A12 econ.indd

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A12                               Rio Grande SUN, Thursday, October 1, 2009


                                                                                                                            Economic SnapShot
Businesses Bail on                                                              Gross Receipts Revenue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (SUNgraphic by Kevin Bersett)




City in Last 2 Years
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      These graphs depict the mar-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ket share Rio Arriba County’s
                                                                                                                                                                6.1     7.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      six top industries held during
                                                                                      Gross receipts taxes collected in Rio Arriba                                              3.8                                   the month of July the past
                                                                                   County declined since summer 2007. Gross re-                                                       12.1                            three years, based on gross
                                                                                   ceipts taxes for any given month reflect sales                                                                                     receipts. July is the most re-
                                                                                                                                                         40.1                          3.4
                                                                                   two months prior and a good indicator of goods                                                                                     cent month for which state
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      data was available. The six
                                                                                   and services sold in a given area. Each time they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      industries totalled $79 million,
                                                                                   sell a good or service, businesses collect a tax of                                                                                $72 million and $73 million the
                                                                                   up to 7.875 percent from customers in Rio Ar-                                                                                      past three years, respectively.
                                                                                   riba (up to 8.3125 percent in Santa Fe County).                                                                                    The numbers in the graphs
                                                                                   The following figures reflect taxes distributed to                                                                                 represent gross receipts in
                                                                                   Rio Arriba County, the city of Española, the vil-                                                                                  millions of dollars.
                                                                                   lage of Chama, Santa Clara Pueblo, Ohkay
                                                                                   Owingeh Pueblo and the Jicarilla Apache Na-
                                                                                   tion. July 2009 is the most recent month for
                                                                                                                                                     6.2
                                                                                   which figures are available from the Taxation                                 11.9
                                                                                                                                                                          6.9                                              7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      15.3
                                                                                   and Revenue Department.                                        31.8                                                                                            3.4
                                                                                                                                                                        15.3
                                                                                   	 •	July	2006:	$1,475,484                                                                                                        25.4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             13
                                                                                                                                                                  7
                                                                                   	 •	July	2007:	$1,730,293                                                                                                                   8.6
                                                                                   	 •	July	2008:	$1,385,238
                                                                                   	 •	July	2009:	$1,374,068




                                                                                    Building                                                        Casino Revenue
                                                   (SUNfoto by Emma Breysse)
Chayo Garcia, the Española City councilor whose family owns                         Permits
Anthony’s at the Delta, prunes a plant at the Delta’s flower shop.
Contrary to rumors, Garcia is still open for business despite falling
revenues.                                                                              The city of Es-
                                                                                    pañola received
By Emma Breysse                        is struggling to the point where             fewer building
SUN Staff Writer                       the public assumes it has closed,            permits last year
                                       District 3 City Councilor Chayo              than in 2007, and
   A national recession sparked
                                       Garcia, whose family owns the                the number for
by a big-city housing bust is now
                                       business said.                               2009 is on track
battering Española’s businesses.
                                          “People are calling and say-
   In Española, 145 companies                                                       to match 2008
                                       ing, ‘We’re sorry you closed, we
declined to renew their city busi-                                                  figures.
                                       miss you,’” she said. “Well we’re
ness licenses for 2009 — 53 of
                                       not closed, and we miss you
them specifically because they                                                            2007
                                       too!”
were closing, another 92 without
                                          The Delta cannot afford ad-               Number of per-
specifying why, according to a
                                       vertising to bring the public back,          mits: 180
city business license database.
                                       she said.
About half of the businesses that
                                          “We’re floundering,” Garcia                     2008
closed were Española, including
                                       said. “I’m praying really hard for
the Rio Grande Café and Feet                                                        Number of per-
                                       a miracle.”
First Shoes. The rest were out-of-                                                  mits: 152
                                          Dino Martinez, owner of
town companies doing business
                                       Lovin Oven Bakery on Riverside                                                                                                                                                                (SUNgraphic by Kevin Bersett)
in the city. Last year, 154 busi-                                                         2009                       Casinos throughout the state have reported to the state Gaming Control Board gradually-dropping net
                                       Drive, said he is more optimistic,
nesses let their business licenses                                                                                   wins for most quarters since mid-2007. Net wins represent the amount wagered on gaming machines,
                                       but he too has seen business fall            (through 9/17)
lapse, all because of closures.                                                                                      minus state and tribal regulatory fees and cash and non-cash prizes paid out of those machines. Net
                                       off in the past year.                        Number of per-
   Those figures do not include                                                                                      wins do not represent casinos’ net profit. Casino-operating tribes in Rio Arriba and northern Santa Fe
                                          “I think there is money, but I            mits: 104
businesses that have closed since                                                                                    counties followed the statewide trend except Pojoaque Pueblo, whose revenue has spiked since open-
                                       think here isn’t where people are
January, among them Ed Corley                                                                                        ing its Buffalo Thunder Casino in early 2008. Pojoaque also owns the Cities of Gold casino.
                                       spending it,” he said. “I mean
Ford and Salazar Dodge, two of
                                       you see the casino parking lots


