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    Asian American C-store Owners Ponder Survival

    At the annual Asian American Convenience Store Association meeting, the economic crisis took center stage.

    TAMPA, Fla. – During the Asian American Convenience Stores Association (AACSA) annual meeting held over the weekend here, Asian American c-store owners and operators joined to discuss the current economic crisis and provide tips on survival, as their businesses have dropped 20 percent on average in recent months, NDTV.com reported.

    "This year, it is the current economic crisis and the drop in our business, which topped our agenda," Satya Shaw, president AACSA, said in the report. "As most of these stores are family-run businesses, many of them have started working at the stores and gas stations themselves and laid off their employees."

    He added: "Income is down, because the volume (of trade) has dropped. Owners are going back to work themselves, to reduce the cost of operation."

    For Mahesh "Mike" Shah, a member who owns 100 gas stations and convenience stores in Florida, and supplies 200 additional such stores, confirmed the 20 percent drop in business. "People have changed their habits due to rising prices. That is why demand has come down," he said.

    Unlike the banking and auto sectors, Shah told the Web site convenience store owners don’t have a bailout coming. "We have to work out our own way to overcome this," he said.

    AACSA was founded in 2005 to fight alleged racial discrimination and racial profiling against Asian American convenience store owners, after 40 Indian Americans were arrested in Atlanta for allegedly selling substances that could be used as an ingredient for methamphetamine, NDTV.com reported.

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