Mall, local economy, need our help now
To the editor:
With another anchor store preparing to leave, what are the plans for the Berkshire Mall? Jobs and revenue are being lost with the planned departure of yet, another store, Macy's!
It is time to think about the future of the Berkshires. Even those of us with our own businesses will see decreased income as others lose their jobs and have difficulty finding others.
Does the mall need a new concept? Or do we need to create a new image for the mall? These are all things we must consider. It may seem simple and irrelevant on a small scale but the larger scale is a reflection of the Berkshire economy.
Do we want to become only a bedroom community that serves tourists or do we want to be a place that is home to many? Although many may not like commercialism it is vital to sustain community. We need local shopping resources for our lives and jobs. Maybe the mall feels dated, but the aesthetics can be changed and at times, indoor shopping is a relief to our long cold winters.
The mall won't exist even as a haven for winter walkers if this trend continues. Something needs to happen now! We do not want the Berkshires to reverse to the late 1980s dismal recession and lack of life.
Create a pleasing place to live for both the young and old with old charm and modern conveniences and one will see the Berkshires light up. You can't keep the old charm if revenue stops. There will be less money to maintain even the status quo. Make business want to find a Berkshire home year-round. Do something about it. Talk about it. Love your Berkshires so it can stay your home.
What can we do to help the mall? I suggest writing State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (@RepSmitty) about our concerns. Make social buzz online and face-to-face. #ReviveBerkshireMallMA #KeepBusinessintheBerkshires. We may be sorry if we don't do something now. Don't regret it. Your voice and opinion count!