We have all thought, at some point about the big stores putting the smaller businesses under. It's been discussed here often and I've made no bones about the fact that I am saddened to see this happening.
But I recently realized there might yet be hope. OK, this is not about a woodworking business per se, but the analogy should be clear enough.
My town is a small college town that was heavy with small, quirky, independent bookstores. They almost outnumbered coffee houses (which suffered a similar fate). It seemed like there was at least one on every street. We used to frequent one in particular where my wife loved to dig through their vast section of well-worn and often rare cookbooks.
When a large national bookseller announced its plans to open a store here, the independent stores fought them with everything they had. Unfortunately their fight was futile and the big chain store prevailed. The fears of the independents were proven totally founded because within a couple of years, all but one was forced to close their doors.
But several years later, the big chain store declared bankruptcy. It seems that they were put down by a new and unforeseen enemy of their own: e-book downloads. And now, that one store that hung on through thick and thin, a store that is a mere shadow of its former self, is the only place in town where one can buy an actual book. They may be worse for wear but, to me, they are a shining beacon of hope.