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By Susan Hamilton

Inn at Civano

Inn at Civano on Seven Generations Boulevard

We’ve all seen the brightly colored signs on Houghton touting certain Civano businesses. Some people welcome the signage on this busy thoroughfare while others may be uncomfortable with any signs on what is designated as a scenic corridor. (The discussion of whether Houghton’s prolonged construction renders it scenic or not is the topic for another article altogether.)

At the crux of the matter is how businesses in Civano let people know about themselves. Word of mouth is considered the best means of advertising—one neighbor or friend passing on their recommendations about businesses to another friend or neighbor.

Civano was founded upon the principles of businesses coexisting with residential neighborhoods, of residents being able to walk to businesses and work in their very own neighborhoods, of providing a place for small businesses to flourish. While Civano has some established businesses, our community also feels the need for a small market, friendly restaurant, neighborhood coffee shop, and ice cream parlor.

The businesses that Civano currently has are very grateful for the support of the community, but they could use some more help. Sometimes more people from outside Civano frequent these businesses. But if we want new businesses that would rely heavily on residents (such as the wished for market, restaurant, and coffee or ice cream shop), wouldn’t you think we should first look to fully supporting our current neighborhood businesses?

Checking out what your neighborhood businesses have to offer isn’t just good for Civano, it’s also good for you. You might be surprised at all the businesses that are available in Civano. Looking at the neighborhood businesses that survive without signage on Houghton, we see web designers, home repair specialists, and those who can professionally assist you with estate sales and landscape design right here in Civano. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, or cactus, of what’s available.

At the Yoga House, you can try your first class for free. Choose from a variety of yoga classes, Pilates, Active Isolated Stretch, dance aerobics, and Tai Chi classes available throughout the day and evening at very affordable prices (including senior discounts). Many people enjoy the Yoga House because it not only affords them a comforting place to exercise but allows them some social time with friends.

Skin Care at Civano has $50 monthly specials, offering organic European products administered by knowledgeable skin care specialists. It is located upstairs in the Yoga House.

Elizabeth Hachenberg, a licensed acupuncturist trained in theU.S.andChina, offers appointments Tuesday through Saturday at White Tiger Acupuncture. Hachenberg also has clinics on Thursdays with reduced priced treatments. Her establishment is also on the second floor of the Yoga House.

Cozy B&Bs located in the heart of Civano have suites available by the day, week or month. Not only are Civano B&Bs a warm and welcoming place to house your overflow guests and family, some of them also offer special rates for seniors, business travelers and guests of Civano residents.

What would the community of Civano be without these unique businesses? How great is it to be able to walk or bike from your home to a yoga/exercise studio, skin care spa, acupuncture clinic, or B&B without spending the time and anguish of dealing with traffic? How much more reassuring is it to call a neighbor whose business it is to install rain water collection systems, manage your property, take care of your pets, or give music lessons?

Some people say that visible signage would help Civano businesses. Currently, only some businesses can put up signs on Houghton. Other small businesses are prevented from signage because of the prohibitive cost of putting up large signs, not to mention the hurdle of getting the City of Tucson to approve a sign because of restrictive codes on a “scenic corridor.”

If Civano’s businesses (especially those without signs on Houghton) could band together to tackle these problems, that would help. If a group would contact our City Council representative Shirley Scott and new mayor Jonathan Rothschild about makingTucson’s signage codes more business friendly, that would help as well.

But we start with small steps. If you haven’t already, take a walk or ride over to one of Civano’s businesses and see what they have to offer. You can make a difference in your community by supporting your local businesses. You just might find that they add something special to your life, make you feel better, help you to make new friends, and enhance your neighborhood.