A Small Business Microcosm: Willimansett, Massachusetts in the 1960's

Home Historical Perspective The 1960's Today Tomorrow Links

Willimansett Tomorrow

The keys to opening the doors to a brighter future do not lie in living in the past but in finding long-term solutions. The silk, alpaca, and paper mills are not going to return to Holyoke, and the automobile and tire industries are not going to return to Chicopee. The hopes for a broad industrial renaissance lie in education. We cannot hope to compete on a world scale on the basis of wages. We have already lost that battle. However, we can not only compete, but win, on the basis of a highly educated workforce of skilled labor. Education and training are prerequisite, and the educational resources in Western Massachusetts are among the world’s finest. Our future lies in new industries, particularly green industries, that will put our population back to work in research, engineering, manufacturing, and installation.

It is also time for us to fully embrace and celebrate, rather than to discriminate against, cultural diversity. Let us learn from one another and raise ourselves to ever-higher standards. Minority small business loans should come sooner, not later, in order to repopulate vacant storefronts with new businesses to meet the demands of new markets. The future of small business in localities such as Willimansett does not lie in attempting to compete against retailing giants but in capitalizing upon meeting the demands of niche markets in which big businesses cannot afford to even attempt to compete, particularly if those market niches employ, target the interests, and meet the demands of the local population base. At the same time, we should create historic districts and designate historical properties, in order to preserve the unique resources of our cultural and architectural heritage. Never again tear down churches for highways.

Finally, we need to avoid the types of political “get rich quick” schemes that are destined to make matters far worse in the long run. The most noteworthy of these current proposals touts casino gambling as a solution rather than a symptom of our deep-rooted problems. The imbecilic politicians who pretend that casino gambling will turn our economy around should not only be voted out of office, they should be tried for treason. Yes, a temporary upswing in construction services would occur during the proponents’ political tenure, but the long-term effects are economically dismal for anybody and everybody other than the casino developers and operators, along with the recipients of their campaign contributions.

Yes, there are paths to be taken and choices to be made. My thoughts only begin to touch upon the myriad of solutions which, taken together, can lead to a future more vibrant than the past for not only Willimansett but the countless Willimansetts across America.

This site has been built, hosted, and administered by Pelland Advertising.
Content originally appeared in posts on Website Development for Small Businesses
© Peter Pelland. All rights reserved.