AIRPORT GARDENS An economic downturn is a hindrance for most business owners. But for the owners of Perry County Vendors, a slower economy has actually been a boon to business. Wendy Spencer, Amy Williams and Priscilla Shackelford started their business in the former Anderson Auto building on Combs Road, but it wasnt long before they knew they were going to need more room. Thats when they moved into the Grand Vue Plaza in Airport Gardens, and business has been good ever since. Perry County Vendors is a vendors mall where customers can rent space to place merchandise for sale. Items ranging from clothing to crafts are sold at a central counter, and at the end of the month the renters receive payment for what they have sold. Spencer said her business does not take a percentage of the renters income, and is able to stay afloat through renting space to the vendors. She said in the two months since moving to Airport Gardens, space for rent is now being offered on a waiting list because demand has been so high. We have no empty spaces, she said. Spencer partially credited the success of Perry County Vendors to the positive word of mouth the business has received since opening. That, and social networking on the Internet. Basically, weve just been based on word of mouth and Facebook. We have not advertised at all, she said. What really happens is, you get one vendor who has done it somewhere else, and then they know three or four people, and before you know it youve got more people wanting spots than youve got spots. By moving to the Grand Vue Plaza, Spencer noted that Perry County Vendors was able to increase its rental space by about 8,000 square feet. And Spencer said she and her co-owners are hoping that increase wont be the last. One of these days, were hoping to actually either branch out, open another building, or get a bigger spot, she said. Spencer noted that Williams and Shackelford are sisters, as well as being her cousins, and described Perry County Vendors as a family oriented business. In fact, all of its employees are family, which allows them to oversee every aspect of the business and ensure it is being operated as it should be. But the main reason for their early success, Spencer added, is that much of the merchandise they sale is sold under retail prices. And that was one of the big ideas behind starting the business. Because of that, she continued, Perry County Vendors has been able to thrive despite an economic climate in which most are struggling. We just decided that we would try it out and see how it went, because everybody loves a good deal, she said.