In hard economic times, business can be tough. But the city of Davis has seen that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
A few new businesses have sprouted downtown, including Generations Family Footwear (710 2nd St.), European Wax Center (768 5th St.) and Village Pizza & Grill (403 G St.).
Village Pizza and Grill owner Aziz Fattahi recently expanded his small Village Bakery by the Amtrak station to a bustling building on G Street. His upgrade was well-planned.
“If [Village Pizza & Grill] was a brand new business, I would not have started now,” Fattahi said. “But I had no doubts [Village Pizza & Grill] would do well.”
Following successful restaurant models, Fattahi decided it was time to make the move from a small corner bakery to a full-blown restaurant-plus, he had the unique opportunity to buy property in downtown Davis. The original Second Street location will remain open and operating.
Fattahi said Sacramento was another market in which he would have gladly opened a new business, but he had been in Davis since 1997 and wanted to stay.
“Davis has good taste in food,” he said. “This is an educated community with an educated palate.”
“Sacramento businesses were also hit hard in the past year, but have managed to stay afloat and stable,” said Brad Wasson, city of Sacramento revenue manager.
Though some businesses are closing, other businesses are coming in, keeping revenue about the same for the river city.
“We are really not seeing a downturn like we thought we might,” Wasson said.
City of Davis Economic Development Coordinator Sarah Worley has seen the same pattern in Davis – old businesses leave and new ones come in.
Though increases in businesses and revenue are always desirable, for the time being, stability is more than welcome.
“Davis is faring better than some of the communities around us,” Worley said. “Overall, Davis is hanging in there.”
Worley emphasized the importance of shopping locally to help the city weather the economic storm and recover.
As part of local shopping, the new Unitrans U-Dash bus line promotes spending lunch money locally. The bus runs from campus into downtown Davis during lunch hours and costs $1 for the round-trip.
Utilizing these types of services is crucial in keeping local businesses strong, Worley said.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at email@example.com.