As the community grapples with the upcoming closure of Bethesda institution The Gazette reports that many Bethesda businesses are struggling with high rent and a down economy.
Owners of Bruce Variety, a 60-year fixture on Arlington Road, announced that they would seek a new location because they could no longer afford the $22,000 monthly rent, Patch reported.
Retail rates have risen in Bethesda and parts of Rockville in the last year and a half, The Gazette reported, and businesses along Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase and on Bethesda Row pay the highest rents in the county.
In Bethesda, retail space can cost anywhere from $30 per square foot to more than $100 per square foot, according to the report.
“We’re all struggling,” Nina Embrey, owner of told The Gazette. “It has not been easy.”
Embrey told the paper she has worked seven days a week since Thanksgiving because she can't afford extra help.
Are you a small business owner in Bethesda? Have you changed your business strategy to be able to afford to stay here? Are you a patron who is concerned high rents are forcing out your favorite shops? Tell us in the comments.