Help for the help


To the Editor:

This never-ending housing crisis came abruptly home to me just today. My own dear daughter-in-law, Chrissy Kinsman, talented, successful, and highly motivated, for these past eight years has slowly grown her delicious Pie Chicks business. Just this winter she expanded her business into a larger retail space.

However, she is currently compelled, with the normally most lucrative summer profit months ahead, which cover financial obligations over the much slower winter months, to confront a stark, harsh fact. It is impossible to find summer staff accomodations, in the face of predictions of a bumper, profitable summer season.

Potential willing and enthusiastic staffers Chrissy interviewed and hired in early March are reluctantly canceling their prospective jobs here on M.V. because of their inability to find housing. It is imperative that the towns and Chamber of Commerce make concerted efforts to remedy this dire situation by offering tax incentives to homeowners to rent rooms to eager staff, or build dormitories, as the Cape has so successfully done. The sad alternative will be that otherwise successful entrepreneurs may be compelled to severely limit or close their businesses. 

As more and more summer folks and tourists return to M.V. but find shops they counted on to frequent to be closed, their hours of operation curtailed because they lack staff, or resort to poor or limited restaurant service, the Island’s reputation could be irrevocably tarnished. 

My daughter-in-law’s business is but one of many so negatively, frustratingly affected. This plea will likely continue to be ignored, as much information of this drastic need has already been discussed and reported ad nauseum. My personal awareness of this looming economic crisis was only just revealed today, reluctantly, by my own flummoxed, entrepreneurial daughter-in-law. In conclusion, we need help for the help. Otherwise small, formerly successful, homegrown businesses may not survive. 


Doreen Kinsman
Vineyard Haven