"It wasn't good."

"It couldn't have come at a worse time."

These are a few of the comments I heard from Portland boutique owners (who wish to remain unidentified) last week after the snow blasted most of their customers off of the streets. It's still a little early to tell how badly the weather knocked the local retail scene, a sucker-punch delivered square during what should be the busiest time for their business, but not everyone is bummed. Clara at the English Dept said things are "bazonkers" at the store—with wedding season around the corner, this is paydirt time for them. Likewise, Sarah Wizemann at Lille Boutique reported that after a couple days of it being absolutely dead, she was swarmed with customers just prior to Christmas. Both of those stores have a strong, specific niche in this town, which is no doubt a contributing factor. Rumor also has it that Hawthorne stores did alright (I have several messages out to confirm these rumors with owners who aren't so concerned that they've canceled their ski vacations, apparently). Still there are emails coming from stores like Union Rose, who are having a "Rent Sale," the announcement for which was sent out with a little verse:

We're having a Rent Sale

a need-it-bad Rent Sale

in order to pay him

you've gotta come in

and get yourself some new threads

I know there's a recession on, but if you haven't actually lost your job or taken a voluntary unpaid sabbatical at the suggestion of your company, and you didn't have a stock portfolio anyway, consider sharing some of your good fortune with your favorite local businesses. They're all having mad deals to make it worth it for you, too.