Small businesses starting up, expanding in Bakersfield

Small businesses starting up, expanding in Bakersfield
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — From the sizzle of the grill to the great smiles at the counter, these are the ingredients that owners of Bakersfield's latest burger spot, Juicy Burger, hope launch their restaurant on 24th Street to the top.

"We've added tables and chairs to our patio and online ordering to keep up with the demand," said owner Moe Muthana.

So far, it seems to be working.

"We have had lines out the door every single day," he said.

Muthana said Bakersfield is the perfect location to start a small business, but the work is not easy.

"It's very hard in the beginning. It's rewarding at the end, but you're going to put in 18 hour days," Muthana said.

Tony Martinez owns Tony's Pizza. The company has opened five locations in the last three years.

Martinez is a second-generation owner expanding the family business started 30 years ago. His secret: "If you are selling a product that most can purchase, your model should succeed."

Terri Hicks with the Business & Entrepreneurship Center at Kern Community College District said they are seeing an increase in requests for assistance, due to the bad economy.

"Our economy has changed, and they are having to create opportunities instead of chasing opportunities," Hicks said.