As the economy continues to sputter, some small businesses are staying optimistic as we head into the new year. FOX Business asked small business owners from across the country what their best gift was this year, here's what they said:
"Greatest gift I got this year was a syndication deal with GoComics, home of Garfield, Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. It's an honor to be part of that family of classic cartoons--it's a real triumph for a start-up web comic like mine."
David K. Israel, founder and CEO of Twaggies
"The best gift we have received this year is the continuing loyalty of our customers. Despite the shaky economy and the challenging industry we are in, the love, support, and business they give us has kept us going strong."
Jon Lambert, general manager of Princeton Record Exchange
"I'd say as a small business owner, the greatest gift I was given this year was to be able to keep 20 people on payroll and pay our rent each month. And in this tough economy, it was a great feeling to celebrate our third anniversary."
Maria Baugh, co-owner of Butter Lane
"As small business owners, the greatest gift we received this year is our people, both in the states and at our factory in Honduras. Tegu was founded with the goal of creating an engine for social change in Honduras through the provision of living wage jobs and real career development opportunities. To date, we have over 50 employees in Honduras who are cultivating skills as tradesmen and craftsmen. To see our vision become a reality is truly an amazing experience."
Will Haughey, co-founder and chief blockhead of Tegu
"The gift of time off. As most small business owners know, it's hard to ever have a true vacation, so taking some time for yourself is one of the best gifts you can get."
Evan Schneyer, CEO and co-founder of Wanderfly
"The biggest gift of 2011 for Serene Haven was the support and feedback we received from Yelp! We appreciate all the clients who have contributed. It really helps us strive to perform and provide the best service for our clients."
Helen Ngo, Owner of Serene Haven
"The great gift this year was the gift of the internet that allowed us to create an interactive virtual studio bringing our online classes and streaming videos and DVDs to members in over 50 countries."
Mary Helen Bowers, founder and CEO of Ballet Beautiful
With the economic recovery seemingly stuck in neutral, 2011 was a tough year for many small business owners. But 2011 had it's bright spots through the economic storm clouds. Here's what small businesses across the nation say were the highlights of their year.