Despite a small wave of business closings in town, Wilmington officials remain excited about how the town has weathered down economic times.
The Donut Shop and K&A Cones have each closed in recent weeks while Fashion Bug is also closing its doors in the near future. With Staples announcing the closing of 30 retail stores around the country there have been rumors that Wilmington’s location will be among the casualties, but the company has given no official word yet.
In one of his final interviews with Patch before his retirement, Wilmington Town Manager Michael Caira said that he is excited about the current state of local business despite the recent string of closings.
“Those things happen in the normal course of events,” said Caira. “It doesn’t make it any easier for the folks who run those businesses and depend on them, but I don’t see it as symptomatic of something larger than that.”
Caira pointed to the recent opening of Fro-Yo to Go, Panera Bread and Dunkin’ Donuts on Concord Street as a sign that while some businesses have closed their doors, others are happily joining the Wilmington business community.
Planning Director Carole Hamilton said that despite years of a struggling economy, Wilmington has remained a vibrant business community.
“I think we’ve been startlingly on an even keel,” said Hamilton. “Municipal government has obviously done well, but to see the private sector doing well too in Wilmington despite the economy has been pretty refreshing. There are lots of communities with problems that we have not had to face.”
Hamilton said she believes the town’s easy access to I-93 is among the reasons that Wilmington is so attractive to customers and potential business owners alike.
Caira said he believes the Wilmington business community struggled slightly in recent years due to the recession, but like Hamilton he also believes that Wilmington has done well compared to other nearby towns and cities.
“We still suffered to some extent, but I think we certainly fared better than most,” said Caira. “We are a community that does not rely on one segment of the economy. We are pretty diversified with our businesses from manufacturing to high tech to retail. That’s key to the success of any community.”