Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Businesses look forward to the future at Saturday grand opening

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Families were an important part of the grand opening event on Saturday. Photo by Aimee Gonsalves.
 

 


HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – Despite the economic concerns that face much of the country, several small businesses celebrated opening their doors as part of a community celebration on Saturday afternoon.


The grand opening for Hidden Valley Lakes' Hardester's Plaza had something for everyone – a chance for businesses to introduce themselves, pets in Halloween costumes and a range of family friendly events. In every direction there were smiling children enjoying ice cream cones and hot dogs.


Many of the business owners out at the plaza on Saturday expressed a very hopeful outlook for the future, with the belief that, if the community sticks together, it can get through the hardships of the current economic situation.


People are definitely taking into consideration how they spend their money these days, but the advice from Linda Fergusson of New York Life is to spend your money within your community. Fergusson offers insurance and financial services.


Fergusson said she's concerned but positive about south Lake County’s economic standing. She believes if residents continue supporting local stores and if more people start their own businesses it would help the community.


Ross Hardester of Hardester's Market shared an opinion similar to Fergusson's.


Hardester said he believes people are nervous about starting new businesses but if the community supported its local economy by spending their money here – versus, for example, shopping where they commute to work – it would help the county come through these tough times.


Shelley Weiser with H&R Block and Shelley Weiser Bookkeeping said that her business has felt the effect of the economic struggle because so many small businesses are closing their doors and no longer in need of bookkeeping services. However, she's hopeful for the future, adding that the community needs to attract more businesses,which would create local jobs.


Not seeing a dropoff in business these days is Ting's Thai Kitchen, owned by Charlie and Ting McFarling. The restaurant, which opened in the spring, offers authentic Thai food. Charlie McFarling noted that business is staying steady.


Although new to the plaza location, Patricia Tyrrell said her Guangxi Martial Arts school has been working with children and adults for many years. When it comes to finding activities that are close to home, and good for your body and mind, martial arts may have something to offer, she suggested. Besides self-defense, martial arts teach confidence and respect, which are very important for children.


Another unique business at the plaza is Chic la Chef to the rescue, which offers a Wednesday night take-out service for families. They'll also offers a “Budget Busters” class in November in which they'll teach class participants how to create meals their whole family will love without spending a fortune at the grocery store.


The new Hidden Valley Pet Palace hosted a doggy pet costume contest Saturday afternoon and the winner was Bailey the bride, a cute little Chihuahua.


Pet palace owner Terri Gonsalves said she's nervous as a new business owner given the hard times. However, she said she's excited about what she is doing and hoping to make a positive start with her new business. She offers grooming and a full line of pet care supplies.


And if you bring your dog in for pampering you can get pampered yourself at Patrice Ryan's Dream Salon, which opened in February.


Ryan said she's optimistic that the economy will get better soon. She added that business is good and they're excited to meet more clients.

 

Aimee Gonsalves is a new writer for Lake County News. Disclosure note: She is the daughter of Terri Gonsalves of the Hidden Valley Pet Palace.

 

 

 

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Children had a chance to take a turn in the jumphouse on Saturday. Photo by Aimee Gonsalves.
 

 

 

 

 

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Dogs came dressed up and ready for the Halloween pet costume contest. Photo by Aimee Gonsalves.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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The contest winner was Bailey the Chihuahua, dressed as a bride. Photo by Aimee Gonsalves.

 

 

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