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Langley sees business growth in 2013

According to a Langley Main Street Association report, the city saw growth in 2013.

Fred Lundahl, a business owner in Langley and member of the association, told the city council Monday night that more businesses opened than closed last year.

“Basically we’re all used to the griping and complaining … When you look at the statistics, especially compared to Coupeville or wherever, we’re doing pretty darn well,” Lundahl said.

The news was most welcome to the city council and Mayor Fred McCarthy, which set economic development as a major priority this year.

The association report showed nine new businesses in Langley in 2013, compared to five the year before. Only two businesses closed in 2013, whereas six shuttered their shops in 2012. In Langley, the report even counted the number of jobs created — 19 — and jobs lost — four — last year.

Part of the Langley Main Street Association’s obligation is to monitor its volunteer levels. Last year, 50 volunteers helped out with association activities, such as watering the planters and gardens downtown and transporting people around the city in an electric cart. In all, 2,300 volunteer hours were spent on Langley Main Street Association activity in 2013.

“I love the comparison between 2012 and 2013,” said Councilman Jim Sundberg. “The numbers we want going up are going up and the numbers we want going down are going down.”

Major vacancies remain in Langley, however, with prime real estate spots like the former Dog House Tavern and Mike’s Place restaurant sitting empty on First Street.

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