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Report from the Storefront Lines: Van Nuys Shop Frames the Movies
Author:  Alex Swartsel
Date:  08/03/2011

We talk a lot about the tens of thousands of small businesses all over the country that support film and television production – companies in all kinds of lines of work, from drycleaners to caterers, who count the motion picture industry as one of their many clients. 

Today, we got a closer look into one of those businesses, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.  The Company Town blog has a fascinating story about the U-Frame-It custom framing shop on Sherman Way in Van Nuys, in business since 1988, and the enormous impact of the film industry on its longevity and success. 

Together with her five employees, owner Adriana Cruz has produced frames and cases for films and TV shows including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Spider-Man 3, CSI, True Blood, and Chicago Hope

“Catering to Hollywood has become an increasingly vital source of income to small business owners like Cruz, who have been buffeted by a deep recession and an anemic recovery that has kept ma[n]y consumers from buying discretionary items like picture frames,”  the Times wrote.

“If it wasn’t for the film and TV business, we would be in hot water,” Cruz told the Times – a whopping 75% of her annual revenues come from film production, and she says California’s film tax credit program has helped push her sales up 15% over last year.  The Times reported that even though U-Frame-It’s consumer retail business has fallen by half since 2008, its earnings from movie and TV productions have filled the gap.

It’s a nice reminder that in tough economic times, going to the movies doesn’t just lift our spirits – for many small businesses, it helps lift the bottom line.