Re: "Downturn reigns in upscale enclave," Monday:

As a longtime Chestnut Hill resident and business owner, I was disheartened by your article's lack of balance. There are local businesses that are not only surviving, but thriving, despite the economic downturn.

My own business has not been immune. However, many stores on Germantown Avenue remain bustling centers of community life. From the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, to Artisans on the Avenue, to Mango, to 3000 B.C., to the Paperia, we continue to see the vitality of Chestnut Hill. Restaurants such as Osaka, Solaris, and Roller's continue to nourish the community, as does a revamped Hill Tavern, Campbell's Place, and the iconic McNally's.

Yes, there are vacancies, but this is not unique. Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr faces similar issues. Yet, the issue of blame is less prominent, so the situation is far less contentious. Our passionate discussion should not be centered on whom to blame. It should focus on how to provide innovative services that cultivate customer loyalty.

Flip Ferry

President

Robertson's Flowers

Philadelphia