To the editor:

Let's face it, folks. We're not as big as Newburyport. And we don't want to be Newburyport. But it bothers me tremendously that a town as up and coming and vibrant as ours is barely on a tourist's radar. Why is that?

I think it begins right here in town. Did you know that in most towns, a small budget is given to the Chamber of Commerce or another such organization to market the town? Not here. There is zero dollars allocated in the town's budget to promote the town. That leaves all the "marketing" efforts up to our chamber and downtown business groups.

I'm not saying these groups shouldn't market themselves. Of course they should. And they do, as much as they can. However, I also believe that a town with as much to offer as ours has a responsibility to help its small businesses. After all, the more people that come into town, the more our businesses make and the more taxes they pay. Everybody wins! We need to let our elected officials know that everyone is responsible for the growth of our downtown and outlying businesses.

Did you know:?

On Cedar Street, there is an entire three-story renovated building chock-full of artists, crafts and professionals? You can get quality breakfast, lunch and dinner all on one street?

We have a marina? We have one of the best farms (Cider Hill) for local produce and gifts?

Anything you can get at the mall can be bought right on Main Street? Clothing, chocolates, hair salons, top restaurants, gift shops, spas and more?

Last Christmas, I made it my personal challenge to buy all of my gifts from local Amesbury merchants. It worked, and I never had a problem parking or with crowds. I brought home all unique, quality gifts for my family. I met the store owners and have even become friends with some. I've been back many times.

Let's all try to do the same this year and watch our town grow! Also, write or call your local councilor or the mayor and ask that some money, even in these hard times, be allocated to marketing "My Amesbury."

It's our life. It's our town. Spread the word. It's our Amesbury.

Luis Puccio

Amesbury

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