New study finds higher national consumer confidence; some Chico businesses question results

Apr 25, 2014 5:41 PM

For some in the North State, hammers hitting nails and saws cutting wood are the sounds of economic recovery.

In Chico, many construction workers have found stable jobs building new homes; many of which have already sold before they're even finished.

According to a national report, consumer confidence has surged recently; giving many Americans more hope about their financial situations and the economy.

And that's exactly the case with Emilio Cardenas. After being laid off and struggling to find work in Southern California, he took a friend's advice, moved to the North State and instantly landed a job.

“I was working for the past eight years at LAX airport,” he said. “The economy over there started slowing down. I don’t know what happened; airlines started cutting people.

“One of my friends invited me here to Chico,” Cardenas continued. “And since the day I got here, the next day I started working.”

But not everyone is seeing the benefits of this so-called increase in consumer confidence.

At Trucker, a clothing store in downtown Chico, owner Luke Winter says sales have been moderate at best.

“If we had to give it a scale of one to five,” Winter said, “I’d say for us, it’s been a three.”

Winter claims a lot his financial hardship is connected to what he calls the demise of downtown Chico.

“The increase in the homeless population in downtown Chico has definitely, I feel, has affected business for me and other local merchants,” he said.

Winter added that many stores have left downtown because of this and that issue needs to be addressed.

“To me Chico is about the downtown,” he said. "The town was built around the downtown and the university and it seems to be ignored.”


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