Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Economic Recovery Starts Here: Shop Eagle Rock

The New York Times has already made a national story about how the recession has changed Eagle Rock. Regeneration, which was the subject of that story, is gone. The Yarn Store is also gone. There are a disturbing number of empty storefronts on Colorado and Eagle Rock Boulevards.

Times remain difficult for many, but there are undeniably signs of hope. It looks like the economy has hit bottom, and things are starting to turn around. It may take a while to feel it, but the recovery appears to be on its way. What we need now is a willingness to put our fear behind us and believe that better days are ahead.

If you have the ability, I'd urge you to get out and support local businesses in Eagle Rock. As part of my Review Eagle Rock project, I've been spending a lot of time visiting our local shops and restaurants; while some places are doing fine and seem as busy as ever, other places are clearly struggling or just holding on through the downturn.

We've all heard how difficult it is to keep a small business going, and how many of them go under. Please do what you can to support the local businesses that make our neighborhood what it is. It would be a terrible shame if a lot of the small businesses that make Eagle Rock what it is and give it its identity -- the small shops and restaurants run by people we like to see and talk to all the time, people who know us as their neighbors and regular customers -- were to be lost and replaced by things like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean, H&R Block, another gas station, or a boarded-up storefront.

We all have a stake in this, and your support for our local businesses will ultimately redound to your benefit and your neighbors' benefit. So the next time you're looking for a gift, a plant, a new t-shirt or shoes, a book or magazine to read, a place to get a quick bite, or a place to meet your friends for a drink, think local. Shop Eagle Rock.

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