Friday Jan 06 2012
Results: Roseville businesses want more visibility
By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
Last year, the Roseville Chamber of Commerce asked businesses, “How’s it going?” Now, the results are in, indicating that Roseville and Granite Bay businesses like doing business in the community, but they would like to be more visible and for the economy to turn around. During the third-annual “Listening to Business” walk on Oct. 12, a total of 319 local businesses were visited by city or county representatives and chamber volunteers over a period of a few hours. According to the survey results, which were released late last month, the majority of businesses reported that visibility and signage are the biggest obstacles to success. Wendy Gerig, CEO of the Roseville Chamber of Commerce, said many of the businesses visited were not aware that a Roseville sign ordinance was amended last year, allowing for A-frame signs to be placed in front businesses on private property. Gerig said that while the city and Chamber continue to make strides to improve the business climate and keep businesses informed via printed material, electronic messages and social media, many businesses remain unaware. “We need to figure out a better, more effective way to communicate these changes to our business community,” she said. At the time of the business walk, Simon Hovsepian, owner of Palms Mediterranean Market on South Harding Boulevard, said he was not aware that the sign ordinance had been changed. Since learning of the ordinance change, Hovsepian has made an A-frame sign which he said he utilizes mainly on weekends and on days when he needs to boost business. “It’s been helpful,” he said. “A lot of people are noticing the place now, because we are kind of tucked in.” According to the survey results, only 10 percent of businesses in Roseville said business was “excellent” while close to half — 48 percent — said business was just “good.” Only nine percent of businesses reported they were struggling or that business was “very bad,” according to the survey. “(Given) the fact that people don’t have the disposable income or they continue to be unemployed, spending is not as lucrative as it has been in the past,” Gerig said. The majority of businesses reported they enjoy operating in Roseville based on the location, the community and the clientele. Some reported liking to do business in Roseville because of the quality of life while the remaining businesses cited city or county services. Of the types of businesses visited, 37 percent were retail, 24 percent were service related, and 21 percent were restaurants, with the remaining 18 percent being either professional or “other.” The Roseville Chamber of Commerce began holding the “Listening to Business” walk in 2009, and Gerig said it is still in discussion to possibly hold another later this year. She said the purpose of the survey is to let the businesses know that both the city and chamber care how business is doing, and to see if there is anything that can be done to help them. “From that perspective, I think that it was very well received,” Gerig said. Toby Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.