LOOKOUT VALLEY, TN. (WRCB) -- John Boyd recently managed Meo Mio's restaurant and says before the name change to Smoky Creek he saw his Cajun cuisine business fizzling away.
"Being an operator I thought I could do it all with records and book keeping, and I got a little overwhelmed," says Boyd.
It was so much he couldn't pay employees.
Three of them came to Channel 3 in hopes to get their money back.
Wayne Doss says he is owed hundreds and now it's affecting his family life.
"I do have a four-year-old son and I am behind in child support and this is something I need and haven't been able to pay it."
Boyd says once business took a turn for the worst, he told employees their may be some issues getting them a steady check.
It is something he says he never tried to hide.
Boyd says, "The majority worked with me very well, and it got to the point when business was really slow that I couldn't pay everybody."
Sharyn Moreland with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center says Meo Mio's story is a classic one many small business owners face.
"The number one reason companies fall in the first year is because of a lack of capitol," Moreland says. "They underestimate what it takes to not only get in the business, but what it takes to maintain it for the first year."
Boyd says after days of digging in the books he is able to secure enough money to get each employee the back pay they are owed.
He hopes with a new restaurant name he can get business cooking again.
"I have paychecks for everyone I owe, and it will be taken care of in the next couple of days."
Boyd is asking employees who are owed back pay to call the restaurant.