I was pretty upset after reading Stephen Tait’s excellent article in today’s Newburyport Daily News, January 11, 2007, “Rented out: As costs rise, many downtown merchants struggle to keep up.”
“Deb Pagley, who owns Homespun Gatherings that recently moved from Newburyport to Amesbury, said “rents basically destroyed my business.”…
Pagley says the downtown is being “monopolized” by the Lagasses, Ann and husband Charles, who manage about 20 percent of the downtown retail spaces. They are partners with developer Stephen Karp, a billionaire mall builder who plans to develop the land between the Black Cow and Route 1, known as Waterfront West…
“They just control it,” Pagley said. “I think they are seeing the effects of it, because I think a lot of businesses are leaving because of the high rent.
“If they really care about Newburyport and they want to keep the variety of stores,” she added, “then they will have to look at what the rent is doing.” ”
(Newburyport Daily News, January 11, 2007)
I think these “Buy Local” folks have come (I hope) just in time.
A website worth checking out is “Hometown Advantage” on www.newrules.org. The Hometown Advantage gives examples of 18 cities and towns across the United States that have decided that they have a choice about what happens in their hometown.
If this is an issue that concerns you, by all means contact the “Buy Local” folks and give your Newburyport City Councilor a call.