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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:22 AM

Better times now, I think

In 2007 my wife and I were unfortunate to buy a townhouse in Southern California just before the crash. Needless to say, it's been underwater ever since.

But that's not what I wanted to bring up:

The neighborhood around the block from us has many small industrial buildings /store fronts—those one story warehouse type buildings. There are dozens of them.

I go running, walk the dog and drive through this industrial area each day, so I began to notice the "for lease" signs grow and grow and grow after the crash. It was pretty much instant after the crash occurred that the signs started showing up. It was sad and made me anxious at the same time.

Years later:
I didn't notice it right away, (because you live life and don't pay attention to the whole picture all the time), but in the past 2 years, small businesses began to fill in those empty shops...I now take my dog to a daycare place around the corner from my home that began business late this summer; and there's some kind of print shop that opened up last winter; a tattoo parlor opened up around the other corner; a car parts shop opened up sometime earlier....the list goes on. Most of the warehouse /store fronts are filled up now.

I sure hope this keeps up. I love seeing these small businesses crop up like this. I would even like to start my own small business, but with my property underwater, I think I'll just try to find a job at one of these companies—I hate working for corporations.

Sorry to ramble.

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Reply Better times now, I think (Original post)
lexw Nov 2012 OP
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #1
lunatica Nov 2012 #2
quaker bill Nov 2012 #3

Response to lexw (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:45 AM

1. Interesting. My wife and I were at the Westside Pavillion (in Westwood) on Saturday to see


a movie but, before that, we walked around the mall for about 90 minutes for exercise. That mall was dead - not very much foot traffic on any of the 3 floors and the stores seemed mostly empty. I was struck by this, b/c this was the weekend following Black Friday. So I had the exact opposite reaction that you did. (I was not surprised when Aeropostale's stock dropped 7% today, as their store in the WP was almost completely empty.)

Saw "Hitchcock." Really well done, and Helen Mirren's performance as Hitchcock's wife Alma was outstanding. My wife was really stoked as her first name is Alma, also

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Response to lexw (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:01 AM

2. Hopefully what you see is a growing trend

I remember when the posts and conversations on DU went from anxious to warnings to how to deal with the coming crash to people losing their jobs and their homes. It became way too commonplace for people to post that they had lost their jobs and that they were denied health care by the insurance companies. So many DUers became homeless and a lot of them just dropped out.

Now the good news is picking up. People are posting that after years they're finally getting jobs, and now posts like yours that tell us anecdotal stories of small businesses opening. It's happening. We're recovering. I hope the DUers who fell through the cracks can benefit from the recovery.

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Response to lexw (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 06:20 AM

3. I have a very small business

I make and sell art jewelry at art festivals. My sales turned a corner this year. I did fairly well until Bush* crashed the economy. Since then, for the last 4 years, sales have been spotty, just enough to keep the business running and only because I have a day job and therefore can choose not to pay the employee (me). I have turned enough of a profit to invest in equipment and supplies, and keep it running, but with the exception of two small "paychecks" that has been it.

This year, my "same festival" sales have been consistent rather than spotty and up by as much as 20%, and I added a new festival to my circuit where sales were stunningly good. Some of my customers were actually "shopping" more than simply picking up a cheap memento, they were buying presents for friends 3 and 4 pieces at a time. I have not seen this since 2007. The post election festivals were even better than the pre-election festivals.

If other businesses are seeing the same things, then times are indeed changing.

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