Small business owners get signs back

I headed to Whispering Pines in Grass Valley for some fresh salmon from a favorite merchant, Nevada City Seafood, and noticed that the sandwich-board signs pointing to their business, as well as other signs, were up again.

I also noticed a sandwich board in front of Foothill Florist in downtown Grass Valley advertising “Valentine’s Day” flowers. (In a small town, you dig up news just by driving around, observing things and talking to your friends — a nod to “citizen journalism.” )

I wonder if GVPD had a change of heart after the controversy was publicized in The Union. I assigned the story 1/13 after hearing Nevada City Seafood and other merchants question the aggressive enforcement of the ordinance during a recession. (Again, just tooling around town and listening).

Except for getting wet in the weekend rain, the signs were out — rather unobtrusive, I would say. 

Grass Valley has the reputation for being pro business, but Nevada City has been stealing its thunder lately.

I was glad to see Nevada City cutting rents for its tenants, and some private landlords have followed suit. High rents are one of the biggest bugaboos for local merchants.

If I owned a building around here, I’d cut the rent and keep my tenant rather than hold a mortgage on a empty space.

The “for lease” sign in front of the Stonehouse in Nevada City is a glaring reminder of the bleak economy. (We got a postcard in the mail, saying the owner would consider a partnership or sale too).

It will take a village to dig us out of the recession, and cutting some slack to our local merchants is a step in the right direction.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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