Chico's economy could be on the way to a slow recovery. First quarter sales tax revenue increased 3.6% higher than the same time last year. Butte County increased 5.1%. City officials say the biggest increase in revenue came from fuel, auto, and plumbing/electrical supplies. Chico's first quarter sales tax revenue was lower than the statewide increase of seven-percent.
City of Chico Finance Director Jennifer Hennessy says, "It's positive news for a change.."
The top 25 producers in the city were made up of nation-wide corporations like Walmart, Lowes and Safeway. But.. Local businesses, like downtown store, Made in Chico, are seeing the same trend. Chris Campfield, Made in Chico Sales Associate says, "We've seen slow and steady increases."
Campfield attributes that to support from the local community. "They like shopping local. Especially with the economy like it is.. They like to keep money at home."
Trucker owner, Luke Winter, agrees. Since the slump, he's had to change the way he does business. By cutting back on new up-and-coming brands, and sticking with the items he knows will sell. But for now, the slight increase brings hope. "I think we're only going to go up from here," says Campfield.
And although the increase is a start for the city.. Hennessey says its crucial that next quarter continues to climb. "We need to see that about 5% to stay in our budget target so were hopeful we'll reach that."