Page 11 - BusinessWest May 2, 2022
P. 11

Gabrielle Gould, left, and Claudia Pazmany have presided over many grand openings in downtown Amherst in recent months, testimony to the community’s comeback from the pandemic.
ing an ever-more-eclectic mix of businesses to downtown that will make that area more of a destination.
For this, the latest installment of its Com- munity Spotlight series, BusinessWest puts the focus on Amherst, which was hit very hard by the pandemic, but is moving on from that two-year nightmare is every way imaginable.
On the Town
“As we look at different entities, we are trying to curate our mix
of businesses. In that way we can bring in what we’re missing and make Amherst a vibrant and vital destination.”
As part of the effort to bring Amherst out of the COVID era, the Chamber and BID began a campaign to promote Amherst as a destination titled “What’s Next? Amherst Area.”
Pazmany explained that this campaign pro- motes the quality of life in Amherst and sur- rounding areas.
“We focus on three things: the outdoor adven- tures available here, our iconic cultural institu-
Continued on page 13
        look like without its colleges.
“Once everyone left, our businesses ran at
20% to 30% capacity— and that’s not sustain- able,” Gould said. To put it another way, business was off 70% to 80%. “Having the colleges open and the students back fills my heart with joy.”
As noted, these students — and all those who support them or might come to visit them — will see a number of new businesses, especially in the downtown area. That list includes the much-
anticipated Drake performance venue, which opened its doors late last month. The Drake meets a long-recognized need for a live-perfor- mance venue and it is expected to bring people to Amherst from across this region and well beyond, said Gould, adding that it will likely be a catalyst for more new businesses.
But the Drake is far from the only addition to the landscape, she noted, adding that there are new restaurants, retail shops, and more, bring-
    We make fraud protection
for businesses real simple.
We’ve got businesses covered with services like Positive Pay, which automatically prevents unauthorized transactions from posting to your account.
Member FDIC/Member DIF
MAY 2, 2022 11

   9   10   11   12   13