poorbutterfly Despite its name, Sheet Music Back in Print isn’t a printing company per se, but it's still a fascinating example of how well printed matter fits the "long tail" model of consumer demand that's so in vogue among marketers these days. Profiled last week in The Chicago Tribune, Sheet Music Back in Print is the creation of Francis Lynch, an amateur musicologist who's amassed a collection of thousands of vintage scores and song sheets like the one pictured above. For a fee, he scans the originals, updates the musical notation, and makes the files available as downloadable PDFs. For those who prefer hard copy, he also offers laser printouts on high-quality paper—so perhaps printing is in the future of this fledgling venture after all. Here's wishing good things from the long tail to Sheet Music Back in Print. As Ron Cervantes tells it, a "business turning point" for Classic Printing of Corpus Christi, TX, occurred as follows: "We started in a 900-square-foot office suite on Corona Drive, where we were very cramped. One day, when I got up to greet a client, I tripped. My stumble caused me to hit a stack of boxes. I fell flat on the floor and the stack of boxes ended up on top of me. That was a sign that we needed more space." Cervantes, who co-founded Classic Printing with two brothers in 1980, relates its history in an interview in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. In 1980, he recalls, "a concept called quick printing was emerging in the printing industry." Encouraged by his father, Louis Cervantes, also a printer, he built up the business and went on to buy the building that it now occupies. His advice to other entrepreneurs: If you have the dream of owning your own business, go for it. Be smart with your money and never stop learning. Building a rewarding and lasting business takes time, so be patient." Joe Olivo, owner of Perfect Printing in Moorestown, NJ, learned that applying for a small business loan can be more trouble than it's worth when his bank advised against it. "The paperwork was so onerous that my bank told me it was not worth my effort to try and get that money," Olivo is quoted as saying in a report by Reuters on U.S. small businesses and the Obama administration's economic stimulus program. Like Olivo, other small business owners told Reuters that the stimulus package seems to offer little assistance to smaller firms. The story says that even though the U.S. Small Business Administration received $730 million this year for small business lending, the program is "not well structured" and is not channeling enough cash to those who need it. The story also notes the anxiety caused by administration's recent decision against bailing out the CIT Group, a leading lender to small firms. In another look at the struggles of small businesses, WEPC NEWS 12, the CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, FL, ran a follow-up story about a pair of local printing company owners it had profiled last spring. Jack and Lisa Boddy, proprietors of A-Affordable Printing in Greenacres, FL, told the station that business is down 30% since this time last year and that they have been forced to cut their staff to just one other person besides themselves. Turned down for a government small business loan, the Boddys then lost their line of credit from a bank. They've tapped personal savings and sought loans from family members to keep the doors open. The shop, offering commercial and screen printing services, has other small businesses as its clientele. "If they are all slow, then I'm going to be slow," Lisa says. Printers large and small from one end of the country to another are responding to economic stress by consolidating operations or merging with other printers. The Orange County Business Journal reported that Creel Printing LLC was shutting down its plant in Costa Mesa, CA, and transferring production and equipment to Creel's other facility in Las Vegas, NV. "Moving production to Las Vegas will reduce our cost structure and give customers the access to expertise across our organization," Allan Creel, president, is quoted as saying. The Costa Mesa plant, opened in 1954, employed about 60 people. In Kenmore, NY, reports Buffalo Business First, a 16-employee shop will be created by the merger of Amherst Quick Print and Buffalo Printing Co., doing business under the name of the latter. Buffalo Printing has been established for 75 years. An open house celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sault Printing Co. of Sault Ste. Marie, MI, was announced in a profile of the company in the Bay Mills News. This family-owned printing and office supply business was started in 1969 by the late Ted and Barbara Maleport and is owned today by their three children, Ron and Mick Maleport and Cindy (Maleport) Albon. Ted Maleport, a pressman, launched the company by purchasing the job shop of a local newspaper. Today the company offers custom and quick printing, advertising specialties, business machines sales and service, and office supplies. Sault Printing's 18 employees presented the Maleport siblings with a bronze plaque honoring the company's founders, which was affixed to the building as part of the anniversary celebration on July 23.