Keep downtown Bethany Beach in mind this spring

For those of you who haven’t been to downtown Bethany Beach recently, you might be surprised if you find yourself there because of all the construction. The town’s long-awaited beautification effort is now under way, and the long-term prospects for downtown appear positive.

However, the present is a little iffy.

We want to remind all of you that the businesses downtown are open, and they are taking all customers. Growing pains are difficult, particularly when it comes to construction efforts — just ask the businesses along Route 54 who struggled to get through a major road project of their own the past couple years.

Yes, it can be inconvenient to get around while the work is being done, but think of what the town will be like when it’s done. Imagine all the shops and restaurants and the walking environment that will be available.

Now, imagine if all this work gets done and those fantastic restaurants and cute little shops you love so much are no longer there. The reality of the world is that could be the case if we don’t all support them now.

We know. We harp all the time on the importance of shopping local, but it’s true. We have amazing amenities available to us for a community our size. Go to other parts of the country and survey small-town America. Do they all have world-class restaurants and unique shops? Or, do their shopping districts contain theme restaurants and national chains, along with souvenir shops?

Take away the beautiful natural landscape of our area and there are two things that set us apart — our people, and our uniqueness. We have stores that sell things that you just can’t find in most places, and we have affordable restaurants that feature gourmet dining. That is because the vacationers that come here support those places, and the residents who live here love them. Those places in Bethany are facing a tough hill to climb right now with the construction, along with the somewhat-stagnant economy, and they need our help and support.

It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation.

We ask that as you get out and about to stop by and visit the places in downtown Bethany Beach over the next few months. Summer will bring a temporary halt to construction, along with an influx of visitors, so we expect them to have a good season. But this is a telling time of the year for all our local businesses, in all our towns, and even more so in Bethany Beach this year.

We have always been a community that rallies together when there is a need. Support of these local businesses during this construction phase is a need — both for the businesses trying to make it through difficult times, and for the rest of us who simply enjoy frequenting them.