Money is not the only problem Westbrook and his peers wrestle with almost daily, however. Others include finding reliable help and dealing with crime.
Although he's never been robbed, Westbrook acknowledges the lurking threat of crime. He believes he's had no problems because of his affiliation with the neighborhood, his dedication to providing quality food and his treatment of local drug addicts. "You've got to treat everybody with respect," he says.
Another growing fear Westbrook sees among inner-city
entrepreneurs is that their success will attract bigger and
financed businesses that will price them out of the marketplace. Although mindful of the potential deep-pockets competition, Westbrook believes that, in the long run, showing appreciation for his customers will give him--and other inner-city entrepreneurs--the edge.