Mohawk Boulevard: A Story of Survival

SPRINGFIELD, Oregon – For businesses to survive on Mohawk Boulevard, they must overcome factors such as local competition and restrictions from the neighborhood association.

While some businesses are able to cope with these challenges, others struggle to maintain a healthy customer base.

Skippers Seafood N’ Chowder, located on Mohawk Boulevard, does not rely heavily on advertising to promote their store, manager Keely Madrid said. She added that a partnership with Anytime Fitness, located just down the block, is their main advertising strategy.

Despite being surrounded by popular fast food joints such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell, Skippers gets by because it specializes in fish. “Winter time is one of the better times,” Keely Madrid, manager at Skippers, said. “The chowder is a huge hit.”

American Mattress does not have it so easy. Having only been located on Mohawk Boulevard for a year and a half, the family-owned business is struggling to convince customers to come to their store rather than their rival’s.

Patrick Hambrick, employee at American Mattress, said that business could be better if the store had more freedom to advertise.

Hambrick says that the Mohawk Business Neighbors Association limits his store’s ability to advertise. “(They) won’t even let us put balloons or sandwich boards out there.”

The Mohawk Business Neighbors Association does provide small banners for stores to put on the sidewalks. But without a flashy sign overhead, Hambrick said, the store can easily be missed by potential customers.

In contrast, Sherwin-Williams Paints (located across the street from American Mattress) has a big sign in front of its store.

Charlie Weber, manager at Sherwin-Williams Paints, said that his store benefitted from being corporately owned. “We don’t do anything with advertising which is pretty nice,” he said. “If you don’t really want to get into it, you got corporate.”

Hambrick says the store has wanted to improve its visibility on the crowded street by setting up anything from balloons to big signs on their roof, in the parking lot and on the sidewalk. Restrictions have kept American Mattress from doing so.

“Anything we try all has to be preapproved,” Hambrick said, “and they always shoot it down.” 


American Mattress


Sherwin-Williams Paints

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Student at the University of Oregon
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