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Multi-county pumpkin empire now a fading dream

CINCINNATI - During better economic times Kenny Boyle had dreams of owning three to five bustling pumpkin stands across several Ohio counties.  That was before the struggling U.S. economy caused the financial collapse of Kenny's beloved pumpkin stand in Amelia.  Even Kenny's desperate offers of pre-carved pumpkins, two-for-one offers, and home delivery did not stimulate increased sales.

"This is tragic," said Kenny.  "I told my son one day all of this will be his.  I was excited about seeing my empire grow with the next generation.  Now I'll probably have to sell this stand for firewood.  Who knows what will happen to these leftover pumpkins?"   

In addition to tightening U.S. consumer spending, Kenny also cited low cost imported Chinese pumpkins as a contributing factor to the demise of his once thriving enterprise.  

Merrill Lynch Economic Analyst Taylor Sandoval said, "Small businesses that sell only one thing are especially vulnerable to economic downturns.  When everyone suddenly decides to stop buying a certain commodity, pumpkins in this case, that can be devastating to single item proprietors like Kenny.  Kenny's business would be in better financial health right now if he also sold other complementary produce items such as decorative squash."

Pumpkin stand operators across the country are collectively petitioning Congress to craft a bailout package for the entire industry.  Economists say the cost to save America's pumpkin stands could be in the thousands of dollars.