Page 11 - BusinessWest October 13, 2021
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       Mayor Thomas Bernard is gratified to see events like the FreshGrass Festival and the Fall Foliage Parade return to North Adams.
ed in the northwest corner of the state, the bor- ders to both adjacent states are easily accessible.
“However you figure it, I’m not going to be happy until the numbers get above 80%,” he added.
Members of the regional emergency-planning committee who ran the COVID-19 operations center were honored at the 65th annual Fall Foli- age Parade on Oct. 3.
“Everyone who was involved in the public- health response and the vaccination efforts are
the folks who will be cel- ebrated and honored as a sign of how far we have come,” Bernard said the week before the event
— and a year after the parade was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
“The theme of
this year’s parade was “Games, Movies, Take- out” — “everything that kept many of us going during the darkest times of the pandemic,” the mayor added.
No Summertime Blues
Businesses in North Adams experienced what Dery called a “great
summer,” with lots of visitors exploring the Berkshires.
“In the past, we had seen many people come here from New York City, but because of COVID, we’ve seen a big increase of people from the Boston metro area,” she noted, crediting the increased visitor traffic to people choosing to forgo a European or cross-country vacation and instead stay closer to home.
“I’m optimistic and believe we’re going to have a great foliage season,” she added. “Many busi- nesses I’ve spoken with are preparing for lots of visitors this fall.”
North Adams has also seen a number of busi-
nesses open during the pandemic. Bernard pointed to the Clear Sky Cannabis dispensary, which opened in March, and the Bear and Bee Bookshop in June.
The Plant Connector opened in September 2020 before vaccines were available. Emilee Yawn, a co-owner of the shop, heard from nay- sayers who said North Adams was a tourist des-
“I’m optimistic and believe we’re going to have a great foliage season. Many businesses I’ve spoken with are preparing for lots of visitors this fall.”
tination and, since there were no tourists during the pandemic, no one would come in.
However, “from the moment we opened, we’ve been bustling,” she said. “I had been grow- ing plants in my one-bedroom apartment, and in no time, we had sold 120 plants. We had to quick- ly find a wholesaler and become a real business.”
Yawn and co-owner Bonnie Marks met at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, where Yawn was office manager and Marks was a bookkeeper. When Yawn was laid off at the beginning of the pandemic, the idea of a store to promote their mutual passion for plants became more real.
North Adams
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