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Is Wakefield’s Main Street Better 5 Years After Economic Collapse?

By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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Money & Finance

 

BOSTON (CBS) — Half a decade later, the president called the nation’s financial system “safer” and heading in the right direction.

But is this success trickling down to the middle class?

We’ve followed the town of Wakefield over the past few years.

If you ask Wakefield Town Administrator Steve Maio if Main Street is better off five years later, the answer is yes.

He points to the $2 million CVS spent on a new building.

And Maio says the new middle school just off Main street is attracting young families to town. And there are new businesses on Main Street geared toward a higher-end customer like this Italian restaurant which used to be the YMCA.

“I am cautiously optimistic, a little bit between tepid and cheering,” he says.

But not all the news is good, there are still empty store fronts on Main street . We counted three or four.

And small businesses owners tell town leaders its tough coming up with start-up costs and paying the high rent.

Brother’s Deli has been on Main Street for 30 years. Over the past five years WBZ has visited the owners several times to take their temperature on how Main Street is faring.

Arthur Assimakopoulos says it’s tough.

Tthat is a tough question to answer. I would say we are just stagnant.”

Arthur’s family is now part of a Main Street business association strategizing on how to get people back to Main Street.

And that is something that can’t happen quick enough for Anna Lee who owns the dry cleaning business next door.

“It has been very tough. It’s been five years now and business is going down, down, but hopefully it will get better.”

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