                                                                               New Businesses Rise as Economy Dives
the city’s three car dealerships.
                                       all full, so it can’t be too bad in
   When recession hit in late
                                       general, right?”
2008, Northern New Mexico was
                                          Martinez too has heard rumors
already reeling from high gas
                                       that he is going out of business,
prices earlier that year, Valley
                                       though he has no plans to close.
National Bank President Al Her-                                                By Jose de Wit                                                                                                                         is doing any worse than it would
                                          “We’re just going through that
nandez said. While Española it-                                                SUN Assistant News Editor                                                                                                              have in a better economy, but so
                                       cycle I think,” he said. “We’ll get
self is not a major tourist destina-                                                                                                                                                                                  far, JoJi’s is “holding its own.”
                                       through it.”                                The idea sounds counter-intu-                                                                                                         “As a new business, we’re not
tion, many of its businesses rely
                                          On the other side of town,           itive: open a large coffee shop in                                                                                                     earning a ton of money,” she
on tourists stopping on their way
                                       Mariscos La Playa restaurant has        a sleepy rural town, smack in the                                                                                                      said. “But we’re doing all right.
to destinations such as Chama
                                       temporarily stopped serving             middle of an economic melt-                                                                                                            We’re covering our overhead.”
and Taos. When gas prices spiked
                                       lunch in an effort to save money.       down.                                                                                                                                     George thinks that’s because
in early 2008, tourism fell, Roy
                                       They now serve only dinner, staff           But Paul Namkung had been                                                                                                          the restaurant is filling a unique
Honstein Oil Company Manager
                                       members confirmed. Manage-              preparing to open the cafe for                                                                                                         niche in the Española Valley.
David St. Martin said.
                                       ment declined comment for this          years now, and this summer                                                                                                             Other restaurants cater to tourists
   “Business has gotten steadier
                                       story.                                  seemed as good a time as any.                                                                                                          with New Mexican food or fast
as gas prices have gotten steadi-
                                          Rio Arriba contractors are still         “It’s gone so much better than                                                                                                     food. But JoJi’s is the only Japa-
er,” he said. “But we’re seeing a
                                       hurting, despite millions of dol-       I had hoped for,” said Namkung,                                                                                                        nese restaurant in town, which
lot more local traffic, not so
                                       lars in federal spending intended       who started selling coffee and                                                                                                         helps draw local customers when
many big RVs, not so much peo-
                                       to stimulate the economy. Two           sandwiches at the Three Ravens                                                                                                         tourism tapers off.
ple on big vacations. Not so
                                       major stimulus-funded construc-         Coffee House in Tierra Amarilla                                                                                                           “The thing behind our place is
many people spending at the
                                       tion projects in the Española area      two months ago. “Then again,                                                                                                           we love this kind of food, and we
store.”                                                                                                                                                                                                               were always going out of the
                                       so far — renovations on Indus-          I’m not trying to make a lot of
   Following national trends, the                                                                                                                                                                                     Valley to find it,” George said.
                                       trial Park Road and Highway             money. If I were trying to do that
first industries to shrink here                                                                                                                                                                                       “So we’re doing good because
                                       84/285 — have gone to one Al-           — or if I were relying on tourists
were real estate and construction,                                                                                                                                                                                    there’s really a desire for some-
                                       buquerque contractor, Star Pav-         — I wouldn’t have opened.”
Hernandez said. This was indi-                                                                                                                                                                                        thing different in the Valley.”
                                       ing. The company has hired one              Unlike many businesses to the
rectly due to the failure of large                                                                                                                                                                                       JoJi’s employs 14 people, and
                                       local subcontractor, Leroy’s Ex-        north in Chama, Three Ravens
Wall Street investment banks.                                                                                                                                                            (SUNfoto by Jose de Wit)     all except its three chefs are from
                                       cavating, for both projects, proj-      does not depend on tourism,
   “What happened there hurt us                                                                                      Paul Namkung, of Tierra Amarilla, prepares a cup of coffee at his                                the Española Valley, she said.
                                       ect superintendent Fred Arellano        which varies with the seasons
here,” Hernandez said. “(The                                                                                         Three Ravens Coffee House, which he opened two months ago.                                          Others have opened during the
                                       said.                                   and is subject to economic pres-
closures) affected someone else,                                                                                     Namkung said his new business is surviving the recession by keep-                                recession out of need, not
                                          Louise George, who owns a            sures. Instead, Namkung banked
who affected someone else, who                                                                                       ing overhead costs low.                                                                          choice.
                                       small construction company with         on building a local clientele, plus
affected us here.”                                                                                                                                                                                                       Rigoberto’s Mexican restau-
                                       her husband, said they have had         a second steady, largely reces-       practices since the economy went             record store.
   Those bank failures prompted                                                                                                                                                                                       rant opened late last year off
                                       to make deep cuts because they          sion-proof stream of customers.       south, Valley National Bank                      Interviews with new business
