If you drive near any busy shopping area, you may find signs that say "For Rent", "For Lease", or even "Closed".
"In Marathon County we saw quite a few businesses that either had to change the way they operated, had to downsize or some had to close," said Wausau Chamber Small Business Week Committee Member, Pete Valiska.
But Wausau Chamber of Commerce members said those days may soon be over.
"Things are growing, things are changing for the better and hopefully that continues for the future," said Valiska.
Some business owners at this year's Business Expo in Rothschild said they saw a shift in spending during the recession.
Young's Drug Store is one of them.
"In 2007, 2008 we did have to lay off a fair chunk of our long-term care employees which really hurt, it's something we did not want to do," said Young's Drug Store Sales Director, Brant Meyer.
But today, there's evidence, like more construction and business leaders reporting better sales, that suggest new economic growth.
"We're hiring, we're having more customers call us and say hey, would you come take a look and see what you can do for us," said Meyer.
Young's Drug Store owners said they've seen so much growth, they've been able to pass it along to other Marathon County businesses.
Specifically, RMM Solutions. They now provide the pharmacy with I.T. services.
Workers at RMM said they also saw business slow down during the recession.
"People in making decisions regarding their technology were a little more hesitant, they shopped around a little bit more," said RMM Marketing Director, Amy Arnold.
But an RMM Marketing Director said today, they're selling more services and looking to offer a new way for businesses to store data online.
"Small businesses are definitely more willing to engage in technology, they're realizing now that it gives them a leg up above the competition," said Amy Arnold.
Business owners hope the growth will continue.
More than 200 business took part in the expo.