Glass is half full and business is not so grim in our city |

Glass is half full and business is not so grim in our city

Ronni Hannaman
For the Nevada Appeal

There is justifiably considerable concern in our community when any business closes, even in times such as these.

The Carson City Chamber of Commerce has been receiving calls from concerned citizens about the latest Carson City business closings, particularly in the restaurant community. This segment seems to be one of the hardest hit since going out to eat is one of the first luxuries to be reconsidered in times when money is tight.

To those who were fans of the Sizzler, Mr. Pickles and Chili’s in north Carson City, we commiserate with you since this gives us fewer dining choices. There are many reasons why a business chooses to close and one of them we consistently hear is that landlords are not giving a break on rents during a time when some relief is needed. It took a lot of sandwiches for Mr. Pickles to hand over $4,000 a month in rent, and with dwindling sales, the math just didn’t pencil out. Food costs also went sky high because of the gas price increase. Even with lower gas prices now, food costs have remained high. Combine this with the general overhead of staffing and utilities, and you have a recipe for disaster.

This is not to say that landlords are the sole problem, the economy is the culprit through and through. Even sole proprietors in the beauty industry are finding it hard to retain once loyal clients who have decided to let their hair grow a bit longer or to neglect their nails. Discretionary spending is tight and some things just have to go and when this happens, the ripple effect is felt far and wide.

Enough of the bad news! There’s lots of good news as well.

For each of the restaurants that have closed, there have been a number that have opened.

Carson City Diner is located in north Carson City and is fast becoming a hot spot for those who like to read their paper over a leisurely breakfast. Jed Block swears by the Diner’s hot pastrami sandwich, “the best in town” he states. Charley’s Grilled Subs and L&L Hawaiian recently opened in the Carson Mall and are doing better than projected and by June another restaurant will open in the Mall as well.

Brugo’s Pizza is located in an awkward spot and is doing incredibly well, especially on Wednesday evenings with their wine specials. Red’s Old 395 is packing them in with their daily happy hour specials. The Amber Room just opened in Doppelganger’s attracting more families and Firkin & Fox is now experiencing up to 45-minute waits on Friday evenings.

The restaurants that are doing well have found a way into the pocketbooks of diners by luring them in with special promotions. We love to eat out and enjoy the camaraderie of friends and family. We think we deserve a break, and we do!

While some businesses just aren’t making it, there are so many businesses that are. The Chamber conducts an average of four ribbon cuttings monthly for new business openings or expansions.

Yes, the economy is a concern but let’s focus on the half-full glass and support our local business community and celebrate those businesses that are opening and expanding all around us.

– Ronni Hannaman is executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.