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It’s been truly inspiring to see how much downtown Camas has changed and grown since my family moved here five years ago. When we moved here, there was very little to do in Downtown Camas, and we spent most of our time over in the Fisher’s Landing area when we wanted to eat, shop or relax at a movie.

Fast forward, and now we have a burgeoning city center, full of high-end shops, excellent eating establishments and a great group of friendly people staffing them all. This is something we should all be thankful for.

Unfortunately, whether it’s due to the economy or just a lack of interest, we are losing some businesses down here lately, and that makes us very sad here at Workshed. We see these people every day, we are their customers, friends, associates and supporters. To see one of our own close their doors and call it a day is like losing a close friend. Not only that, but it strikes a chord among all of us—are we next? Will our business slow down too? Will we have to close our doors?

Unfortunately, I think we’ve all felt the sting of the down economy at some level. Nobody wants to call it a recession, but it if looks like one, talks like one and acts like one, chances are it is one. We’ve noticed some of this trickling down to us during our sales process as of late, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t concern me. At the same time, I understand and can empathize with these people. How can one justify spending money when money isn’t being entirely forthcoming?

I don’t have any answers. Sure, I can tell you to spend money with us on marketing and a fancy new web site and all of your ills will be fixed—but that’s not a promise I’m willing to make. These are unpredictable times, and there is no cut and dry solution other than the pursuit of survival. Do what you feel you need to do to keep your business afloat.

The one thing we can all do is to spend money with local businesses. Make a weekly trip downtown, buy a trinket or new article of clothing at a shop, catch a movie (it’s cheaper and cozier than the Regal multiplex) and buy a great dinner. In the grand scheme of things these purchases are small, but on the whole, they add up enough to maybe help someone keep their doors open long enough to weather the storm. A community isn’t just the people who live in it, it’s also the businesses who make life more convenient for its residents, who give back to the community and who provide jobs to its residents. We are all responsible for the success of local businesses on some level.

Our sincere thanks to the businesses who have closed their doors recently or will be closing them soon. Your presence downtown made our days better and we are better off for having served in the business trenches with you. You will all be sorely missed.