After the economic recession, we witnessed a large number of businesses disappear in Santa Cruz County as a result of it. Now we slowly see big franchises, and locally owned businesses opening in our area. This is a clear sign of economic growth. We are witnessing a surge of new stores and restaurants slowly making their way into our small city of Nogales, Arizona.
Among those are brand new store chains like Aeropostale, P.S., Shoe Carnival and Aaron’s, all opened within the same shopping center. For months, we’ve watched tentatively as construction crews have been working on a new building next to Holiday Inn and the Best Western Sonoran Suites. Roster Wings restaurant will open at the site. Another new restaurant in downtown Nogales, right across from the Mexican Consulate. The new Chinese restaurant Canton is now open for business.
Not all of the businesses opening in our area are constructing new buildings. A few have found existing spots to occupy. Gorilla Pizza took over the old Sonic building, which was recently known as Los Picadientes. The other is Toscanos this a brand new Italian restaurant opened its doors after the Kibo sushi bar restaurant closed. Another new restaurant opening soon, in front of Pizza Hut is Canton a Chinese restaurant currently hiring to open its doors within the next few weeks.
Perhaps another sign of visible economic growth is the arrival of Ace Hardware next to Safeway. Not only does it demonstrate that larger, well established companies have noticed the potential growth in Santa Cruz County, but it also shows that there is room for competition. Although Ace does not offer all the products and services Home Depot offers. Although, their location and store size offers something most big box stores cannot seem to accomplish, which is convenience. At the new hardware store it’s easy to find what you’re looking for and the friendly staff is always available and ready to help.
Another business to undergo major change is the Oasis Cinema. The local theater was recently bought by another company from Kansas. The lobby was completely remodeled along with the menu options. Washington Federal took over the local Bank of America branches, customers were forced to accept the change or switch to another local bank. Washington Federal did work hard to make the transition easy for its customers by sending them notifications of this change. By the time the change came about customers bank accounts were easily transferred so they would be able to use their new bank accounts.
One other visible sign of economic growth is the remodeling of Cropper’s Chevy Buick and GMC dealership. They underwent a massive remodeling. Though some changes can be clearly seen just by driving by Grand Avenue, the biggest difference is on the inside. The showroom, parts department, waiting room and even the bathrooms offer an aesthetic appearance and level of comfort rivaling even the larger dealerships of Green Valley and Tucson.
Are all the recent changes and additions a sign of local economic growth and/or progress? Absolutely, but the real question is will these businesses remain open. It basically depends on us, with each new store, shop, or restaurant that opens it brings jobs to county. These are just a few of the reasons why we need to shop locally, this ensures our tax dollars stay within Santa Cruz County.