SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The ongoing financial struggles in the Downtown Sacramento corridor are bringing flashbacks of the recession.
When you walk inside Big Brother Comics on 20th Street, you’ll likely start experiencing flashbacks. When you step outside into the downtown area, those flashbacks may continue, but many aren’t pleasant.
The current financial crisis is bringing memories of what downtown was like during the recession when storefronts closed, many looking like what they do now, dark and empty.
“I haven’t seen too many close yet, but I think I see the beginnings of it,” Kenny Russell, owner of Big Brother Comics, said.
Russell’s business survived back then and is now, but he says every day is different. “I’ll have like, you know, days now that are like 50 bucks,” Russell said.
“We are just hanging in there,” Deb Aderholt, the owner of a Subway in Downtown Sacramento, said.
Hanging in there is all many small business owners like Aderholt can do. She too remembers what it was like back in 2009 when downtown was near the bottom.
“This is way worse because people can’t work, people aren’t being able to work,” she said.
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Businesses were investing in opening back up, failed and ultimately closed again. For example, at 20th and J Streets just over 10 years ago, small business owners then were relying on crowds during the holidays to bring business. In a COVID world, that can’t happen.
Michael Ault is the Executive Director for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. While he didn’t have exact numbers to compare the current economic crisis impacting businesses during the recession to now, he says the financial struggles are devastating.
“I think what we are seeing now is really the beginning of this we may have further impacts,” Ault explained.
David Lewis owner of Floppy’s in downtown says a third of his business has disappeared. He is managing his business on his own but how long?
“I have no idea. I don’t know how much worse is coming but there are ripples to all of this,’ he said.