Editorial : Grit, in business
In Vineyard Business this morning, and in business-related articles elsewhere in the paper, readers will discover bits and pieces of an inspiring story. Adding it all up, it's the story of our neighbors working very hard to defend themselves and their livelihoods against an aggressive economic attack ranging across the globe. It's a brave and heartening story.
One marvels at the cool determination of Dawn Braasch, opening the doors on her significant new business investment, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, in times that are perilous enough for established enterprises, never mind newcomers. And Ann Nelson, pressing to get her bookstore building, a fixture, anchor, and retreat on Tisbury's Main Street and now the home for Ms. Braasch's new business venture, ready for occupancy less than a year after the great fire of July 4, 2008, destroyed the building's interior.
Or Ezra Sherman, the new cupcake impresario in Vineyard Haven, an intrepid young businessman with a fresh idea and some courage, or wily Trader Fred, who's expanding his fashion empire with a new shop, also in Vineyard Haven.
Or Emily Bramhall, treating hitherto deprived Edgartonians to a county seat version of Bramhall and Dunn, long a Main Street, Vineyard Haven attraction. And Jessica Pisano, who's following her market and shifting her Belushi Pisano Gallery to a new space in Edgartown.
Then there's MacPhail's Corner Café, new on Dock Street in Edgartown. Owner Bryan MacPhail is not fretting over the gloomy economic times. "Everybody here is smiling because they're on vacation, so we're happy, too," he told a Times reporter.
In Oak Bluffs, Deon Thomas has opened a new restaurant on upper Circuit Avenue. He thinks up-Islanders who've come to like his cooking will follow him down.
And, with a nod to Alley's, dealers in almost everything, the Oak Bluffs General Store has opened in Oak Bluffs, selling almost everything you want when you're not in West Tisbury.
And, we've mentioned here only a few of the enterprising business owners, veterans and newcomers, who, with faith and hope and a belief that what they do is important to all of the non-business operators among us. There are lots more, which is itself astonishing.
Then, there are the builders, who hammered, wired, and plumbed themselves silly in the good times, but find themselves hove down now as the steam has escaped the economic boiler. John Early is a good example. No despair here. Mr. Early is the former long-time West Tisbury selectman and town representative to the Martha's Vineyard Commission. He is a general contractor, building big high-end projects and involved in sharp-pencil affordable housing projects as well. Mr. Early says what all the builders say: "It's definitely not what it has been in the past. We have a certain amount of work to do, but we're definitely feeling the crunch."
Then, he adds, because it's all about moving ahead and getting ahead, "We're very busy trying to stay busy."
A little sunshine, climatological and economic, will help, but no matter the odds, the tryers among us will find the bright lining in the gloom, or make it.