Ideas for new small-business categories in our region from Shira Wohlberg

Shira Wolhberg submitted these ideas by email. — Bill Densmore


I am interested in small businesses that also shift attitudes such as a commercial composting business and a permaculture-based landscape and design business like the Regenerative Design Group in Greenfield  ( Also small businesses and education centers with the feel of the Conway School of Design, Real Pickles (, and the South River Miso Company (

I would like to see an artist retreat center (like McDowell,  e, and many many others: as someone proposed a
few years ago. I’m not sure if it already exists, but does The Clark have a residential training program in art restoration?

I would love to see Overland expand and a touring/hiking business connected to the Appalachian Trail that runs winter trips too.

There was talk of developing an ag program in conjunction with Burnett
Farm in Adams and the McCann School —  or by another route — since
there is nothing in the region. (Gail Cariddi was in on this discussion as well.) This would train more people to stay in the area, develop resilient local food systems, and attract young, hands-in-the-ground entrepreneurs. I don’t think anything has come of this yet.

I would love to see a business that has rotating products using almost
entirely locally-sourced “waste”/by-product materials that are upcycled. The work should be done at a human-scale and ideally should be a worker-owned cooperative ( There are several good models operating in the Pioneer Valley.

Aside from that, another prep school that college spouses among others could teach at as well as some think tanks.

New businesses should always be situated in existing buildings, especially ones that need to be rejuvenated, and in other previously blighted spaces. They should not impose machine noise, air or water pollution on the neighborhoods they enter. They should be linked by pleasant, safe bus, bicycle and walking routes through downtown for workers and customers.

Please put these ideas into the mix. Sorry to not be in the room with
everyone this evening.

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