A few months ago I was having a glass of wine at Moody’s, one of my favorite Truckee establishments, when I started a conversation with the owner of a former popular downtown store. Although it had been years since her store had closed, she was lamenting over having to shut the doors and said increased rent prices were to blame.

A man overheard our conversation and blurted out, “Oh, man, I loved your store. It was my favorite.” As more For Lease signs pop up in windows in downtown Truckee, this sentiment is heard more and more. “Whatever happened to…” or “Too bad that store closed … I loved it there.”

Many business owners cite a rise in commercial rents in downtown as a factor of having to shutter. Some move to other locations while others close up shop altogether. Whatever the reason, it is sad to see our favorite businesses go.

Making a living in Truckee and Tahoe is tough to say the least. Having to rely on good winters and an influx of tourists is stressful. When you add having to pay premium rent prices, it can be difficult to be a small business owner.

The solution, in addition to lower rent prices, is to support our local businesses. The Shop Local contest held around the holidays resulted in $407,476 for Tahoe/Truckee businesses, a more than 100 percent increase from the 2012 campaign. This is a great indicator that our local economy is on the rise, and that locals are supporting our region’s businesses.

In this issue we look at commercial rental costs in downtown Truckee (here), two family-owned businesses that are making it work (here), and the long-time business of movie-making in Tahoe (here). All of these are important topics in our community, and together give a glimpse into what makes our economy tick.

The next time you are in downtown Truckee, Tahoe City, Kings Beach, or Incline Village, visit your favorite shop or restaurant to give them a little love. Because, as Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

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Kara Fox
When she’s not writing or editing the news section for Moonshine Ink, Kara Fox can be seen hiking in the spring, paddle boarding in the summer, mushroom hunting in the fall, snowshoeing in the winter, and hanging out with her 7-year-old son year-round.

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