Do Elk Grove Small Businesses Need a Shot In The Arm?

As we head into retailers all important Holiday shopping season, a number of different indicators signal the economy is showing signs of imp...

As we head into retailers all important Holiday shopping season, a number of different indicators signal the economy is showing signs of improvement.

While residential real estate prices remain depressed, they appear to have hit a bottom. Unemployment rates, though still historically high, have improved somewhat. Auto sales, which locally generate significant tax revenue, are up from the brutality experienced just a couple of years ago.

So does this mean all sectors of our local economy are out of the woods?

Earlier this week, a series of emails circulated locally imploring Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill to offer another Holiday shopping offer aimed specifically to bolster locally-owned small businesses. At the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, the City of Elk Grove offered a Holiday shopping rebate incentive to help locally owned businesses. (See November, 2009 story here.)

The crux of the message to Gill was this – locally owned small businesses are still suffering and they need help.

In the text of the one of the emails were comments gathered from several diverse local business owners who expressed concern over the continued weakness of the local economy and the survival of their establishments.

For the sake of these business owners, we will not identify them as it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy and we not only want them to survive, but ultimately flourish.

Here is a summary of the comments.

- “The past two years have been a real struggle and this year is even worst.” When this owner was asked about the possibility of another incentive they said: “Oh what an awesome program, are they bringing it back?”

- “Things are slow and improving bit by bit.”

- “Things have been a major struggle the past few years. However, I am determined to survive in the city I live in and support.”

- “With the current economic status from a few years ago it seems more and more people are loosing their homes to foreclosures which also has an impact on [our business.”].

- “We really haven’t recovered from the big dip in business three years ago.”
While these comments from four different small business owners don’t obviously paint a complete picture, they do offer insight into some of the woes being experienced.

And it should be noted that many Elk Grove residents are state employees and based on recently released state budget information, more hard times are ahead for the state. This could all add up, excuse the pun, to slower sales at local businesses, more business failures and ever more vacant retail space in Elk Grove.

Will this be an attractive feature that Randy Starbuck can use as he tries to lure high-end employers to town? We already have a half-built shopping center to bare with – do we really need more vacancies in an already soft commercial real estate market?

So as the city lavishes hundreds of thousands of dollars on auto dealers in hopes of generating the all-important sales tax revenue, they shouldn’t forget the small business owner in Elk Grove. They matter too

Post a Comment Default Comments

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes