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Ventura Boulevard of Broken Dreams?

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Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks | Photo by

Today's Daily News takes a look at one of Los Angeles' main streets, Ventura Boulevard, and how it's faring in the current economic crisis. Not surprisingly, things are not going well for business owners whose shops are located on "the San Fernando Valley's most robust commercial strip."

They profile six businesses, some of whom echo each others' fears about the decline in business, and noting that their patrons come in less frequently because their own finances are uncertain, or that the businesses may soon find it hard to make their ends meet.

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Some businesses, though, are doing well, like a shoe repair store (emblematic of folks fixing what's broke rather than buying new) and a gym (New Year's resolutions, anyone?). No mention of how the new parking rates and time limits are affecting them, either, but when owners notice shoppers' wish for cheaper goods and services, more money spent for less time to park is bound to have a negative impact on businesses.

The bottom line on the bottom line is that things are grim: "As a result of the downturn, consumer confidence is off. Sales have slowed. And most shopkeepers can only gaze out from their shops or bistro patios." Store-owners feel helpless, and some blame national politics; perhaps the upcoming change in leadership will restore hope to our local business owners.

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