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Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce hosts Paradise Business Forum

For the first time, business owners met with the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce Thursday night to talk about the challenges they face following the Camp Fire.

Posted: Apr 25, 2019 10:37 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2019 8:50 AM

PARADISE, Calif. - For the first time, business owners met with the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce Thursday night to talk about the challenges they face following the Camp Fire.

The Chamber surveyed more than 170 business owners in the area and presented the results at the meeting. 

"It does get a little bit scary sometimes when you think, you know, you really depend on these people," said Paul Lyons, the owner of Lyon's Express Oil and Lube. 

Paul Lyons is one of several Paradise business owners who has reopened on the ridge since the Camp Fire.

"We've been very fortunate that we are continuing to service cars, almost as many as we were doing before," Lyons said. 

The Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce listened to concerns about running a business in the new normal.

"Our concerns are that the other businesses continue 'cause if people don't shop in our areas and put the money there, if they're not supported and the town doesn't continue to grow back, then it's going to go out to big companies, big corporations," said Leah Blanyer, co-owner of Good Hair Day in Magalia.

Other business owners want to know what the future looks like for them.

"Are there going to be underground facilities put in as far as power, water, things like this?" Lyons said. 

For some, coming back to work in Paradise was like coming home.

"Seeing the people that I know, my clients, or my family, my friends, I feel at home," said a business owner.

Paradise lost a large part of its population, its customer base, a concern for some business owners.

"We are a resilient community and frankly we are taking a chance and those businesses that are going to be successful are going to be able to make a pivot to serve our guest workers and temporary residents," said Monica Nolan, Executive Director of the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

As for what's next, the Chamber said they will take all the ideas that were discussed at this meeting and see what they can do moving forward to best advocate for the business owners. 

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The first of two storms moved over northern California late last night and this morning, but our weather has quieted for now. More rain showers will fall Saturday, but heavier rain and snow with stronger wind arrives Sunday.
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