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      CNBC TMs in the U.P.

      Firing off a few rounds with CNBC reporter Mike Hegedus, Craig Lauerman shows how his company, Marble Arms, has sustained itself for over a century.

      "We make a real traditional product, explained Lauerman, the owner for the last 14 years. Our sights were on lever action guns back in the Old West--Model 94s, 1866s, all the lever guns that came up through the 1900s to today. So we make replacement sights for those."

      The Gladstone manufacturer, which specializes in gun sights and hunting knives, along with nearby businesses, Bay De Noc Lures and Hoegh Pet Caskets, are being profiled for "Mike on America"|a series on CNBC TMs program, On the Money, that puts a spotlight on what Hegedus calls the "real" economy.

      "I think the impact on the financial sector is pretty severe, stressed Hegedus. And a recession is nothing to sneeze at, but I think the resiliency of the economy outside of New York is a lot better than is often publicized."

      Marble Arms has been able to protect its business by adding new clients and controlling costs, but admits the economy is still a factor. Their profits last year were down by nine percent, but Hegedus says that strong businesses like this one have no reason to worry.

      "It's times like this where millionaires and billionaires are made, he exclaimed. And so it's not all downhill as long as you TMre smart."

      Lauerman hopes so, but says trying to compete during a sluggish economy and in a global market at that is still a struggle. "The pie is only so big, and when the imports take up some of that pie, there's less for us."

      Profiles of all three businesses will air on Mike Hegedus' series on CNBC TMs On the Money in the upcoming months.