In 2008, Continental Motors of Naperville was hit hard by the recession. They received less cars from their suppliers, didn’t see many new customers, and their old clients weren’t bringing their cars in for service.
“It impacted the demand,” said Joel Weinberger, Owner and President of Continental Motors. “It impacted peoples’ willingness to spend money, even on the vehicles that they had.”
But in the last couple of years, business has rebounded and they’re doing well.
“We’ve definitely seen a resurgence in business,” said Weinberger. “2011 was a very good year for us overall. I would say we went into 2012 with really high hopes that it would be even better. It started off kind of slow. I would say the first quarter was not quite what we expected but the second quarter has been really, really good for us.”
It’s a trend all across Naperville. Sales tax revenue is above the national average and collections for both May and June are up 10% over last year.
“All across the board retail sales are up,” said Karen DeAngelis, Director of Finance for the City of Naperville. “We’re seeing increases in furniture, in appliances, apparel sales. We even have increases in grocery sales.”
So what’s making people spend again? Income tax revenue is also up in Naperville, which means unemployment has decreased. Local businesses have begun hiring again after the freeze many implemented during the recession.
“We’ve created new jobs and important jobs,” said Kris Hartner, Owner of Naperville Running Company. “Not just filling in here and there- some skilled people that we got from other retail, other running retail that came to work for us, so it’s a good thing.”
Thanks to the increases in sales tax collection, income tax revenue, and building permits, the city’s projected budget gap for Fiscal Year 14 has dropped from $16 million to $3 million.
“In this area the economy has generally improved,” said DeAngelis. “What it means for the city is that the huge budget challenges of the last few years during the recession, those are kind of behind us.”
For those curious about the Special Events and Cultural Amenities fund, food and beverage sales are expected to increase by about five percent. That means more money in the SECA pot.
Housing sales across Naperville are also up, the highest they’ve been since 2007.
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