A couple of weeks ago I talked about renewing our commitment - from both consumers and retailers alike - to buying locally. Let me add this tidbit of valuable information to the mix: What it now cost to make that trip to Reno or Chico. I read recently that you can now figure your actual cost for fuel and typical wear and tear at 31 cents per mile (the allowable IRS deduction is 50 cents this year). Figuring a round trip from here to Reno or Chico is, say, 180 miles give or take, you've just spent $55.80 before you've spent a dime! Wouldn't you rather give some or even all of that to your local merchants so they can reinvest it in the form of donations, jobs and help maintain property values in our community? Imagine how much more of a sense of accomplishment we will all have by working towards a common goal!
A very familiar face has returned to Quincy to assume management of the local Ford dealership, Quincy Auto Center. Geoff Hampton left Quincy two years ago to help establish Benny Brown's newest dealership, Susanville Ford. With that store successfully up and running, Geoff and his wife Jacque have returned to Quincy to settle in and raise their three children. Besides planning to become very involved in the community, Geoff is committed to making sure his customers find the products and services they need and want from their local auto dealership. He plans to expand both his new and used car and truck inventory while working closely with Service Manager Bud Sherman to ensure that department provides customer satisfaction that is "... second to none!"
Weekly, we dedicate this space to share with you news tidbits about our local businesses. Today, as you read through this column, pause for a moment to consider just what it takes for these fine businesses to survive in this county, especially given our current financial crisis. Simply said: we need them and they need us. For that to truly work, businesses have to provide consistently good service and selection at a fair price. In turn, we have to do the shopping. Are ALL the players - merchants and shoppers - doing their part? My guess, pretty much across the board, is no, at least not consistently. So, isn't this the perfect time to renew our commitment to our fine county, to help our community, to help ourselves? You know the old adage, "What goes around, comes around!" How true is that when it comes to supporting our students and their extracurricular activities, our clubs and organizations, volunteer firefighters and even our local hospitals and health care? So, here's the challenge:
Forget what happened yesterday. Dismiss any prior, perhaps bias, perceptions you might be hanging on to. If someone shared with you what he or she thought was a bad experience at a local store, don't give it much merit. Instead, go find out for yourself. If, Mr. or Mrs. Merchant, you've become apathetic because of something you've tried in the past failed to meet your expectations, let it go and try it again. Better yet, try something new and different. If you don't try to make your business better, it will only get worse. Above all, while you are letting customers know you want their business, be sure you also show them how much you value their business by doing your part to provide the best possible customer service with a good selection at fair prices. A vibrant downtown exemplifies a vibrant community, something far more than brick and mortar. We are talking about the kind of place where people want to invest in real estate, a place where they want to live and raise a family. Let's all kick it up a notch and work together to protect what we have. Better yet, lets work together to nurture and grow what we have. The ball's in our court.
DIANNA’S AT LAKE ALMANOR
Dianna Guess has opened the restaurant at the Lake Almanor Country Club Golf Course. She has renamed it Dianna’s, and is serving lunch daily and dinners Friday and Saturday, brunch on Sunday. She has more than 35 years in the food business, 30 as a caterer and nine in the restaurant business. The restaurant is open to the public and offers banquet facilities.
The Lake Almanor West Grill at the Lake Almanor West Golf Course has reopened this year under new management. Chef Heath Chase, along with his wife Cristi, a Chester High graduate, and their son, Haven, recently relocated from Santa Barbara while searching for a place to raise their child. He plans to serve what he calls a "hearty menu" for both lunch and dinner featuring steaks, lamb and trout, keeping it "clean, simple, tasteful and elegant."
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