Businesses in downtown Marysville, like in many other places, have been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic. So a community member took it upon herself to do something to try and help them connect with both visitors and local residents.
The Marysville Info-Center opened on July 4, 2020, as a one-stop center for business and visitor resources. Founder/Director Judy Mann said the idea behind the center was to help provide the public with information about the surrounding community, its businesses, and available services and activities.
“When someone comes in, I first welcome them and have them sign my book,” Mann said. “I tell them a little about the downtown merchants, who is open, who is not, as well as places to go and eat. When they come in they are typically looking for something new and different, so I try to share what I know about the town. I love telling people where to go.”
After retiring from banking, Mann began volunteering in a number of local organizations and efforts, from the Red Cross to the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce. She also joined several groups that were established to highlight the area’s history and cultural heritage.
At the height of the pandemic, Mann saw a need for a resource center that could connect visitors and residents with local businesses, while also working with others on creative ventures meant to boost quality of life for local residents.
“I wanted to do something for Marysville, and the opportunity came to open up this Info-Center. I already had this business, which is called ‘Making Time For You,’ where I work with event coordinators or business owners to take care of different things so they can focus on their business, so I just saw how hard COVID was hitting our businesses so I decided to open up this center,” she said.
Sometimes it’s not just about guiding visitors to new offerings. Just this past weekend, one man found the Info-Center while his wife was busy shopping at a nearby antique store, and he ended up striking a conversation with Mann about the Gold Rush days.
“It’s the people that keep me going,” she said. “I’ve always loved talking to people. Everyone has a story.”
The center displays artwork from a local artist and is home to two other local businesses — Savedra Studios and Native Reflections. There are other office spaces for rent as well, along with a conference room. In addition to providing resources to the public, the location has various displays highlighting the area’s diverse cultural history, which Mann hopes to expand on in the future.
The Info-Center’s hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The center is abiding by COVID-19 guidelines, requiring masks and social distancing. She said the county has been very supportive with the center, even bringing boxes of masks and hand sanitizer that could be distributed to other downtown merchants when their own supply ran out.
The Info-Center is located at 317 Fourth St., Marysville.
“Come in and visit,” Mann said.