banks everywhere to stop lend-         haven’t had work. They have cut                                                                                                                                                Riverside Drive in Española in a
                                                                                   His business is down the street   President Al Hernandez said.                 owners suggest success during
ing — including those that had         down from 70 employees to 10,                                                                                                                                                  former Taco Bell restaurant. The
                                                                               from the Rio Arriba County com-           “It’s not just us. Right now,            the down-turn has meant relying                     Mexican immigrant family who
until recently financed mortgages      she said. George and her husband        plex and Tierra Amarilla Court-       you’d have a hard time getting a             on one of two strategies: keeping                   owns it operated a similar restau-
in Rio Arriba. That slowed con-        also own JoJi’s Sushi and Teppan        house, and it’s among the few         loan from anybody,” Hernandez                overhead costs low and catering                     rant in Mesa, Ariz., that had gone
struction, and the recession           Grill on Riverside Drive.               restaurants in town with reliable     said. “If you’ve been with us for            to local customers.                                 broke last year.
spread to other industries, Her-          “We’re only glad we have                                                                                                    Like Three Ravens, another
                                                                               operating hours. Even in a reces-     20 years and have an excellent                                                                      “We all went out and looked
nandez said.                           other options, but yes, it’s been                                             history, we’ll probably at least             new business also counts cater-
                                                                               sion, Namkung figures jurors                                                                                                           for a different line of work,”
   Local business owners and           hard,” she said.                                                              hear what you have say (about                ing to locals as its survival strat-
                                                                               will always be eager for a cap-                                                                                                        manager Jose Alvarez, who
contractors agreed, and many are          The recession has led one de-                                              your business plans). But if you             egy.
                                                                               puccino or hungry for a sandwich                                                                                                       worked at the Arizona location,
cutting costs to stay afloat.          veloper to seek work elsewhere.                                               just drove in from out of town,                  JoJi’s Sushi and Teppan Grill
                                                                               during breaks in a long trial, he                                                                                                      said. “I went and got my trucking
   Española Valley Chamber of          Architect and builder David                                                   it’s probably not going to hap-              opened Nov. 14, 2008, in the
                                                                               said.                                                                                                                                  license. But a lot of us just
Commerce Director Alice Lucero         Schutz, whose company Great                                                   pen.”                                        strip mall adjacent to Wal-Mart
                                                                                   Namkung said he can afford to                                                                                                      couldn’t find other jobs. We
said at least five businesses have     Northern Builders developed the                                                   Nonetheless, some new busi-              and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
                                                                               keep his coffee house running                                                                                                          opened now because we needed
cancelled memberships in the           Plaza del Norte development off                                               nesses have sprouted up in the               It’s opening date was the product
                                       Industrial Park Road, said he ap-       largely because he incurred no                                                                                                         the work.”
past month because they could                                                                                        area since the economic crisis hit           of chance, not choice, owner
                                       plied for a project director posi-      debt in opening it. Namkung had                                                                                                           Business in Española has not
not afford dues. Others are re-                                                                                      last September, most of them in              Louise George, of Española,
                                                                               bought the then-condemned                                                                                                              been any busier than in Arizona,
sorting to paying those fees in        tion at Northern New Mexico                                                   Española, which has received                 said.
                                       College because business had            building 10 years ago and has                                                                                                          Alvarez said. But though revenue
installments, or even bartering                                                                                      about two dozen business permit                  George’s family had been
                                       slowed so much.                         since paid it off. He renovated                                                                                                        at both locations has been simi-
services for their dues, she said.                                                                                   applications from new businesses             gearing to open for about three
                                          Those contractors who have           the building and bought equip-                                                                                                         lar, the restaurant is making a
   “I hope those members can                                                                                         in the past year. Those include              years.
                                       work, like Larry Mullally, of           ment gradually, as he came up                                                          “It’s just the way things came                  profit here because overhead
recover and come back,” she                                                                                          out-of-town contractors that are
                                       Mullally Construction, said they        with the money, rather than tak-                                                   together that we opened now,”                       costs are lower. For example, the
said. “I guess we’ll see.”                                                                                           working on bathroom renova-
                                       know how lucky they are.                ing out a business loan.              tions at Wal-Mart and building a             George said. “We didn’t know                        restaurant paid about $3,000
   For the owners of Anthony’s
                                          “It’s really hit or miss right           “When I could pay for a win-      dialysis center off Industrial Park          when we started the process it                      more in rent in Arizona, Alvarez
at the Delta, which comprises a
                                       now,” he said. “One day you’ll          dow, that’s when I put in the         Road. They also include at least             would be a bad economy when                         said.
hotel, restaurant and flower shop,
                                       have work and the next you just         window,” he said.                     three food establishments, two               we started.”                                           “Here at least that leaves us
that recovery feels distant. De-
                                       won’t. These are hard times for             That’s just as well, because      acupuncture clinics, a small                     George said she has no way to                   enough to make a living,” he
spite 33 years of relative prosper-
                                       everyone.”                              banks have tightened lending          clothing boutique and a Mexican              compare whether the restaurant                      said.
ity, the flower shop in particular

				
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