Local economy looks promising

This time last year people were spending less, the stock market was still at record lows and people around the country were being laid off.  Over the last few months, Ballard businesses say they’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I don’t know if we are in a pocket, where we have been affected differently by the down turn,” Kristie Kisbye, owner of Annie’s Art and Frame on Market St. says, “but we are up two digits from this time last year.”

Some businesses got through the past few years with very careful planning.  “A few years ago we went back to the basics,” Legh Burns, owner of re-soul said, “going by the numbers is what got us through it.” Re-soul had one of the best Decembers ever, a feat that many other local business are happy to share as well.

Down Ballard Ave, new shops are opening up or getting ready to move in. One that is new to Ballard is Dish-It-Up.  With their cooking classes and cabinetry options, owner Andrea Reith is very excited to be in the neighborhood.  “It’s about the time where people are looking to remodel.”

Canto Barcelona

Most of the business owners thank local residents for their sales. “We are doing really well. The support of Ballard and the eastside is very appreciated,” Jimmy Hasson, owner of Canto Barcelona says. Canto Barcelona, a Spanish clothing store, is up 20 percent from last year.

Bionda, an employee at Camelion Design, says that they had an especially good December as well and she has noticed that people are shopping more locally.

With more money in the area, less closing signs are seen on Ballard Way. Damsalfly will be moving into the old Bark Natural Pet store, and a few other stores are being prepared for new owners.

“It feels like it is picking up, emotionally it feels more positive,” Richard Hiner, a local architect says. A few larger projects got his small firm through the past year. Although business is picking up, it won’t be until they have twice as many projects that he will feel like the economy has actually turned around.

Despite the positive numbers, many believe that the economy has a long way to go before it will fully be recovered. Very few businesses are hiring, and most are still having winter closeout sales, but for now the overall feel amongst local business owners seems to be very positive. (Disclosure: Dish it up! is a sponsor of MyBallard.)

15 thoughts to “Local economy looks promising”

  1. Stock market was at record lows 2 years ago. A year ago it was up 50% from that low. The stock market is one of the leading indicators of the economy. The recession ended 19 months ago. It just takes a while before people actually realize it.

  2. We’ll see. We have a guy in office in DC who has an “on demand economy”. This is Obama’s economy now. Has been for awhile. He’s not done meddling with things yet. And when more restrictions, demands, rules etc, it’s not getting any easier running/owning a biz. Perhaps if more ran a biz they’d get it a bit better. Many of these folks have had to borrrow to make payroll. They haven’t taken much or anything for themselves either. And UE/L+I have gone way up. A business never pays taxes. It’s customers do.

  3. GeekySwedes,
    So noticed the disclosure at the bottom of the article. Perhaps you could elaborate on what sponsorship of MyBallard gets a business? It seems to me that Dish it up!, particularly their cooking classes and ‘cabinet options’ had very little to do with the news story, yet they’re featured there. Does sponsorship mean you force a business name into a piece as a method of subtle advertising? If so, doesn’t that call into question whether the blog can even be considered journalism? I don’t mean to be inflammatory but I’m confused as to what you’re trying to accomplish here. I read this blog because it gives me Ballard news. I don’t intend to read the blog further if the only point is to generate advertising in the midst of a story. I can get that anywhere else.

    NB: Commenters, it isn’t necessary to rehash every argument regarding the GeekySwedes association with the Ballard Chamber of Commerce. We’ve all read the posts.

  4. The mention of Dish It Up! is important to this story because it highlights an uptick in the economy. That storefront has been empty since the Ballard Landmark apartments were built, over three years ago. It is significant because the company has committed resources to open a store with a very large footprint in Ballard. You may not think a kitchen shop is important in your sheltered world, but it is a business that employs real people, pays taxes and provides goods and services to the residents of Ballard.

    The article mentions 7 or 8 businesses in Ballard, only one of which is a MyBallard sponsor and you’re whining? Well, when the Ballard SeaFood Fest or Norwegian Independence parade happens, I sure hope the Geeky Swedes photoshop out all MyBallard sponsors from the photos.

  5. I think that the mention of Dish It Up is included for a couple of reasons:
    Formerly empty store front now has an occupant

    The business does remodeling work, the owner is quoted saying that people are staring to think about remodeling (ie starting to think about spending money on construction an area of the economy that has been hard hit)

    A number of businesses are mentioned it appears that only one is a sponsor so I wouldn’t call foul on that.

  6. Obviously, that was a mistake. But Ballard Way is the road Trader Joe’s and Maritime Brewery are on, one block off of Leary. Ballard is more than Ballard Ave and Market St.

  7. Our last President was a business owner and hailed as our first MBA President. How’d that work out for the economy? Oh yeah, it cratered during his tenure. Granted, not all of that was his fault – there’s plenty of blame on both sides (much of the financial industry deregulation that caused the collapse happened during the Clinton years). Singling out any one president and pinning the success/failure of the economy on them demonstrates nothing more than a very poor understanding of how our economy works.

    PS – great screen name.

  8. After noticing something similar repeatedly in the Queen Anne blog I looked at several other of their other neighborhood blogs. It seems something they do this in all their blogs .. And sometimes its not even subtle, the whole post is an advertisement.

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