Economic Recovery

Financial experts agree the nation’s shell-shocked economy is growing again. The Wall Street Journal reports American consumers are spending more than they have in the past three years.

Mason Sabika’s owner Hossein Jamali has seen more customers in the restaurant lately. He says there’s also been an increase in how much customers are spending. With more money coming in, and the summer season approaching, Jamali has started hiring new employees.

“People still eat out a lot, but they spend their money more wisely,” said Jamali. “The key is finding that great value for the guest.”

Jamali looked for other ways to improve his bottom line, and decided to borrow an idea from an unexpected source. He heard McDonalds had lowered prices, and improved their bottom line. He decided to do the same.

The idea worked, and Jamali saw a 7% growth in the first quarter of 2010. Not all restaurants in the city have been as fortunate. Food and beverage tax receipts have remained relatively constant the last two years. Sales tax revenue for the beginning of 2010 has stayed flat. However, the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce says they think people are feeling better about the economy.

“There’s starting to be some positive things happening in the downtown area,” said John Schmitt, President of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Schmitt says that the real way to judge when the economy is doing better is to see when small businesses start hiring. Family owned Paint-Right Painting says their business is already doing better this year than they were this time last year.

“I really think it’s a reflection of the economy. The business that we’ve seen increase is our commercial business,” said Kathy Wright, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing of Paint-Right Painting.

The summer season is bringing more customers to Paint Right Painting, and Mason Sabika’s owner hopes to see a similar trend.

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