To the editor: What do you think it means to be a business friendly community?

A year and a half ago – it seems like yesterday – I ran for the Select Board in Chester and received landslide support from the residents of our community.

My mantra then and remains today; “It is time to change the status quo” and “It’s about jobs.” Yes, some rather significant change for the better has occurred since then, none of which may I take credit for.

Indeed many citizens have stepped forward to take up challenges and lead projects to improve our community. We can all feel the collective groundswell of achievements and community pride grow. It’s a delightful feeling to participate in this process. At Inn Victoria, Penny and I hear from our guests, all of whom are from away, that there is a greater sense of pride and community spirit as they visit our village shops, dine at our restaurants and visit our local sites.

They come here to visit the region, the general area comprised by a series of villages surrounding Chester. They bring money to the area; some bring their talents and stay. They dream of enjoying our lifestyle, clean water, clean air etc. … and many want to live and work here. Chester pride is indeed growing!

Through this year and a half however, one deep concern of mine lingers: Are we a business friendly community? Do our governmental bodies support or inhibit growth? Do we have the resolve we should to encourage growth? Do we make available / fund the tools & professional talent that can guide / counsel business owners toward appropriate solutions?

I believe we have yet to come to sound resolve and unified approach in this direction. During the June 14th’s Select Board meeting, I vehemently asserted that this is a very serious issue that needs to be discussed. Granted, my impatience with the issue did offend people. Fortunately another of my compatriots on the board had the cool presence of mind to recognize the need for a discussion on the matter and offered up the agenda topic at our July 5th meeting.

It is to our mutual benefit to engage in such a conversation. It is with that background that I invite and encourage people to attend Select Board meetings and participate, making your perspectives known. No single person serving our community has all the answers. Together, however, we can engage in constructive dialogue that can propel us toward a vision of business friendly growth.

See you at the next Select Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5 at Chester Town Hall, 556 Elm St.

Dan Cote

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  1. Randy Miles says:

    Thanks, Dan for helping bring this topic more out into the open! I am sorry I could not attend the meeting last night but very much would of loved to! I will be waiting to here what was discussed?

    Chester is a great town with great people from all over the place. We for a long time now have not helped our very important business in our town?? Small business is a strong part of any town, that benefits its people,town and state. Providing services, products and a better ease of life!

    I am a small business owner in town and have talked to many other business owners about this issue? The feeling has been with our town for a long time now with not much change in how we really treat our business. By this I mean our town’s citizens say they want business in town but a small group of people say No we should stay a bedroom community and work and buy our goods somewhere else? Or by our elected boards all boards say we are business friendly in Chester.

    When it comes down to it it’s all say and not much help for our town business?? Sometimes we have one board stand up for a business and another board disagree and place the business owner in the middle of two or more opinions? This is not right! We need to be on the same page with our town boards! It is time to bring this image out into the open and move forward! Like it or not we are all humans and if things were made to stay the same we would all be living in a very crowded cave right now. We are born to work and play and move forward in life. This is not a bad thing and should not be looked that way. Support of business in Chester has not been good, people talk about it all the time? Lets try and turn this image around. This will only benefit the town of Chester and it’s citizens, we are one of the large towns around with soon to be great roads and access to our town. There are ways to keep Chester quaint and beautiful with out putting down small business! After all we business owners live in this town and try an make our living here and raise our family’s here. We as businesses give back by donating to many needs in town weather it may be food for people helping after a flood or fire. Money given for projects like play grounds or just donating time or money to any other needs that may arise? Business in Chester should be welcome and supported it will benefit Chester in so many ways! Sincerely, Randy Miles