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Editorial: Downtown Hastings could use a break

Downtown Hastings could really use a break.

More than anything, though, they could use your help.

Usually, downtown gets a big shot in the arm from its biweekly car shows throughout the summer. This year, though, rain has significantly impacted pretty much every show. Some have been lost altogether. At others, attendance was down because of the weather.

That, of course, isn’t the only blow being dealt to the businesses.

We can go back more than five years to the start of bridge construction and cite that. Certainly, all that work in and around downtown has stung.

This summer, the bridge construction has lingered and that’s made even worse by the water main replacement that has been ongoing.

In other words: if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

It’s time to ask those Hastings residents who haven’t shopped downtown recently to give it another shot. Hundreds of jobs are at stake at those businesses in the downtown area. In addition, much of our community’s small town atmosphere is tied into its downtown. It is cited, time and again, from people who move here as something that attracted them to the community.

The economic downtown that struck in 2007-08 was a big enough hit on local businesses. But then when you add in the bridge construction, the unrelated work downtown (as has been happening this summer), the upcoming Riverfront Renaissance work this year and then even more work planned for next year, it all adds up to one massive blow.

We need our downtown to thrive. In order for it to do that, your patronage is required.