Keeping your business by filing for bankruptcy is a viable option for those victimized by the economic downturn here in California. The last few years have impacted virtually all levels of business and society. Caught in a sinking vortex of increased expenditures and diminished income, many have struggled to stay afloat. Increased awareness has helped emphasize the potential debt relief a bankruptcy can provide to a business fighting to overcome its problems and remain in operation.

The Starlight Theater is a cherished San Diego musical theater company that has been around in Balboa Park since 1946. Citing poor economic conditions, the company recently filed for bankruptcy protection to give itself time to submit a plan to stay in business and pay its obligations. Delays in announcement of its summer theater schedule led the public to understand the company was experiencing difficulty. A pending lawsuit brought by a stagehand's union concerning contributions to its pension fund has added to the problems. Starlight will now have the opportunity to submit a plan for approval to a "trustee" appointed by the Bankruptcy Court.

A representative of the company made a statement which summarized the purpose behind filing a Chapter 11 petition, as "an important first step toward securing a financially sound and sustainable future for a beloved San Diego treasure." The filing indicates the company's outstanding debt at a bit under $1 million, with an operating deficit of $82,000. The southern California theater seats close to 3,600 patrons.

Businesses are suffering due to the economic crisis throughout the world. Many are struggling to do what they can to keep open. While banks and multi-national corporations have benefited from bailouts, a Chapter 11 filing many times can offer protection while seeking a path back to financial health. The laws and regulations regarding bankruptcy filings can be complicated and perplexing. A California attorney experienced in bankruptcy law as it applies locally here in southern California may offer some perspective and help in reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.

Source: The Voiceofsandiego, "Veteran Starlight Theatre Files for Bankruptcy," Kelly Bennett, Aug. 5, 2011