2010 was a difficult year for businesses in Georgetown, much like virtually every other area throughout the country. Some might think that the upscale shops that line M Street and Wisconsin Avenue would be immune to an economic downtown…but they would be wrong.
“The main challenge facing Georgetown businesses right now is diminished cash flow due to declining sales,” Said Rokas Beresniovas, the Vice President of the Georgetown Business Association. “In some ways, this economic downturn has brought business owners together to form groups and business forums to help strategize how to remain competitive in this kind of market. But practically, some businesses still could not make it.”
The results are evident, as boarded-up storefronts continue to appear in a community that’s used to filling space with posh shops and chic, pricey restaurants.
“In the past year, about 20 businesses closed their doors in Georgetown,” Beresniovas said. “Other businesses are behind on their rent, running sales and specials, trying to renegotiate their leases and rents with their landlords. Businesses are all having to be leaner and meaner, doing more with less.”
There is good news in Georgetown, though, as several new establishments are moving in, including New York City’s own eatery Serendipity.
“Everyone is excited about Serendipity opening up in late January,” Beresniovas explained. “This is great, because it is going to bring a famous New York institution right into the heart of Georgetown with special touches just for the unique Georgetown, D.C. market. This venue has a history of being a warm, welcoming, fun place to be, and it will have over 70 employees from the D.C. area, and will contribute to the Georgetown economy, (via) shopping, parking, patronizing other venues, and so on.”
Business movement like this has Beresniovas and others in Georgetown approaching the New Year with cautious optimism and hope.
“I feel that 2011 will be a great year for Georgetown,” He said. “Revitalization is on the horizon and consumer confidence appears to be increasing as well. More shops, restaurants and nightlife will breathe new life into the business side of Georgetown.”