With the closing of the Great Cakes Bakery on Feb. 2, Westport lost another business that may never be replaced. Like so many others that have passed before it, a small business, providing a quality product has been erased, and Westport has become less of a town for the loss.

Great Cakes can be added to a list of other landmark businesses such as the original Klein's, the Remarkable Book Store, American Crafts, multiple art galleries and various other service providers, each of which contributed to Westport's singular appeal.

But there is hope and a unique opportunity to make some inroads that can help support small business in Westport. The Kemper Gunn House can provide just such an opportunity as can the newly appointed Downtown Steering Committee. The Downtown Steering Committee is in a unique position as it can, if properly oriented, open the door to provide a development model that addresses both a sensible and viable approach for enterprising entrepreneurs and small businesses while balancing the opportunities of larger corporate entities.

The Downtown Steering Committee appears to be well represented by a broad spectrum of Westporters. Members have varying interests and their decisions will influence the direction of Westport's downtown development for many years.

It will be important that the public maintain a constant vigil to ensure that the interests of Westport's residential communities are not compromised by the committee's decisions. We strongly suggest that Westport residents attend the public hearings and charretes the committee has planned assure their voices are given full consideration as this process moves forward. Save Westport Now will be in attendance and we will be reporting our findings and opinions on our website at http://www.savewestportnow.org/.

Jeff Block

Member, Board of Directors

Save Westport Now