Despite the tough economic times, new businesses are popping up in one Mesa County Community. The Fruita Chamber of Commerce says at least four new businesses will be opening soon, giving the area a much needed economic boost.
Mel Newton and Susan Lettman say things just fell into place at the right time when they each made the decision to open up shop in Fruita.
"Fruita needs a restaurant, something different besides the three restaurants we have," said Newton, owner of Wingz N' Thingz.
"I offer a variety of clothes for anybody," said Lettman, owner of Clik Clothing Company. "Anybody can shop here."
Decisions the Fruita of Chamber of Commerce is glad they made, especially as unemployment numbers in Mesa County continue to climb.
"There are going out business signs and closing and for lease signs, but it seems like it's kind of making a turn," said Mary Lou Wilson, Executive Director of the Fruita Chamber of Commerce. "We're seeing small business owners pick up."
When Newton opens his Wingz N' Things restaurant during the Fruita Fall Fest, he will have created several new jobs.
"We've hired six employees and hoping to expand once we get open," said Newton.
Lettman says it will just be her and her family running the show when her new fashion boutique opens next week -- but she does have plans to bring on some help soon afterward.
"I do have two people that I plan on hiring," said Lettman.
The Chamber says a new oil / lube service shop under construction and a new nail salon in Fruita should also create a handful of jobs. While that might not seem like much now, chamber officials say it sets the stage for better things in the future.
"That's the hope for every small business owner, is that they grow and expand," said Wilson.
Something both Newton and Lettman say they hope to do.
"By hopefully next year, we're looking to put a restaurant in Grand Junction and then Rifle," said Newton.
"I am going to be employing a few people a little bit further down the road," said Lettman.
Fruita also got an economic boost when the new Family Health West Hospital opened in July. The organization says it has been able to hire 35 new employees.
Wingz N' Things is located on Aspen Street where the Hot Tomato Cafe used to be. Newton says the restaurant will serve jumbo size buffalo wings and a variety of other dishes and appetizers.
Clik Clothing Company is also located on Aspen Street, near the Circle Park. Lettman says she will carry designer clothing for men and women, as well as a variety of shoes and handbags.