WESTPORT - The economic downturn is taking its toll on the once thriving downtown Westport area as businesses continue to flounder.

Katzenberg?s Deli was the latest victim of the struggling economy. Four other stores have closed their doors since the summer ended, and Curran Cadillac on Post Road has just announced it will lay off 10 employees by the end of the month to keep the business opened.

With retail space along Main Street priced at $135 per square foot, many business owners blame recent closures on high rents. The vice president of Westport?s Downtown Merchant Association says her organization is working with the town and the chamber of commerce on an ad campaign using radio and television to promote Westport?s locally owned businesses.