The closing of Famous Anthony’s in Blacksburg is, unfortunately, another visible sign of a troubled economy. Another sign came in an email today: The chain that now owns the newspaper where I reported for 11 years is filing for bankruptcy protection.

It’s no longer a question of if some, or perhaps many, businesses will close but the more pressing questions of how many and when. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reports small business closings are up 64 percent this year — the largest increase in 15 years.

It’s not just businesses who suffer. At the opening game of the Floyd County High School varsity football season Friday night, a team member’s mother approached me and asked how much it would cost for prints of her son playing.

"It’s ten dollars each for 8x10s or $15 for 11x14s," I replied.

"Oh my goodness," she said. "We can’t afford that."

Those old enough to remember the great depression say what we have now is not a recession but the beginning — and the key word is "beginning" — of a depression.

Some economists say the worst is yet to come.

Batten down the hatches mate. It’s going to be a long, cold winter.

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