It might not seem like the thing to do in a bad economy, but frequently when economic downturns happen, many people go into small business. Though it seems counter-intuitive on its face to do so, a simple reason this occurs is that, having lost regular employment, many decide to try and be their own boss instead. It can be (and frequently is) a very rough and tough road to follow, but for many individuals it leads to a lifetime of success (not to mention that it helps bring about economic recovery, something no government bailout scheme is ever likely to accomplish).
You could start with a Free copy of Retailers Forum Magazine, which is a publication aimed at those who want to begin a business or who want to take their existing business to the next level. Each issue is packed with ads and information that could help you take the next step. For example, a commonly featured ad in Retailers Forum is that of wholesalers, sources of cheap inventory which could be sold online through venues such as Ebay.
Check it out today if you are thinking about starting a new business or if you already have one. The magazine is free to read and could be a valuable resource to you.