pull them from boxes and place them on shelves at the Craft Beer Cellar, one of the newest additions to the Columbia's small business scene.

It is taking advantage of favorable economic conditions. A just released Gallup poll says small business owners are more optimistic about both current and future conditions than they have been since 2008. 

Craft Beer Cellar's co-owners Jonathan Steffens, Dan Campbell, and Steve Laban said getting their business off the ground really was a "right time, right place" situation. 

"Especially the last few years, we've seen a lot of growth and development in Columbia, and that's both size and socially," said Labac. "A lot of people are trying new things."

Growth in the downtown area is especially promising. "The beer scene in Columbia has just exploded lately and with all of the new housing, I mean there's so many people in this area, Campbell said. 

He said that while the initial startup has required a lot of resources, he and his colleagues are also thinking about future obstacles. 

"It's a big undertaking," Labac said. "We like to think we've planned ahead and set aside for when things happen."

Labac said the Columbia environment is perfect for small businesses and should help them succeed. 

"I think we will slide right in because we are fighting for the little guy and I feel like a lot of other people around town are, as well, as they start their own businesses," he said.

Craft Beer Cellar will be open for business Dec. 18.