Merchants look to emerge from ‘Snowpocalypse 2017’

During the past several weeks, weather system after weather system dumped snow, freezing rain and ice onto Camas, Washougal and the greater Vancouver and Clark County areas. Washougal students have missed a total of 10 days of school during the past two months, while Camas is not far behind at nine.

In an effort to keep their employees safe there were days when some businesses closed early, or didn’t open at all. Others had the luxury of allowing their employees to tele-commute from the safety and comfort of their homes. Recently, getting to and from just about anywhere has been a headache, to say the least.

To sum it up in a few words, Mother Nature’s antics have caused emotions ranging from joy and excitement to frustration and anger.

And while from the looks of it, “Snowpocalypse 2017” seems to have come to an end, its impacts could stick around for a while.

As many people stayed home to avoid the fray and craziness visible on local roadways — only venturing out to purchase groceries or other essentials — many local businesses saw impacts in the form of significantly decreased sales.

A few days of this might not be detrimental to larger commercial businesses, but for those that are small- to medium-sized, with just a handful of employees, it can be more severe.

With rejuvenation of the local economic market in mind, the Downtown Camas Association hopes to inspire shoppers to return to the area this weekend with a Winter Celebration event on Saturday. Details can be found in today’s edition of the Post-Record.

“This weather has gone on way too long, so we want to invite you back to downtown to support our merchants and restaurants and have a lot of fun doing it,” said DCA Executive Director Carrie Schulstad.

The Washougal Downtown Association is also working diligently to promote its local businesses, ranging from spas and restaurants to boutiques and coffee shops.

It’s perfect timing really, because there is little doubt that local residents who have been cooped up, for what seems like days on end, are anxious to get out and get to know their local communities and their neighbors once again.