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Territorial Dispatch

Leaders Want a Strong Yuba City Economy

May 08, 2024 03:40PM ● By Angela Underwood
Downtown Yuba City is home to many community events. Photo courtesy of Downtown Business Association

YUBA CITY, CA (MPG) - Yuba City’s biggest business backers have the same thing in mind: a strong economy. 

The Yuba City Downtown Improvement District (Downtown Business Association) and the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce work together to keep business booming here. Downtown Business Association President Ryan Henshaw, who owns a local State Farm agency, said the group is critical in enhancing the vitality, attractiveness and overall economic health of a city's downtown area.

"As a city's economic development component, improving the appearance and functionality of the downtown district, a Downtown Business Association can attract more businesses, residents and visitors," Henshaw said. "This can lead to increased economic activity, job creation, and property values, benefiting both local businesses and the city as a whole."

While the Downtown Business Association brings in business, the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce advocates for them, according to Janell Willis, executive director.  

 This banner highlights an upcoming Yuba City Downtown Business Association Summer Stroll event. Courtesy image

"Along with nine other chambers, we are part of the United Chamber Advocacy Group, which brings businesses' needs and concerns to government bodies and policymakers," Willis said.

According to Willis, the chamber plays a crucial role in community connection through events and business-related training.

"We are a resource hub for everything in the area, from visitation to business needs," Willis said. "We promote local events and bring educational awareness to issues that affect those living in the Yuba and Sutter communities."

While each business brings something different to the local commerce table, they all share one common theme: success.

"One might have employee retention issues or food cost changes, but overall, all of them are just trying to make their business a success in our community," Willis said. "Having those relationships with others is huge when we know a business owner that might have gone through the same thing in the past."

Willis said a vital downtown community brings a better draw, making marketing dollars go farther. One way is through communication, which the Chamber of Commerce offers classes, including the May 16 Search Engine Optimization class. 

"It's for businesses to ensure they are getting all the internet traffic possible by ensuring we have the correct keywords for searches," Willis said.

The chamber offers four core events monthly, beginning with a ribbon cutting for new business. Wine Down Wednesday is every third Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., where night eateries rotate to promote their menu. Next is Rise and Shine, held the second Tuesday of the month from 8 to 9 a.m., where morning restaurants promote their menu.

Lastly, Willis said a monthly professional networking event also gathers business owners to collaborate. Both groups will meet for the Summer Stroll, hosted by the Downtown Business Association, from 3 to 9 p.m. June 15.

"By participating in local events, supporting community initiatives and investing in community projects, businesses can strengthen their ties to the community and build goodwill among residents, leading to a more vibrant and inclusive local economy," Henshaw said.

Other upcoming Downtown Business Association events include Downtown Socials from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 30 at Sutter Buttes Brewing and from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug.29 at the Sutter Theater. While business owners work hard to stay connected and make money, Willis said, there is no time "to lobby on behalf of all the issues that affect their business directly."

"It could be laws on healthcare, childcare, medical coverage or labor," Willis said. "All of these are so important to either support or fight against four our region."

According to Willis, the chamber also helps businesses befriend government officials.

"We love bringing someone who has a food truck to an administrator for one of our jurisdictions and getting a catering gig out of it," Willis said. "The relationships created are invaluable."  

Henshaw said a Downtown Business Association can foster a sense of community ownership and engagement by involving local stakeholders, residents and business owners in the planning and decision-making processes.

"This can lead to a more collaborative approach to addressing issues and implementing initiatives that benefit the entire community," Henshaw said.

 Business leaders want to make downton the place to be. Photo courtesy of Downtown Business Association