Two businesses run by Wilmington entrepreneurs, Wahoo’s Eatery and Concrete Detail, have claimed the top prizes in the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s annual business plan contest.
That’s not the first time business brains with ties to the valley have claimed top tier spots in the contest. Vermont Distillers, owned by Ed Metcalfe of Whitingham, claimed the “new business” category title last year and Engineered Stone Designs, owned by Matthew Murano of Wilmington, took startup business honors in 2007. In 2006, Against the Grain, a food manufacturing business owned by Tom and Nancy Cain of Marlboro and formerly of Dover, took second place in the contest’s inaugural year.
What this success shows is that, even in a down economy, there are folks out there willing to take a calculated risk, put a plan together, and make it work. Will all of them be successful? Well, in some ways that depends on one’s definition of success. Some yes, some no, some maybe.
But the bottom line is that those who are willing to plan their work and work their plan stand a pretty good chance of making it. In today’s challenging economy, business owners and managers who see struggles in their day-to-day existence would do well to take heart that, with planning and perseverance, there can be better days ahead. Those mentioned above are just a few examples.
There are other examples of life in the local economy in the real estate market. Seems silly to say, with reports of slumping housing sales and a moribund market. But look at the commercial market. As we report on page 10, the Andirons Lodge continues to draw interest and speculation in Dover. Granted, the property hasn’t actually been sold yet, but there is still a buzz about the sale of it, a year after the property went on the market.
There have been commercial property sales in Wilmington village as well. A new real estate office has opened up and the building spruced up, adding a bright addition next to the Bank Lot park and the entire four-corner center of the town. We have reports of other commercial properties changing hands as well.
All of these things, coupled with the continued efforts of the Dover and Tri-town economic development committees and others, continue to foretell better times to come for the local economy.