Home About Archives RSS Feed

Is anyone else feeling this way?

Allen Jezouit, @BerkshireCountyBusiness

There was an article in the Times-Union yesterday entitled, "Economy looking up in the Berkshires" (Eric Anderson, Business Editor). Mr. Anderson cites "blockbuster events, warm, dry weather, and a recovering economy" as being the reasons for the boost in tourist activity here this summer which has helped the local economy. He specifically cited the Wilco event at Mass MoCA, Tanglewood's strong summer season, and a "40% rise in ticket sales" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival as being some of the reasons behind the stronger than expected season.

Yet, for those of us who live here full-time who aren't involved in the tourist industry or cultural venues, the economy in the Berkshires isn't all roses.

  • I recently spoke to a realtor who told me that over 105 homes were on the market just in Williamstown. That was MLS listings alone and didn't include FSBO and Assist2Sell homes. A more typical number of homes on the market for Williamstown would be in the 40-60 units range.

  • A recent article in the Berkshire Eagle ("Vacancies, dearth of visitors plague mall", Tony Dobrowolski, 8/29/2010) spoke to the struggles of the Berkshire Mall in Lanesboro. Mr. Dobrowolski cited 17 dark storefronts out of 74 in the mall, which is a 23% vacancy rate.

  • The hospitals in North Adams and Pittsfield are both in deep fiscal distress.

My feeling is that it is incumbent upon those of us who live and work here to take a deep look at how we got to where we are in terms of our local economy. There is all kinds of data available that speaks to the fragility of economies who rely solely on consumptive industries like tourism, retail, and culture. We need our elected leadership and appointed personnel to work with local businesses and institutions on formulating a strategy that will bring real jobs here over the next 10 years.

Sustainability isn't just about the environment. Continuing down the same path we are on is not the answer.

Tags: Berkshire County, economy      
News Headlines
Adams Increases Age for Tobacco Sales to 21
Williamstown Website Seeking Town Funds
Pittsfield May Consider Dropping Speed Limits Throughout City
Mountaintop Solar Array Draws Complaints in North Adams
NBCC Hosts Forum on Youth and Substance Abuse
North Adams Airport Commission Unhappy With Delayed Ramp Completion
MCLA to Host Open House for Prospective Students
North Adams Happenings: Oct. 26-Nov. 1
BCC Honors Academic Achievement at Convocation
Investors Should Avoid 'Great Expectations'

Economy (11)
Finance (4)
Marketing (17)
Sales (4)
Survey Education Seminar Sales Small Business Marketing Measure Search Engine Optimization Entrepreneur Custom Business Solutions Deficit Public Safety Massachusetts Economy Williamstown Unemployment Election Social Media Advertising Cash Flow Analysis Berkshire Direct Ecommerce Financials Budget Bigcommerce Chamber Of Commerce Facebook Cnbc Marketing Nobel Prize Civil Liberties Web Security Books Berkshire County Seo Security
Popular Entries:
JC Penney and "black hat" SEO
Easier and easier
Chamber Seminar: Email Marketing
Why does "Tea Party" have to equal "Right Wing" or "extremist"?
Holy cow!
Nobel Prize in Economics Awarded for Theory on Why Unemployment Remains So High
What will the Berkshires look like in 20 or 25 years?
Is anyone else feeling this way?
Invade my privacy all you want
Recent Entries:
Chamber Seminar: Email Marketing
That didn't take long
Holy cow!
JC Penney and "black hat" SEO
Easier and easier
Chamber Seminar on eCommerce
Gotta love 2011 so far!
Mass., NY could lose more seats in Congress
The 12 Days of Holiday Revenue Maximization for Your Online Store
5 New Online Services Perfect for Small Businesses