Improving Amherst's Economy, By Jannett Chin

I attended a business meeting September 20th in the morning around 9:00. The reason for attending was to try and understand how Amherst’s economy can be improved. This business series presented by Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce & Amherst BID is about improving downtown Amherst's economy. Their goal is to make downtown more lively, appealing, and economically better. One way in improving the economy is by creating housing. There are three business limited zones where no housing can be built. However, there are many other places where housing can be built. 

Amherst is currently ranked #4 for best college town in America. This town is filled with a mix of locals and people from all over. What that says about this town is that many people choose to come here because they think this is a great town full of opportunities. Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce & Amherst BID wants to find out what students want and provide it. They have found out that graduates wanted to stay after college. Graduates are unable to find jobs or housing. So, jobs and housing are trying to be created for these students. 

In order to improve Amherst's economy, the homeless and jobless needs to be helped as well as graduates. I have come across two types of panhandlers. One, the friendly kind where their sign says things along the lines of "Anything helps, God bless you, Thank you". Two, the threatening kind where the sign read "Give me money or I'll vote for Trump". However, I have seen more people sitting on benches relaxing and chatting than the homeless. That is a good sign. But, the economy can be improved if we help the homeless find homes and the jobless find jobs. Housing should be created not just for graduates. The number one priority should be creating affordable housing for panhandlers and helping them find a job. The economy would benefit greatly with no more panhandlers; these residents need help.